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.
About Hiiro Cosplay
Hi there, the name is Samantha but I go by Hiiro in the cosplay community. I am a Canadian Cosplayer currently residing in Ontario. I started cosplay in 2019 and I haven’t looked back. I love all things geek – Anime, Disney, Sci-Fi, and Marvel! I hope to keep creating to bring my favorite characters to life.
How did you first get into cosplay?
It started with watching tv shows such as Face Off and Heroes of cosplay. It wasn’t until 2017 when I finally attended my first con and was amazed at the cosplays people created. In 2019 I finally decided to cosplay. I had such an amazing experience that I got hooked.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I cosplay just for fun. I love the field that I work in, and love going home to work on a hobby that I share with so many friends.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them, or a hybrid?
A hybrid approach for me. Cosplaying has so many aspects to it, that it can become challenging especially for a beginner like myself. I usually like to have 1-2 big cosplays that I will make from scratch and a few comfortable cosplays I will purchase for the rest of the convention.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Typically, 3-5 months depending on the cosplay and motivation. My full-time job and family come first.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
Erza Scarlet in her Heavens Wheel armor. I told myself if I were to ever cosplay, it would be Heavens Wheel. I learned a lot from her and hope to revisit sometime in the near future.
What has been your most memorable experience as a cosplayer?
One of my most memorable moments was when another amazing cosplayer recognized my Heaven’s Wheel cosplay immediately and came over to talk with me. Since then, she’s introduced me to so many amazing other cosplayers and photographers that have become really good friends. It’s always amazing when people recognize your cosplay and ask for pictures!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Group cosplays are difficult because you need someone to take charge and lead the group to success. If done properly, the cosplays turn out amazing. I haven’t been in an official group yet. I can see one in my near future though.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I have a couple going right now because I get bored easily when just working on one… I’m trying to limit this now haha. I’ll have Erza Scarlet’s – Heart Krux done soon!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I really hate the stigma that only certain people with certain body types can cosplay. Cosplay is for everyone! It’s for us to dress as our favorite character and meet new people with the same interests. It’s meant to be fun, not a competition to compare to others.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I am mostly into Anime but I want to venture out to comic book heroes and some gaming. My next big build is from Monster Hunters!
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
The whole process of cosplay is fascinating. There is so much to cosplay that I am continually learning something every day. Meeting new people and learning from them totally takes the cake.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
I have been using True North Cosplay for my foam, Cosplay Supplies for Worbla, and Arda Canada for my wigs. Of course, Kamui Cospplay and Kinpatsu Cosplay’s patterns!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Family. I have always been reserved in showing my hobbies to my family. I started slowly explaining it to them and my Mom is already researching anime and cosplay. I know they will support me in anything I do, even if they do not really get it themselves. Self-esteem is another big one for me. I am just a beginner, yet I start comparing myself to others. Everyone has their own pace and I keep telling myself this every day.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
That everyone learns at different speeds and you must be proud of what you accomplish – no matter big or small. Always be open and continue to grow.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Cosplay is fun! If you are stressed out or unmotivated, it is okay to take a break. Stop comparing yourself to others. We all learn differently and have different things we are good at. It’s just about having fun and meeting new people.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
A lot has changed. When I was first looking to get into cosplay, really not many places to get cosplays supplies. There are a couple of cosplay stores now in Canada now, which makes it so much easier to cosplay!
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Wings… I love wings. One day, I’ll make fully articulated wings.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
I try to but more often than not go over. I am trying to plan out my cosplays more effectively by using excel sheets to get better with this.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is fun! Dressing up as your favorite characters to meet others with the same interests. You find amazing communities that always cheer each other on.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
The cosplay community will continue to grow and the cosplays will continue to become more impressive as new materials are created. Adding animated LEDs to projects, 3D printing, Foam clay are just a few things that have been developed recently that just bring cosplay to the next step
What is your favorite con to attend?
Yeticon because of its beautiful scenery – just perfect for outside photoshoots!
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
Yaya Han was my first inspiration in the world of cosplay. The T.V. show Heroes of Cosplay is how I found out about her and what led me down the rabbit hole of this hobby. Recently, Kamui and Kinpatsu cosplay has been inspiring me to try new things and get cleaner. All three ladies (and their significant others) craft so clean and bring the characters to life. I was really excited about meeting Kamui last year and I hope to meet Yaya and Kinpatsu one day!
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
Not really. I hope to one day though.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Please be kind and respectful! Ask permission first because you touch anything! Some pieces may be delicate and can break easily… I rather not see someone who put a lot of effort in just for it to be broken because you wanted to touch. Also, do not be afraid to ask for a picture! Nothing more flatters us more than being photograph worthy! And don’t be afraid to post and tag us. We like seeing all the awesome pictures.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
One thing to know about me is that I am shy. It takes a lot of courage to start talking to someone at a convention when I have only just met them, but as soon as we find something in common – that changes easily. I do enjoy talking to everyone, especially when we get to geek out on our fandoms together!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I just started! So probably nothing for awhile.
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