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Emaad Fayaz

I was racking my brain, thinking of fun cosplays that people will like and this vague idea of the pigeon meme popped into my head. A quick google search showed other renditions of it that I thought were a little boring so i decided to actually go all in and to become the butterfly/pigeon ?

It is fairly simple, the costume had large cardboard wings with straps which went along with an antenna headband and matching yellow clothing. Making the wings was the hardest and most involved part!

The response was amazing at AnimeNEXT, I was being stopped every minute or so, to be photographed or complimented. Many did not take photos but instead laughed aloud or made their friends look too. The reception was great. Some went as far as saying it was their favorite thing that day ! I’m just glad I could bring a smile to everyones faces and have fun at the same time.

I’ve met a bunch of new friends and it has taught me to finish cosplay props early and that an exacto knife is sharper than you may think. (scraped the floor while cutting stuff)

This is an amazing community and im glad to be a part of it. Now to brainstorm on next year’s popular cosplay! As a shameless self plug check out my IG for random cool art and stuff! Cheers!

—- https://www.instagram.com/emaadfayaz/

Photo : Nerd Caliber

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Mina May

This version of Peach is from Super Mario Odyssey, which has her wearing so many different outfits compared to her normal pink dress. I was drawn specifically to her gigantic wedding dress because of its size and sparkle, and my experience in making many ballgowns for cosplay before. I cosplayed Super Smash Bros. Peach a long time ago, and decided to tackle another one of her dresses to see how I’ve improved.

There’s roughly 45 yards of fabric throughout the entire dress, which 90% of that is in the petticoat and skirt layers. I also used Worbla for the first time for her crown, and I made a piranha plant bouquet that actually moves (mouths open and close) when I walk. So overall a lot of sewing and a lot of trial and error.

At Momocon where I debuted her, I got a phenomenal response from everyone. Most people enjoyed my bouquet, but I did make people “ohh” and “ahh” as I walked around with my skirt being bigger than my dreams.

A little boy came up to me during Momocon with an autograph book and wanted me to sign it for him as Peach. I felt like one of the princesses from Disney World! Though clumsy me ended up with sharpie marks on the palm of my white glove.

Cosplaying has allowed me to connect with others that have the same nerdy interests and creative thinking as I do. I’ve met so many people who I call my best friends within this amazing community that I can open myself up to and not worry about judgement. Cosplay also gives me the chance to share my love of sewing and art to those around the world via social media, and create relationships simply through a comment or two.

If you’re trying to pick something to cosplay, go big or go home. I love ballgowns, opportunities to add fine detail, and anything extra sparkly. When you stand back and look at your final project, it’s SO satisfying to know that there’s been so much hard work put into it.

—- https://www.instagram.com/pinkuperfect/

Photo : KuroKaze Photography

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Gunpla Lady

I’ve cosplayed Juri's default outfit from Street Fighter and I’ve done Bison X Cammy as well, so one day I ran across the only photo I’ve seen of Bison X Juri and immediately wanted to make her!

The bodysuit, sleeves, and thigh highs are all 4-way stretch pleather that I drafted the patterns for. Her gauntlets are actually poster tubes and drink koozies, and the shin pieces are EVA foam that I patterned out.

The response varied at the convention. It’s not a known skin and I didn’t have her signature buns so I think it went pretty unnoticed, but I still had an amazing time wearing the outfit!

Cosplay has been amazing for me. I’ve made a lot of friends and I’ve been able to learn how to sew and fabricate and it’s made my quality of life so much better now that I have an outlet for making and creating. I always tell myself to just have fun and remember that we’re all here for the same reason so why not spread positivity over everything else!

---- Gunpla Lady

Photo : Bentpic5

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David Mandella

Eddie Valiant was actually sort of a last-minute cosplay! I’ve cosplayed from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit once before in a much more complex manner via a Judge Doom cosplay, but Eddie as a character had the components necessary to be a much more recognizable figure, I think.

The primary source of inspiration for the cosplay itself came from his very recent appearance as a meetable “face character” at a Disneyland Paris event. I had been searching for a last-minute cosplay idea for some time, and seeing this sort of jogged the idea into place. I emptied out my previous idea (Patchy the Pirate from Spongebob) and put Eddie together within 3 days of the convention.

