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.
Hello! I’m Shae_, a 25 years old cosplayer living in Paris, France. I fell in love with costumery when I was a small child: I was taking ballet lessons, and all the wonderful attires made me want to dress up all the time. I grew up in a small french town, and being a nerdy girl wasn’t easy. Geek culture wasn’t popular at the time and it gave me a rough time both at school and at home. I was finding comfort in books and arts, spending most of my free time drawing. Soon before turning 18, I moved in a bigger city and started making cosplays! I was in a fashion school, but soon had to stop due to bad health problems. I kept crafting costume when it was possible, to slowly improve my crafting skills… I’ve always had a very low self-confidence, and my health wasn’t helping, but a friend told me about a website called CosplayDeviants: “it’s like Suicide Girls, but cosplay-themed”, he told me. I found it weird at first but decided to see what was going on out of curiousity. Practicing arts from a very young age made me very comfortable with nudity, but my terrible self-esteem lets me thought that it would be very stupid of me to even model for classic cosplay photo, even if I enjoyed that. About 6 years after, I’m now a full-time independent artist, creating a lot of adult-oriented content with other talented people and working on many epic projects!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I learned about cosplay on the internet in 2006 or something! I started crafting costume and simple clothes one year after that and made my first cosplay in late 2009. Some people I knew at the time were cosplayers, and they asked me to join their group for a convention. It wasn’t hard to convince me as I’ve always been a geek with a passion for costumery and arts 🙂
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
When I started making costumes, I was attending a fashion school, so crafting my cosplay costumes was a great way to train myself! I wasn’t able to finish my studies due to serious health issues, but it made me reconsider my life a lot and made it hard for me to do long-term projects. There are many jobs that I can’t-do now, so I kind of created my own, and I’m very happy cosplay can be a part of it!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I really enjoy both! As someone with many passions and artistic activities (I craft costumes but I also spend a lot of time drawing, painting, writing, doing photography…) I don’t always have time to craft tons of costumes and it’s nice to find some good quality ones for decent prices online. I also sometimes make cosplays with things from my closet. But I still really like to make some costumes myself from scratch, choose the fabrics, add little details…!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It really depends on the costume! There are some that will only take few hours, but I already spent two full weeks on a big dress.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
I made so many it’s hard to choose. I’m very happy with some I made lately, like my Cinder from RWBY or my Ryuko from Kill la Kill. Ryuko’s very nice because even if it’s not displaying crazy crafting skills, it’s comfortable and looks nice! I’m also working on many more costumes so it’ll probably change very soon!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I have many but here’s a fun one! I’ve always enjoyed photography but got more seriously into cosplay photography (as a photographer) for about 1 year and a half now. The thing is, I also love cosplay, and don’t like going to a convention wearing casual clothes! I learned the hard way that some cosplays aren’t the best to take pictures when I found myself climbing rocks next to a lake, wearing high heels and a very short dress! (That was Cinder from RWBY)
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I’m not a fond of big groups, but I really enjoy duos or groups of 3!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Many of them, I hope! I’m about to finish Chocola from Nekopara, and after that, I think I’ll focus on some original costumes!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I feel like there’s a lot of dramas for stupid things (like “store-bought cosplay isn’t cosplay!”, “It’s not cosplay if you add more details to the costume”, etc…) and that makes many cosplayers not wanting to talk to others, just because they’re afraid to get into dramas.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
What I like with cosplay is that you can change a lot from a cosplay to another and try completely different things each time you choose a new character! My favorite things are enchanting fantasy costumes and cute things like idols outfits, I’d say.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
For the craft part, I really enjoy choosing materials and adding details to the costume. After that, I love doing researches for photoshoots, and creating pictures that will bring the character to life! Conventions can be a lot of fun too 🙂
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I shop my fabrics in fabric stores because I prefer to see the actual color and touch the fabric before buying it. I also buy my craft supplies at local shops or some french cosplay shop that opened recently: They sell things like foam and Worbla! I shop most of my wigs online, from Arda or Coscraft (UK) and my lenses on HoneyColor!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My lack of self-confidence probably.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
There are many, but the most important one is maybe to simply: Try. Even if you think you’ll fail, even if people mock you, even if you don’t have the skill set if you want to try something that feels important to you, try it. Make sure you don’t severely endanger yourself, ask a friend to help you if needed, and yes sure you’ll probably fail many times in your life, but I think it’s better to live with few scars rather than regrets. You will learn a lot in the process (both new skills and about yourself) 🙂
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Have fun! (And stay safe! When going to a convention, choose cosplays according to the weather and bring water/snacks at the convention!)
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Cosplay is now very popular, there are tons of new cosplays each year, it’s very easy to find some material to create costumes now, we even have online shops dedicated to cosplay and big brands of patterns and fabrics work with cosplayers, it’s amazing! Cosplays are getting better, crazier each year, with people from various fields bringing their own ideas and views to the hobby. With the success of social media, it’s easy to follow cosplayers from the whole world, share tutorials, make friends with the same passion, even if there are a lot more dramas (or at least they’re more obvious to us because it more easily goes public…) Cosplay also has its own “famous people” too now: Cosplayers get invited on TV, travel worldwide, or create a business around their passion. There are also tons of things related to cosplay now, like cosplay photography! I don’t see that as good or bad, but what I really like is to see that there are more and more creative projects each year, some people really give their best to create amazing things and share that with others, that’s very motivating and a wonderful thing to see.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
And enough room too?! Haha! It can be hard to work in a small one-room flat… Maybe Kerrigan from Starcraft.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Every month, I make my budget for everything, and I’ll work on different costumes according to that.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Passion and fun, learning many things from many fields, creating and sharing with others.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I don’t think so!
You can follow and view more of Shae_ here
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- Django.Large Photography
- David Vuong
- Rozelith Photography
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