The Cosplayer Feature is a series of interviews done by HappyCosplayer featuring cosplayers from around the world who would like to share their story. Two cosplayers are featured a week both here on my blog and on my Facebook pages: HappyCosplayer, JustCosplay, CosplayingCommunity
“May you be inspired by them!” -HappyCosplayer
Featured cosplayer: Cos_Elle!
Cosplay Page: Link | Country: US | Gender: Female|
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Elle: So I started cosplaying just about 5 years ago. I actually was in a theater production where a few of my cast mates said i would make a great Rikku from final fantasy. I had no idea who that was but they said that i should go to comic con with them.
So I bought my ticket but then at the last minute they backed out so i dragged a friend of mine and we went as Hetalia, Poison Ivy/Harley Quinn and Once Upon a time Characters. It was so much fun that I haven’t been able to stop nor have my friends escaped being dragged into the cosplay world.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Elle: I remember being so intimidated. I mean it was terrifying to go and i wasn’t sure if cosplaying was really a thing here in Colorado. So when i went and saw just these work-of-art costumes i just knew i had found my passion.
Happy: Do you consider yourself more of a prop maker or seamstress?
Elle: Oh man thats actually a really hard question i only just recently started making props but the ones i have built thus far are just so much fun and i really love them but at the same time I love when i make a costume and you see it come together. So as for which i consider myself i think i am a bit of both but i definitely hope to become better at both.
Happy: Is their anyone who really inspires you and why?
Elle: So many people i mean if i had to start theres this lovely Agent Carter Cosplayer, Julie Carter and she inspires me so much i mean she is just the kindest person and when i was transitioning to a new cosplay community she was really welcoming.
Nova Night Cosplay is another huge inspiration for the same reason she is just so kind and i mean her cosplays are amazing. I mean there are so many inspirations its really hard to narrow it down.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Elle: Most of the cosplay bullying/harassment that i have experienced is from people who don’t cosplay. And I always think back to that quote “Mermaids don’t loose sleep over the opinions of shrimp” and that is to say those who do not or have not cosplayed are not really in the position to judge me or my passion.
I did receive a few negative comments from some cosplayers a few years back but like every hobby you have to take the negative and the positive and find a happy middle. Overall the cosplay community is just so positive rarely do i have an encounter that is negative.
Happy: Are there things you have learned through this hobby that you never would have guessed to have learned before you started cosplaying? If so what are these new skill traits?
Elle: Yea absolutely! I mean i learned how to sew, paint, draw, build, engineer ,etc. but i think that cosplay really opened me up as a person. I never would have dreamed that i would be confident enough to go out not only in a costume (outside of halloween) but to go out and spend the whole day with my friends in amazing costumes that we made and designed.
I think i learned how much of an extrovert i am through cosplay cause before i was pretty subdued but once i started cosplaying i learned that i could be confident in myself and in my work. In terms of skills i am actually really proud to be able to say i can sew and that i can build.
Happy: A lot of people get overwhelmed or ‘brunt out’ over time with this hobby called cosplaying. Have you ever felt that way, or do you feel like you ever would? What would you say to those that maybe feeling burnt out now?
Elle: I think that there are times when i have been burning myself on hot glue and Worbla for 10 hours at a time when i start to think that this hobby is too much for me. But then i look at what i have made and what i have learned and i remember why i have severe hot glue burns and why i am always covered in paint and glitter.
I do not think i could ever be burnt out completely or done with cosplaying because it has just been so monumental for my development in who i am and what i want to do. To those feeling burnt out on cosplay: That is totally okay like any hobby or activity it is important to do what makes you happy!
If cosplay is just too much right now take a break and maybe try something else and come back later! Everyone deserves to be happy! But if cosplay is what you love and you are just tired take a break, take a few deep breaths, and remember that feeling you get when the costume is done. That feeling of victory and that feeling of accomplishment are always enough to remind me why i do this.
I say if you are burnt out to maybe figure out if it’s the con, the costume making, or just wearing the costume in general that is stressing you out. Remember that you can totally just have one costume to wear at a con and wear it whenever you feel like it.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Elle: The feeling of pride in my work. The feeling of knowing i made the thing i am wearing and i am representing something i love, whether that is a character from a movie, a tv show, a book, or my own character. Its the feeling of accomplishment that make me love cosplaying.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Elle: The COST. Its the worst part. I mean when you are working on a ball gown for a princess and you have to buy 100 + dollars of fabric and you only have 20 dollars its enough to make anyone cry. If i could change anything about cosplay it would be the cost!!!!
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Elle: I mean not only the feeling of accomplishment but it gives me a sense of self confidence that i wouldn’t trade for anything. 3 years ago i hit a rough spot in my confidence i was struggling with a lot but through my costumes i was able to remind myself what i was worth.
