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: Tiger Rose Cosplay!
Cosplay Page: Link | Country: USA | Gender: Female|
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Tiger: My first cosplay was in March of 2011. I was interested in the hobby because I joined the anime club in my high school and we talked about cosplaying. I had no clue what it was, but thought it intriguing that I could dress up as the characters in the shows I had been watching for quite a few years. So, I tried it.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Tiger: Oh me oh my! My first time cosplaying was an awful disaster! I was so excited. I planned things, I bought what I could and made what I could not buy. The first disaster was the wig. Now I know the wig was horrible quality. However at the time, I spent $55 on a wig and I thought that made it good quality.
No that was not the case. After one use the wig got such a large rats nest up at the top of the ponytail clip that there was no saving it. It was the only cosplay I had planned for that weekend. So, I had to make it work and I did. The ponytail was thrown out as soon as I got home on the third day. To top it off, my friends and I got into a horrific fight that caused many of us to stop talking to each other. All in all, I had the worst first experience you could in the cosplay community.
Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Tiger: Personally, I would say I am more of a builder. When it comes to experience and ability, I would say I am equivalent on both. I simply love building props. I have not tried armor yet. I am nervous to. Most cause I like going all out. I do detail work. So that means LEDs in staves, small detail work like shadowing, I make most of my own jewelry. I enjoy it. Its relaxing for me; more so than sewing is.
Happy: Is their anyone who really inspires you and why?
Tiger: I would not anyone in particular really motivates me. However, I do have a really large group of friends that helps keep me going. They push me to do my best, to try new things, and keep moving forward. At the same time they keep me rationale. My friends remind me to not get too upset if I try something and it doesn’t come out like I hope. They tell me how to fix it and remind me to move on. Everyone starts somewhere. There is truly no better inspiration than those you cosplay with.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Tiger: Yes. I sadly have experienced harassment. I do not know if it was cosplayers or normies. It was cyber bullying actually. I had posted some photos of me onto dA. I had just started out it was my first cosplay and within a few days of posting, I had people commenting about how I was a “fat Neru” or that “I had let myself go.” What made this hurt even worse is that I already knew I was big.
I put myself on a diet and not even a year prior I had starved myself to lose weight and I was struggling so hard to feel beautiful, to look good. The outcome was nothing more than tears and it triggered me – really bad. I lost all motivation to buy any more cosplays for the next 3 years. Even then, I only went to one con for the next year and skipped the year after. I was scarred.
To top it off I was only 16 at the time. I had been bullied throughout my childhood about my weight and just about what made me, me. So it was difficult and there was no handling other then the fact I allowed it to affect me. I had no one to turn to and nothing more that I could do. It was hard to overcome, but I am glad I did. Thanks to friends and returning to a community that was nothing like I remember it’s a wonderful feeling. I never want to give it up.
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?
Tiger: Oh my goodness! What have I not learned is more like it. Sewing, prop making, dyeing, styling wigs, surprisingly enough makeup! I was never a girly girl and I hated doing my make up. Once I entered the cosplay community and I realized how much I love doing my makeup. I enjoy expressing who I am through my face. That has to be the best skill I have learned because of cosplay.
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?
Tiger: I have felt burnt out before. I was so bad I started crying because I knew I need to push through it and finish the cosplay for a convention. I was so stressed and I was not anywhere near ready to do what I had taken on. It burnt me quickly and it was challenging. My biggest thing to say if you are burnt out is to relax. Breathe and take a step back. Nothing is worth hurting yourself.
You can do what you want to do. You can make it happen. It may not happen right now, but that’s okay! Do not be scared and do not push it. Do it at your own pace. You will find you can accomplish a lot more in the future in the same period it took you to make that one cosplay now. That does not mean you are bad now. It means you are learning and being burnt out means you are pushing yourself too hard for too long.
Take it easy! Make a casual cosplay or something easy or just wear some of the cosplays you already have done! You will come back to what you were working on and finish it. There is nothing wrong with that!
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Tiger: I am going to be honest, I get asked this a lot and I cannot answer it the way people want me to. Most people go straight to props or outfits or people or whatever. The reason I love cosplay is a lot more complicated. The best part of cosplay is the feeling I get. The happiness, being proud of what you pulled together, the friendships, the reactions from smiles to characters people love or the joking disgust to those heinous villains, all of it leads to one indescribable feeling.
It gives you an adrenaline rush, keeps you moving, and reminds you why you do what you do. Its an incredible feeling that I have become addicted to. I am sure if you cosplay then you have felt that feeling. If you have not had that feeling yet or have not cosplayed, then you need to try it once. Do a character you love and relate to, put in the effort to make that character the way you envision them, portray them to the best you can and I guarantee you, you will see why I love to cosplay. Hopefully you will too.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Tiger: The priicccceeee. Cosplay can be an expensive hobby. I, sadly, am a deatilist? That is not a real word, but we are rolling with it! Anyway, the reason I say detailist and not perfectionist is because of a couple of things. Yes I want the cosplay to be as accurate as possible, but I like to add extra elements into the cosplay. Lights, realistic looking buttons or ropes, you know something to give it the extra oopf. Thus, its not necessarily perfect, but it has a tasteful extra going with it. The more detail you put into a cosplay while trying to keep it accurate to a design. The more expensive the end result is going to be. I manage this dislike by keeping a budget and making sure I do not over spend.
