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 Kira Kelly
Kira Kelly is a cosplayer from Atlanta and social media professional best known for her mashups, comic, and Game of Thrones costumes.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I first attended Momocon as a high schooler with a quickly thrown-together closet cosplay – after just one con I was hooked!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
For fun. The market is too competitive and highly saturated for me to make a career out of it; there are far too many people more talented!
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
A hybrid! I love making things myself but sometimes my learning curve isn’t as quick as I need it to be for a con, and I don’t want the quality of my costume to suffer. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with commissioning pieces of a costume, and you get to help local artists at the same time!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Usually 1-2 months
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Probably my Jinxrat, a League of Legends/Overwatch mash-up, or my Mera, which I shot in a freezing river in December.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
The reception at DragonCon of my Jinxrat was spectacular, and I remember thinking I don’t know how it can get better than this. Getting to experience it with one of my best friends made it that much better.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love them! I would always rather cosplay in groups and pairs than solo, I think it’s much more fun and you have more options for posing in photo shoots.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
First up is a New 52 Dark Supergirl for Katsucon, and maybe Furiae from Drakengard. After that, I need to start thinking about Momocon plans!
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
The family-friendly vs. sexy cosplays I think will always be a talking point, and at what point something starts and stops being cosplay. The rise of Patreon and the race to monetize has pushed this issue into the forefront, and I think will remain hotly debated for a long time.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I love comic costumes, and am mostly a DC girl myself – but I love fantasy too. More than anything I love a good mashup!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I love attending cons and taking pictures there – though it’s a close tie for when you get beautiful pictures back after a hard photo shoot!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I would be nothing without Joann coupons and my dress form – buying one made everything so much easier.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
With simply how saturated the market is and how easily accessible costumes and supplies are now, it can be really hard to make yourself stand out. I think all cosplayers are experiencing that to a degree, and I’m personally still figuring it out.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
To never take yourself too seriously, and count each failure as a learning experience.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I didn’t know how to thread a sewing machine when I got started. Cosplay is by nature a constant learning curve, you can’t expect to be perfect at everything right off the bat.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It has definitely become more of a business and airs more towards the “sexy” side than it used to. I think the two go hand in hand.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
If skill weren’t a factor, I’d love to do Padme Amidala’s rainbow lake dress from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. I’ve dreamt of it since I first saw it.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I don’t, I know I’d go over every time.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is where I find my people. I’m never more at ease than when I’m at a convention, surrounded by all the people who love these things as much as I do. It’s where I feel most at home.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
At the moment, only if I lost the motivation or financially couldn’t support the hobby anymore. Ask me again in ten years and maybe I’ll have a different answer!
You can follow and view more of Kira Kelly here
- Mark Wuergler at @wuerglervisuals
- Chriswithcamera at @chriswithcamera
- Dru Phillips at @idruthat
- Pat Loika at @patloika
- Eric at @ericphotonow
- PI Creative at @thepicreative
- Kyle Williams at @worldofgwendana
- John Kim at @candidjohnkim
Check out our other cosplay features here
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