I think that it has helped me so much but also it helps others. I work for a character company which i would never have done if i had not started cosplaying but the thing that is so rewarding about that is the face the kids have when they meet their favorite character. so its like two wins; one i am proud that my costume is great and i look like the character i was wanting to interpret and two i am making others happy through my costumes!
Happy: Have you ever hurt yourself accidentally or intentionally for cosplay?
Elle: Both… both is the right answer. I mean i have more hot glue gun burns than any person should ever have, i have stabbed myself with sewing pins i have nicked my fingers cutting Worbla, i have cut myself with x-act knives but accidents happen when making art.
But intentionally i wore 6 inch heels to an 8 hour convention day, i had a necklace that was really rough at the clasp that ended up hurting my neck, i have had huge bulky costumes that are uncomfortable, worn a black widow body suit on a 90 degree day at an outdoor event, i even recently had a wig incident that caused me severe headaches among other things.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Elle: I would say that its a very welcoming community overall but like any community you have judgmental people and competitive people but i also think like any community you have welcoming and kind people so its hard to rate the community.
I would say in my experience the welcoming portion has vastly outweighed the judgmental side. and I have only ever met kind people but hey at those cosplay competitions things can get very very competitive.
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Elle: Oh this is always the hardest question. I recently just finished my Jack Frost costume and he was a project that i had always wanted to do so i am so proud of that costume and it was my first one working with Worbla i really just couldn’t be prouder of it. I love my Harley Quinn who is ever evolving to try and be more screen accurate.
So those two are the ones i wear most commonly but I really love some of my more nostalgic projects and some of my more creative ones. Like America from Hetalia was a really nostalgic piece for me i really miss cosplaying him. But some of my more exciting pieces are the steampunk designs i have done, So steampunk ariel who was the first real piece and then there was steampunk Captain america and steampunk Rapunzel who were both so much fun and i got to do them with my sister matching me.
So i don’t know if i really even have favorites because every costume i do i really love and i always hope to find time to cosplay again some day.
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?
Elle: Oh this is always the second hardest question. I mean i have albums full of future cosplays that i want to do but if money were no option… i would probably want to do like a really intense Disney princess (Princess Anna in her coronation outfit), Iron man (armor 42) or something really artistic or intense like something by No Flutter or by Hannah Alexander.
Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?
Elle: Meeting Jim Beaver it was the best, i mean i was ridiculous but it was great. so Jim beaver plays bobby singer on supernatural, he is great. So for supernatural fans everyone knows what happens to bobby in the show.
I am so behind in TV shows so i had literally seen the episode of what happens with bobby the night before i met Jim Beaver. So i walked up to his booth (alone my grandfather who had accompanied me was at a panel) and I saw him and started sobbing. He just started laughing at me and then said “hey hey its okay it was sad for me too” and i started crying harder cause i was embarrassed and also totally in love with how great he was.
So he came around and hugged me and gave me a tissue and said: ” i know i know i don’t know what they are gonna do without me” and i finally calmed down and bought my autograph and he chatted with me for a few minutes (no line waiting so i was his only customer) and then turned to his assistant as i was walking away and said : “at this rate i am gonna run out of tissues” and i just started laughing but that is my celebrity story that i will never forget because he was just so great! Oh i was cosplaying Dean Winchester that day but i don’t think he got it cause i was too busy crying.
Happy: Has cosplaying presented you with challenges? If so what sort of challenges? Were they hard to overcome? Are you still working on overcoming them?
Elle: I think for a while i was really challenged because i felt i was not good enough to cosplay. So i would see these amazing cosplayers guesting or doing panels and i just couldn’t see myself ever being that good so for a while a lot of the cosplays i made i really hated because i felt they weren’t good enough.
It was really hard to over come that bump of feeling like i wasn’t good enough. But i am happy to say that in the last 2 years i have really had a bump of confidence in my work and i have ran several panels, cosplayed with groups and i have even started trying to guest.
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Elle: Denver Comic Con mostly because that is the one i gear up for all year but of all the cons i have ever attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze was one i will never forget.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Elle: San Diego Comic Con or New York Comic Con!
Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?
Elle: I really want to guest at a con that is my big goal for the next two years. I want to build a following so that i can guest at some local cons and then eventually i hope to be guesting out of state. Future goals for myself outside of cosplay consist of getting my degree in Graphic Design and Multimedia and to get a job in that field.
You can find Cos_Elle at the following links! Please leave some love for them via a like/follow and so on and help continue to make the cosplaying community better by encouraging and inspiring others!
Instagram: Cos_Elle or alice_in_angieland_cosplay
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