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About Hannah Leigh Cosplay
Hello! My name is Hannah. I’m 24 years old and have been cosplaying for about 6 years. I live in Arizona and I work at Harkins Theatres.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I always wanted to go to a convention and cosplay, but because of anxiety, I was always too scared to because I had no idea what it was like and didn’t want to go alone. Well, a year after I graduated from high school, I started watching these cosplayer’s YouTube channel, Courtoon, and Mango Sirene. They were doing these cosplay videos dressed as Young Justice characters, which I recently started watching the show at that time. They definitely showed how much fun they were having and what it’s like at a convention, that I was no longer anxious about it and inspired me to go to my first convention that year, Phoenix Comicon, as my first cosplays, Miss Martian and Artemis from Young Justice.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay for fun! But I also do it for putting smiles on kids’ faces at a convention, charity event, and/or hospital visit. It would be awesome as a future career, but having fun and making kids’ days are what’s important and I’m ok either way whether it becomes a career or not for me.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I currently don’t know how to sew, so when I first started, my dad actually made my costumes. I’m more on the buying/commission side, however, I am looking into learning how to sew and make things on my own in the near future because I want to experience making some of my own stuff as well.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I currently don’t make them, so it doesn’t take too much time buying/getting all the pieces together, especially with closet cosplays.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
This is a difficult one, but probably Miss Martian. She was my first cosplay and I still upgrade it instead of retiring because I absolutely love her. Plus, the best part is painting myself green!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I would say that, in my experience, the cosplay community is very accepting and kind. And I’ve made so many friends because of that and because we all share the same interests. My other memorable experience is when I met Anthony Michael Hall at Phoenix Comicon dressed as Claire Standish with a group of friends as the rest of the Breakfast Club characters. He really encouraged me in my struggle with anxiety and depression. I will always remember that conversation and use it to push myself in cosplay and life in general.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
It definitely does take work planning and getting everyone together, but I absolutely love group cosplays! I feel it’s much more fun because you’re all sharing your love for the same thing and hanging out with friends.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I have a few new ones planned for Phoenix Comic Fest, which are Killer Frost (CW’s The Flash), Violet (The Incredibles), and Daenerys (Game of Thrones). As far as for the end of the year, possibly Asuna (Sword Art Online) and Blake (RWBY).
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I always see a lot of people judging cosplayers for cosplaying a character that isn’t their body type, race, or gender, for buying/not making their cosplay, etc. and it really bothers me because it’s not about being perfect and it isn’t a contest. Nobody is better than anyone. We’re all just having fun doing what we love and I think everyone has a right to cosplay whoever they want to. So what if they don’t look exactly like a character? They’re having fun and sharing their amazing work and love for something. That’s all that matters.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Superheroes! Majority of my cosplays are DC Comics characters because it’s what I grew up with and my main interest.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I LOVE researching for wigs, supplies, etc. I could research for days and not get bored at all. Attending cons is a close second because it’s the best experience showing off your cosplay/work and having fun with all the people who share your interests.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Jo-Anns is my go-to place!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Anxiety. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and it was worse before I started cosplaying. Cosplay has helped me so much with overcoming a lot of the anxiety I struggle with and has helped me become more comfortable around people as well. When I’m in costume, I feel like I can fully express myself.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I’ve learned to not care so much about what others think of me and to not be so scared/nervous, just move forward!
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Ignore the haters, what they say doesn’t matter. Just have fun!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It’s more accepted in society and has grown a lot over the years, which I personally believe is a good thing because we welcome and accept all 🙂
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I have so many on my list! Azula from Avatar the Last Airbender, Wonder Woman, Andie from Pretty in Pink, and Marko from The Lost Boys.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Yes because rent/bills and food are more important! 😉
What does cosplay mean to you?
Having fun with friends and making everyone I know and meet in the community feel welcome and important.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Not that I know of, no. I’ll never quit! xD
You can follow and view more of Hannah Leigh Cosplay here
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