The primary dressings for the character are easy to acquire, while translating Roger was a matter of simply piecing together designs from the film in order to achieve the design I had in mind.

I used a Roger plush while cosplaying as Doom, but I knew I wanted to translate him as a 2D figure this time, as this makes more sense within the confines of the lore of Roger Rabbit. The design was pieced together via multiple image references, versus one, as the only times Roger is held by the ears in the film are within moments of distress.

If I had conceptualized Eddie much earlier, I would have perhaps invested a little more time into creating smaller props - such as the toon gun. But for the purposes of the cosplay then, a whiskey bottle and Roger were all I needed.

Eddie was very well-received, much more than I expected him to be! The selling point of the cosplay I felt was that it’s a character that isn’t typically cosplayed, but I wasn’t sure about the level of recognition I’d receive at a anime convention. To my surprise, it ended up being my most popular cosplay of the convention, despite perhaps having the smallest amount of work put into it.

It was a much more “low-key” cosplay - there were a great deal of times where I would go minutes without being stopped, but as soon as someone had me pose me for a photo, people would take notice, recognize me, and suddenly I’d be swarmed!

Eddie, as a cosplay, is one that inspires a great deal of nostalgia. I find rarely-cosplayed characters like him tend to inspire strong reactions.

It’s one of those cosplays where every interaction extended just a little beyond a simple “can I take your photo” - people would tell me about the uniqueness of the concept or share their own childhood memories of the film. I absolutely adored that.

Cosplay, and conventions, have led me to where I currently am in life. I’ve not been out to achieve “cosplay-fame” nor have I ever sought any sort of financial gain from it. The personal growth and gain it’s gotten me, however, have been nothing short of a blessing. I’ve met my best friends and the love of my life through congoing. I can’t ask for anything more than that.

I want Roger Rabbit as a world in Kingdom Hearts 3. It’ll never happen. :(

—- https://www.instagram.com/presidentkoopa/

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Surely Shirley

I was inspired after watching Moana and was going on a cruise to Mexico with my group of girlfriends and decided to shoot it on location there!

I made the top by sewing a tube top for the top. Creating a stencil pattern to outline the design on the top and using fabric paint to paint it out. I sewed lace trim on the top for the diagonal design. For the skirt, I sewed the same type of fabric on top and created a long skirt with scrunch at the top. Then the part that folded over the top, I stenciled out the design that I was hand cutting out with small razors (since I don’t have a laser cutter). I very meticulously frayed the bottoms as I cut out the designs as well.

Because it was right after the release of the Moana movie, Everywhere I went at the convention, people were singing the theme song and felt like I was actually in a Disney movie haha. Even when I walked by the Ocarina booth, they would play the theme song too! There were other Moana’s at this con and we all complimented each other. Children were so excited to see me and take pictures with me. People of all different genders and ages were excited to see my costume and take pictures with me.

Cosplaying as a plus size Latina, people come to me and tell me they never felt like they could’ve cosplayed because of their body type, or color until they’ve seen how happy I am in my own skin and costumes. That really helps make a difference knowing my love of cosplay can really help influence others to cosplay and celebrate themselves no matter what color or body type! 

– Surely Shirley

📸: Danielle DeNicola

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Metal Slimer

I’ve always wanted to cosplay as a Simpsons character and I rarely see any Simpsons cosplay despite how popular and long the show has been running. I chose Snake, because he’s one of my favorite characters and he is like totally my style dude! I had a lot fun with this cosplay. It was worth all the laughs and smiles I got. A lot of people where giving me their Snake impressions which was hilarious.

The cosplay itself was pretty simple. I already had the clothes and I had a friend do my make up. Most my cosplays have been pretty simple to be honest, but I have tons of fun doing it and to me that’s what cosplay is all about. I’ve been cosplaying for about seven years now and I love it. Being able to let my imagination run wild to see what I can come up with wether it be bad ass, bizarre, weird or just straight up ridiculous. I tend to get a lot of weird, confused and even disgusted looks from some of the other cosplays I’ve done, but I don’t care. I just embrace it, cause I love it. I’ve met a lot of amazing and wonderful people through cosplaying and going to cons giving me so much love and support for what I do which has given me a lot motivation to keep doing what I love. 

