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About LovelyRaincoat Cosplay
I’m Alida, and I’m a cosplayer from Arizona! I’m currently in college studying visual art and figuring out how to be a person. I like cats, language, and learning about a lot of different things. I’m probably in the middle of four or five different projects at any given moment, but I won’t be able to remember them all if you ask. I love getting to make friends, so don’t be afraid to say hi!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I first got involved with cosplay when I went to my first con in 2014. I was a very quiet little sixteen years old, and I was incredibly overwhelmed by all the activity. But I couldn’t keep away from it, and I ended up becoming a regular cosplayer. Being at cons with all my friends are some of the best times I’ve ever had, so I’m glad I did!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I absolutely love cosplaying, and if I were able to make a career out of it or something similar, I would take the opportunity in a heartbeat. But unless something comes up, cosplay will probably stay a hobby for me. I’m studying to be a visual artist, though, so I’m not too far off the creative track either way!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I love getting to make anything and everything, so I make all of my costumes from scratch. Though I’m still learning to make my own cosplays at the level I want them to be, I think I’m on my way to being pretty good at it!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
The time I spend on cosplays varies. It depends on how much time I have to spare, how complicated the design is, and if I have a time limit. I spent about a month putting together my Tharja cosplay before wearing it to Saboten Con, but I’m planning to remake it from scratch soon, and I think it will probably take a lot longer to get everything the way I want it.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Tharja from Fire Emblem Awakening is one of my favorite characters in general, so I really love getting to cosplay her. All the Fire Emblem fans are so supportive! Actually, while I was cosplaying her once, some other cosplayers asked if they could get a photo with me stepping on them. So, that’s always fun.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
The best experience that I’ve had as a cosplayer was definitely the first time I wore Tharja to a con. My costume was falling apart, and it was the last day of the con, but somehow, some absolutely stunning cosplayers saw me and wanted to befriend me. They invited me to their professional photo shoots and gave me encouragement and advice in cosplaying. They were just such sweet people, and that experience was a turning point in my cosplay in general. I became more motivated, and I tried a lot harder to live up to all they thought I could be. I still really look up to them!! (Go and find them on Facebook, they’re Fantasy Heart and Fantasy Soul. Their cosplays are gorgeous!!)
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I absolutely adore group cosplays. I want so badly to do them, but the trouble is that my cosplay group is getting bigger and bigger, so it’s difficult finding characters that suit us all in something we all enjoy!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m currently working on costumes for Peri from Fire Emblem, as well as Lup and Taako from The Adventure Zone. I just finished Magic Brian from The Adventure Zone, too, so I’ll be able to cosplay him at the upcoming cons this next year! I also have been getting more involved in OC cosplay, so I’ve been having fun putting some of them together, as well.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I’ve had so many good experiences with my local cons, but even outside of the cosplaying community, I’m very passionate about respect, especially for women, regardless of what they wear. With smaller cons and tight communities, it’s not usually a problem, but at bigger cons, it can be a serious issue.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I usually only cosplay characters that I grow very invested in, but a general trend of the type of characters I like is that they all tend to be pretty creepy. For example, Tharja, Peri, and Magic Brian.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I really love learning more about makeup and improving my cosplay as a whole. I’m excited to get to be an even better cosplayer! But at cons, my favorite part is probably getting to be a part of photo shoots. I love the way they turn out, and it’s just so exciting to do. I’ve been saving up to be able to book photos from some of my favorite photographers, and it’s something I really look forward to.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
As far as getting physical materials for cosplay, I rely heavily on one of my good friends to know where I can get everything. She’s a walking encyclopedia of cosplay information. Also information on Disney, Tracer from Overwatch, and Bioshock Infinite. But that’s beside the point.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I think my biggest obstacle cosplaying was my own anxiety, as well as my worry over if I was good enough. I learned to take care of myself in difficult situations, and I learned to accept that I’m always going to be learning. It’s okay to not be as good as you want to be. You’re working hard to get there and it’s all about enjoying yourself, so don’t worry.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
As a cosplayer, I started out without much confidence. I’ve learned that I need to have faith in myself and to genuinely appreciate the work I do and how far I’ve come. I think that’s a very important aspect of life in general. Humility is the acceptance of faults, not the denial of virtues.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Remember that you’re cosplaying and attending cons to have fun. Don’t force yourself to do things if they’re not adding to that experience. And it’s much, much better to take a break and miss some of the con than to force yourself to stay the entire time and be miserable.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I really love getting to watch the different cosplay generations grow and learn over time. For example, when Homestuck was at its peak, all of its cosplayers were pretty young and didn’t know much about cosplay. But now those people have years of experience and are some of the best cosplayers you’ll find. The new generation is coming in with a lot of young fans from Steven Universe, I think, and they’re learning, as well. Oh, the joys of body paint.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I would definitely, definitely cosplay Emperor Lelouch from the end of Code Geass R2. I would absolutely love the opportunity to cosplay it– It’s been my dream cosplay since I first started in 2014.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I’m a fairly frugal person, so my budget is mostly just me standing in the isles of different stores frowning and comparing price tags for way longer than necessary.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay to me is expression. It’s something that brings people out of their shells and helps them make friends. It allows people to play infinite parts, it teaches them how to create, and it allows them to express themselves. I’ve learned so much and met so many wonderful people through cosplay that I really can’t imagine what I would be like if I had never discovered it.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I think the biggest issue for me continuing cosplay is funding. As a college student, I don’t have a ton to spend in the first place. But I would really love to be able to cosplay for a long time to come.
You can follow and view more of LovelyRaincoat Cosplay here
- My main photographer is Caleb Madonia of Madonia Photography.
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