Area of Study
On a basic level, cosplay is people dressing up in costumes...
from pop culture. For some people (like me) it also means making the costumes, although others buy costumes online or from other crafters. For others, being in character is an important part of the experience.
Cosplay and online content creation are my full time job now...
so I spend time every single week either constructing costumes, shooting photos and filming videos in costume, or, once every two or three months, appearing at a convention or event in costume.
I had always been interested in creating and crafting.
I used to do text-based roleplaying and fanart and fanfiction, because my way of enjoying media was to put my hands on it and make something new. Once I learned that cosplay was a thing, I was immediately hooked.
My passion isn't so much for "playing the character..."
as it is for creating new works from my favorite media. My focus is on photos, video, and music, most of which I create privately and then share online, rather than performing live.
I mostly pick characters that I love and identify with...
although I admit that the costume design and styling of the character plays a big role in my choices, too.
My favorite cosplay is probably Arya...
(from Game of Thrones), just because I've cosplayed so many of her costumes (four) and I've been cosplaying her for so long, I just feel connected to her. But as strongly as I feel about Arya, I do get tired of being a "one trick pony" sometimes, so she isn't always my go-to. Usually my favorite cosplay to wear is the most recent one I've finished, so right now that's Officer Jenny from Pokemon.
My most challenging cosplay to date is probably Ciri...
from the video game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. That costume has so many different pieces, and each is heavily detailed and distressed. I did so much decorative hand stitching on that costume, and then had to make it all look filthy and torn up. It's also the biggest makeup challenge I've done, since she has some very heavy, specific eye makeup, freckles and a bunch of scarring.
Some costumes, like my first Arya costume, take hundreds of hours...
to craft, while others, like peasant Cinderella, can be completed in a day.
It usually surprises people to hear that I make my own work.
I think a lot of people just assume I'm a cosplay model at first. For those who already "get" cosplay, I think they're most surprised by what a high percentage of my costumes are made from thrift store bedsheets and curtains!
I travel for conventions probably three or four times a year, on average.
Convention appearances aren't a big part of my business so I am pretty particular about which offers I accept.
A lot of the business of cosplay is marketing...
and marketing requires a ton of writing. I write blogs, I write social media posts, I write scripts for videos. Being able to communicate my ideas clearly and thoughtfully has been immensely helpful in building a brand for myself and reaching more people with my work.