— https://www.instagram.com/metalslimer/

Photo : David Ngo
 

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Kat + Tim

KAT Cowboy Bebop will always hold a special place in my heart, hands down my favorite anime of all time. I especially fell in love with Faye’s character; she had such a loud feisty personality but was also able to be so vulnerable. Once I started getting into cosplay I knew that I had to give it a go!

TIM : I’ve always been a huge fan of Cowboy Bebop it is probably my favorite anime of all time! This year for AnimeNEXT my girlfriend, my brother, his girlfriend, and I decided to do our first group cosplay of Spike, Faye, Jet and Ed. Spike is easily my favorite character which made this costume a lot of fun to put together!

KAT : Fun fact, I made two versions of this costume. The first version of her costume was just modified pieces of clothing that I got from my closet and Goodwill. I wasn’t too happy with it the first go around but the response was so positive that I wanted to revamp it. A few years later I saw someone was selling the vest and shorts of their own Faye cosplay. I’m not much of a seamstress so I bought it, but it did need a little work. With my minimal sewing skills I hemmed the shorts and added snaps to the vest so that it fit my body better. I used a red collared shirt from Goodwill and cut it so that I could tie it at the bottom. I also created her triangle clasps out of craft foam and added pin backs so I can attach them to the costume with ease.

TIM : The costume was generally pretty simple I purchased an ordinary navy blue suit and modified it a bit. I cut out pieces of foam for some of the unique shapes on Spikes jacket (the light blue areas) and lined them in fabric before I glued them in place. I then cut the sleeves in half and glued more light blue fabric on them to give the illusion they were rolled up. I then purchased a wig which my amazing girlfriend styled for me and the rest of the outfit was ordinary business attire I had.

KAT : I actually met my boyfriend because of my Faye costume. Back in 2016 when I first debuted her at AnimeNext I was doing a photoshoot and then I saw this guy walk past wearing a cool Red X costume. I shouted at him “HEY- I like your costume!” and he turned around and he noticed that I was Faye Valentine. He loves Cowboy Bebop as much as I do, so he rushed over and we both gushed over the show. We bonded and took a photo together, it was really sweet. Two years later that guy became my boyfriend and so we decided to dress as Spike and Faye at the con where we first met.

TIM : A lot of people loved the group cosplay and were very positive towards the work we all put into our costumes. It was pretty funny when we were all together at the con because most people recognized who we all were. I’ve never seen an entire Cowboy Bebop cosplay group at a con before so it was awesome to see peoples reactions when they saw all of us.

KAT : Cosplay has brought me so much joy in my life. I have met so many wonderful people and have been able to explore my creativity in ways I never thought I could. Cosplaying characters like Faye have also allowed me to feel more confident about my body as well. I love being a part of such a talented community, it really pushes me to continue to improve my skills and learn new things.

TIM : I have been cosplaying for about two years now and its inspired me to continuously improve my costumes. Creating new costumes has become a passion of mine and I’m excited to see what will come of it in the future.

KAT : Ultimately, cosplay is meant to be something that is fun and I think it’s important not to lose sight of that. There is no right or wrong way to cosplay, so be proud of whatever you do! This is an outlet for us all to be creative and to bring our favorite characters to life so let’s enjoy it! See you space cowboys, Someday, Somewhere!

TIM : Uhhh don’t be afraid to wear a wig! That’s always been something I was uneasy about but its so much fun and adds to the costume! Oh and never stop creating and constantly trying to improve you’ll be surprised with what you can make if you try!

FAYE : Kat https://www.instagram.com/katcancosplay/
SPIKE : Tim https://www.instagram.com/tim_risafi_art/

Photo : Taken by Raven LLC

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Good Knight Cosplay

For most conventions and other events I cosplay as Batman using the EVA foam suit I made. I’ve wanted to branch out on my cosplay for a while now. I have actually had a desire to cosplay as Frollo for about 3 years.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame is my favorite Disney film and Frollo is my favorite villain. With all the Disney films the villain tends to be the character I like the most and Frollo always really struck a chord with me. I was raised Christian and it was with Frollo that I first saw a representation of how people can use religion or their status for power and personal gain. I liked the idea of cosplaying a character with a good amount of depth with intentions that are not pure and for me that character was Frollo.

