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 already famous members from the world of cosplay.
Hello everyone, My name is Emma, but I go by Lurea most of the time in the cosplay community. I’m just a little cosplay sprout from Nova Scotia, Canada, and I’ve been cosplaying for a few years now. I love to draw and have been creative my whole life, getting my first degree in Graphic Design. I love making people laugh and inspiring people to connect with themselves and finding wellness in the nerd community. <3
How did you first get into cosplay?
One of my best friends at the time had already been to a few conventions and knew about cosplaying. I remember asking her a bunch of questions about it, and when we decided to go to our first con together I thought that if I didn’t cosplay, I might not “fit in” as well (obviously not the case there were lots of people who were not cosplaying!). So we all ended up cosplaying together, and I had so much fun that I wanted to keep doing it. 🙂
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
A bit of both. I cosplay for fun and don’t plan on making it my career, but it has definitely opened up my eyes to other paths and things that I feel are important to me. If cosplay helps me land a career in these areas that would be amazing! but it isn’t something I am actively striving for.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Definitely a hybrid. I love prop building but hate sewing, so I try to avoid that as much as I can. I don’t think to do one of these things more than the other makes anyone less of a cosplayer, it’s silly to think otherwise. Sometimes time/budget doesn’t allow for me to make a full costume all on my own, but that’s not going to stop me if I have access to buy or commission. I’m also really lucky to have a super talented group of friends and we tend to swap skills a lot. They will sew something for me if I make/paint something for them, etc.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
That really depends on the character, their importance to me and also the complexity of their design. I try to plan things out for each costume and give each one the time it deserves but I would be lying if I said I didn’t tend to leave things to the last minute haha.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
A lot of people think my favorite cosplay is my Commander Shepard, but it’s actually my female Hawke cosplay. The Dragon Age games are some of my favorites and I loved Hawke’s default design. She was also a costume I made almost entirely on my own and I learned a lot of things working on her, so I hope she will get as much attention as FemShep did when I start getting more photos in, because I worked super hard, and I hope that shows. ^^
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Hmmm. There’s been a lot! Getting contacted by Xbox Brazil was pretty crazy, I never thought that would happen in a million years haha. But I think for me, the most memorable experiences are with my friends. We all cosplayed as characters from the Undertale game last summer to our local convention, and when we were all walking to a meet-up everyone started screaming and got really excited when they saw us. It’s nice to get attention, of course, but getting a reaction like that when you are cosplaying something you love with people you love, you just can’t really explain it.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Haha well if my answer to the last question wasn’t an indicator, I think they are pretty amazing if done with the right people. My friends and I don’t always group cosplay because we all have different interests and projects we want to attempt, but when we do it’s always special. And we always try to make sure everyone is cosplaying a character they WANT to cosplay. It’s an expensive and time-consuming hobby if you aren’t 100% on board with cosplaying a certain character you should never feel forced too. So I appreciate that my group of friends has always been really understanding and respectful of that, I know not all groups are as thoughtful.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Currently, I am working on an Archer Gijinka Xerneas from Pokemon. When that’s all done I have plans for a few costumes but I’m always changing my mind! A few that are on my list though… Dark Magician from Yu-Gi-Oh Angewoman from Digimon Hermione From Harry Potter Midna from LoZ Twilight Princess
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Well….I think there are a lot. And a lot of them are really not necessary and come from people just…not being nice to each other. There’s still a big stigma on what is considered “real” cosplay and it’s so silly. But I think for me, what really makes my heart sad is when people just can’t let others enjoy the hobby for what it is, which is dressing up as our favorite characters. It’s the elitism that gets to me, and It’s especially disheartening when you hear of big named people in the community saying “cosplay is for everyone” but then belittle those who don’t fit their cookie cutter guidelines as to what cosplay should be. It can all be very dramatic when it really doesn’t have to be.