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About To The Stars And Back Cosplay
Hello! My name is Stella from tothestarsandback cosplay. I’ve been cosplaying for almost 8 years now, and I’ve been to many a con in the Midwest. I host a wide variety of panels from Kpop dancing, anime and manga, and video games to cartoon shows from my childhood, cosplay self-esteem, and TV shows. I love acting and doing photos, and I compete in cosplay competitions quite frequently. I use my favorite shows and characters as motivation to keep on moving forward.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay because of a former friend. We started watching Naruto, Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children… And, it just went from there.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay mostly for fun, though I do love being on stage and doing skits. If I could make a career out of it, I happily would, but I want to hone some of the skills I’m learning first.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I like making my costumes from scratch most of the time, though I do buy from other cosplayers and websites. I don’t think it should matter where you get them. It’s the spirit that makes the cosplayer.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
On average, at least 100 hours, if not much more.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
The hardest question of all… It’s honestly a tie between most of my costumes, but if I had to pick just one, it would be my Pyrrha Nikos cosplay from RWBY.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I’d say probably just meeting a wide variety of people. I am an introvert by nature, but at cons, I feel a lot more comfortable talking to people. I’ve made so many friends by cosplaying, and I can’t imagine my life without them.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Group cosplays are the best. While I do enjoy doing my own thing, I love walking around in group cosplays and having all sorts of fun shenanigans.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m currently working on costumes for next year, like Vanille from Final Fantasy 13 and starting patterning pieces for my Goddess Madoka costume!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think one of the biggest issues in the community right now is just bullying and negative behaviors towards each other. It makes me very sad to see some of the things people post about one another. In the end, we are all just people in costumes trying to have fun and show our love for our favorite series. But, to bring about change, you have to be the change. I host a self-esteem panel to try to help give people ideas on how to overcome personal fears to be happier and enjoy the craft more.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I find myself cosplaying as a lot of strong female characters, like Tifa Lockhart (Final Fantasy 7), Sakura Haruno (Naruto), Pyrrha Nikos (RWBY). I also tend to favor redheads, like Pyrrha, Gaara (Naruto), and Charlie Bradbury (Supernatural). But, I do try to cosplay a wide variety of characters to push myself in terms of craftsmanship and acting.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I would have to say my favorite part is being in costume and acting as the character. I love acting, getting inside the characters’ heads, and bringing them to life.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
My best resources are my friends. They give me ideas on construction, fabrics, pretty much anything and everything. And, between us all, we have hoarded various tools and techniques to make things work.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My biggest obstacle is probably dealing with my own depression anxiety. There are days when I can’t even look at photos of my cosplays without wanting to throw them out and never wear them again. All I can do is remind myself of the happy moments and memories and keep moving forward.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Honestly, cosplay has taught me so much about myself. I’ve grown so much more social and open to new ideas and concepts, in addition to being able to handle different types of personalities. One of the biggest things, though, is just that everyone is going through something, even if you don’t see it. Saying hi and complimenting them can go a very long way to making them smile.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Cosplay is costume PLAY. Have fun with it. It’s so competitive now to be the best of a certain character, to be a certain size and of a certain look. But, if you are enjoying yourself, THAT is what matters.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel that the cosplay community has become more of a fashion show over the time it has grown. But, with that, comes more pressure to be perfect in all aspects. I will always stress to people that none of us are perfect, we all start somewhere. Focus on growing your own techniques, ideas, and abilities, don’t worry what anyone else is doing. And, as always, have FUN.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Any of Padme Amidala’s outfits, hands down.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I don’t set a specific budget in mind, but I do try to get materials and things when they are on sale at various stores to try and keep the costs down.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is not only my hobby but my life. It brings me so much joy. I love being able to connect with people and share that love because of things we have in common. I couldn’t picture my life without it.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
As of right now, no, nothing could make me stop. I would find a way, even if it mentions going to fewer cons and doing more casual or thrifted outfits. There is no shame in that, and I would still have just as much fun doing it.
You can follow and view more of To The Stars And Back Cosplay here
- P. Petrutis
- A Portrait and Moor
- Toledo Man
- PoisonedReality Cosplay
- Robert Walker
- E. Bradfield
- Mistywaterdrop Photography
- Nashbo Studios
Check out our other cosplay features here
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