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.
Hi, I’m Mik or Fireside_cos. I am an 18-year-old Florida based Cosplayer. I have been cosplaying for 5 years. I love making new friends in the community and making others smile.
How did you first get into cosplay?
My mom got me into it when she took me to my first convention back in 2016. I went to see her over the summer and help her due to her breaking her leg and my grandmother mentioned how I have always wanted to go to a convention. My Mom’s thank you to me for all my help was taking me to a convention, and even helping me DIY some cosplays.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I do it for a bit of both. I love making content and hearing that it puts a smile on others’ faces. I’ve even met some amazing people from it. However, if one day I made a career out of doing what I love, that’d be amazing.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them, or a hybrid?
I prefer making them. It allows me to tap into my creative side as well as up-cycle old clothes, fabrics, and much more.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I typically take a few months to plan it out and sketch what I want it to look like. It can be a lengthy process but I’m always satisfied with the outcome.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
My favorite cosplay so far is Nana Shimura from My Hero Academia. Even though you don’t know too much about her, you can tell she was an extremely inspirational role model.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My most memorable experience was making amazing friends at various cons. They’ve supported me through the good and bad. I couldn’t ask for more.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love group cosplays. It allows you to meet new people and bond with your friends over a mutual thing. It is also a lot more fun for me.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I am currently working on Lumine from Genshin Impact and Padmé Amidala from Star Wars.
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I feel a big issue is the gatekeeping. I see many people being put down on their cosplays due to gender, body shape, race, etc. I really dislike that they’re being put down. As a community we need to be uplifting each other, not putting one another down.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I love to cosplay those who are inspiring or that I can relate to. It helps me feel more connected to the character and allows me to express myself.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
It’s a tie between attending cons and photo shoots. I love attending cons and meeting new people and old friends, but I also love getting into character and living in their shoes during shoots.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Amazon is a lifesaver, but so are thrift stores. Thrift stores are super fun and cheap to go to and find supplies you can use for your cosplays
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My own insecurities. I use to hate my looks and body, but the positive comments I’ve received from people really helped me become more confident in who I am and what I do.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Don’t compare yourself to others. You’re beautiful in your own unique ways.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Cosplay is not consent. Before you run up to another Cosplayer and start randomly acting aggressively cause it’s your character’s personality, think about how they might feel. You don’t want to make someone else uncomfortable. The same goes with flirting because of a potential ship.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel that people are learning to be more diverse and creative with their cosplays, and I’m loving it. Everyone looks stunning.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Probably Queen Anna, from Frozen 2. Her dress is gorgeous.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I don’t like to go over $200 per cosplay.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay to me means, be creative and have fun. Step out of your comfort zone and become your favorite characters.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I see the cosplay community in 10 years as United and influential. We will help influence people to let their creative side take the wheel.
What is your favorite con to attend?
I live to attend Anime Expo.
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
akrcos is a HUGE inspiration to me. They are very humble, inspirational, and creative.
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
I like to consider myself one. I strive to inspire and be a positive role model.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Always ask before taking photos of another Cosplayer. I typically like hearing a simple “Hello, I think your cosplay is amazing. Would it be okay to take a photo?” However, if the Cosplayer is eating, let them eat. Cons can be long and even we need breaks.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
I can be really shy sometimes, but there are also times where I zone out because I’m overwhelmed. So if I zone out, it’s not me trying to be rude. I just get overwhelmed.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Nothing can stop me from doing what I love and enjoy.
You can follow and view more of Fireside_cos here
- TikTok – @fireside_cos
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