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 Duo Queue Cosplay
My name is Kat (aka Duo Queue Cosplay) and I am a 23-year-old student from the United States studying art and costuming. I love to create and costuming is something that I have really taken a liking to in the last few years. I’ve learned all sorts of amazing things, met some awesome people, and experienced a lot through my cosplay journey and I am sure there will be many more things ahead of me.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I went to an anime convention with my friends when I was 13 and loved everything about it! I always had liked dressing up for Halloween and making my own costumes for that plus I had been into theater for awhile I guess costuming had always been something I liked I just didn’t realize it yet.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
When I first started out it was just for fun but I enjoyed the costume making process so much it is something I am looking more into for a career. My Bachelor’s degree is in Art studio with a minor in Theater Arts. I worked in the costume shop at my university making costumes and wigs for the theater productions. I really love the community aspect of costume making in the theater world. I like working together as a team to make something go from being a 2D costume design to a 3D wearable costume.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make my costumes myself personally although sometimes it is better to look at how much something would cost to make it from scratch versus buy it. Materials, especially fabric, costs so much nowadays that sometimes it’s better to see if you can certain things premade and alter them to your measurements.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Depends on the costume, easier costumes can take as little as a week to make, harder costumes that include lots of armor, lights, etc. can take anywhere from a month to a year depending on how much detail is needed.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
My favorite cosplay I have done so far is Tali’Zorah from Mass Effect! It took me about a year to make between working and going to school full time.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I think my most memorable experience is when I won my first costume contest it was an experience I can’t even begin to explain it I was so proud of myself!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I’m not sure yet I’ve never done one before
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m currently working on Joan of Arc from Fate Apocrypha and I am hoping to start a Dragon sorceress Zyra from League of Legends
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think the most divisive element of the cosplay community right now is elitism. People always seem to forget that everyone starts somewhere and everyone comes from different skill levels, money, and time available to put into the hobby.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I really love video game costumes because they have so much detailing and cool parts that are challenging to make.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
The costume creation process is my favorite, I love the problem-solving aspect of it, figuring out how to make a costume from a picture to the finished project. But I also really love going to conventions and meeting people who like the same things as me. Photoshoots used to be my least favorite aspect because I hate getting my picture taken out of costume but I’ve learned to love it and its one of my fave parts of costuming now, its when all your hard work is finally shown!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Usually, I will look at the weekly coupons for Joann’s and Michaels and shop based off of where I can get things for the cheapest. If it’s something really obscure that the local craft stores don’t have then my go-to is usually Amazon.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Tali’Zorah mask was really difficult for me, it took like 8 tries to get the visor color right so I could actually see through it. Other than that I guess like body image stuff, having lots of people look at you when in costume really makes you feel self-conscious sometimes.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
To just have fun and don’t worry too much about what other people say, learn what makes you happy and go for it.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Be kind and supportive to other cosplayers.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Well, I only have been really into the cosplay community for about 4 or 5 years so I may not be the best person to ask but I am noticing a huge shift towards using more technology to speed up the costume making process such as 3D printing etc.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Kerrigan as the Queen of Blades from StarCraft II
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
No, I try not to think about the money aspect too much otherwise I feel like it takes some of the fun out of it when you put a dollar value to a costume, I make costumes because I like it and it’s my hobby.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay to me means finding a character you really like and becoming closer to them, I spend a lot of time with each costume I create and its like spending time with that character. I have to like a character a lot to dedicate myself to a costume.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Just be friendly and offer a nice hello and ask if its okay to take their picture, always ask a cosplayer if you can take their picture. Generally, they will always say yes if they have the time. The only time I don’t say yes is if I am in a really big rush to get somewhere at a con or if I am taking a lunch break.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
That I am a person behind the costume, I have time constraints, money restrictions, and I change my mind a lot so I may pick a costume and say I am making it but change my mind later to something else entirely.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I guess age/responsibilities/money restrictions, I know once I get older the time I have available for hobbies might not be as much as I would like.
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Keep calm and cosplay on!