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 Holly Gloha
Hello My Cosplay Darlings! ♥
I’m Holly Gloha, cosplayer, attention seeker, and part time magical girl! I’ve been crafting for..oh my gosh…10 years now! (off and on…Life Drama happens). I’m a cosplay enthusiast, anime lover, occasional purveyor of comics and video games and sushi lover.
How did you first get into cosplay?
Honestly, it was completely by accident! I used to collect Sailor Moon figurines, and REALLY fell in love with the look of a Musical Sailor Saturn figurine that I just had to make the costume for Halloween. An Austin group of Sailor Moon cosplayers saw a photo of me online and asked me to join them at an upcoming convention. I hastily made the dress that Luna wore when she became human for a night, went to the con and immediately became hooked!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Honestly, a little of both? I have so much respect for those who chase this as a career….it’s a lot of work marketing yourself and trying to stay in the spotlight! I have a medical based job that funds my major bills, but wouldn’t mind going to conventions to do panels, judging competitions and even hosting the occasional event. If I get invites, I’m honored, humbled and will do my absolute best to ensure that the convention has nothing but my absolute best.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make mine from scratch…but have done the occasional piece commission for a brooch or prop since I’ve yet to level up in that area. There’s just something about taking a few yards of fabric and creating something the outfit of a character that you adore. Plus, creating from scratch allows me to add artistic flourishes and touches that make the overall look so much fun. Each costume allows me to level up on my sewing abilities and push myself as an artist. It’s almost always Challenge Accepted!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It depends on so much! The complexity of the costume VS my time available. Working a full-time job is EXHAUSTING, but coming home to sew sometimes invigorates me…and sometimes I’m too drained to even consider sewing. I can knock out a bunny suit design in a week, but ballgowns or more complex looks can take a month or more. Especially if I decide to work with gorgeous and challenging fabrics.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
It’s so Miss America to say I love them all…but I do! However, my Dr. Mrs. The Monarch from the Venture Brothers, Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Bunnysuit Weiss from RWBY received a lot of fun attention on the internet. It’s an interesting list to me since Dr. Mrs. The Monarch was my first time working vinyl, Rarity was my first heavily craftsmanship oriented cosplay and Weiss was my first well made bunny suit.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
It’s always been the atmosphere of the convention. There’s just something inspiring about being surrounded by so much fandom, inspiration, and motivation! I adore meeting fellow cosplayers and seeing how amazing their creations have come out, as well as walk down artist alleyway and meet some overly talented artists. I can see why someone would want to make a career out of Cosplay, being surrounded by so much Awesome is intoxicating.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I think they’re so absolutely amazing and fun! They’re always showstoppers, whether it’s the entire cast of Sailor Moon or Overwatch…if you see a group that has the full set at a convention, it just brings a smile to your face! I’ve also had the honor of being part of a group of the local cosplayers here in Houston called Cosplay Vogue! As a cosplay group, they’re so inspiring and supportive! Our last big group was a bikini version of the Sailor Moon group. We did such a wonderful picture in front of the Galveston ocean that months later another group of Sailor Moon bikini cosplayers did the same exact pose at a recent OniCon convention. It was flattering to see that we inspired so much!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’d love to really pump the costumes out this year if I can. My plans:
Poison Ivy from Batman (Original Queen of Spring design)
NoFlutter Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon
Art Nouveau Chun Li
Genderbend McCree from Overwatch
2 x Sakizou designs
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Elitism was the first thing that popped into my mind. The men and women that have become the Renown in Cosplay have worked hard to achieve the results they have…however, I’ve noticed a lot more horror stories circulating about encounters. I’m hoping that a lot of the stories are just fiction created by envious people, but I also have close personal friends that had their hearts destroyed by “Sempai” when they got to finally meet him/her. I just hope that going forward the convention goers have a wonderful experience with the Cosplay Renown and that the Cosplay Renown maintain a fun or at least professional attitude.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
It’s so varied with me! Sometimes a character stands out because she is comfortable in her own skin and sexuality, sometimes the broken tragic character calls out to me. Silly as it seems, we’re all like diamonds: multifaceted, beautiful and each so very unique. Some facets shine brilliantly, some are back in the shadows…there really isn’t much strategy or sense in who I pick. And I think I like it that way because I discover things about myself with each new cosplay selection.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
For me, it’s putting on the completed costume and doing photos and photoshoots! The completed costume is a tangible representation of so much
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Being in Houston, I have so many fabric stores nearby! High Fashion Fabrics, Fabrictopia, there’s even a store somewhere here that only sells trim! If those stores don’t provide, there’s always JoAnn Fabrics or the myriad of online places like Stretch House Fabrics, Sy Fabrics, Spandex World and even Spoonflower. All of these amazing options keep a compulsive spender like me broke, broke, broke.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
For me: some designs have challenged me into not doing them at all, or delaying until I have the confidence. A great example is my Princess White Rose by artist Sakizou. I adored the artwork and posted it on Facebook in hopes to gain a bit of courage to tackle it. That picture got SERIOUS love…I think in three days it had 80 shares! Six months later, I saw that a bigger name in cosplay was creating that costume and I remember thinking “Well, she didn’t let the design scare her…why am I letting it intimidate me so much?”. I didn’t do my own version until later, but now when I see an overly complex design, I try to see it less as intimidation and more of a way of gaining experience.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Hard work and patience really do pay off! I’m so very proud of the cosplays I’ve made where I took the time to finish hems, sew properly and style the wig. All the extra effort really makes for a polished look and adds to the fun of wearing the costume over and over again. Plus, it’s a great lesson to apply to things outside of cosplay.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t be afraid to take chances. Level up, challenge yourself, but also be willing to forgive yourself if you don’t Nail It the first time
Trolls happen. Focus instead on the friends and fans that give love, support, and inspiration. Those are the people who are worth so much more in the world
Make as many friends at conventions as you can! You’ll meet people who will encourage you in your cosplay pursuits, people who will provide emotional support when you need it and people who will make you laugh when times are hard and rough.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
To me, it’s become more embracing of Taking Artistic freedom. It used to be that the only cosplay of a character was the Cannon Costume. Anything original was seen as “lesser”. Thankfully that has changed and now conventions are filled with mashups, fan art versions, original interpretations and steampunk designs. As an artist, it’s all so amazingly inspired!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
There’s a certain Sakizou design I fell in love with…but I can’t share it because I’m horribly selfish and don’t want someone to see it, fall in love with it and cosplay it before I do. I am, however, slowly gathering pieces so that I may have it done either this year or next.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
No, I tend to buy incrementally. On one hand, it doesn’t feel like I’m spending too much since I buy a little each paycheck…however (admit it, you knew THAT was coming) at the completion of the costume I realize the overall cost is slightly horrifying. I have an affinity for rich fabrics, Swarovski crystals, and other higher end things. It adds up. I try not to figure the actual cost out or I might cry and cry.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is a wonderful artistic forum that allows us to express ourselves creatively: whether it be crafting our cosplay, modeling for photoshoots or embodying the character….it’s all so varied, so fun and so very addicting!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I certainly hope not! I adore this hobby so much!
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