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 Livicole Cosplay
My name is Olivia, but I go by Livicole! I’m 26 years old, live in New York, and have been cosplaying for only a little over a year. I fell in love with cosplay at first sight so to speak, and since then I spend pretty much every waking hour I have making costumes. I do everything from small, simple costumes to large armor builds and I plan on cosplaying for a long time to come!
How did you first get into cosplay?
It happened pretty suddenly for me. I was able to get tickets to NYCC one year and I knew a lot of people dressed up, so I felt compelled to do so as well. I immediately started making the simplest costume I could think of since I had never made a costume before (I went with Psylocke from X-Men which ended up not being as simple as I thought haha) and I just completely fell in love with the entire process, especially once I got to the con in my costume and everyone wanted pictures – I was so proud I had made something people loved with my own hands!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’d love for cosplay to be a future career for me, but I know it’s very competitive and a little unrealistic to put all my eggs in that basket. Right now I’m just focusing on the fun of it, but if it turns into something more, I would be ecstatic.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Most of the time I make all my costumes from scratch. If it’s something very basic – like Android 18 or a similar character that wears “normal” clothes – I try to save money by just using things I find in my closet or at a cheap clothing store. But even those I end up altering or adding details to myself!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It depends on the size of the costume – I do a range of small, simple costumes to large armor builds, so they can take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months!
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
It’s so hard to choose! I had a lot of fun wearing my Ladydevimon from Digimon recently, and Eileen Belserion from Fairy Tail holds a special place in my heart because it was one of my first large builds. But one of my favorites would probably be Shiny Chariot from Little Witch Academia just because I LOVE her character and she was super comfy to walk around in!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My most memorable experience is probably the first time someone that I didn’t know recognized me at a con! It was so surreal having someone approach me and say “I know you! You’re Livicole cosplay!” haha. I was extremely shocked and humbled by it!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I think group cosplays are awesome and a lot of fun! Unfortunately, they’re very difficult to organize, but when everything comes together it always turns out amazing. I’m lucky to have made a bunch of great friends in the cosplay community in my area, and we’re always planning stuff together!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Well being that the year is over in just a few days, I’ll let you know what I plan on making over the next couple of months! I’m currently working on a classic Harley Quinn, a redesign of Squall Leonhart from FFVIII by artist Hannah Alexander, my own original gijinka design of a Marlboro creature from the Final Fantasy series, Starfire, Lara Croft, and much more! (I always put way too much on my plate!)
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think the biggest issue I’ve seen in the cosplay community is the competitiveness. Rather than just being a fun hobby that everyone can rally around, some people turn it into a competition of who made what costume first or best, or who has the most followers on social media, etc. None of that matters!! We should be focusing on coming together as a community of artists to support one another and grow together!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I tend to look to a lot of 90’s animes and video games for inspiration for what costumes to make. Since I’m a 90’s baby and I grew up with all of it, I feel like I’m bringing my childhood back to life!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I really enjoy the process of just making a costume with my hands – whether it be sewing, painting, armor making, etc. – I find it super relaxing to just sit and work and have nothing else on my mind. Even though during con crunch it can get super stressful! I also really love attending cons – that’s when the costumes really come alive and it’s so much!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Joann’s or Mood Fabrics for fabrics, cosplaysupplies.com for foam and worbla, and Amazon.com for most other random supplies I need.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Expenses!! Cosplay is a super expensive hobby – some of my costumes have cost me as much as $700. In the New Year, I’m making it a goal to try and spend less on materials, but I always struggle with wanting my costume to look as amazing as possible or going broke!
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Cosplay has taught me so much! Mostly, it’s helped me learn that it’s ok to take a step back sometimes, be proud of what you’ve accomplished and just enjoy yourself. Cosplay can get stressful and competitive, but in the end, looking at something that I’ve made with my own hands – even if it’s far from perfect – is one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t be afraid to mess up! There are some costumes that I’ve had to re-do 3+ times until I felt that it was right. But at the same time, don’t stress yourself over being a perfectionist. I’m a major perfectionist and I drive myself crazy sometimes trying to make every tiny detail – that most people won’t even notice – perfect! Just take your time and do your best!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It’s definitely grown a lot! There are SO many people in the community now and I think it’s great. I love that the things that were once considered “nerdy” and niche are now becoming so popular!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Tough question! I would love to do the entire Suzaku Seven and Priestess of Suzaku (Miaka) from Fushigi Yuugi. It’s always been one of my favorite animes ever, and while making just one or two costumes might not be super ambitious, I’d love to make all 8 characters and edit myself as each into one giant, awesome poster!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
In the past, I haven’t, but it may be something I try to do in the new year to help with expenses!
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is the first “hobby” I’ve had that I feel truly passionate about and I enjoy every step of the process. I’ve never really felt this dedicated to something previously and I wish I had found cosplay sooner because it’s taught me so much about myself and has helped me to come out of my shell and make new friends.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Nothing! I’m head over heels in love with cosplay and I think I will always find a way to do it, no matter what.
You can follow and view more of Livicole Cosplay here
- Shiny Chariot & Ladydevimon – Mark Horowitz
- Leviathan & Eileen Belserion – Patrick Vinh
- Erza Scarlet – KG Photography
- Kratos – M9 Cosplay
- Cubone & Zubat shot by myself
Check out our other cosplay features here
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