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 KaniDay Cosplay
My name is Katy Johnson! I am 22 years old and have been Cosplaying since I was 12 years old. I am a full time student, an actress, and the Marketing Director for Fal-Con, a 2 day Anime/Gaming/Multimedia convention in Montevallo, AL!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I have been watching cartoons and anime for as long as I can remember, and one day my mom told me about these wonderful things called “conventions.” She said they were magical places where people dress up as anime characters and talk about video games for an entire weekend. We immediately started working on my first costume and hit up Anime Weekend Atlanta 2008 and I have been hooked ever since.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I have always and will always see Cosplay as a fun way to express my love for entertainment, but Cosplay can definitely be a stepping stone for bigger things. Cosplay and conventions, in general, have brought me many opportunities. I’ve made new friends from all over the community that I go to cons/cosplay with to this day and I’ve learned more about the industry of costuming/performing along the way. I would love for my passion to fuel and create opportunities to be involved with entertaining, as I think that is the central goal I’ve always had when it comes to the things I love to do.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I buy most of my costumes! I am a firm believer that you do NOT have to make your own costumes to enjoy the art of Cosplay. For me, Cosplay is about sharing your love of shows/characters. Whether you show that by creating your own version of a character OR by wearing an exact replica you bought on eBay. I do, however, admire people that make their own stuff!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
About a month total, planning, ordering…etc.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
My favorite Cosplay that I’ve done would have to be Orihime from Bleach. Although I don’t wear it as much anymore, I have some of the best memories with that costume as it was one of the first costumes I wore that really brought me into the Cosplay community.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
When I was 14 years old, I had just started Cosplaying as Orihime from Bleach. I didn’t have the proper hair clips for the character, and another Orihime cosplayer gave me her hair clips. I still use those hair clips whenever I wear Orihime!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I think they are AMAZING and I need more of them in my life.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I just got done debuting Tea from Yu Gi Oh AND Wendy from Wendy’s! I really want to Cosplay as Uraraka from My Hero Academia! It is next on my list for sure.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Probably the thought that you HAVE to look like a character to Cosplay them. Although I do tend to Cosplay characters I look like, I think the purpose of Cosplay is to express your love for the show/characters and that doesn’t mean you have to perfectly re-create them. Having individual interpretations of characters is something that the cosplay community should embrace.
I also don’t like the idea that “Sexy Cosplay” isn’t “Cosplay.” To me, it falls under the category of Individual Interpretation.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
The characters that inspire me to Cosplay are usually the BiShojo or Moe characters. I am a sucker for all things cute. But I also like the fact that the characters I cosplay are feminine and strong. Seras is a bad ass vampire chick but is also adorable at times. I also like to add my own funny spin to characters, like how I Cosplayed as “Fresh Wendy” from Wendy’s recently. Cosplay can be used to express all kinds of things!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Honestly, wearing the costume is my favorite part, haha!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Hm… Money I guess. I want to cosplay ALL OF THE THINGS but I usually only get 1 costume a year. I have set up a Ko Fi account for my Cosplay Page “KaniDay Cosplay” recently so that I can do more costumes, and I also do fun little challenges for people that donate! It has been a fun way to keep my passion growing while also entertaining! Link to my Cosplay Ko Fi.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Always make time for the things that make you happy. Also, there will always be someone out there that likes what you like. Cosplay has been a huge force in my social life growing up, despite the fact that not many people in my high school/college quite understood it LOL.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
BOBBY PINS. HOT GLUE. GRANOLA BARS. That is all.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I think it has grown and has become a lot more mainstream. I think the internet has really changed what Cosplay used to be since we can so easily judge and learn from others we see posting their costumes online. The costumes are probably more advanced than they were in the past, and there are people that have made Cosplay a career. I think the love is still the heart of Cosplay, but I think it has grown into much more of a social phenomenon.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Sarah from Labyrinth. I want the hair, and that amazing dress ALSO MY OWN GROUP OF COSPLAYERS TO RE-CREATE THAT ENTIRE MOVIE. That is my dream.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Yes. I generally do one Cosplay a year. Recently, however, I have created a Cosplay Ko Fi account that people can donate to if they like my work and want to see me do more! A Ko Fi is like a $3 donation, and I have received 40 Ko Fi’s so far! So I have been able to step up my game this year, haha. My Cosplay Ko Fi.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Community. I think it is about the love for the shows/characters, but it has also been about coming together with people that love what I love and celebrating together.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
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