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 Tuesday and Thursday 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 Cosplay by Katie
Hello! My name is Katie and I love to cosplay. I have been making my own costumes since 2012. I am from Arizona and I currently live in upstate NJ and I am going to school for a degree in Fashion and costume design. I have a corgi named Desmond and my favorite food is sushi and taro bubble tea! I love to play video games and I will soon be streaming on Twitch (@cosplaykatie).
How did you first get into cosplay?
When I started attending Phoenix Fan Fest and the Arizona Renaissance Faire, I wanted to join all of the amazing cosplayers I saw at these events. I have been cosplaying since 2012 and it has been a passion ever since!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay for fun! If the future holds a career for me in cosplay, I would jump at the opportunity without a second thought.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I make most of my cosplays from scratch, but sometimes I love to have a piece commissioned so I can support my fellow artists!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It depends on the complexity of the character. Sometimes it can take me a few days and others will take me weeks or even months.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
My favorite cosplay I’ve done is Ciri from the Witcher 3.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
The Witcher photoshoot I did with some friends this past spring, and an Avengers in Wonderland original group concept from MaiseDesigns for Phoenix Fan Fest 2016!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I have only done a few, but I would love the opportunity to do more. I have trouble meeting new people, but I would like to get a new one started for a future convention!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I am working on Yennefer from the Witcher 3, and Mercy and Ashe from Overwatch. I would like to finish those and I want to start on a Jaina Proudmoore for Blizzcon 2021!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I see a lot of gatekeeping for homemade cosplays. Although I appreciate the craftsmanship and hard work more than anything, a cosplay is a cosplay at the end of the day no matter where it comes from. Cosplay is for everyone, at all levels of creativity!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I mostly pull inspiration from video games. I game frequently, and I typically pick characters I feel a deep connection with.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
The most rewarding process is the photoshoots and conventions. When someone tells me how great they think my cosplay is my hard work has paid off. There’s no better feeling in the world than to be in character at a convention!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I will get my cosplay supplies wherever I can. Luckily I live by NYC so my options for fabric are endless. I prefer to use a lot of leather and unique fabrics. I am just starting to use worbla and foam to make bigger builds!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I struggle a lot with my body image. This might be hard for a lot of people to understand since most people would consider me thin or average, but it can really drag my confidence and cause me to lose motivation. I try my best not to compare myself to others and ultimately when I am wearing the work I created I feel better than ever about myself. When I lose my drive I wear a cosplay around for a bit to remember how good it feels!
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I have gained a high sense of community. I grew up feeling like an outcast amongst my peers and it is refreshing knowing that there are so many people in this community that I can actually relate with. I am not the greatest at making friends since I am so nervous, but I ultimately feel the most comfortable with people in the cosplay community.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t beat yourself up if your first cosplays are not as good as you want them to be. Just keep trying and don’t give up! I made my Arkham Knight cosplay THREE times before I was completely happy with it. You will get better and there will always be people to help you to improve!
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel like it has grown exponentially! There are now more cosplayers than ever and it warms my heart!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I would love to do any large armor build from World of Warcraft! Eventually, I will get there, but I want to improve my skills first!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
No. I like to find the best quality materials I possibly can for everyone cosplay. I definitely try to find the best price, but if I don’t find materials that I am 100% sold on I will not be completely happy with the end result.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay means happiness and escapism. The real world can be so frustrating and boring sometimes and cosplay is the medicine for that. All my problems seem to dissolve when I can be in character around others who cosplay as much as I do.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I see myself as the same but hopefully achieving more. I want to become more involved with the community and travel to conventions all over the world. I would love to become well known for my art and make long-lasting friendships through cosplay.
What is your favorite con to attend?
I haven’t attended as my cons as I want to, but my favorite convention so far is New York Comic-Con!
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
Svetlana and Benni Quindt of Kamui Cosplay inspire me to heighten my skills. They provide excellent tutorials and resources for me to better my costumes. The large armor builds they create are so incredible and I can only hope I can be that talented in the future!
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
I can only hope so! If I have inspired at least one person in any way through my cosplay that makes all the hard work worthwhile!
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Please ask for a photo and introduce yourself! I love meeting new people and chatting with everyone. I prefer people to ask for a photo so I can pose properly for your picture. I want to make sure you aren’t getting a crappy photo! I also like to exchange business cards when appropriate so I can give credit to any photographers! As long as I am not eating or relaxing I’m always up for photos and a chat <3
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
I wish people knew how nervous I am in real life! Sometimes I may come off as mean, but I am so nervous around new people! I have a hard time making friends, but I love chatting and interacting with everyone!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
No! I plan on cosplays for a long time. I am trying to get my boyfriend involved, and if I ever have any children I would love to show them the magic of cosplay!
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