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About Super Sirens Cosplay
We’re Hillz and Rae, the cosplay duo from KC. Cosplayers. Models. Nerds. Individually, we’ve been cosplaying for years, developing our skills and working with others to do the same. We’ve run contests, podcasts, panels, and workshops, all to encourage everyone to cosplay the way they want. Together, we are looking to cosplay our way around the world, meeting as many new friends as possible!
How did you first get into cosplay?
Both of us grew up in crafty households with moms who taught us to sew. We both had been performers and been attending conventions for years. Cosplay just seemed like a natural progression. Once we met, we had too much in common not to do it together.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
We’re semi-professionals, I guess. We sell stuff and have been guests. But cosplay is for sure a career outlet. Who doesn’t want to play dress up for life?
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
That always depends on the costume. Ideally, we want to make as much as we can. We can do armor and sew body suits and make weapons, but making cowls or knitting sweaters is a little out of our reach. If it makes sense financially to buy everything, then we do that. If we want to put everything we have into a costume, then we usually make most of it.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
For most of our cosplays, there are roughly 50-100 hours put into them. A simple bodysuit can take 4-5 hours to sew alone. And any armor takes FOREVER!
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
We both agree that our Mortal Kombat X costumes are the favorites!!! We’re very proud of the effort and accuracy that went into them.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
There are so many awesome moments! Our first photo shoots together, our road trip to Dragon*Con, being a part of the first Project Cosplay… It’s all been a blast.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Groups are awesome! They usually stretch creativity since most of them are mash-ups or reinterpretations of popular characters. We try to do collaborations whenever we can.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
We’ve got some fun tricks up our sleeves this year, but our next big plan is Teela and Evil-lyn from Masters of the Universe.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Hahaha! You’re trying to get us in trouble! We’ve seen the community divide over social issues, like whether or not it’s okay to change skin tone with makeup (green skin okay, brown skin maybe not) or if it’s ethical to use cosplay for monetary gain versus strictly charity work (both are just fine with us). Ultimately, we’re firm believers in doing what makes you happy and bringing no harm to others. You’re gonna catch flack no matter what, so it’s easier to brush things off if you’re happy.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
We mainly pool from existing comic books, especially superheroes. But we’re fans of all kinds of genres and mediums and have been slowly branching out.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
We love researching, crafting, and photo shoots. Conventions and shopping can often be very stressful for us, especially since we’re so introverted and awkward. At photo shoots, though, we get to let loose and be ourselves.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Google. The midwest doesn’t have any great garment districts, so google is king. We find out about sales, price comparisons, and hard to find items with it. Hillz has some intense Google-fu skills. Also, try to look at objects in new ways. A broom can be a Roman helmet topper, a hat can be a mold for chest armor.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Body image issues, for sure. Rae has been bad mouthed for her size before, even seeing people meme her photos regarding her size. It’s difficult when everyone in the world can have access to your photos and wants to critique.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
We’ve grown a thicker skin and stronger spines. There is no right or wrong way to be a part of this community, and we’re going to continue as long as we’re happy with what we’re doing.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Never stop doing what you love. If you love cosplay, do it. If you don’t, don’t do it. Easy as that.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
As it becomes more mainstream, it’s become adopted into so many other parts of nerd culture. There aren’t just fans at cons anymore. There’s cosplay seamstresses (seamsters?), armories, weaponists, photographers, 3D printers, and modelers…Even if you don’t fit into the strict cosplay model+print format, cosplay has so many nooks and crannies to accommodate everyone now, which we think is pretty special.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Hillz – Witchblade
Rae – Kerrigan from Starcraft
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not really! We’ve cut out most other hobbies, so we’ll keep buying stuff until it’s finished. Not the most responsible habit, but we get our bills paid, so everything else goes to cosplay!!!
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is a way for us to get out and be ourselves. We can be expressive and let loose in cosplay that we just can’t other times. It’s an extension of our individuality.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
We’ve discussed various scenarios of what would stop us and the only thing we can really agree on is death.
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