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 The Hanging Banshee
I am The Hanging Banshee, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Manchester, UK. I’m a musician and an artist, and cosplay has helped my art and expression in ways I would never have anticipated. Cosplay has also given me the release I’ve needed and coupled with aerial arts, I’m able to learn so much about myself and I’m becoming a much stronger person. I’ve been cosplaying for 4 years now, and my love of horror has always inspired my creations. I’ve always been obsessed with Halloween, and through cosplay and art, I’m able to make everyday Halloween!
How did you first get into cosplay?
Halloween costumes & being a massive movie fan!
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Just for fun, but I’d like my art and creations to feature more in my music in the future
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
My cosplays have all been made from scratch, and due to not having huge amounts of money, everything was hand-stitched!
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
For more casual looks, a few weeks, and for the more detailed work, 2-3 months
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
Harley Quinn, but I also love my Pennywise Cosplay and my own creations ♥️
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My first comic con where I debuted my first-ever Harley Quinn look ♥️
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I love them! It’s so much fun going to events in groups where we can all be in character together.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m finishing my Harley Quinn cowl now so to completely finish the total Classic Harley Quinn look, and I’m also working on a Faun cosplay from Pan’s Labyrinth which will take 1-2 months. After that, I plan on creating much more!
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think the most divisive thing in cosplay is money – not everyone can afford to get their costumes made, or even afford sewing machines, etc. So it’s harder to create the quality costumes they’d like, which separates them from more expensive cosplays even though the passion is equal ♥️ I think acting in cosplay is a really exciting thing, and I’d like to see more importance being put on this.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I love the horror genre and villains, I just think their looks and character traits are really interesting.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photoshoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Attending comic cons are probably my favourite part, all the hard work’s done and you can just enjoy the photos and being in character! I also love using my circus skills in my cosplays, and I love performing these in cosplay!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Given my limited budget, my favourite place is eBay! I buy bits and materials etc. and try and put it together the best I can from scratch.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I would have to again say money, unfortunately. But with putting enough time and work in, I was still able to create quality cosplays, and I feel really proud of myself for doing so.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
I’ve learned that life is about having fun! I love dressing up and being in character, and no one’s opinion will stop me from doing so. I love going to comic con and being encouraged and appreciated by so many people. ♥️
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Don’t give up! It might be hard work, and you may not have the money, but see it through to the end if you’ve started it so you can always have a sense of accomplishment for completing one. ♥️
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I’ve only been in this community for 4 years, but I’m noticing an increasing number of animé cosplayers! It’s really interesting hearing about everyone’s characters and the stories they’ve come from having not watched many animés myself.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
I’d really love to do a mega Alien cosplay or another huge monster cosplay! They look so amazing and I love the films so much.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not really, I very rarely buy anything over £50 and try to ensure the number doesn’t go beyond £120 overall, simply because I’ve gotta be able to afford rent too 😂
What does cosplay mean to you?
Everything! I learn so much about myself by exploring other characters and looks, and it has helped me gain confidence in myself and direction in my life.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
I see it as being even bigger! With many more new characters and people!
What is your favorite con to attend?
MCM Comic Con! So much diversity, I love it.
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
My role models are the original artists, and my cosplays are inspired by them.
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
I’m not sure I could say that, but I hope I am, and I hope that people can gain from what I do.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Don’t be shy! We’ve worked hard on our costumes, and we appreciate your feedback and support ♥️ So long as you’re considerate, I love to talk about cosplays and I love to be pictured! Just give us time to get our pose right 😉
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
Well I’m sure they already know, but I want them to know how much my art and my music means to me; this is something I want to devote my life to. I also hope they realize how much I appreciate their support and kind words because ultimately I do this in the hope that people can relate to me, and be helped by the things I wish to say.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
If my financial situation worsened, it would be difficult maintaining my creations. But I would continue to cosplay the cosplays I have, and I would always return to it.
You can follow and view more of The Hanging Banshee here
- All photos self-taken or by boyfriend
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