Conversations in Cosplay
For so many years, cosplay was a niche hobby even among the global nerd community. It is only in the past few years that it has gathered mainstream attention and, for some of the early attempts at introducing it to a wider audience, not all of it was good. This year, Syfy showcased cosplay in an entirely new way with its show Cosplay Melee. It focussed on the creative drive and the passion felt by everyone who makes the effort to step into the shoes of their favourite characters by bringing pop culture’s most fantastic costumes to life.
The show wouldn’t have been anywhere near as successful if it wasn’t for the dedication of the cosplayers who strutted their stuff on the Cosplay Melee catwalk. Becka Noel was one of the creators who took the leap from convention floor to international television and captured the imaginations of nerds all over the world with her art.
We spoke to Becka to find out how the show has changed her work in cosplay and what she could possibly have lined up to follow it. (more…)
One of those hobbies that requires buckets of passion, a flair for creativity and the confidence to show off your work, cosplay can be a daunting thing to get into. It’s the kind of thing you have to be prepared to devote tons of time and likely a fair bit of money to in order to get the most out of it. Once you’ve vaulted those hurdles, many cosplayers will tell you there’s hardly a more fulfilling hobby or more supportive community out there, even if you a little hesitant to jump in at the deep end first time round.
PixelPantz Cosplay is the artist that very nearly wasn’t, if one awesome friend hadn’t been so convincing. We spoke to her about what finally persuaded her to give it a go and the creative adventure she’s been on ever since.
Every cosplayer, no matter how new or inexperienced, is at their core a creative person. A lot of imagination goes into taking a character off a screen or out of a comic book and recreating it in the real world, particularly if you have the skills to raft it to suit your own physical characteristics. The cosplayers that really stand out, though, are the ones that go above and beyond to make their costumes unique. The ones who mash together hugely different characters and themes to create a bizarrely familiar yet very distinct cosplay. The ones who find the least sexy thing in all of popular culture and find a way to confuse all the boners.
Helena Steele is one such cosplayer, and has been blowing minds with her original twists on awesome characters since she first made the move from modeling to cosplay. (more…)
There are very few cosplayers who get to cosplay professionally from the moment they find it. Usually, you have to have a pretty big following in some other career – and that career can’t be just anything. It needs to have some kind of relationship to nerd culture so that your fan base will be encouraging and supportive of your cosplay work, rather than just seeing it as a passingly interesting hobby. Tanya Tate not only got a huge chunk of her fan base to celebrate her love of cosplay with her, but was also lucky enough to be able to incorporate it into her day job as an adult film star.
We caught up with Tanya to find out about her extraordinary career – her movies, her reviews, her vinyl toys, her superheroes, and more.
Oh, and her cosplay.
If there is one truly beautiful thing about the cosplay community that is consistent throughout the world, it is that you don’t not have to be famous or well known for people to notice you. If you have a good costume, that you have put effort into making accurate and eye-catching, you’ll get just as much attention at conventions as anyone else there. PixelCat cosplay is one of that exact breed of creators, who have a modest following on social media but never fail to turn heads when she’s out in her best cosplay.
We caught up with PixelCat to find out what inspires her to step into the shoes of her favourite characters and how she brings them to life. (more…)
For all that some characters are practically eponymous with nerd culture, there are many big names that are not found all that often on the cosplay scene. The aliens and monsters whose details are so intricate on screen that it would be a truly mammoth task to replicated them in reality. While many cosplayers are prepared to take on huge challenges, the added component of lugging around a costume that covers your entire body tends to put many off attempting to create and carry cosplays of, say, Godzilla, for example.
Puerto Rican cosplayer, artist and Kaiju enthusiast, Sean Sumagaysay – best known to his fans as Project Nautilus Cosplay – decided to tackle just that legendary beast when it came to his art. Multiple movie-accurate Godzillas, a Jar Jar Binks and a handful of other choice cosplays later, his work is catching attention all around the world.
We spoke to Sean to find out more about what the challenges and rewards of taking on such huge projects. (more…)
Creating an effective cosplay is about so much more than just having the right costume. Dedicated cosplayers spend a lot of time thinking about how that costume will relate to their body, and the effect that relationship has on their overall image. They think about how they move to create presence in the space around them. They think about the perfect materials to use to create the desired visual effects for their characters. Cosplay crafting requires a lot of intense and intricate skill, whether you’re sewing everything by hand, building things out of Worbla or digitally designing 3D printed pieces. (more…)
As well as paying tribute to all your favourite characters from video games, comic books, movies and wherever else you find inspiration, cosplay can also serve as a way for you to make those characters your own. Whether you choose to do that by gender-bending a character, morphing a creature into a human or just adding your own subtle twists to make a character feel more you, cosplay offers all kinds of opportunities to indulge your creativity. Tabitha – better known to her followers as Demorafairy Cosplay – has earned her reputation for unique costumes. From steampunk styles to Pokémon gijinkas, her handcrafted cosplays are infused with her own personal style.
We got in touch with Tabitha to find out how she comes up with her unique cosplay ideas. (more…)
For all the attention it has got in recent years in more mainstream circles, there is still a lot about the cosplay community that exists on the fringe of popular culture. People can choose to portray any of their favourite characters from any show, movie, book, comic regardless of how little or well known it is and be welcomed with just the same enthusiasm as anyone else. The sense of community allows anyone and everyone to show off their creativity and their love for their own favourite fandoms. It invites people to come out of their shell and be whoever they want to be within the safe space of the convention.
This was certainly the case for Gina B, a once shy teenager who now has tens of thousands of followers supporting her experiments with cosplay.
We spoke to Gina about her journey from her first tentative foray into cosplay to the influential she plays in the community today.