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 Miss Marisa Cosplay
Hello, world! I’m Miss Marisa Cosplay. (◕‿◕✿)
From drawing with pen and ink, sculpting figures, photography, or sewing– I love crafting! I have a continual drive to create. My interest specifically for cosplay started when I was little, as I was predictably excited to don any costume. After attending my first anime convention in 2007, my eyes were opened to the world of cosplay. Now I like to play dress up as a hobby!
I find time to create costumes in between normal work and life; I graduated college in 2014 and now muddle away in an office. Away from that, I usually end up playing video games, making art, reading comics, and watching shows. These interests pop up in what I make.
I’ll leave you with my favorite type of joke: a pun. Why are skeletons so calm? Because nothing gets under their skin! (ʘ‿ʘ)
How did you first get into cosplay?
Back in 2007, one of my friends said “Hey! There’s an anime convention going on this weekend. Want to go?” I hadn’t gone to any cons, but loved anime and manga and comics– I excitedly agreed to go. My friend followed up saying people were going to dress up, and I got even more enthusiastic; Halloween had always been my favorite holiday and I liked playing dress-up. The day of the con, I donned a little costume of my own creation. It was just a fancy coat, dress, top hat, cane, and pocket watch (sort of like the very beginnings of steampunk). After attending the con, I was exposed to people dressing up as characters and I became eager to follow in their steps.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I definitely cosplay just for fun. It’s a hobby. It wasn’t until a decade after first cosplaying that I was invited to a convention because I never really pursued it as an option. But now that I’ve had that experience, I’d like to do it more! In the back of my mind, I think I always hoped to do something with it, or at least make a little back from what I have spent on it.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I like making them from scratch– even though it can be incredibly frustrating trying to draft up my own patterns. You also get to work with cool tools and materials, like glue. I’m reading a book about glue, and I can’t seem to put it down (heyooo). In all seriousness, I have so much respect for crafters. They’re wizards. Sometimes though I like doing a “thrift store” cosplay where I buy items and then edit them into a full costume. That’s fun!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
The time spent is drastically different per costume. It can be a couple days after work, like with the thrift store finds. If I’m making it from scratch, it can be every day after work for 3 weeks and 3 full weekends of dedicated work.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
I’m really proud of my Elderwood Bard from League of Legends, as it incorporated LEDs, thermoplastics, sewing, and a giant mask with horns. I also really like my Japanese-inspired gijinka version of the Pokémon Venusaur. She’s my own design!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
When I was dressed as Big Boss (aka Snake) from the Metal Gear series, I played the game “ninja” at Fanime for a good 5 hours straight. I loved it.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Yes, please. They’re so great.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Right now I’m narrowing what I want to do for Blizzcon (it’ll be my first time attending woohoo)! I’m deciding between one of the Overwatch characters and Jaina from WoW/Hearthstone.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Cosplay is great because the community is generally very accepting of everyone. Despite this, I think there’s a strain of elitism. I don’t like to focus on it, as the community is has grown so freaking large. It’s practically impossible to avoid bullies and just generally rude people in such a large group of people. I think it’s better to focus on the positive and only address the negative when it comes up, so as to foster a better environment. I don’t want to ignore the bad that happens, but just make it more comforting to those who might be impacted.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I have cosplayed so many League of Legends characters. Ha. So I guess it’s just the games I like to play. Generally MOBAs or other PC games. I like fantasy themed games especially.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Seeing the final product is so satisfying! Then the next step is going to a con and seeing that they too appreciate it. I love seeing people from the same cosplay source and interacting with them.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I try not to buy any velcro. It’s a total rip-off. Heyooo (no velcro is fine). I usually use Joann Fabrics (only with a coupon) and Home Depot. Then Amazon for wigs.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Making time to work on a costume is tough. Same with finding inspiration when you’re just tired all the time. When I was in college, it was tough because of classes. After graduating, it was (and still is) tough because of a 9-5 job. I wish I had more time to work on it and that I wasn’t tired all the time.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Just enjoy it to enjoy it. Don’t expect anything from it. If you don’t like it– stop. Your real life matters more than the opinions of random people you’re not going to interact with again or what random people on the internet say. People will be jerks, but what matters is how you and your true friends will react. It’ll be okay.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t try to do something huge when you don’t have the experience, resources, or tools. It might burn you out and you might not want to do something again in the future! Remind yourself: why are you doing this? Is it for recognition? Is it for fun? Is it to feel pretty? Focus on that, and then determine if it’s realistic, or what specific steps you can take to complete it. Make a game plan.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It’s definitely become larger, as anyone could observe. But with that, I think it’s become more monetized. This makes it more accessible to a larger community– which is great!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Oh, my word making a functional mecha. THAT WOULD BE AWESOME.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I have a round-about budget for each cosplay, and I make sure to actually write down the amounts from each receipt and try to be as thrifty as possible.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It’s one area where I can be creative and be with other people who like the same things as me. It’s something comforting, and I’m glad I started doing it.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I’d stop cosplaying if I found inspiration to really pursue another craft– drawing, photography, or something similar. I’ve dabbled in each thing, and people seem to like each thing…but I’ve never focused all my efforts in one specific field.
You can follow and view more of Miss Marisa Cosplay here
- OscarC Photography
- Corpus Photography
- OscarC Photography
- Shua Vwj
- Kenneth Chung
- Argun Tekant
- Finn the Photographer
Check out our other cosplay features here
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