Rise JessickaZombie, as our newest member in our COSPLAY SPOTLIGHT!!!!!
Why do you cosplay?
I cosplay because it is a creative outlet for me, as well as a way to escape and have fun with friends. It allows me to express myself through designing patterns, putting parts together, figuring out how to make different parts, figuring out the makeup, and so on. Every costume I make is definitely a creative process and is very therapeutic to me. If I am having a tough day, nothing calms me down more or takes my mind off things more than sewing away and figuring out the many puzzles involved in costume design! It’s also a medium through which I’ve made quite a few wonderful friends, and I continue to meet more and more wonderful people through conventions and through costuming and cosplaying forums.
What was your first cosplay?
My very first cosplay was when I was in grade 7, and I tried to make a cosplay of Kaito from Angel Sanctuary. His outfit included a large wooden cross, a black shirt with a cross on it, a bandana and jeans. My mom made my shirt for me, my dad made the cross for me, and I bought the rest of the parts. I was pretty proud of that outfit at the time, and that is what really encouraged me to learn how to sew and continue making more and more costumes!
Do you make your own cosplay costumes, if so, which ones, and how long does an average costume take to make?
I definitely make every single one of my costumes. Off the top of my head, I’ve made Rei’s plugsuit from Evangelion, Morrigan’s kimono from Darkstalkers, Mei from Another, Totoro from My Neighbour Totoro, Imari from Bible Black, Serah Farron from Final Fantasy XIII, Catherine’s nurse outfit from the game Catherine, Sekai from School Days, Ai from Hell Girl and Mana’s Gardenia outfit from the band Malice Mizer. The time it takes me to make something varies quite a bit. For a simple costume like a school girl outfit or a kigurumi, it’ll take me around 2-5 hours, and for something more complicated like my plugsuit took me about two months to finish if I worked on it a couple of afternoons a week.
What is your favorite character to play?
My favorite character to play would hands down be Rei from Evangelion! She’s such a cool character with such an interesting story, and her plugsuit is just too cute. It was so much fun walking around the convention cosplaying her and meeting other Evangelion fans and cosplayers!
Amongst animation, comics, movies, or video games, what is your biggest inspiration for cosplay?
I would say my biggest inspiration would be both video games and animation. If I’m watching an anime and really identify with a character, I just feel an urge to cosplay them, and the same goes for video games. I never really look for a character I want to cosplay, I just let it happen when I am watching anime or gaming. It’s really important to me to be able to identify with them, so that I can portray the character when I am in cosplay.
Have you ever made any mistakes that you’d warn a first timer about?
Yes! Don’t listen to anyone if they tell you that your skill isn’t good enough to make a certain costume or that you are unable to cosplay that character. I’ve had people say that my skill was not high enough to make a plugsuit, so I waited forever to make one. Now, I wish I had of tried back then, instead of waiting years to try to make my dream costume! I’ve also been told that I shouldn’t cosplay Morrigan because of my body type, and that stopped me from cosplaying her for a while. Once I did, I actually got many compliments on the outfit, so don’t let people stop you from making whatever you want no matter how complicated the costume is! It’s the only way you’ll learn.
Are there certain characters that are easier to play than others?
Yes! The more I identify with a character, the easier it is for me to portray them, and the less awkward I look in photos. I really identified with Rei, so I found it really easy to pose for photographs and such. But, I was asked to cosplay Rin the vocaloid for a photo shoot and I do not identify with her at all, so I look really confused in my photo set of her since I wasn’t really sure how to portray her.