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 famous members of the cosplay universe.
About Aurelian Cosplay
I’m Aurelian Cosplay, a Northeastern cosplayer, actor, princess performer, and historian with a penchant for cute things. I’m also a page model for The Fan’s P.O.V., and avid Star Wars fan!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I watched shows like “Pokemon”, “Cardcaptors”, and “Sailor Moon” as a kid, and I wanted to be a Pokemon Master and Cardcaptor when I grew up. When I saw people online dressing up as my favorite characters from multiple mediums, it dawned on me that I could also do that; and even if I had a replica of a magic wand, the magic would be real once I too put on a costume.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Personally, I cosplay for fun–it’s “cosPLAY” for a reason! When I’m not cosplaying, I’m an actor and princess performer, and my skills from my hobby and my job actually have a lot of crossovers. Cosplaying and interacting in character at conventions has helped me become more confident in my abilities as an actor onstage, and my experience as an actor makes me feel more comfortable to have conversations on the fly when performing as a princess.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I’d say I’m a hybrid cosplayer. I’m proficient with hand sewing, but I’m terrified of using a sewing machine! I like to buy or find preexisting pieces and modifying them to suit a costume. If there’s a cosplay that I really want to do, but don’t feel confident in my abilities to modify it, then I’ll buy it from someone who has the experience and knows what they’re doing. There’s no shame in any of the above methods of cosplaying, and especially not in asking for help!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It depends on the project–I’ve made my Rey (Star Wars: Episode VII) costume over the course of three days, because the pieces I found were inexpensive and what I was looking for; but my Ladybug (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir) suit and wig took months because I was working with tools and materials that I’d never used before.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Ladybug! Fairwind Cosplay helped me a TON with that cosplay, and I’m really proud of how it turned out. I’ve been following the progress of “Ladybug”‘s conception since 2012 and knew that I wanted to cosplay as her. I feel like a real superhero whenever I get my “spots on”!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I met a very young Anna cosplayer at the Disney Meetup at Katsucon 2017 while dressed as Belle (from “Beauty and the Beast”), and she was hesitant to go up to have her picture taken. I spent some time with her, talking to her in character, and she eventually went up as the only “Frozen” cosplayer! It was a sweet moment for me as a performer, and it was even sweeter when her father messaged me the photo he took of his daughter and I and told me that she wanted to dress up as Belle in her ballgown the following year! As I’m going to Katsucon this year, I’m very excited to see this Belle!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
If it’s for a series and a character that you like, go for it! I’m a firm believer in cosplaying characters that I love because I don’t want to be unhappy wearing something for the sake of appeasing someone else. If someone were to ask me to cosplay from a series that I didn’t like or was ambivalent towards because I would “fulfill a role” or because “You’d be great–please do this for me!”, I would politely decline; I wouldn’t feel right spending the money and time on a cosplay that I wouldn’t wear after one photoshoot. I cosplay for me, and I personally disagree with joining a cosplay group for the sake of having a group.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Currently, I have four cosplays planned: Daphne Blake from “Scooby Doo”; Rey’s Jedi Outfit from “The Last Jedi”; Lydia Deetz from the “Beetlejuice” animated series; and Anya from “Anastasia”. I always say that I’ll stick to three to four cosplays…and then it climbs up much, much higher!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I’ve seen cosplay contests on Instagram numerous times, and even participated in one; to me, it was one of the most unnecessary stressors because I was constantly checking to see if people liked my work, or saying mean things about it. And when it’s said and done, there’s nothing to gain from it, aside from popularity and followers. I didn’t like asking people to vote for me because it just felt like I was begging for attention–it was just a popularity contest, and nothing of merit was even considered. I think they’re pointless, and pit other cosplayers who love the same characters against each other for no real reason.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
If I see a character that I genuinely like and feel a personal connection to, then I’ll add them to my ever-growing list of dream cosplays. I find different parts of myself in these characters, even though they can be drastically different from each other. I’ve always loved Disney and “Star Wars”, and if I could have every princess’ ball gown AND Leia Organa’s wardrobe, I would!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I’m a horrendous procrastinator, which definitely doesn’t help when I’m working on a project–my anxiety just goes through the roof! I’m a lot happier when I’m at a convention or photo shoot and the costume is finished, and I don’t have to worry about finishing everything on time.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Amazon! I also shop at JoAnn and AC Moore for supplies, but I get really overwhelmed sometimes when there are so many options in front of me. Coupons and discounts are my best friends when shopping for materials, too!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Myself, really. I get extremely anxious when it comes to cosplay–I suffer from body dysmorphia, and I get too into my head about how I look. I’m my own worst critic and trying to tell myself that the work I’ve put into a cosplay has paid off can be incredibly hard. I’ve also suffered from panic attacks when traveling to conventions that are unfamiliar to me. I’ve been unable to remove myself from situations where I feel uncomfortable and need a minute to myself because I don’t want to cause a scene, but I’m really trying to figure out ways to control how I’m feeling, and excuse myself when I can’t.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Don’t rush to finish something for the sake of having it done. While constructing my Ladybug cosplay, I wanted to have it finished over a short break while in school and was devastated when I had to accept that it wouldn’t be done the way I wanted it in that amount of time. Thinking back on it, I’m much happier that I took time to make everything for that costume instead of rushing it because I might’ve had to fix more pieces and more frequently, due to my impatience.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! For some reason, I’ve seen a lot of cosplayers refuse to “reveal their secrets” when it comes to their process, and it’s very disheartening. There’s no need to make everyone reinvent the wheel when it comes to constructing a cosplay; there’s so much to learn in this hobby, and just because there might not have been anyone to help them along, it doesn’t mean that it’s right to deny anyone asking for advice.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
There’s definitely been an influx of “boudoir cosplay” that I personally see as wearing lingerie with a wig on. I don’t see the appeal. To each their own, I suppose.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Rapunzel from “Tangled”! She’s one of my very favorite princesses to perform as, and she has so many wonderful qualities, like her unwavering kindness and strength. I’d love to be able to embody those traits whenever I want–her hair’s the scary part! I’d be so afraid of touching the braid or her iconic bangs, in case a hair came out of place! I’m still learning when it comes to styling wigs, but with Punzie, I’d feel like I’d be on Chopped–“Hands off the plates, chefs!”
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I really don’t like spending more than $200; if I can find something that suits a character and won’t break the bank (and coupons sweeten the deal), then I’m in!
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay has really helped me develop my people skills; through going to conventions and meeting people with similar interests, I’ve really opened up to making more friends and making incredible memories with them. My hobby wasn’t very popular when I was in middle and high school, and I didn’t have too many people who I could talk to about cosplay. But my friendships with those who genuinely supported and shared my interest have remained and become stronger over the years, and I cherish those who genuinely support what I love. I definitely think I’m a much happier person because of the kindness that I’ve experienced from the cosplay community.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
If anything, probably money. But even if I don’t have the funds to buy or make new cosplays or attend expensive conventions, I’m happy to put on the beautiful costumes I already have and have a local photo shoot with my friends!
You can follow and view more of Aurelian Cosplay here
- Douglas Shaune Photography
- Unlimited Crossroads
- Lindsey Leigh Photography
- Fairwind Cosplay
- Aara Lee
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