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About Chaotic Neutral Cosplay
Well hey, I’m Chaotic Neutral Cosplay, but you can call me Loki or Pika. (They/them) I work as a costumer for Indie films and do cosplay and costuming commissions (You can find me on FB if you’re interested in asking about something) and in my spare time I really like Ballroom dance and writing novels. I dabble a little in photography and my favorite color is electric blue. My favorite fandoms are Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, Marvel and Dragon Ball….my life goal is to take as many opportunities that life hands me as I can. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. I want to live today. I really like meeting new people if you haven’t guessed, so if you see me at a con please come up and say hello!
How did you first get into cosplay?
Believe it or not, I was actually working on Indie film sets as a costumer designer/costume assistant (depending on the film) and I got to know a few of the actors who introduced me to cosplay and brought me along to my first con. My mind was blown – a whole culture of people who love doing what I love doing?! I got hooked!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Well as you might have guessed, I still do costuming for Indie films and I also do cosplay and costuming commissions, so for me, cosplay is both! It’s a fun way for me to exercise my creative talents by creating costumes for me, and also show off my work to possible future customers! Besides, it’s an awesome way to meet new people.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
For the most part I make my cosplays from scratch, everything from armor to boots to jackets and wigs, and I enjoy every moment of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into them…but I also have several simple cosplays (mostly the ones involving tuxes and suits) that I’ve thrift shopped and altered to my needs. If there’s one thing I hate making, it’s a tux!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It varies from costume to costume, but typically larger builds involving leather work/armor building are about 2-3 months and smaller builds involving just fabric/simple armor can be as little as 2-5 weeks. Currently my longest build, a screen accurate Legolas from Lord of the Rings, is at a year and a half, but it’s not even close to done so I’m anticipating about 3 years in process by the time it’s done…my Jim Hawkins from Treasure Planet was only 2 weeks in sharp contrast!
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
This is an unfair question!! Upon deep pondering, I would say my Ragnarok Loki (Marvel) or my Carved Nordic Armor (Skyrim) are currently my favorites…but I really enjoy my DBZ builds and just you wait until I actually finish Legolas. I’ll probably never wear another cosplay after that.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
As a cosplayer, you have the opportunity to meet so many great people – people who inspire you, who have been inspired by you, people who you connect with because you all have the same passions and love for creating and crafting and fandoms, and that’s the coolest thing to me. I can literally walk into a convention knowing no one, and walk out with new friends. Aside from the amazing people I’ve met, some of my favorite memories are winning the contests I’ve entered such as the armor division at C2E2, and when people compliment me and say I look like the character I’m cos’ing, or tell me I’m their headcanon for the character. Also that one time I got to ride a tiny roller coaster in cosplay. XD
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love group cosplays! As a matter of fact, I have a bad habit of committing to way too many of them. I’ve been involved in a couple Marvel groups this year, a Willow group, a Skyrim group, a LOTR group, Avatar: The Last Airbender and a couple DBZ groups…just this year. Someone send help! Let me put it this way. Would you rather be a lone avenger at a con, or chilling with some of your besties as the whole Avengers squad??
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I have a list. It is a long list. It is a good list. Here is my list: Cassandra Pentaghast (Dragon Age: Inquisition) Legolas (Aragorn’s Coronation Version) Vegeta (Dragon Ball) Captain America (Stealth Suit, from Winter Solider) Zuko (Season 1 armor, Avatar: The Last Airbender) Seto Kaiba/Priest Seto (Yu-Gi-Oh!) Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean) Anakin Skywalker (Clone Wars animated series) …and probably a few I’m not planning on too. I’m not sure I’ll get all these finished by the end of the year, but I plan to work on them so you’re welcome to come stop by my media accounts and watch the fun as I inadvertently paint something the wrong color!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Having been involved in a few costume clubs and part of quite a few groups, I personally think one of the biggest issues in cosplay is that too many people think this is a beauty pageant and bully themselves (or others, but most of the people I know deride themselves over not being pretty enough). The honest truth is 90% of cosplay is people pretending to be made up people. Or the occasional creature or non-living thing. It’s about having fun, and too many people make it about how many followers you have, or how pretty your face is, or how your body looks. Love yourself! We’re in this for fun, so have fun.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I most definitely have a character style that I’m drawn to, I would classify it as “Angry/Sassy/Moody/Indifferent person who probably has issues”. Like Loki, Zuko, or Vegeta or Bakugo. I think it’s because a lot of those type of have backstories that resonate with me…or maybe I just like to pretend to be a jerk. (I swear I’m actually a nice person! XD) As far as genre, I’m all over the place but I have a huge fondness for armor/outfits that are – A) somewhat historically functional – B) At the same time definitely not functional in real life – C) Anything I can’t move in. I think coming from the film side of things I really like the idea of being historically based, but I can guarantee you if it has crazy shoulder plates I’m making it.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
