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.
Wonder Woman Cosplayer. Flight Attendant. Singer. Actress. In that order. :)
How did you get into cosplaying and how long you been doing it?
Well I went to school for musical theater performance and always loved making my own Halloween costumes and about 4 years ago a friend of mine who knew I wanted to make a Wonder Woman costume for Halloween asked me if I wanted to co-host with him at NYCC as Wonder Woman and I said OK, not really knowing what I was getting myself into...and became addicted! :) So I'm going on 4 years cosplaying, but really dove into it heavily about 2 years ago.
What is cosplay to you?
Cosplay to me is the chance to bring your own talents, creativity, and love of a character to life. Creating what someone imagined to life and sharing that with others with the same love of the characters/costuming.
Do your family and friends know you cosplay?
They do, and are incredibly supportive! I'm pretty sure my mom is my biggest fan! Both she and my sister come to conventions with me last year...I think they caught the bug cause they want to come to more! All my friends know I cosplay as well, probably because they get blown up on social media with pictures after every convention. A lot of them refer to me as Wonder Woman jokingly.
Are you doing cosplay as a hobby or professionally?
I consider what I do a hobby, I don't get paid to do it (yet...wink) so It's more of my love for costuming and creating that keeps me doing it.
Do you have someone who inspires you to cosplay? If so who?
In the beginning I didn't. It was my passion for creating. Now I'd have to say my boyfriend Shawn, aka Dynamite Webber Cosplay. Some days I just don't feel like doing anything, and his similar passions for cosplay and comics just inspires me. Working with him has brought a new kind of fun to the whole process. It's nice to have someone to talk to while designing and to give you suggestions, tips, ideas, and the support when you want to throw it against the wall, Lol. I don’t know what I would've done without his help these last few cons when my costumes just stop working.
Do you only do local or other conventions, as well?
I tend to do more local conventions because of money for staying in locations, but because of my job I fly for free. So, when I say local, I mean cities that I have friends in to stay with! Lol The cities I typically go to are NYC, Boston, Baltimore, DC, and western PA.
How many conventions do you go in a year?
This past year I went to about 6 conventions but all were from Sept-Dec. because I was in training for my job for the early part of the year, Next year I plan on even more.
If you can, cosplay anywhere in the world? Where would it be?
I would really love to cosplay at the London or Australia conventions. London is one of my favorite cities, and I'd love the opportunity to meet the European and Australian cosplayers. I'd also love to cosplay in Greece. Those photos would be epic!!!
When cosplaying what do you feel is most important? (e.g. detail , character portrayal, etc.)
I think the most important is how you interact. How someone interacts with others at conventions speaks worlds to me. Just being a genuinely nice person and not big headed. You might be the most talented cosplay artist but if your rude it ruins the experience for everyone.
What is your pet peeve when it comes to cosplay?
My pet peeve is haters. If you don't like someone's work, keep it to yourself. I speak for myself in saying the amount of work that one puts into a cosplay is immense and for someone to want to dress up it takes a lot of courage and pride. Having someone say negative things toward them is just terrible. The cosplay community is a very friendly and close group, but making others feel welcome and complimenting their work no matter if they made it or not would help to make it even better. Just respect.
Do you prefer to buy or make your cosplays/props?
I make everything I cosplay. In the beginning I bought most items and altered them, and while it was easier, I didn't have as much passion or pride in the design as I did when I made it. I also love the challenge of trying to make or create something from scratch and learning new techniques to do so.
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)
Many of my designs, I try make EXACTLY like a drawing. I want to make each cosplay look like it jumped off the page. But, I also do take liberties in making a design more functional or adding details to make a design that much more intricate. But typically I try to make the cosplay as real life with materials as possible (like my metalwork).
What type of characters do you enjoy cosplaying?
Wonder Woman is obviously my favorite. I typically am drawn to strong female characters or designs that are fun/beautiful. I'm really looking forward to this coming year and the new characters and designs I have planned.
What is your favorite part of putting on your cosplay?
My favorite part of putting on my cosplay is when it comes together. I typically hate EVERYTHING until all the pieces are together and that's usually the morning of a convention. Lol
How do you choose the characters you cosplay as?
I typically choose characters that I love; I usually search the Internet for a fun design, or stumble upon something that inspires me. Those are the ones I have planned for next year.
Are there any cosplays that you wish you could pull off?
I want to pull off some huge characters...but they're huge builds and would only be able to travel to some conventions with them...maybe some day!
Do you have any cosplays that you will never do and why?
I probably wont do any very scantily clad characters...I wish I could, but I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing those items at conventions. More power to the ladies that can!! I might consider for a private shoot, but that's about it.
Do you believe that a person has to have certain qualities to pull off a cosplay? (e.g. facial structure, etc.)
I don't. Granted I tend to cosplay characters that I look like or have a similar body type to...but it's because those are my favorites. If my favorite was tinkerbell I'd totally cosplay her! I think you should cosplay because you want to!
What are some of your dream cosplays?
Some I'm my dream cosplays are Baymax from Big Hero 6, Jessica Rabbit, and Powergirl. I'm holding off on them cause I'd want to do them justice. I'm kind of a perfectionist.
Outside of cosplaying, what else do you do?
Well, I'm a flight attendant! So, yes Wonder Woman indeed flies! Between the two I don't have a ton of time for much else. Also seeing theatre is something I make time for.
How do you fund your cosplay?
With pain and tears. Haha Cosplaying for me isn't cheap because I never end up picking designs that are inexpensive! UGH! And because I try to make things so realistic the materials tend to be pricey. I generally try to find discounted fabrics to help with the costs...but it's something I love, so I make money for it.
Where do you go most often for photoshoots? Do you do photoshoots?
Most of my photoshoots tend to be set at conventions because I don't have a ton of free time, but I'm hoping to plan some destination photoshoots since I can fly there with my job, just need to make time!!
Do you prefer your images photoshopped or unshopped?
I love images photoshopped! It adds another level and dimension to the photos! I want to learn so that I can edit them myself, but most of my shots are unedited because of that. Some of my favorite shots are ones that are unedited though!