A frequent face of London cons, Katya Cosplay is a true busy bee. Somehow the quality of her work never drops, despite how many she produces! Go figure!
Location: Essex, UK
Favourite food: Chocolate
What inspired you to start cosplaying?
I’d been to comic con a couple of times out of costume, and then a couple of times in some quick, cheap costumes off of eBay. As I did this I met some people who put a bit more effort into their costumes than I did, and I realised it was something I was really becoming interested in. So I simply got myself a sewing machine and learned how to sew. For me, I really wanted to feel like I’d become the character, and not feel like someone wearing a costume (which indeed I am, but still!). I’m a massive fan of theatre so I’ve been performing all my life, which I think is where that side of things comes from! Elsa from Frozen is the character that really inspired me to make a costume as I related to her and loved her so much, and so I did. Although my first attempt of Elsa is pretty embarrassing to look back on now, I’ve continued to upgrade her throughout the years and it’s now a costume I’m really proud of and have worn so many times!
What do you think has been your most challenging make so far?
That’s a really tough question actually. I think Eliza from Hamilton the Musical has challenged me a lot. I had to take a lot of time and care whilst making her costumes, especially as she’s my favourite. The fit of the bodice is really difficult and it was my first time tackling steel boning properly! Cersei from Game of Thrones was also new and difficult territory for me, it was my first time embroidering (I spent literally hundreds of hours on it) and a completely different style of costume than I’m used to. Overall these costumes aren’t completely polished and I would love to go back and upgrade them, but I’m happy enough with them as they are.
What’s your favourite part of the costume making process?
I’m a ball of stress and worry so I actually have to remind myself to enjoy the making process sometimes! I really love the moment when the costume starts to come together and actually look like the character. It sounds obvious but a lot of the costume making is cutting, pinning and patterning, so I love the parts where I actually get to sew! I also love when a new wig arrives and I try it on for the first time – silly but true! I love wigs so much, as is evident by my growing collection!
Do you have a dream cosplay that you’d like to make one day?
I have so many! Mainly those that are far out of my skill set. Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones, Glinda from Wicked, live action Cinderella, Christine from Phantom of the Opera and a tearaway Elsa dress have all been long term goals of mine. Whether they will happen or not is unknown! Would absolutely love to one day though.
If you could go back in time and give newbie Katya any advice, what would it be?
I think the main advice I would give is not to compare yourself to other cosplayers. It used to make me so unhappy when I looked at other cosplays that I felt were better than mine. I decided to remove myself from the cosplay community groups on Facebook as I wasn’t involved in them, and simply seeing less cosplay on my feed made me feel better again. It’s easy to get sucked into cosplay and have it take over your life, but I found that wasn’t healthy for me personally. I had to take a little step back to remind myself that it’s about my personal improvement and achievement, and that it doesn’t need to be compared to anyone else’s. We’re all doing a fab job! It’s rare I compare my cosplays to others nowadays and I’m really pleased about that. Cosplay is meant to be enjoyed!