The Cosplayer Feature is a series of interviews done by HappyCosplayer featuring cosplayers from around the world who would like to share their story. Cosplayers are featured every other day both here on my blog and on my Facebook pages: HappyCosplayer, JustCosplay, CosplayingCommunity
“May you be inspired by them!” -HappyCosplayer
Featured cosplayer: Arlena Fae!
Cosplay Page: Link | Country: USA | Gender: Female|
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Arlena Fae: I official began cosplaying in 2013. I had made a few costumes before then for Halloween and such, worked with a theater in the costume department a little and just really enjoyed sewing overall. I feel that + discovering cosplay was a thing people did (I believe through Tumblr) is probably what got me interested in the hobby.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Arlena Fae: I believe my first day cosplaying at a convention, I was Taiga from Toradora. I honestly can’t remember too much. I think a few people asked for photos. It was my first big convention so I mostly spent it amazed by how many cosplayers there was and big fancy cosplays I saw.
Happy: Is their anyone who really inspires you and why?
Arlena Fae: Kinpatsu Cosplay, Sheena Duquette and Danielle Beaulieu are some cosplayers that super inspired me. Their cosplays are always incredible! Kinpatsu and Danielle have some of the most beautiful armor cosplays ever and their paint jobs are amazing.
I love Sheena’s sewing skills. Her costumes always looks so clean and well made, and she always chooses the best fabrics to make it look like it’s straight out of the game/anime/etc.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Arlena Fae: I’ve gotten some rude comments online but that’s about it. I wouldn’t considered it harassment or bullying though. At conventions I find most people to be really nice. And I believe the comments were from ‘normies’ and I didn’t really do much about them. I just had a lol, removed the comments and continues about my business.
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?
Arlena Fae: Yes! There are a lot of things. I would’ve have never thought I would need to know any skills that revolved around working with foam in order to make it into props and armor.
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?
Arlena Fae: I’ve never felt burnt out with the hobby overall. I’ve felt burnt out when making a costume and in that case I’d switch to working on one that I was feeling more inspired and excited to make.
I’ve had friends who became burnt out on the hobby though. And in their case, what they did and what I’d suggest too, is if you’re not feeling like cosplaying anymore it’s probably best to take a break for as long as you need and focus on other things in life that you enjoy. If you force it you risk ruining the hobby permanently for yourself. Hopefully your motivation to cosplay will come back eventually.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Arlena Fae: I love making the costumes and all of the incredible cosplaying has allowed me to meet. I’ve been able to make so many new friends through cosplaying!
And crafting, for me, is so much fun. I spend all my spare time working on cosplays now. I also love the opportunities I’ve gotten through cosplaying. I’ve been able to start up a Patreon that allows me to make even more cosplays and I’ve also been a guest/panelist at conventions.
I really enjoy being able to contribute to and help out smaller conventions local to me and the cosplay community.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Arlena Fae: The only thing I really dislike about cosplaying is the negative side of the “community.”
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Arlena Fae: I just really enjoy it! I think it’s fun and enjoy crafting, conventions and photoshoots. There’s also a billion and 1 characters I want to cosplay so trying to tackle them all definitely keeps me coming back.
Happy: Have you ever hurt yourself accidentally or intentionally for cosplay?
Arlena Fae: I’ve hurt myself accidentally many times! Mostly hot glue burns. I still have a big scar on my knee from when I accidentally stabbed myself with a box cutter. The only time when I put myself in pain “on purpose” for the sake of cosplay is when I had to carry my sewing machine (in a bag—not a proper carrying case) in order to finish up a cosplay. There was a lot of walking I had to do with it and the short story is I had shoulder problems for a month.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Arlena Fae: I think it sort of depends on who you hang around with. I’ve seen people who are very catty and competitive, some who have an elitist mentality and others who are really friendly and supportive. I find most people online (at least in Facebook groups) are fairly friendly and supportive. So I think as a whole, while there are downer people, it’s a fairly welcoming and friendly community.
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Arlena Fae: I have a few! Asami from The Legend of Korra, Huntress Yang from RWBY and Plutia from Hyperdimension Neptunia. Asami and Yang are two of my favorite characters and their outfits are fairly comfortable. Plutia’s costume I made using fleece fabrics so it was like walking around in super cute PJs!
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?
Arlena Fae: Zagara from Heroes of the Storm! That is my dream cosplay. I really want to start making her in the new few years—my only probably is finding the space to store/build her and figuring out and easy way to make the frame able to be taken apart and put back together again.
Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?
Arlena Fae: There were so many! Being a guest/panelist is always an amazing experience. I love being able to share advice and tips on cosplaying with others. The first Summoners Con was really fun too!
I again met a lot of new people and overall had so much fun. I finally stayed in a nice hotel, attended an after party and got to meet so many people (YouTubers, pro-players, etc) in the League community.
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?
Arlena Fae: One of the challenges cosplay creates for me is in creating a cosplay. It’s a lot of trying to figure out how to pattern and build oddly shaped pieces or really intricate costumes. They’re sometimes really difficult but I always figure out a way! The only other challenge I can think of is photoshoots in public locations.
I’m a fairly shy and anxious person, so going out in cosplay in public (especially when it’s not at a convention) is quite difficult for me. A recent example would be with my Li Ming photoshoot. I took the photos at the Palace of Fine Arts which is a popular tourist spot here in SF. I chose to shoot early in the morning to beat the crowd (which helped—a lot less people were there than normal) and probably panicked and debated not doing it the entire drive/days leading up to the shoot.
I sat in the car for quite some time before my friend got me out and hid behind them (or tried to—a bulky costume is hard to make go unnoticed) when walking to the spot where we took photos. I guess when it comes to public photoshoot, it really just depends. I’ve had times (like for Li-Ming) where I’ve been able to do it and other times where I canceled because it was too overwhelming.
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Arlena Fae: It was Anime Expo up until last year—it’s just gotten way too crowded for me. I still plan to keep attending it though—hopefully they get a bigger venue. But right now I’m just really enjoying smaller conventions local to my area. I find those a lot more fun and easy-going.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Arlena Fae: I have 3 dream conventions I want to attend. Blizzcon, PAX West and RTX. Blizzcon because I love Blizzard’s games and the convention looks really fun. That last part goes for PAX West as well. The convention looks really fun. Plus it’s in Seattle and that’s a city I really want to visit! And I’m a big fan of Rooster Teeth so of course I want to attend their convention someday!
Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?
Arlena Fae: I have a lot of future cosplay goals! They’re all just to finish/get to cosplay characters on my endless “to cosplay” list. I also want to learn to cast, use Worbla and try out 3d printing. I have a lot of personal goals. Too many to list!
You can find Arlena Fae 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!
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