You might be getting tired of this answer, but my favorite part is meeting new people and making friends. I never knew for so long there were people like me who loved dressing up and creating and were into fandoms like me! Other then the people of cosplay, I love photo shoots and attending cons. I love working with various photographers to capture their vision of my character, and I enjoy seeing everyone’s style. It’s like working on a film set in a tiny way. Attending cons is definitely why I cosplay though. I love getting out and meeting people at cons, experiencing the thrill of everyone being excited, meeting up with old friends and seeing all the amazing cosplayers!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Depends on what I’m buying! Leathers I source from Tandy Leather or The Leather Guy. Thermoplastics are usually bulk buys from plastic suppliers, and fabrics I lean heavily on Mood Fabrics and Vouge Fabrics Store, but I go all over for what I need. Sometimes it’s a simple as a trip to JoAnn’s, sometimes it’s a five-hour internet search for canvas to match a Captain America suit.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My own fear of failure, to be honest. You know how in ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ all the characters have strengths and weaknesses? Well, my strengths might be something like this: Armor, Costuming, Researching, Dance Fighting…but my Weakness is definitely fear of failure. Sometimes I get so afraid of how something might not turn out perfectly that it prevents me from trying it, or it sits there for weeks before I touch it again. That’s silly. Because the truth is whatever I make, no matter how it turns out – even if it’s not 100% what I saw in my head – it’s better then the nothing that doesn’t get made if it just sits there.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Never. NEVER. Judge a book by its cover. That old lady you rolled your eyes at might be a costume designer for Star Wars. That dude dressed in the Goku onesie might be a big name cosplayer taking a day off. That girl in the store bought costume might be attending her first con and getting her first taste of cosplay. That cosplayer you’re afraid to approach because they’re so good might be your next best friend. You never know who someone is, and you never have the right to judge someone until you know where they’re at in their life. Some of my best cosplay friends are the ones I was terrified of approaching because they were so much better at cosplay then I was. You never know.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Take care of your body at a con. Eat, drink water/juice, shower, sleep. Don’t push yourself past what your body can stand. You will end of paying for it and it won’t be a good memory.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
In the years that I’ve been involved, granted not nearly as long as many people I know, I’ve seen cosplay go from a fun thing that was mainly a “nerd thing” to a mainstream thing. While this in itself isn’t bad (I mean, hey! Look at all the nerd movies we’re finally getting!!) I do think it ushers in a lot of problems like the beauty pageant factor. I hope that the community will remain strong and welcoming to all cosplayers as the years pass.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Well…Legolas? XD (Someday he will be finished, I believe this). Otherwise, I’d really have to say Christina from Legends of the Cryptids. I’ve heard the game is terrible, but the armor is to-die-for. Seriously.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Yeah, I do, but it tends to be loose. Typically smaller ones are a couple hundred but larger builds are significantly more. I try to stay within a couple hundred of the target budget, but occasionally that’s not possible. Not everyone can have that kind of a budget, and I’m very thankful that I’m able to, but my best advice for anyone looking to set a cosplay budget is that you need to find your comfy spot between screen accurate and cost-effective. They’re not always the same thing, so you do what you can with what you can afford and make it work for you!
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay means a chance to exercise my creative side and couple it with my desire to learn new things. It’s a chance to embrace my fandoms and for a few hours dress as a character, I feel a connection to. It’s a way to meet new friends and a chance to hang out with old ones and has wonderful memories to look back on. It also means gathering packing Tetris XP…
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I hope that it will continue trending toward the positive and people will still be enjoying nerdy things. If I’m still around at that time, I hope I can be contributing to that!
What is your favorite con to attend?
C2E2! But I also quite enjoy Acen, and I’m looking forward to attending Dragon Con this year for my first time. I love traveling, so I’m hoping to start making more trips for cons and events in the next few years.
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
Sennedjemcosplay and r.k.grimm, both of whom you can find on Instagram and Facebook under those names! Senny does amazing work and I’m constantly inspired and awed by their attention to detail. It’s fantastic. Plus we have similar tastes in fandoms and I love watching them bring builds to life! r.k.’s dedication to the characters they love just inspires me to try harder on my own!
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
To me, I’m just trying to push myself to do better at everything I do, with every costume I do and every prop I make. I don’t wake up every morning thinking about how to be an inspiration, I just kind of get up and do what I need to do to push myself to do better in my craft and to be a better person to those around me. I’d rather lead by example then simply point people in the right direction.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Just ask! Most cosplayers want their work to be admired, so of course, we want you to take our pictures! Don’t be afraid to come up and talk to us either. If you don’t know the character, just ask.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
I’m shy! I love meeting new people but I’m terrible at introductions.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I can think of a few things, such as if the cos community stops being welcoming and the focus has gone from having fun, But I certainly hope that they don’t come to pass and I’ll be around for a long time in the community!
You can follow and view more of Chaotic Neutral Cosplay here
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