The Cosplayer Feature: Carefulwiththatdragon [20]

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.

“May you be inspired by them!” -HappyCosplayer

Featured cosplayer: Carefulwiththatdragon!

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Cosplay Page: Link | Country: UK | Gender: Female|

Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?

Cath: I first started it officially around 4 years ago when I began university. I bought this over sized old red blazer with the intention of making it into a ringmaster’s coat, it’s still in my wardrobe now unmade because I got distracted with Daenerys Targaryen things soon after. I’ve always been interested in costumery though, my mum makes a lot of her clothes so she got me into sewing from an early age and that just progressed naturally once I was at uni doing my own thing.

Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Cath: How long the line was to get in! It was a heat wave and I really regretted wearing a wig also.

Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Cath: I’m firstly a seamstress but I’ve always loved building things too (I blame my dad for that) so I’d like to do more builds as the cosplay builds I’ve done so far are relatively small. I have plans for some more ambitious builds in the future though.

unnamed (1)Happy: Is their anyone who really inspires you and why?

Cath: Super cheesy but my mum. She just makes the best of everything, she’s my helpline when I’m getting frustrated with a cosplay. She taught me that it’s okay to make mistakes on your costume as long as you are creative with how you cover them up.

Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying? 
Cath: I’ve had a couple of less than friendly conversations online with people over my cosplays. One was with a cosplay page that had an issue with my choice of wigs, I’d never interacted with this page before they just came out of nowhere and started slamming my wigs for being low quality – based off a stock photo I posted of a wig I’d just bought. It was a little odd and I was calm to begin with just kinda saying they might wanna not look at my other wigs if they hated that one but when they continued to get aggressive I just figured it was time to block them.

I’m all for constructive criticism but slamming someone’s costume choice based off the stock photo a seller has provided seems a little odd. I later found out this page had been harassing quite a few cosplayers for silly reasons, one girl told me they bombarded her with hateful comments because they hated the fact she had short hair.

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?

Cath: I’ve learnt that Worbla is a very strange substance but also very cool. I’d always wondered how people made such cool armour and props but I never really looked into the details until I started cosplaying. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone, it takes a bit of practice but even the playing around is fun!

I’ve also learnt that i’m a lot more resourceful than I thought I was, but I guess you have to be when you’re on a budget with your cosplays.

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?
Cath: I get moments where I have almost writer’s block with my cosplays, where I’ll just not know where to start or what to do next or how to do something.

When I get like this I usually leave things for a few days and read a book or just do something non cosplay related. Usually the ideas come back naturally thankfully but taking my mind away from cosplay for a few days really helps so i’d recommend that to anyone feeling a bit lost with it.

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Planning Spider Gwen and making a small draft

Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Cath: Everything! I love making things, from researching ideas, sketching them up, sourcing materials and putting everything together. I just find the whole process really interesting.

I’m still getting used to being approached at cons for photos because that’s still a little odd for me (I never know how to pose!). But I love walking around and seeing the work others have done on their cosplays.

Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Cath: How easy it is to let Magpie brain take over. A.k.a I will make this cosplay… ooo shiney! Now I must also make that cosplay… oh wow that’s cool I’ll have to make that too now.

I probably have a list of around 10 cosplays constantly part made at any one time, and no where near enough time to attend enough cons to wear them all.

Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?  

Cath: I cosplay because I love seeing things come to life from paper to material. Plus my brain is too full of too many cool things to make that it would be an awful shame if I just ignored it.

Happy: Have you ever hurt yourself accidentally or intentionally for cosplay?

Cath: Not hurt, but I’ve put myself in uncomfortable circumstances. I.e. heat wave oh hey let’s wear all the flowy skirts and capes and wig all at the same time! Or better yet let’s wear faux fur!

I’d like to say i’ve learnt from this but I would rather be a bit warm and uncomfortable and wear something i’m proud of than the other way around.

Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?      

Cath: I think it can be a bit hit and miss. The people I know and support are lovely and awesome and make me wanna make more cosplays because they’re all so supportive back. But I’m well aware of this cosplay elite mind frame that crops up now and again. It’s the “you’re not the right body shape/skin colour/etc to be that character” and “that’s not cosplay/detailed/accurate enough to be cosplay” comments that people think are okay to say that drive me mental.

unnamed (3)Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?

Cath: Definitely Astrid Hofferson from How to Train Your Dragon 2. She was a lot of work, in both sourcing materials for reasonable prices and actually making her, but she was the most screen accurate cosplay I’ve ever done and that made me proud that I’d achieved that.

I don’t usually care about being accurate cause I like to add my own touches but it was nice to make one that was. Oh also Rapunzel! She was a big project between me and my mum, we’ve both always wanted to make a corset style top so this was the perfect cosplay for us. Her wig was a massive learning curve, I made soooooo many mistakes there but I’m happy with how she turned out.

Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?

Cath: Hannah Alexander’s version of Princess Anastasia’s end gown. It’s just beautiful, the film version would be a lot of work never mind how many extra little details are in Hannah’s artwork.

unnamed (4)Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?

Cath: I really love it when I’m in one of my Disney cosplays and little kids ask for photos, makes me feel like I’m at Disney land haha.

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?

Cath: The time commitment is sometimes an issue. With working full time and having family commitments it’s sometimes hard to get time to just sit down and actually make things or take pictures. But that’s adulting for you.

Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Cath: I’m always at MCM Manchester, but I recently discovered the Play Expo which was awesome!

Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Cath: Sandiego. It’s been the dream for a while now 🙂

Oh and New York! But the flights alone are silly prices so it’s a dream i’ll have to save for a while.

Happy: Does any one in your family cosplay? How about close friends? Did you get anyone to cosplay because you were doing it?

Cath: My other half does. He had done a few times before we met, it was one of the reasons he liked me ha. I’ve since made him come with me to every con I’ve attended. My mum made him a Flynn Rider cosplay when I made my Rapunzel 🙂

He’s super keen to learn how to make his own as he just buys most things at the moment, so I’m hoping to help him with that when we get time 🙂

Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?

Cath: I’d like to try some more complicated cosplays and build some armour and weapons, but we’ll see how bad that goes.

I’d also love to meet up with some of the cosplayers I chat with regularly as they’re really awesome people. Outside of cosplay I’m saving for a mortgage for a house where I can have a room just for cosplay making, the dream is real ha.

You can find Carefulwiththatdragon 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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