A lot of trial and error was needed for this costume. I have only ever worked with EVA foam and some electrical wiring. I am still in the beginning stages of working with fabric, so a very good friend of mine helped me with the sewing. The hat was simply purchased from a seller on Etsy.

The first velvet material I bought for the robe had a defect that could only be seen once we held it straight up, so that was $60 gone. The robe we ended up with is a velvet consisting of 75% acetate and 15% nylon. Once we took the pattern and put it all together we realized it didn’t flow as well as we would have liked. We took it apart, added 3 more inches of fabric and added pleats to hide those seams.

For the rings I took a good few months to hunt those down. Rather than make them out of plastic material I wanted to have real rings. The green ring was the hardest to find and luckily I got that one the week of Animazment! My wonderful wife styled the wig and really brought everything together with the makeup. To make me look as old as possible I sat in the chair for 30 minutes while she made my skin lighter and contoured my face. She really was a trooper to do her makeup as well as mine.

The response I received was absolutely amazing! I was not expecting so many people to want to get a picture of/with me. I couldn’t walk 10 feet without someone asking me for a photo. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact I was the only Frollo there. It’s always enjoyable to see people’s positive reactions. I tend to be too hard on myself and see every little flaw, so hearing all of the positive feedback helps me to realize I know at least little bit about what I’m doing. Haha.

Cosplay has really helped me come out of my shell. At first, while at conventions, then slowly it trickled into my everyday life. I went through some severe bullying from elementary school all the way through high school, mainly due to my choice of clothing, looks, and interests (like anime).

When I first started cosplaying it gave me a way to be myself around others for the first time in 10 years. I have only been cosplaying since 2011 and truly wish I would have started earlier. It has really helped me become less introverted and much more open to other people. Since I began, it has changed from being almost like an escape from my life, to being an important and fun aspect of it.

—- Good Knight Cosplay

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ArtHard Cosplay

Dragon Ball was a manga I really enjoyed when I was younger. Growing up, I realized I could relate to Bulma more than any other characters within the manga/anime. I enjoyed her personality and how she was written as a character. I felt like I could relate to Bulma in many ways, especially in my late teens/early adult years.

I had actually bought a bunny suit from ebay along with the wig, stockings, and red heels. However, I did attempt to make a bunny suit on my own, it didn’t turn out to well so I ended up purchasing the actual suit online. I went through four different suits before settling on that particular style.

Some people enjoyed the cosplay, and asked for pictures.. When shooting the cosplay, I remember someone saying I had a nice figure. This was such a boost to my confidence. I had been dealing with body issues that entire year, and was trying to juggle exercise with working and college. So for someone to say that about my appearance was pretty reassuring.

The very first convention I cosplayed at was Dragon Con. I remember going as Yoko Littner from Gurren Lagann, except I wore a dreadlock wig I had made myself. The wig was so heavy on my head that it kept slipping off. I also remember my rifle breaking in half because I used hot glue instead of contact cement. Either way, the entire experience was great, and I enjoyed working with some pretty awesome photographers.

Cosplay has given me an outlet to express my artistic creativity. As an art major, I found myself becoming very critical and analyzing every decision I made about my work and art style. It got to the point where I was making art for others and not for myself. With cosplay, I discovered how to keep my creative passion alive. I realized that I was doing cosplay more for myself than anyone else. And to see the end result coming together was a pretty rewarding experience.

Always find new ways to revive your creativity. Before cosplaying, I never thought I would pick up another x-acto knife, sander, or hot glue gun ever again. I always thought I would strictly be a digital illustrator. Never close yourself off to different alternatives in exploring your passion. Figure out new and unique ways to keep things exciting! :)

—– ArtHard Cosplay

Photo : Solita Delacruz Photography

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Casey Nichole Cosplay

I found Digitoonie art of MeiDonalds at Katsucon and fell in love with it. Mei is one of my favorite characters and I loved how the artist made a fun twist on this. It was super cool to see the artist again at Colossalcon and take pictures and talk about how much we loved MeiDonalds.

