Cosplay is a big part of many people’s lives, allowing them a chance to step into someone else’s shoes and escape from everyday life. With the rise of conventions sweeping the world, Cosplay is becoming something more and more people are getting into. As a result of this, communities of cosplayers are sprouting up. Some who meet up at different Cons to band together as a ‘Star Wars’ garrison or meeting at a movie release to be ‘The Avengers’. Something that is incredible about Cosplay is the level of detail that goes into the costumes, some spending hours and hours on working out the perfect colours, textiles and even going so far as to include advanced electronics!
We have asked a series of questions to each cosplayer in the hope that we can provide you all with some ideas on how to get started or some tips on how to develop your own craft further!
On this edition of Let’s Talk Cosplay we talk to Marie, 33 from Dorset, UK
- How long have you been Cosplaying?
I’ve been cosplaying for 3 years.
- What inspired you to get started?
I have always been a massive nerd, but I had no knowledge of the convention scene until a few years ago. I also needed a new creative outlet after going through some traumatic events. When I realised cosplay was not just something that happened in America, I went for it.
- What would you say has been your biggest challenge to date?
Trying to create things that aren’t real! Navi version 2, the glowing, flapping fairy prop I made for my Link. She’s got 34 LEDs all hand-soldered, a motor and a whole mechanism I built from scratch to make her wings flap. Plus I had to learn 3D modelling and how to make a 3D printer behave!
- Which is your favorite Cosplay you have done so far?
Sesshomaru. He’s not that well known and takes ages to get into, but it’s definitely my favourite. There’s a hilarious choice I can make when passing through crowds – do you get the spiky shoulder, or the fluffy shoulder? (The fluffy one, of course, to you Health and Safety buffs). He comes with his own built in bed to combat convention exhaustion, too!
- What has been your favorite Cosplay interaction you’ve had at a convention?
A girl who saw my Link and squealed at the top of her lungs, squashed me in a massive hug and said Link was her favourite character ever. Also, finding random people attached to the huge fluffy Sesshy carries over his shoulder… They are all now my spouses, and they’re okay with that.
- What, if any, difficulties have you encountered?
The biggest difficulty I find is sadly in cosplay is a consent thing. Inappropriate comments, lingering weird hugs… Even when I’m not dressed as a girl, it doesn’t seem to matter that there’s “nothing to see” or even grab when I’m in crossplay, there’s that rare someone who gets too familiar. I’ve had someone so stumped for how he could get “closer” to me in a picture when I was in Sesshomaru (which is big armour with spikes!) and he wiggled his arm past the spikes, put his hand under my wig and squeezed the back of my neck. No need for that, and very creepy. I have PTSD so I freak out easily if someone crosses the line. Thankfully it’s a tiny fraction of interactions with people that go this wrong and I’m very firm with anyone who pushes that boundary.
- If you are happy to share, what future Cosplay do you have planned?
I would love to do Dark Link and Astrid from How To Train Your Dragon, and my own twist on Elsa.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get started?
Go for it. Honestly, just do it! Sketch out your plans if you intend to make it, or source a good vendor if you intend to buy it. Not everyone has the skills in the beginning to make a full costume, but they can be learnt, and that’s an amazing reason to get started, as your passion will keep you going, and bring new skills to your life. Also, look at the beaten path: look at how others have done it, and look up tutorials. There is so much help out there on the internet and the cosplay community is wonderful to be a part of.
- What items/ tools/ techniques would you say are imperative in a new Cosplayers tool kit?
Hot glue gun, EVA foam, heat gun, superglue, acrylic paint, sewing machine, coffee, Haribo, and some good tunes!
Marie raises some really interesting and important points in her answers! Especially her points towards consent and getting handsy at cons. Like we have said before, the Cosplay community should be a safe place for everyone and everyone no matter what the cosplay as and no matter what the costume looks like deserves respect! You should not feel at any point like you can’t say no, but if that occasion does arrive then you could tell a member of the conventions staff or even see if you can tag in with another group of Cosplayers!
If you want to keep upto date with Marie you can check out her links here;