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Tiger: For the same reason I love cosplay. Cosplay gives me a wonderful feeling. To see people smile, to see happiness, and being with my friends it is all amazing. So, I suppose the best summed up answer, is I cosplay because of the community who accepts me. I do it because I can make others happy and it feels amazing.
Happy: Have you ever hurt yourself accidentally or intentionally for cosplay?
Tiger: All the time! Ever since I was a child I cannot do arts and crafts without getting it everywhere. Take that and add a knife in my hand I am a disaster. I always end up pricking my finger with a needle or pin while sewing. I always end up with dye and paint all over your hands – paint not as big a deal however the dye can be highly dangerous in large amounts and sadly I did the large amount all of the hand. I have actually cut my finger and continue to work on a prop bleeding all over it – multiple times…..on the same prop……
I am a disaster when it comes to do anything, but I enjoy it. I love being creative and when it comes to the blood (as long as it is not the outfit) I have a saying. When you bleed on any project – fixing a car, building shelves, working on props – then you guarantee it to work! Why does it guarantee the item to work? Because you gave your sacrifice to the blood god. Without it, you will have to fix it rather quickly.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Tiger: The cosplay community I first met was difficult to enter. They were not welcoming at all, but they were not judgmental either. Least not in real life. I am happy to say those that in a matter of 4 years, the community took a complete turn around. They are so welcoming now. There is some competition, but its friendly. Obviously when you enter contest everyone wants to be slightly better than another, but they are not going to hide their secrets. You need only ask and they help you grow as well. The biggest competition in the community…is you!
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Tiger: My favorite cosplays would have to Kongou from Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Azura from Fire Emblem: Fates, and Rin from InuYasha.
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?
Tiger: Oh I absolutely have a dream cosplay and it is a monster…..typical Tiger has big plans. I want to do Arcade Sona from League of Legends. I will not go into detail about all the plans – you will have to follow me to see it all. However, I will say expect dancing and brightness. I will be impressed if anyone can guess the full plan from those two little hints.
Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?
Tiger: I have many wonderful memories, with all of my friends. However, I think my best memory over is meeting this wonderful cosplayer. This happened at Colossalcon 2016. I was walking down the hallway in Azura she saw me and got super excited. Her and her boyfriend came up to me asked if I could sing and we ended up singing for a bit. Afterward I did a very small amount of the dance and we talked for a bit. They were so kind and Kai was so sweet. I had decided before going to the con I was going to give one of my Azura pendants away. I had made multiple to make sure I got it correct. Anyway they were so nice and gave me one of the special Kalahari cups because of it. Overall it was a wonderful experience and a great reminder to why our community is so amazing.
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?
Tiger: The biggest challenge is, of course, my weight. I still struggle with it every day. The community does not attack me. I have not been harassed since the deviantart incident. I still struggle with it though. I currently go to the gym 3-4 days a week to lose weight. I am hoping I can for the first time in my life have a flat stomach and tone thighs. That would be a god send to my own mental health to see my body that way. Past that it’s the typical challenges of making cosplay and each one is its own challenge and they can be hard to overcome!
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Tiger: I would say my favorite convention to attend is Colossalcon. I love the relaxing atmosphere and the waterpark. It is a ton of fun overall. It’s a chill, vacation con which can be really nice in the middle of stressful con season.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Tiger: I would love to attend PAX someday. It is not necessarily an anime convention, but I am a gamer by heart. I have been gaming since I was 3 years old. Pokemon was one of my first games and I quickly picked up PC gaming soon after playing games like Warcraft III: Blizzard and Unreal Tournament. Oh my goodness! Unreal Tournament is still one of the best games ever! Anyway, PAX is more focused toward the gaming community so I really hope to go one day and see the disaster area and little walking room.
Happy: Does any one in your family cosplay? How about close friends? Did you get anyone to cosplay because you were doing it?
Tiger: Sadly, no one in my family cosplays. As for close friends, I have to say yes but it is a little complicated. My close friends are my close friends because of cosplay. I meet them in cosplay and have grown close to them since. Cosplay is probably the only reason I have friends. It was really hard for me to talk and interact with people before cosplay. I was shy and maybe talked to 2 or 3 people.
The “friends” would rotate every few years as those I talked to would eventually move on and leave me. So, the closest people I know are my cosplay friends. I actually did get someone to cosplay. I got VengeWarlock, my boyfriend, to cosplay Daikoku from Noragami when I did Kofuku. He decided he enjoys the photography side of cosplaying more, but he does plan to cosplay every now and again.
You can find Tiger Rose Cosplay 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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