The cosplay was made from a Simplicity pattern for DC bombshell Batwoman. I used stretch cotton that you can find at Joann fabrics and used bias tape for the edging. I already owned the apron so my boyfriend and I designed the logo and printed it and ironed it on. There was poofy crinoline under the dress to give it the volume and make the skirt flare out the way it did.

The response to the convention was amazing. I was worried no one would understand the mash up. But they did. I was so happy everyone loved this idea as much as I did. Brought a lot of smiles. That was the goal!

I have a lot of funny stories about being in this cosplay. Some people would come up to me and say “fresh and never frozen” Wendy’s slogan. And when I was outside in my roller skates. I would have to take baby steps to get to where I needed to go. I am definitely not a champion roller skater. I am just glad I didn’t fall on my face.

Cosplay has impacted my life in so many ways. I have met so many friends through this. I have learned how to sew and create things I thought was impossible in the beginning. Overall, it gave me confidence and acceptance of my body and the “flaws” that come with it.

All in all, just have fun with whatever you are doing and don’t let negativity stop you. Cosplay is for every(body). Every size, shape, race, gender, you get my point. Lol don’t hesitate to DM me and ask any questions about any cosplay that I’ve made! More than happy to help out 😊

—- https://www.instagram.com/caseynichole_cosplay/

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Netherworks Costumes

As you can guess, I am a avid Warhammer 40k enthusiast and I have always been fascinated with chaos space marines from that game. Ever since the release of the new death guard faction last year I wanted to build a costume to show my appreciation for the game. Rumors had been spreading for months that the faction was due for its own codex and I had been dying to see it come true.


Thats when I saw it. The new 8th edition “Typhus, Herald of Nurgle” Model by games workshop. The cataphractii pauldrons, the exquisite detail, the iconic power scythe known only to the sons of mortarion. After I had completed my research on the character it was settled. I had to make this cosplay happen.


It wasn’t until I stumbled across the model itself down in South Carolina while attending Banzaicon that I knew it was meant to be. It was then that I made it my goal to have that costume ready by Katsucon 2018.


I never used any pepakura files. All the patterns that I used to build this were made by me, using the actual plastic model as a point of reference. When I began construction I already knew that I was not going to make this thing to scale. Simply because I had to prepare myself to attend the con by myself and I needed to be able to get in and out of it as such. Not to mention I had to think about potentially running into unforeseen obstacles like fellow cosplayers, photographers, doors, and the like.


The entire armor set is made out of a material called EVA foam and is very popular amongst the cosplay community. It’s cost effective, easy to work with, and can be very forgiving on mistakes. Everything from the towers bursting from the top to the boot covers on my feet are made from that material save for the rivet details that are made from various dowels I had lying around and the skulls on one of the shoulder pads which were 3D printed with help from my local maker space “Vector Space”.


I used a combination of heavy duty snaps, elastic bands, and nylon strapping to rig together a lash system that I wear underneath the armor to keep it attached to my body. In fact, believe it or not, the back pack actually sits freely on my shoulders, and the lash system I created was thrown together last minute.


The power scythe (the prop I am holding) is made from foam, but not EVA. I believe its called XPS insulation foam and you can find it at most hardware stores, namely Lowes and Home Depot and its fairly inexpensive. I used a piece of pvc board as a core, and sandwiched it in between the foam using wood glue as my adhesive of choice. The rest was just sculpting and details. The hilt is just a PVC pipe that I curved using a heat gun and a table vice.


At Star City Anime I was stopped for photos every 5 minutes from the moment I walked through the doors to the moment I met up with my friends there. I entered the cosplay competition there and was honored to receive first place!The following weekend I took the same costume to an event called Big Lick Comic Con that was also in Roanoke Virginia and decided to try my luck at the cosplay competition and the feedback was the exact same!


