How did you start cosplaying?
My friend spent months trying to convince me to attend New York Comic Con in February 2009 because it was a week after her birthday. I'm not entirely sure what finally pushed me to say yes, but I eventually agreed and we began planning our cosplays: Soi Fong and Yuroichi from Bleach.
90% of my costume was made the night before the convention, and it was held together with 20-30 safety pins. I was really uncomfortable and self-conscious about my costume and how I looked in it...until I met a handful of other Bleach fans who were more excited to see me dressed as a character from the series than the quality of my costume's construction. We hit it off, hung out all weekend, and I caught the bug! I've been addicted to both cosplaying and attending conventions ever since.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start cosplaying?
If you don't have any experience with sewing or general crafting, start with something simple. Remember: Cosplay is about whatever you want it to be about. You can put a costume together using things right out of your closet, you can have costumes and props commissioned, or you can make it yourself.
If you're interested in making things yourself, I highly recommend becoming best friends with Google. The internet is FULL of tutorials! "How to make....." is a great way to start. Everything I've learned about sewing and props was through Googling for tutorials.
Protip: I find it easier to create costumes for characters I love. I don't think I'd have quite the same motivation to recreate a character I wasn't passionate about. Even when I'm struggling with a particularly challenging task, loving the character and wanting to see everything put together when it's done is what gets me through the kinks.
Can I interview you for my website/vlog/magazine/etc.?
Most likely! Email me with a link to your website and few sample questions. Since I can be bogged down with work, it can sometimes take me up to a week to get the questions answered, but I'll do my best to meet your deadlines.
Will you please attend [Convention]?
I would love to travel to conventions outside of my usual stomping grounds! Creating cosplays is insanely expensive, though, and traveling/hotel is often MORE expensive. I'm very limited in what conventions I can attend. If you really want to see me at a convention that's out of my reach, you can contact the convention directly (they usually have a general email listed on their website) and request me as a cosplay guest. Get your friends to request me as well! If there are enough people asking, a convention will sometimes send an invite!
Is cosplay your full-time job?
Guh, I wish! There are times when creating cosplays feels like a full time job (especially considering the insane deadlines I often give myself), but it most definitely isn't a profitable hobby. I work 50+ hours a week at an accounting firm in NYC and spend the rest of my free time catching up on TV, playing video games, or prepping costumes and panels for a convention. It's a hobby I truly enjoy, but it doesn't pay the bills. I do sell prints to help lower the cost a bit, though.
Will you commission a costume for me?
I'm not currently open for commissions due to the time constraints I'm under with my own costumes. In the event I'm ever less busy, I may consider opening up commission slots. But there are plenty of other cosplayers out there that do take commissions!