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.
Hey, guys, I’m SpiiderMom, but you can call me Jess. I’m a big nerd who loves fiction too much so much that I started dressing up as it. I’m a full-time student studying technical theater and design, and I love it! Costuming is something I’ve always had a passion for and to be able to bring characters to life gives me so much joy.
How did you first get into cosplay?
My brother and I went to a con back in 2012 and it was a life-changing experience for me! We went in cosplays, albeit awful, and I felt like a million bucks. Not only that but the community was so welcoming and loving and full of people like me so I was immediately drawn in.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Both! I love cosplay, it’s my biggest hobby and it’s 100% something I have fun doing, but I’m a technical theater student specializing in costume and lighting design and cosplay helps me build a portfolio that is super helpful when it comes to getting a job in my field.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make my cosplays! Crafting is something I love to do and have a lot of fun with, so making cosplays is super fun for me.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Definitely depends on the cosplay. An armor build is obviously gonna take longer than a simple school girl uniform, but I’d say for the types of character I usually go for a few weeks!
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Sheik from Legend of Zelda! Sheik has always been really important to me and I wanted to bring them to life. At the time it was a cosplay WAY out of my comfort zone and there were times I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it, but I did and I’m still super proud to this day!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
At DragonCon 2014 (I think?) I met the cast of Warehouse 13 which was a show I was super obsessed with at the time. All of them were super nice and loving. Aaron Ashmore who played Jinks was there with his twin brother Shawn (Iceman from Xmen) and they both freaked out about my cosplay and took pics of me and it was so surreal!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love them! Especially when everyone brings there A-Game to a group. It can really be something beautiful.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m working on Christmas Miss Fortune right now as I type this! She’s almost done. But I’m also working on Valkyrie Mercy from Overwatch for Katsucon and Anya from Anastasia which I’m doing with my Dad at Ichivancon!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I see a lot of shade being thrown at lewd cosplayers/cosplays and I think that’s really dividing the community. Personally, I love lewd cosplays, I haven’t done any yet, but I totally support them. Anyone who is loving their body is doing right by them and should never be shamed for that. This hobby is for everyone and everyone does things differently as long as you love the characters you’re cosplaying and you’re nice to others you’re good in my book!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Right now it’s comic books character and video game character I think there is a level of fantasy in the character designs for both of those genres that really speaks to me and I always wanna bring that to life.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Photo shoots for sure! I also love making cosplays, but working with a photographer with all the lights is super fun. Plus I love photographers in my experience they’re super fun and the ones I work with a lot have become close friends of mine so it’s fun to shoot with them!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Walmart honestly! That place has so many hidden treasures and the lowest prices. Also the internet obviously!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Not comparing myself to others was super hard for a while there but then I realized that everyone grows at their own rate and we should use others to motivate ourselves not put ourselves down.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Yes! I’ve learned not to be afraid to talk to people and to make friends. I’ve learned how to command attention when I’m speaking and be more confident in myself and my abilities.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Cosplay because you love the characters and the fandom not cause you want fame. Love what you do genuinely and success will come.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel like it’s a little overexposed now. Some people cosplay just for fame and that isn’t what it’s about.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Nahiri the Lithomancer/Harbinger from Magic the Gathering I love her so much!!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not exactly. I like to give myself time and buy small thing little by little when I have the money rather than a strict budget but believe me, I spend as little as possible.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It’s my outlet. My way to express myself it made me who I am and it’s super important to me.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Nope, I don’t think so.
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