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 Sarah Black Cosplay
Sarah is a business owner, cosplayer, and professional actor! She loves bringing her favorite characters to life through cosplay and through her character party and entertainment company! A few of her favorite characters to cosplay include Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Black Canary, Ariel, Elsa, and Rapunzel! She loves all things Disney, Batman, theater, makeup, and cheese!
How did you first get into cosplay?
The first time I consciously cosplayed was in 2015 at Heroes Con! I did a pieced-together Harley Quinn. My obsession didn’t really begin until the end of 2018 though and now it has taken over my life (in the best way)! I think it was just natural for me to get into cosplay. I have been dressing up as my favorite characters ever since I was a little girl! My love for characters, makeup, and performance paved my way to cosplay. I’m surprised it took me so long to get really into it!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I think I view it as both just for fun and as a potential stepping stone! I wouldn’t be upset if nothing more came out of it because it’s so much fun, but I also would love for it to lead to something more!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
This is always such a scary question because I have heard rumors of elitism within the cosplay community about making costumes vs purchasing costumes, though I personally haven’t experienced this. I do find that I feel a sense of pride over the wigs, costume pieces, and props that I have been able to make or fix up myself, but there is also something very fun and satisfying about searching for the right person to make the costume or scouring the internet for the perfect pieces. I am definitely not opposed to paying talented people for beautifully made costumes and pieces!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It can take me a month or two at times to put a full cosplay together whether I’m making a part of it myself, searching for pieces, or finding the right person to build it for me! I’ve also put cosplays together within a week! It varies character to character!
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
My bombshell Harley! There’s so much to it and I was able to make & fix up a few pieces myself! I wanted to do that cosplay for a while, so I was so excited to finally get to do it!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
It’s still from my very first con (Heroes Con) in 2015! I was so nervous to be walking into that huge convention center all dressed up and had no idea what would happen. I instantly felt welcomed! All of the cosplayers we met were so fun and kind! I’ve been very fortunate to have mainly positive experiences so far on my cosplay journey!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love them! I wish I had more cosplayer friends so I could be a part of some!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
All of the Birds of Prey Harley looks for sure and more Supergirl looks! I keep a list of what to do next, but the list is constantly changing around depending on what I’m most excited about that day!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I haven’t been involved for very long and have had positive experiences so far, but the issue I have heard the most about is the elitism.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Comic book characters and Disney characters are what I cosplay the most, but the most important factor for me is loving the character and their look! Characters with interesting personalities or backstories really catch my attention and if they have a costume I love then I’m all in!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
This is a lame answer, but I honestly enjoy the whole process- researching, shopping, making, photoshoots, cons- all of it! I think the whole process is what makes it different from portraying a character in a musical or play for me!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Etsy has been incredible! I love being able to support a small business or an independent artist! The talent of some of the artists there is unreal!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Finding the confidence to cosplay a character I love that is wearing a costume that showcases a part of their body that I am not the most confident in on my own. That has been a hard one!
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
This really connects to my last answer, but having to wear things I would normally never wear has taught me to be more confident in my body. That has been huge for me! This isn’t exactly a life lesson, but cosplay has also helped me to find joy during some pretty dark times. I’m very grateful for that.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
I have to pick 2 since they kind of go together.
1) Don’t be afraid to just try it!
2) Don’t worry about what other people may think!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Cosplay has gone from being something that not a lot of people knew about, to being a huge part of pop culture! You can find cosplay pieces at popular retail stores! That’s pretty crazy!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I don’t really have anything on my list that’s overly ambitious, but if I had money to spare I would commission a full head to toe Rikku from Final Fantasy X! I know that doesn’t seem like it should be too hard or expensive but you’d be surprised!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I don’t, but I really should! I’ve gone overboard too many times!
What does cosplay mean to you?
To me, cosplay is the freedom to play and showcase a character I love or connect to! As an introvert, cosplay also helps me step out of my comfort zone by giving me the courage to interact with more people!
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I think we will see technology being more involved and used more in costumes and props! That’s something I’m excited about! You can already see it being used now!
What is your favorite con to attend?
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
I really love Infamous by Laura (Laura Gilbert). I love the cosplays she chooses and her attitude! There are so many cosplayers I follow on Instagram and am just so blown away by not only their skills but their kindness and support!
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
I’m not sure about that. I’m still a bit new to the game!
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
I think it’s nice when people ask if they can take a picture instead of just pointing their camera at you! I won’t turn down a photo but communication is always appreciated! I do understand that can be difficult for some people though, so I’m always willing to strike a pose! I also love it when people want to chat about the character I’m cosplaying! It’s so much fun to nerd out with others who like the same thing as you!
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
If there are people who are fans of my cosplay, I hope they know I really do love the characters I cosplay so much and their support has really inspired me to do the best I can! Also, I can burp the ABC’s.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
As of right now at this point in my life, I can’t see anything stopping me! Muahaha!
You can follow and view more of Sarah Black Cosplay here
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