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About Marie Sturges
My name is Marie, and I am a cosplayer and photographer from Los Angeles! I am a social media manager and licensed cosmetologist!
How did you first get into cosplay?
I started out shooting cosplay photography back in 2013 while going to cons with my boyfriend, and I slowly began to appear on the other side of the camera instead! I found it much more fun to be in costume and have slowly been dedicating more time to crafting ever since!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’ve been doing it for fun and as a hobby, but as much time as I spend online and on social media, I have learned so much about marketing and can definitely use this experience with future jobs continuing as a social media manager!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Both! There are some things that are extremely complicated to make, such as a Power Ranger helmet, but I love crafting with EVA foam and take that opportunity to do so whenever needed for a costume. I have also bought full costumes for quick shoots and I’ve also made some from scratch.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It really depends on the costume, but it can take anywhere from a week to a few months.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
My Tifa Lockhart cosplay and my Gwenom cosplay!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Honestly, there are a ton of memorable experiences, so it’s hard to name just one. But one thing that they all have in common is spending time with good friends after the convention for dinner and fun after a long day of shoots!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Love them! I have a few planned coming up and I’ve actually just completed a few shoots as groups in the past few weeks.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I am debuting a genderbent Deku from My Hero Academia (hopefully by WonderCon), as well as a Yuffie from Final Fantasy!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I know a lot of people are a bit iffy when it comes to funding such as Patreon and Ko-Fi, but I feel that as long as you have something to give back to your supporters (ie. exclusive prints, behind the scenes, exclusive progress photos, etc.), it shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing. Personally, it would be hard for me to use these services without having something to give back to those who have helped me out!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I love comic book characters, especially from the Spider-Verse, as well as anime characters! I usually go for characters that are similar to me in personality, but not always!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Number one part of the process is photo shoots! But I really enjoy figuring out what materials I’d like to use and shopping for them!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
JoAnns and Michael’s are two stores I visit almost weekly, but I find a lot of base items via Amazon as well.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I thought I’d never be able to sew or make foam armor, but I jumped right into it and surprised myself! I’ve always been afraid of it and never thought I could learn how, but once you get the hang of it, each project gets easier and easier.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I’ve learned to allow adequate time for yourself to finish your costume. I’ve stayed up for “con crunch” the night before cons wayyy too many times and have felt awful the next day. I still end up having to do it sometimes, but it’s much better to plan ahead and start months before a con, rather than 2 weeks before!
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t hold yourself back if you are too scared to learn something new! As I mentioned earlier, I spent more time being afraid of sewing and crafting than I’d care to admit and I wished that I had learned these skills earlier because it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Cosplay has definitely become more “mainstream”. You now see cons getting so big that they are almost impossible to walk around in, and you even see fabric stores carrying cosplay specific patterns and fabrics. There are a lot of positive and negative things that have been changing, but I’m ready to adapt to whatever is thrown at me!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I would LOVE to purchase an Evangelion Asuka suit from Andromeda Latex! That is my DREAM cosplay, and it would take me forever to save up for it!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I actually don’t, but I really should! It’s more than I set a budget for myself monthly rather than costume by costume.
What does cosplay mean to you?
To me, it’s about getting to be your favorite character for a day while having fun with friends and meeting new people!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I can’t imagine myself stopping, but I have taken large breaks after being sick or working too much. Honestly, my health would be the only reason why I would need to stop because that’s more important than any costume!
You can follow and view more of Marie Sturges here
- Each photo was shot by my boyfriend Jake and edited by me!
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