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.
My name is Wick (aka w1ckedwhip), and I am a 25-year-old cosplayer located in Texas. Cosplay is my passion project — I’ve been casually dressing up and building cosplays for years but really only started taking it seriously this past February. I am a huge gamer and D&D player, and I love all things fantasy. I’m always down to meet new people in the community, so feel free to message me! I love giving and receiving advice and would love to meet up with people at cons, as soon as those start safely happening again.
How did you first get into cosplay?
Through my love of all things nerdy! My love of video games, fantasy, and anime led me to look through a lot of cosplay through the years…and I was always so impressed by the cosplayers I’d see at conventions. One day I finally decided — I’d like to try that myself!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I do it just for fun! I’d obviously love for it to grow more, but for now, it’s just a passion project.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I do a hybrid! One of my favorite things to do is make cosplays from clothing and fabric from secondhand shops. I alter the clothes and sew additional details from there; the wigs I typically cut and style myself. Sometimes I buy premade pieces for more complex designs, as I’m still learning to sew! However, right now I’m honing in on my Eva foam skills so I can start properly cosplaying as some of my favorite fantasy characters.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
It varies! Sometimes I’ve gotten full sets as gifts, other times I’ve, as I said bought secondhand clothes and fabric that I then alter — some take a week and others take a month! It really just depends.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
My Act of Wrath Persephone from Lore Olympus cosplay was really something special for me! I did full pink body paint for it, experimented with fake blood and sclera contacts, spent a week on the wig alone, and designed a crown with zip ties! Plus I heavily experimented with lighting to get a spookier effect, and I was so happy with how those photos turned out.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
I think the first time I posted my Yennefer on Reddit was my most memorable experience — it was the first photo I ever posted. I’ve done cosplay & been dressing up for years, but I had never posted anything. I was so surprised — and happy — to see such a positive response and have people tell me they thought I was a great Yennefer. I got so many lovely comments & I felt really accepted within the community. The Witcher cosplay community, in particular, has been just so kind to me; I’ve made several online friends through it, all of whom are lovely people who all support and hype each other up.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love group cosplays! I’m really hoping to be a part of one at my next con, whenever that is. I was hoping to take some group photos at a con this past spring, but it obviously got canceled. My dream is to be apart of group shoots for Witcher and Sailor Moon.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Cyberpunk Yennefer! This will be my first foray into armor, and I am so, so excited to build something this intricate from scratch. I’m also hoping to complete a couple of Dungeons & Dragons cosplays — and maybe Jaina Proudmoore if I can swing it!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think one of the biggest things I have an issue with is shaming anyone who doesn’t build every cosplay from scratch. Personally, I think recycling and altering old fabric and clothing is awesome, and no one starts out an expert! I’ve done things from scratch, but I’ve also done hybrid cosplays and pre-bought cosplays. It’s all valid! Not everyone has the time or money to become an expert, and that’s okay. Plus, even the experts don’t do everything from scratch. Alyson Tabbitha, who is incredible, said in her recent Arwen video how she bought the costume premade and altered it due to the insane cost of the fabric she’d have to buy. Cosplay is about dressing up and having fun. We should all support one another, no matter anyone’s skill level!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Fantasy, absolutely! And I have a thing for sarcastic and sassy female characters. Three of my most recent cosplays were Yennefer, Sailor Mars, and Blake from RWBY, so I definitely think it’s apparent I’m drawn to a certain type of character. The costumes in fantasy games like World of Warcraft that involve body paint, armor, and colorful cloth also really inspire and excite me. I hope to build a night elf armor set someday.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I love researching but sometimes I get too lost in it, and I end up adding a million characters to my ideas list! Attending cons has always been so much fun for me, but this year was going to be the first year I went as a more official cosplayer. So, I haven’t done that yet but I really look forward to it, and can’t wait to meet more people from the cosplay community in real life. Photoshoots have also been a blast for me, and I’m learning how difficult posing is! The whole process, from research to cons to shoots, is just so rewarding.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
EvilTed has some good design templates for armor and I buy my EVA foam from TNT Cosplay Supply. However, for fabric, wigs, and certain clothing items I actually tend to shop locally.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Learning to sew and build things like armor! I’ve always been skilled with wigs, but my sewing has always been limited to alterations and very simple items. I’m getting better, but I still have so much to learn, and I’m just now experimenting with foam.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I’ve learned, as cheesy as it sounds, that you can’t please everyone, and you have to have thick skin. Sometimes certain posts will get a better reception than others, and that’s okay. What matters is the reward you felt from doing it, and seeing your hard work come to fruition. Don’t forget, in cosplay and in real life, to do things that inspire and make you happy — not anyone else. Do this for you, and if it starts to feel like a chore, take a step back and take care of yourself and your mental health.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t judge or shame other cosplayers, and unabashedly support other people in the cosplay community, whether they have 100 followers or 100k. We all have our insecurities and rough moments. Those little words of encouragement can mean a lot to people.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I’m relatively new to the official cosplay community, only doing it casually before, but I definitely feel like cosplay has hit more of the mainstream and is more widely accepted. I also think with the popularity of cosplayers on Instagram, the community has been able to grow and connect more than ever before. I’ve loved meeting new people and us giving tips back and forth to each other on various cosplays we’re working on.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
This is tough, but I really like the idea of doing Sylvanas Windrunner. Her shoulder pads are my absolute dream to try to make!
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I should, but currently, I just try to keep it below a specific price.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means so much. I feel amazing getting to release my passion for fantasy and video games into real, tangible items in front of me. Working on a cosplay then getting to see the end result after a photoshoot just feels so special. It’s really enabled me to feel proud of myself. I get to look at the costume, the wig, and the photos (which I edit in post), and say, “I did that.” It’s really helped me find my voice.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I think it’s going to continue to grow, and it’s only getting bigger and better each year. We are so lucky to have access to so much information and materials, and I really think people will really start to further carve real life friendships from this community, which is so special.
What is your favorite con to attend?
I’ve mainly attended Midwest cons, but I will already say my dream con is Blizzcon. I already know without attending that it’s going to be my favorite con!
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
I’m a huge fan of Nonbinate, and I am inspired each and every day by my close friend, MoonyCreations.
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
I’m not sure if I’d say that, but I do hope that people look toward me as someone they can talk to and bring questions to. I want to be someone who is approachable and seen as supportive of the community.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Always ask before taking a photo, and always respect people’s boundaries. Ask people if they are comfortable with touch (I.e. you putting your arm around them) before doing so, and do not question them if they say no. I personally am fine with anyone calling me over or running up to me! It makes me happy when people are excited about my cosplays; always happy to take photos!
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
This is a tough one! One thing that never really comes up in my social media is what a massive tech geek I am. I have several certifications and am constantly trying to grow my technical skills.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Nope! Sometimes my time is limited, but I can’t ever see myself walking away from cosplay entirely.
You can follow and view more of w1ckedwhip here
Check out our other cosplay features here
If you are a cosplayer and would like to be featured, please fill out our submission form
We are looking for new writers! If you are interested in joining the Word of the Nerd team, click here to fill out an application