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 Doll Nightmares
My name is Ren Marie, I go by Doll Nightmares online! I’m 21 and currently a full time college student! I absolutely love comics, horror, Tim Burton films and gaming. I model for brands mostly online and my last job was Spirit Halloween. I plan on working at Disney in the near future! I’ve been cosplaying since my freshman year of highschool.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I’ve read comics all my life and I adore Halloween, so there was a time during Halloween in high school where I found high-quality costumes, and I saw that it’s used for cosplay!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Right now I cosplay for fun and to try out acting as the different characters!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Usually, I’ve just been buying them, I’d love to make my own when I get the chance
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I’ve never made my own, but it takes me an hour to get into full cosplay for most of mine, I’m very fast with makeup!
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
Tim Burton’s Cat Woman!
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My most memorable is having people come up and want to take pictures with me. It takes me out of my comfort zone in a good way!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I’d love that!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Currently working on a female Edward Scissorhands!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Hmm. I’d say when it comes to body types. I see people get picked on for cosplaying a character that doesn’t have the same body type as the person, and I feel that you should be able to cosplay as any character you’d like to.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I love Tim Burton characters and old comic book characters, mostly DC-based. I try to genderbend sometimes, but I’ve stuck to my favorite female characters like Harley Quinn and Catwoman, even the Corpse Bride.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Photoshoots for sure! I love seeing the outcome and being proud and excited to show people.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I’ve been thrifting a lot of materials and cosplays off of depop!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
The biggest obstacle has been stepping away from being shy and going out while in cosplay
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I have! I’ve learned that no matter what kind of hate you get doing you love, always continue to. I’ve been told I’m too nerdy, that I’m a weeb, all kinds of stuff to try to put my down when I’m just having a good time. It’s never stopped me and never will. Life is far too short to not dive into things that make you happy.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
I guess to never be afraid to redo cosplays. Sometimes certain cosplays take practice, like with makeup or fixing up the outfit or hair.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel like it’s become more accepted and popular
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Oh man. I think a female Darth Vader with working voice box and saber, the whole deal
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means having fun and transforming into my favorite characters, living their life for a little bit. It’s an amazing escape from reality.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
What is your favorite con to attend?
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
Maybe, I think I do well transforming into different kinds of characters!
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
For me, I would walk up to them when they aren’t busy and say “hi! I love your cosplay, do you mind taking a picture?” Simple and respectful! That’s how I like to be approached, and I’m working on not being so shy and making small conversation along with it.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
I wish a lot of my followers knew how much effort I put into what I share online. The photoshoots, the mental health talks, the cosplays, makeup, videos. It’s so fun for me, but I feel like it’s easy to be looked past as just a quick picture or video if that makes sense.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I don’t think so!
You can follow and view more of Doll Nightmares here
- I take all of my own photos as of right now!
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