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 Medusa’s Mirror Cosplay
Amber Mapp, receptionist at a doctor office, 27 , Texas, Chinese and history major
How did you first get into cosplay?
It was my 1st convention *Oni-Con 2007*, where I asked a cosplayer if I can do what she does. I was scared due to my skin tone and weight that I won’t be accepted as a cosplayer. She told me I can be anyone I want to be. If I truly want to cosplay, nothing will stop me. we are a community of nerds. outsiders are always welcomed and loved.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay for fun, at times I think it would be a nice side career but I don’t want the fame or pressure to change who I am.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make them, I mean it is a pain but I love to see the outcome of all my hard work. there is nothing wrong with buying or modifying costumes though, I just barely do it.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
The most I have done was 2 months but normally it all boils down to two weeks before the convention.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
My favorite will always be Poison Ivy.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Good, at Anime Matsuri a younger cosplayer and her mum remembered me from two cosplay contests back. I was wearing my smash of Jessica Rabbit and ivy. lol, I hated that costume, not my best work. Then after 2017 walk on for me, she waited to talk to me. She said she remembered me and how I encourage her to keep going and keep improving. She and her mum had been following my progress since the 2015 contest. I started to tear up because I would never have thought I would be a good role model for someone. I didn’t care about winning 1st novice after that because those words were 1st place enough.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I like it, I was Storm, Sailor Mars, and Ivy back in 2009 and 2013 but I lost my crew due to life struggles. Since then I have been trying to get my besties to cosplay with me.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Well, right now it’s just my Galaxy Nymph for Ren Fair but I’m supposed to start on my Kerrigan ghost skin in November for Pax South.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
There are plenty of issues in the community but the one I have seen the most is race and weight. It actually breaks my heart a lot because cosplay is for fun and people just don’t understand that anymore. They rather poke fun at people who can’t control what their bodies skin or weight is. Sure you can cosplay a character that’s in your weight or skin tone, but that so limited and not fun. I want to be Velma, but no matter what I will always be black Velma. It actually hurts when people comment that. but that’s like a pebble to being called the N-word or gorilla or something racist. It makes the community look bad, it makes the individual look bad and makes the cosplayer feel like crap.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Comic book characters. I love to do villains.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Favorite: it’s between researching and attending
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I go to Joann’s for fabric, Hobby Lobby for craft foam, Amazon and Michaels for everything else.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Time management. I am still struggling with time management. I call it my supergirl mode but with wonder woman attitude. I tend to get things done under panic and focus but I tend to be mean and isolated just because I become a little mean under the stress.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Compassion and acceptance. I learned to stop making everything a competition with my friends. It was recent that I’ve done but I’m ashamed of how short I was to my best friend. I made a public announcement of how much I changed these 2 years, just to push myself to be better, that I lost sight in my goal as a cosplayer and I hurt myself by hurting my friends. She accepted my apology but honestly, I was going to quit, not for but myself. I need to go back to where likes and praises didn’t matter but how I felt in costume. I feel accomplished, not tired and angry. I have been in this game since 2007 and quit once before due to bullying. I came back stronger, but at what cost? My life lesson was to challenge myself not others and set limitations and just be happy with what I created. Truthfully I need to go back to step 1.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Be beautiful. Be you. Be kind and always giving. Never forget where you came from because that is how you teach and give back to the community.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel that we have more people now and I love it but I always feel like its a competition. A lot of newbies quit because they feel they are so far from the level others are at.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
OMG, it would be my dream cosplay, Kerrigan Queen of the Storm from Starcraft.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
LOL, I should. I am going to start doing that next year. That is one of my major downfalls.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means everything. It’s a hobby that has brought me out of my shell. I have tons of new friends and fans. People I would had been too shy to speak to. I feel like cosplay as a showcase and challenge to my skills. It’s a calming yet stressful environment. I feel like everyone should be allowed to cosplay, your race, your weight, your height, your age, your budget, your gender nor your skill level should not be a factor. I believe even store-bought cosplayers and the modifiers should not be judged as well. as well as the sexier cosplayers or the ones who do it professionally. I believe we are all nerds trying to have fun in this crazy unforgiven world. cosplay is cosplay and cosplaying depends on the individual’s story.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Myself, it depends on how I change that’s is when I will quit. I will be a bad example to the cosplay community and after that, I will gladly step down
You can follow and view more of Medusa’s Mirror Cosplay here
- Photo Persuasion
- D.Lee Photographie
- Yinyue Photography
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