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About Maeden Cosplay
Name: Mae, AKA Maeden Age: 20 Cosplayer and artist from the Philly area. Sometimes actress, model, and freelance editor who is more excited to meet your dog than you.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I went to my very first con without cosplaying and while there, I took a lot of photos with cosplayers and realized I’d have so much more fun by getting into character. I haven’t attended out of cosplay since.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay because I love playing my character the way I want to see her and bringing my own ideas and concepts to life. I don’t aim to be a professional cosplayer, but I certainly wouldn’t mind if becoming known for my work helps me to get other jobs in media.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
When I started out, I stuck to costumes where I could just find clothing similar to the character’s and wear as-is. As my skills have developed, I do a lot more altering and customizing (i.e. sewing multiple items into one suit, adding trim, custom hems) but I still prefer to have an existing base to work from. I’m not going to try and make a leather skirt myself quite yet.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
The amount of time varies greatly depending on how much I need to add or if there’s a con crunch. Both of my Justice League Unlimited costumes took very little time to build as I simply needed to add an emblem and some trim to already small pieces, and I completed those in less than a day just in time for cons. My Matrix Supergirl was slowly made over the course of months as I wasn’t rushing anything. I don’t think I have an average yet.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Probably Kara’s main outfit from season 7 episode 2 of Smallville (tube top and shorts). I had wanted to do it for years and finally had the skills, resources, and confidence to make it happen. And when Laura Vandervoort actually liked some of the photos I’d posted of it, my year was made.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Silly as it is, what immediately stands out is one time when I was standing on an elevated grate and the wind underneath was picking up my cape…suddenly loads of passerby were stopping to take photos or just calling out “Supergirl!” I had never felt so in-character and it was just an amazing moment.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I don’t really feel any particular way about them. I love doing tandem shoots with another character but I haven’t had an opportunity to either do a group shoot or cosplay group aside from doing the DC Cosplayers East shoots at cons.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I like to keep most under wraps, but I will say for Supergirl I’m planning at least two original concepts, another animated version, more Smallville stuff, and hopefully a beach and holiday shoot. I also have a different, yet related character I’m aiming to do.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I don’t see much of them, as I like to avoid even thinking about the cos-drama so I tend to avoid discussion of it. But the main issues I see stem from people deciding others are “doing it wrong” because it’s not exactly what the ones judging would want to see. We all just want to have fun doing this. If I see something I don’t particularly like, (aside from something like people dressing as the Twin Towers) I’d rather just carry on and do something that makes me happy.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
This far into the interview, I think saying I aim to emulate Supergirl is a pretty obvious answer. But when I’m not her, I like to do a few Sci-Fi characters.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Definitely the photoshoots, especially out of cons and in public places. That’s when it all pays off when I get to embody my character and preserve that moment.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I generally get everything from Amazon, but specifically, I’ve found Heat&Bond to be a great tool.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I’m sure this is a boring answer, but I can’t really say I’ve experienced any significant tribulations. Maybe…trying to make quality costumes with affordable items? I don’t know, I just pick something and I do it.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I’ve been cosplaying for 5 years, so I’ve definitely learned life lessons in that time, but I wouldn’t say that cosplaying taught me about life, the universe, and everything.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. No matter how many people want to see you do a specific character or look, only do it if YOU really want to.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I don’t think I’ve been a part of it for long enough to notice much of a change, only that it’s become more mainstream and accepted, and appealing to such a wide range of people.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I don’t know about overambitious, but my highest goal is to do Kara’s Smallville: Season 11 suit.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
No. I just try to balance cost and quality.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It’s my favorite art form and creative outlet. It means not only can I create ideas I want to see, but I can actually bring that to life and portray it exactly as I want. It’s the ultimate way to showcase my ideas.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Not that I can think of.
You can follow and view more of Maeden Cosplay here
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