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Having a Graphic Design background, a good character design is definitely something I can appreciate and find inspiring. The fantasy genre is my favorite, so games like Dragon Age that are rich in armor, magic, and cool props/weapons are definitely something that gets me thinking about possible cosplay ideas. Usually, I find myself gravitating more towards serious, or sarcastic characters, but it all depends on the day. I also find original designs super beautiful and inspiring, to know someone pulled that design out of their own head, that’s just so cool. I hope to do that someday.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I love painting props and fabrics the most out of any part of the cosplay progress. If I could just paint props for a living I would be a very happy lady haha. I do everything by hand, no airbrush or anything, it’s just really satisfying to me. It’s where I’m the most confident in my abilities, so it’s where I feel the proudest and at peace.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Honestly? thrift stores or discount stores hit that shit up. I hate waste, it stresses me out and unfortunately, cosplay is an extremely wasteful hobby. So if I need fabric or a shirt or who knows what I always go thrifting to see if I can salvage or reuse something first. It’s saved me a butt-load of money. Especially in the area of sewing, which is not a strength of mine, finding something I can alter instead of trying to sew something completely can be a big life saver and helps me keep my sanity. 😛
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Watching cosplay turn people into not-so-nice people has been the hardest for me. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances who want “cosplay fame” so badly that it’s almost entirely consumed them. Wanting to be famous in cosplay is fine, everyone has their own reasons for cosplaying and I have no right to say which one is “right” or which one us “wrong” but when I can see how much it changes a person, when it’s all they can talk about and it doesn’t seem healthy anymore….that can be hard. For me, anyway.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Absolutely! I’ve learned how important it is to surround yourself with positive people, who support you and don’t bring you down. I’ve learned to take a deep breath and hold my tongue, but also when to speak up and speak my mind. But most of all, I’ve learned a lot about who I am and what I value, not only in the cosplay community but in life altogether. It’s taught me a lot about the kind of person I want to be, and the kind of people I want to be around. I think I would still be involved in a lot of negative relationships, and following a lot of negative habits if it wasn’t for cosplay. I’ll always be thankful for that.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
“F*ck them, and do what makes you happy. ” Haha, It sounds a lot harsher than what I mean when I say it, but it’s a mantra I tell myself, and what my friends tell me all the time. Basically, if you want to do it, do it. Don’t ever let anyone stop you from doing something that has the potential to make you happy. Happiness is such a hard thing to find sometimes, that if cosplay brings you happiness then you do it, and you keep doing it no matter what anyone may say to you. My friend Erika has a really great quote that she busts out when I’m having my bad days, which is ” Those who matter, don’t mind. And those who mind, don’t matter.”
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
It’s definitely been interesting. I mean, I haven’t been a member for very long so I don’t really have a whole “BACK IN MY DAY…” speech. Like anything that has a lot of people involved, it’s gotten quite competitive, there are a lot of people with opinions and that’s always going to cause conflict. I don’t think that will ever change haha. But it’s also sparked conversation in areas of modeling, photography, women’s rights, cosplay has opened lots of doors for a conversation to flow, both good and bad. I’m interested to see how it continues to do so. 🙂
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
OHHHH, BUDDY. OKAY. I have a few but right now I think something that would be so neat to do would be a cosplay of one of the Evangelions, with like fully working lights and steam. I know Gundams and robots have been done before but I’ve never tackled something that complex.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not a set budget but I try to break things down rationally, making sure I still have enough money for rent and food and my other activities. I usually plan pretty well and I try to find things at discount stores or re-use things I have to save money.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is just this fun thing I do with my friends, it’s never meant a whole lot more to me than that. The past few years it’s definitely had me push my skills and patience, and I’ve taken it a bit more seriously sure, but at the end of the day it boils down to me dressing up with my friends and having a fun time looking like some of our favorite characters.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
If it was ever causing a rift in my relationships, I would probably stop. My friends come before cosplay 100%, although I can’t see that ever being the reason any of us would stop haha. I dunno, I might simply grow tired of it one day and want to stop, that seems more likely than anything else.
You can follow and view more of Lurea here
Almost all of my photos are taken by HM Cosplay Photography, who is a good friend of mine. I’m actually really camera shy and she’s one of the only photographers I feel comfortable with.
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