By the time Katsucon rolled around I was so excited I could barely contain myself and the reception I got there was even better! I even made it into Beat Down Boogie’s Cosplay video for Katsucon 2018! I was so stoked!


I didn’t get into cosplay until January 2016 whilst attending Magfest that year with my friends Threadmizer and Sonikbuster, who if not for them, I may not have gotten into it at all. Up until that point, I had read articles, books, and watched as many videos as I could by Evil Ted Smith and Bill Doran from Punished Props. Both of which I had started following back in 2013. Before all that however, there isn’t much to tell since my main focus is on what tomorrow has in store for me at the next convention or event I attend. 


Stay on Focus. Clear your mind. The goal has already happened. Its just waiting for you to get there. I know the world can get you down. You can get yourself down even worse. However the key to overcoming this is to stay busy. Keep moving forward.  I built this costume in 16 days. Why? Because I wanted to get it done. I wanted to make it happen. I had that drive and focus to get it done. So I did. And you can do the same. You just need to believe it, in order to achieve it.


—– Netherworks Costumes


Photo : Felix Wong Photography

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Fidgeykins

I’m sure everybody could find some way to relate to Retsuko when it comes to their jobs, but I was especially going through a hard time at my current job so I found the character super relatable to me.

I’ve tried quitting the job for awhile now but, like Retsuko, I was having a hard time finding other job opportunities or bringing myself to talk to my boss about it. That’s how I knew I had to cosplay her and I wanted to do it as soon as possible.

Half of her cosplay is hand made and the other half I purchased. I’m decent at sewing, but I have more of an interest being the character than spending the time to make the cosplay from scratch— it’s never shameful to want to purchase your costumes or find ways to cut corners and I’ve always felt that way.

Since Momocon was right around the corner, I didn’t have time to make a costume either but I had such a desire to cosplay her I went ahead and purchased her work uniform on Amazon (expedited shipping!! yikes…!) and made the rest of the costume (ears & tail.)

Lucky me, I was able to find a long pile white remnant of fur at Joann’s to make her ears and tail with. The fur was white, so I knew I would have to dye the fabric to get the color I wanted. I could have purchased fur online, but sometimes you are not sure if the color you receive will be accurate to the color you want so I went the dyeing route so I could make sure the golden/orange color of her tail would match her wig. I had never dyed fabric before so I did some research and found that fursuiters and cosplayers have different methods to coloring fur, and I went the Rit DyeMore for synthetic fabrics route and diluted fabric paint. The dye worked well for the brown color of her stripes, but I had to dilute fabric paint with warm water and brush it over the fur to get a bright golden orange color for the rest of her tail.

When dyeing the fabric, I made sure to consistently brush the fur out in the proper direction so it wouldn’t dry at a different angle. I’m pretty happy with the outcome of the tail; I simply made a raccoon pattern for the tail and stuffed it with polyfill and attached it to my body by wearing a small belt under my clothes and sewing elastic loops on the tail. Her ears were also made from the long pile fur but I used #3 guard on some clippers to shear down the fur on the insides of her ears and paint them with fabric paint. They were made from a craft foam core with wiring at the base so I could bend them into the right shape and then the fur was hot glued on. They clip into my wig with alligator clips that are hand sewn and hot glued on. The wig is a Chronos in golden blonde from Epic Cosplay Wigs (which happened to also be on sale at the time! Nice!)

The response was very positive! I wore her Thursday of Momocon without any one else cosplaying with me and I got stopped for a lot of pictures, usually it was people wanting pictures with me. Everyone was very friendly and wanted to talk to me about the series and it had been awhile since I had cosplayed something that grabbed positive attention like that. I had, for awhile, cosplayed from lesser known series or ones that were not very popular at the time (Binbougami Ga, Osomatsu-san: Hesokuri Wars, Gintama for example) after cosplaying from very large fandoms that were very popular at the time (Homestuck, Hetalia.) Needless to say, I was a little overwhelmed but I enjoyed every moment of it because of how excited people were to see a Retsuko cosplayer. She’s a fun character to be, also, so that made it even more enjoyable for me since I love being in character for people.

