Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight. We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community. Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.
About Itoe Cosplay
My name is Nana Itoe and I’m a German Cosplayer, enjoying this hobby since 2013! I’m 19 years old and currently studying German law! I always want to improve myself, so I’m grateful for tips and advice!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I first got into Cosplay, because my lovely friend Celestia (https://www.facebook.com/xxcelestias) borrowed me her Nanami Haruka Cosplay (Uta no Prince-sama)! Thus, I wore my first Cosplay at the Leipzig book fair 2013 in Germany! Before I started to cosplay, I was interested in various J-Styles, especially Decora. I got to know this hobby through an article in the magazine “Yukiko”.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’ve never seen cosplay itself as a stepping stone to a future career, but I wanted to become a fashion designer not long ago. However, I’ve changed my mind and now I’m a happy student of law! *haha* Nevertheless, I want to enjoy this hobby as long as possible!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to buy the costume itself, because I’m not really experienced in sewing clothes, but I’m working on it! Personally, I enjoy making accessories, styling the wig and developing the right make-up!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Probably not longer than a week in total.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Uh, tough question!
I would say my favorite Cosplay so far is Medusa from Soul Eater, because it’s the first Cosplay I sewed completely by myself, without any help! In addition, it was the first time I worked with Worbla and, most importantly, I just love a great antagonist!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Oh wow, there are many great experiences, but the one that spontaneously came to my mind was when a little girl approached me in my Jack Frost Cosplay (Rise of the Guardians) and asked for a picture! She was so stunned seeing me aka Jack Frost in front of her!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I really enjoy it! Of course, it’s kind of a challenge to organize a big group, but it is way more fun to cosplay something together that everyone likes and sharing the enthusiasm about it!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m currently working on my last Cosplay for the Leipzig book fair in March: Nico Di Angelo from Heroes of Olympus (by Rick Riordan) based on a design by juliajm15 @tumblr!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I guess even in the cosplay community is body shaming a big issue. To me, cosplay means to express myself and to have fun enjoying it together with friends. I DO have an opinion about what kind of clothes, I think, fit a specific body type, but I don’t try forcing my opinion on others. If someone asks me in person what I think about them in a specific Cosplay, I will honestly tell them my opinion, but I will always say it in a polite and constructive way. And if they don’t ask for it, then I won’t bother them, because I know there are enjoying their hobby, and (probably) their body, to the fullest and that’s what I think everyone should do – Enjoy it and have fun!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I just have to like the character or the design!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Definitely, transforming myself into a character means putting on make-up, the clothes, the wig etc.! Because, it means I’m going to a photo shoot or I’ll attend a convention!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
eBay – let’s be honest here! *haha* I’m a student, so I always try to keep the costs low. If I need a normal piece of clothing for a character, you will always find me in the sales section of H&M, New Yorker etc.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My mom’s opinion about Cosplay and my classmates from middle school bullying me for my hobby and interests.
Someday, I stopped caring about their opinion and somewhere along the way, my mom began to like my Cosplays and now she absolutely supports me!
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
To never start a project, any kind of project, the night before the due date! *haha*
Well, actually I would say, to be more confident and, just sometimes, not to listen to others opinions regarding such matters!
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Because this is quite important to me myself: practice doing the makeup for your character! Believe me, it will make a great difference!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I actually can’t answer this question. I’ve only been ‘in’ the community for 4 years and even though you definitely can see changes over this time, I’m not the type of person, who knows everything about the community to the point, I could allow myself to judge about it.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
If that would be the case, I would love to realize an Art Nouveau Costume Design by Hannah Alexander!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
No, but I try to keep it as low as possibly.
What does cosplay mean to you?
To me, Cosplay is a great hobby where I can express my creativity in several ways!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
The only reason I could think about at the moment would be, if I couldn’t afford it anymore.
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