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About Hollita Cosplay
My name is Holly but I usually get referred to as Hol or Hollita. I’m 23 and I study fashion marketing alongside helping run a flower shop and working with a broadcasting and events company on top of everything cosplay related. I currently live in London, UK but I’m originally from Worcester (Home of that sauce). I’ve been cosplaying for just shy of 8 years
How did you first get into cosplay?
I attended a Tokyopop launch event at my local Waterstones, everyone was dressed up and I felt so left out so I made plans to cosplay for the next one. Typically they never had another so I bunked off school one day to go to a local convention and was addicted from the get go
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Cosplay started out as a Hobby but has slowly and surely bled into my professional life I regularly create costumes for others and work with companies to promote their products using cosplay. I’ve recently started working in events management of which cosplay and conventions take a core role
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Usually, the cosplay’s I want to create are obscure enough buying them premade isn’t an option, I usually create my cosplays from scratch but I regularly consider buying or commissioning, I think it’s better to have as many options as possible
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I’m a rusher, far too many costumes of mine are made over a couple of days. This is mainly because though I try and give myself ample time my work eats it. I also tend to lose motivation if I’m not working quickly enough
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
My favourite cosplay thus far is my PlayArts Kai Catwoman by Square Enix, I made it when I was going through one of the lowest points in my life so though it has its issues I associate it with only good things as its probably my most complimented costume and I’m surprised I even got it made given my circumstances
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My most memorable experience has to be getting the tube one year and the general public reacting positively to it. I’ve been going to conventions for 8 years now, when I started traveling on public transport in costume was a target for abuse, now it seems far more positive which is quite lovely
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Group cosplays are such goals but also the most stressful and needlessly dramatic costuming experiences, there is nothing better than dressing up from something you love with people you love but I’ve been in very few successful groups, usually, as if the costumes are being made people drop out or clash over character choices
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Currently, I’m just finishing working on 2B from the new game Nier Automata, I’m hoping to collaborate with one or two videographers to create a full CMV for it in time for the early march release. For a long time I’ve been eyeing up designs from a doll line called Ever After High, they’re really complex and pretty, so I may make something from them for the summer
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Definitely the issue of ‘blackfacing’. I stand firmly on the side of don’t do it because in my opinion cosplay is about shared happiness and if your (unnecessary) actions could upset or hurt other people just don’t do it. I’ve seen arguments for and against by people of all ethnicities on both sides, but to argue my point in a short and blunt manner, it’d be this: Your makeup is terrible, it looks like makeup and you can’t claim you require it for accuracy when you’re inaccurate elsewhere. Another note is that I see an increasing level of people who want to do paid work as a cosplayer, there are a lot of companies who hire cosplayers but will avidly avoid people of any controversy.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Anime, Manga, and fantasy games tend to inspire my costumes more than superhero comics or films I think this is because for the latter physics and practicality often have an effect on the designs. I find impractical things more interesting so mediums that cater to them inspire me the most
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I really enjoy working out how I’m going to create the costume, I seriously hate physically making it, wearing it and attending the convention is probably the best part especially if the response is good
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
For shoes and random accessories – eBay
For wigs and Worbla – Coscraft
For eye contacts – Honeycolor
For fabric – my local fabric market which is Goldhawk road, west London
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Body confidence. I learned from being bullied as a child that if you appear to have confidence people tend to leave you be, but the confidence I often ‘exude’ comes from an empty space, it’s often pretty fake. I’d call it a work in progress and cosplay has helped me take genuine pride in certain elements of my body, but low self-esteem in regards to how I look is a thing for me, I just try not to dwell on it and push through it
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Be pleasant to everyone and have more patience. That sounds like such a cop out answer but when I look back to how I was in the beginning – I’m not proud. I would say that the vast majority of people I’ve met through cosplay have certainly not had the easiest of lives, bullying is rife and a fair percentage of convention attendees have mental health issues or disabilities and they go to those places to feel safe and accepted. I can be very cold and I’ve learned from my experiences that when you become a part of a community like this you cannot complain about drama or toxicity when you yourself propagate it.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Set yourself some high standards and then keep them till the bitter end. (Learn that saying no isn’t a bad thing). Standards are personal, they can be different for each person because people have different views, but if something makes you uncomfortable don’t do it, if someone makes you uncomfortable avoid them, don’t find yourself doing things you’ll regret out of dropping your standards
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
The cosplay community has grown, a lot of people I know would say for the worse, I personally don’t think its got worse or better only bigger. I think the key issue the community faces is that as it expands it becomes increasingly better known to the general public which I see as potentially damaging as a lot of the community came into this subculture to avoid the society general
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Lady gaga has a living dress which lights up and moves if I could afford it all my costumes would be able to do this
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Nope, I just see how cheaply I can make it my average is around £100 including wigs and everything, I’m often working on such a short deadline things that would cost a larger amount aren’t feasible within the time frame anyway
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is an art form and a core part of my social life, it allows me to express myself creatively and spend time with many people of a similar interest. I’m so grateful for all the friends I’ve made both locally and worldwide through this weird little hobby
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
If I couldn’t afford it, If I didn’t have the time anymore, maybe when I get older, though I’d like to have children someday (probably adopted ngl) and if they wanted to cosplay I’d put my heart and soul into creating things for them
You can follow and view more of Hollita here
- Kyle Mcvean Photography (Formerly Shades On)
- Laughing Orc Photography
- Carlos Adama Photography
- Sonesh Joshi Photography
- Lucas Ambrosio Photography
- Petits Pois Photography
Check out our other cosplay features here
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