Whatever your drive is for cosplaying, keep driving at it. It could be entering cosplay contests, it could be making intricate costumes and showing off your skill, maybe you love being a panelist, maybe you prefer to wear comfortable costumes or buy your costumes. Maybe you could be like me and just love being somebody else! Cosplay is for you, whatever your purpose is, so use it as a way that can make you, as an individual, very happy.

—–  Fidgeykins

Photo : Amanda Swanson Photography

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DAVID & CLAUDIA

DAVID : I first did the Pumpkin/Goblin King mashup in August at Stockton Con ..it was the Magic Dance version..I liked the fact that Jack is the Pumpkin King and Jareth is the Goblin King.. and I felt it would be awesome to bring both Kings together.... 

CLAUDIA ; I never am someone to copy or mimic something directly (screen accuracy seemed too straight forward and been-there-done-that) so I always try to come up with creative and original ideas for some of my favorite characters. And when I met David, I knew that he felt the same way because I've never met somebody as unique and imaginative as him! So when I saw his first version of Jack X Jareth from the Labyrinth (his casual/normal outfit in the movie) I immediately was struck with an idea to do the infamous ballroom scene with Jack & Sally and I quickly drew up a concept art design to share with him my inspired vision. He was absolutely floored and we started gathering materials right away!

DAVID : Claudia then reached out to me a few months after.. about doing the Ballroom Version.. She told me she had the dress.. then she sent me a drawing that she did.. and I was really super excited about what I seen..We knew right away that this was going to be good...I m so thankful to her for reaching out to me because we became friends because of this and to share this experience with her was magical and priceless.. 

CLAUDIA : The biggest part of my inspiration was the fact that I already happened to have an authentic 80's wedding dress in my closet that I bought almost 10 years ago from the Goodwill just for fun! It already had the fabulous sleeves and big poofy dress that with our short time frame and limited budget after the holiday season, it was a lot easier to convert that into the design rather than start from scratch. I also found the perfect blue sequin jacket with coat tails online that we had to ship priority to arrive in time for David to try on and turn into the Goblin King. I bought even more materials and fabric to further add onto the existing pieces but we decided to save those for an upgrade in a future con with more time under our belts as even this took me until the night before to finish in time for the con. So this isn't even our "final form"!

DAVID : We met at a fabric store.. to look at some fabric...and that was the first moment we actually officially met in person.. The jacket was the main thing that we got ..everything else I had.. She attached and made the collar... and also made and attached the tail..The results that were added ..was a huge difference...so Im thankful to her for that.. She is very creative and wonderful person...She is amazing......

CLAUDIA : From the very beginning of our collaboration, we knew that this was going to be something big (literally and figuratively) but since we had to schedule it on the first day of the con, we didn't think we'd get as much attention as on the weekend. But we actually still had tons of people both freak out immediately about mashing their 2 favorite fandoms or others just stare at us trying to fit the pieces together until you could physically see the light bulb switch on their faces! It was quite entertaining and loved sharing that moment with them - even had to constantly drag David away from all his adoring fans who kept stopping us for pictures in between our photoshoots, we kept causing foot traffic jams!

DAVID : The response at Sac Anime was huge ...Peoples reactions were priceless.. I heard a lot of .. Omg ... my two favorites together mashed up...bringing Zero the dog was awesome....one person was jumping up in down..and couldn't believe it ....some people It took them awhile to figure it out ... with a confused face...but when they did they they smiled .. I was playing both themes of music.. when I played David Bowie.. people started dancing.

DAVID : Operation MJ
CLAUDIA : Cricket Fantasy - Art & Cosplay

Photo : Cosplay of Sacramento

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Ginny Di

I've loved the centaurettes from Fantasia for my whole life — I used to rewind and rewatch that section of our VHS copy of Fantasia over and over again. Once I started cosplaying, I did think about trying a centaurette, but assumed I'd have to adapt it into a two-legged costume. Then I saw Maja Felicitas' centaur costume and my brain started going a mile a minute!! It was the first time it even occurred to me that I could cosplay one of the centaurettes complete with four legs. I dreamed about it for a while after that, scared to start, but eventually I told myself "If you don't do it soon, someone else will do it first," and that helped kick my butt into gear!

