Otakus and Geeks is pleased to present to you our new popular feature, Cosplayer Spotlight. It is dedicated to showcase talented individuals from the cosplay community. Catch some new talent or get a look at some well-established members from the world of cosplay.
I'm Lua - a Cosplayer, alternative model and crafty lady hailing from the beautiful state of New Jersey! I have been cosplaying since 2012 and it's my biggest passion. My love for comics, cartoons, video games and anime has helped me complete over 20 costumes - most of which done in 2014.
How did you get into cosplaying and how long you been doing it?
My first convention was Wizard World Philadelphia about 3 years ago! I went with my Mom and best friend and we had a great time. I wasn't dressed up at the time because I didn't know much about Cosplay. I had seen photos of cosplayers online but seeing them in person is just incredible!
I got super excited to take photos with people cosplaying from my favorite video games and shows. I really admired the hard work and detail they each put into their costumes. So I thought it would be fun to dress up at NYCC that year! I haven't looked back since.
What is cosplay to you?
Cosplay a great way to express something you love (anime, video game, comic book etc.) and bring it to life. To put your own twist on your favorite characters and show your fandoms at conventions!
Do you have someone who inspires you to cosplay? If so who?
I am super inspired by all of my friends I have met through cosplay! We are always showing one another new techniques and helping each other out. They are some of the most incredibly talented people I've ever met and they inspire me everyday!
Aside from that I really admire Destiny Nickelsen! She is just so good! My jaw literally drops every time I look at her work. What a lovely lady!
Do your family and friends know you cosplay?
Yes! They are incredibly supportive but I still can't get them to dress up with me haha.
Are you doing cosplay as a hobby or professionally?
In 2014 I started attending cons as a guest and judge but I wouldn't necessary call myself a "professional" cosplayer. It would be amazing to make a career out of this someday. But I really just do it as a hobby and it's so much fun!
Do you only do local or other conventions, as well?
2015 is the year of expanding for me! I attended SDCC 2014 and it was a great experience! I really want to make it out to AnimeExpo, Katsucon, Colossal Con and many more conventions so that's my goal this year!
How many conventions do you go in a year?
As many as my budget will allow!
If you can, cosplay anywhere is the world? Where would it be?
I would love to attend a con in every state! I really want to go to Canada for a few cons as well! I'm not too sure about cons outside of the country yet but the possibilities are endless!
When cosplaying what do you feel is most important? (e.g. detail , character portrayal, etc.)
I, myself am very critical of my own work. I try my hardest to get every detail close to whatever I am cosplaying and it drives me nuts! In the end it is always worth it of course. I think it is most important to just portray your character the way you want it.
What is your pet peeve when it comes to cosplay?
When there is negativity in the community. I feel that there really is no way to prevent things like this. I know that cosplay is starting to become quite popular and excepted - I think that's wonderful.
I hate when people try and bring one another down based on their level of craftsmanship or are just judgmental. I hate that because we are all here doing the same thing - portraying a character we love and to have fun! We shouldn't be tearing one another down.
Do you prefer to buy or make your cosplays/props?
I definitely prefer to make them! I started building props with my roommate pretty recently actually... So I'm fairly new to it. We always have a great time making things together and the finished product is definitely worth the hours we put in.
When deciding on how you want your cosplay to look, what goes through your mind? (e.g. does the fabric/material have to look like the picture)
I usually analyze photos of whatever I'm cosplaying like crazy. I take lots of notes as well! And from there I do a bit of research on materials that are similar to the ones I need. I try and keep it as close to my image as possible!
What type of characters do you enjoy cosplaying?
I always like to pick a character that is different then something I've done before. I like to challenge myself with new materials.
I love cosplaying characters like Super Sonico, Rocket Racoon & Tiny Tina because they're fun and adorable! But I also love cosplaying characters like Saria because I adore her character and the photos we shot for that set came out amazing!
What is your favorite part of putting on your cosplay?
Meeting other cosplayers dressed as someone from the same series, video game etc! I usually squeal super high and start running towards them.
How do you choose the characters you cosplay as?
I carry a notebook in my backpack with me at all times! In there is a list of over 100 costumes that I would love to make. Any time I am feeling inspired or I see a character I would like to make I jot it down in my book! Once I'm ready to make something new I check out my list and something usually catches my attention pretty quick!
Are there any cosplays that you wish you could pull off?
There are many cosplays that I wish I had the craftsmanship to build but I'm not at that level yet. I feel like every-time I craft I learn something new. So maybe one day I'll be on that level... "Level up"if you will haha
Do you have any cosplays that you will never do and why?
Nothing is off limits for me!
Do you believe that a person has to have certain qualities to pull off a cosplay? (e.g. facial structure, etc.)
No way! I don't believe you have to have ANY certain quality to pull of a Cosplay. I cosplay so many characters that look way different to my everyday look and that's okay!
What are some of your dream cosplays?
Samus Aran Varia Suit is my #1 dream cosplay. OH MAN, I get heart eyes every time I think about it! The design of it is so beautiful and I hope someday I am at that level of craftsmanship.
Some other dream cosplays are Kida from Atlantis, Gunner Yuna, Jessica Rabbit, Princess Cadence, Lightning and I'm dying to do a Ghost Busters cosplay! I hope to tackle some of these in 2014
Outside of cosplaying, what else do you do?
Cosplay is probably my biggest passion. I don't have many other hobbies. I wish I could say I did cooler things like roller derby or burlesque (maybe one day hehe). But aside from cosplay I am an alternative model who likes her books, ukulele and video games!
How do you fund your cosplay?
I work several jobs, including modeling. I also have an etsy shop where I sell prints and other fun items!
Where do you go most often for photoshoots? Do you do photoshoots?
I try and shoot with my friends locally in NJ & NY. I LOVE shooting in outdoors locations so I'm always scouting for something new.
Do you prefer your images photoshopped or unshopped?
I think photo shop is fun! It can really help bring your image to life!