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I decided to build Samus a while back. I started, but never really got the chance to finish until last year. The skills I had just were not enough to tackle the project. And that was ok. I ended up taking a long time, but I learned a lot on the process. The costume was made mostly of yoga mats...with a lot of modpodge layers. A lot of people liked it. I feel like the armored costumes always get more love at conventions. They are big and with lights. I can see why people like them!

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For Morrigan, I decided on the character because at the time I started to learn ZBrush (hi res 3D modeling). I wanted to create the wings in CG and see how they would work in a photo shoot. For conventions I had only the head wings, because I didn't want people at the convention bumping on the waist wings! The response at cons was good, but unfortunately, because the outfit is revealing, I got a lot of cat calling from men. :(

When I started cosplaying, back in 2009, I never thought that the hobby would play such an important role in my life. And we are not just talking about personal life. We are also talking about what I do as a career. I started by accident. Stumbled across an anime convention back in Brazil and I saw people dressing up. I already did that. I just didn't know it had a name. After enrolling in school for video game arts, I decided to feed the hobby more vigorously. A lot of friends from school did it, and I noticed that the craft helped me improve my skills related to the field. And the skills I learned in school also helped me with the hobby. It was a two way street. Also the connections. The cosplay/convention community is very pop culture centered, which always brings people with this common interest together. I have met several incredible people that were willing to help me improve my skills, that being in the game arts field or the costume design field. This also means that the networking opportunity is very big, and you never know who might like your stuff and end up referring you to a job. My first real industry gig was doing costumes for a stop motion animation studio. I would always do freelance work with 3D and 3D art, but this time I was actually making costumes. Real tiny ones too!

American conventions feel like they are better organized in general. I think that maybe because there is good cash flow. With money, you are able to invite more guests, have more panelists and get a better venue. Back in my day, when I still was an avid con goer in Brazil, a lot of the events were held in public schools, during the weekend, when the students were not there. The attractions were very very limited. Somehow I feel like the convention attendees all knew each other. There were many activities (in fact that is all we had), like karaoke and trivia, where people could engage in conversations and meet people with the same interest. This is something that I don't see so much here. I know that now some bigger conventions, like Comic Con Experience, offer international guests, pop culture media networks and attractions with a higher caliber. But then again, this event has "Experience" in the name, which means they are trying to mimic the foreign experience of a convention.

Lara Lunardi

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