The actual construction of the costume wasn't nearly as challenging as I thought it would be! Instead, it was working out the structure and the motion that presented the biggest challenge. Much of the time spent on this costume was just doing something, trying it on, adjusting it, trying it on, etc. for days at a time. I had to do a lot of research into a horse's gait and skeleton, and then do my best to recreate those shapes and those movements with the most minimal, simple engineering possible. It was a mental challenge far more than it was a physical one!

I debuted this costume at Denver Comic Con, and the reaction was amazing. I had a little boy come up to me while I was standing still, talking with friends, and politely ask if I could take a few steps, because "my brother doesn't believe you can walk." His brother's face was priceless when I walked a few feet and the back legs stepped with me! It's not the most comfortable costume to wear (and certainly not the most mobile) but I'm glad I wore it to a convention nonetheless — there's something extra meaningful about seeing people's reactions in person.

The online comments were a bit of a different story, haha! A lot of people online find this costume really weird, don't understand why I made it, or even think it's creepy. Probably the most common comments I get on it is "what the fuck??" People also like to make jokes about furries and bronies. At first it was pretty disheartening, because this was such an important costume to me and so many of the comments are negative. But I try to remind myself that great art makes people feel something, even if those feelings are polarized. I'd rather someone remember the costume, even if they're remembering it because it creeped them out!

For a long time, the Fantasia centaurette was my dream cosplay. But by calling it a "dream cosplay," I was putting it on this pedestal that made it seem unattainable. Once I finally put my hands on some materials and started crafting it, I was surprised by how quickly it came together. Sometimes, I think the idea of a "dream cosplay" can put more distance between us and the projects we're really passionate about. I don't want to have dream cosplays anymore — if it's really important to me to make a specific costume, I should just make it. Turn your dream cosplays into reality cosplays!

---- Ginny Di ( FB / IG )

Photo : Photographer Of Life LLC

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Maki Rolls & Kimono Jones

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Maki Rolls & Kimono Jones

Cosplay has given me so much in terms of business ventures, but the best thing it has given me is friendship.  Almost all of my close friends (including Kimono) have been people I've met through cons or cosplay, and it's such an good feeling to have people that share your passion for nerd and geek culture, as well as creativity. I am constantly inspired by the creatives in my life, and many of them were brought to me through cosplay.

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Momo Kurumi

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Momo Kurumi

Jessica Rabbit especially has a cult following around the Disneyland area, as she's often snuck into small places, such as in some of the pin merchandise, or some special figurines. But for the most part, she isn't a widely featured Disney character.

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Michael Weber & Claire Rogoski

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Michael Weber & Claire Rogoski

Cosplay doesn't mean you have to look or act like a diva or a perfect pin up or a centerfold or a model. It doesn't have to be about having the most expensive or tricked out prop or costume. But having fun as the character; as your own spin on the character, can be as rewarding as you can possibly imagine it.... and more! 

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Bree the V

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Bree the V

When the second series for Avatar came out, I was pretty hyped, but I didn't know it was going to feature a brown gal like myself, so I was really excited. I saw the first season, and did my best to try and catch up with it all but I was usually busy with work. I already had plans in place to cosplay Korra in her first look, with the ponytail and thicker boots, but when the last few seasons were released with her new look... Oh my gosh, I just remember saying "Wow!"

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Quaintrelle Cosplay

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Quaintrelle Cosplay

So looking at the design I had sketched out (its somewhere on my cosplay page on Facebook I realized something very important: There are a ton of skirts and fabric in this design. And I cannot sew a single stitch. I don't know how to use a sewing machine!!

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Big Trouble in Little China

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Big Trouble in Little China

We toiled away for months and finally made it to Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 where we won Best Group Cosplay in the Costume Contest. This whole endeavor was a learning experience, a bonding of friendships and just unforgettable. My favorite part was seeing how excited people would get when they saw our group. They'd see Jack and get excited, then they'd notice Gracie, Miao Yin or Lo Pan and get MORE excited. Then they'd see The Storms and just lose it! I'm very glad we were able to bring this Classic to life for them.

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