The Cosplayer Feature: Naomin Doll [30]

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 both here on my blog and on my Facebook pages: HappyCosplayer, JustCosplay.

“May you be inspired by them!” -HappyCosplayer

Featured cosplayer: Naomin Doll!

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Purple Heart (Hyperdimension Neptunia) by Andrew Browne Photography

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

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

Naomi Doll: I used to frequent an rpg site and forum called Gaia Online, it was perfect for those who loved anime and manga. On the forums, there was an entire cosplay section that captivated me and I wanted to try cosplaying. That was back in 2006. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and I was able to debut my first cosplay at Barbados’ first and only pop culture convention, Anime Kon Expo.

Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Naomi Doll: I got so much of an adrenaline rush from dressing up and being a totally different character. I went as Misa from Death Note. The number of people cosplaying back then was still in the minority, so I had a lot of people wanting to take my picture. It was very different from what I was normally used to.

Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Naomi Doll: Definitely a builder, I make all my props and armor for my cosplay. However I’ve commissioned local seamstresses to make my costumes or partially made them myself with their help. I bought a sewing machine last year, so I’m slowly but surely getting comfortable with sewing.

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Sailor Cosmos (Sailor Moon) by Signature Imagery

Happy: Anyone who really inspires you?

Naomi Doll: Besides my friends and family, I’d have to say there’s a good couple cosplayers to go harder and better. These include Maki Roll Chop Shop, Kaybear Cosplay, Kinpatsu Cosplay, Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri.

Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Naomi Doll: I’ve would have to say I’ve gotten harassment online for my cosplay where people have messaged me and told me that I don’t suit a character because of my skin colour. For the most part I try to ignore them and delete the message. It’s hurtful but the most I can do is ignore them and not give them the validation that they want.

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?

Naomi Doll: I would definitely say the use of foams and thermal plastic. Never in a thousand years did I think I would be using craft foam and worbla to make props and costumes. It’s almost surreal. And it goes to show the creativity of the community.

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?
Naomi Doll: I usually cosplay twice a year in the summer. I’ve only felt burnt out in terms of pushing myself during the crunch time before the con. Last year it was so frustrating that I actually cried. For those feeling overwhelmed, I want you to know it’s okay to take a step back. Don’t put your physical and mental health at risk for what is ultimately supposed to be for fun. Just pace yourself, take a well-deserved break.

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Sailor Cosmos (Sailor Moon) by Signature Imagery

Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Naomi Doll: I love being able to become different characters, being able to put my creative skills to use like painting. I also love that there’s a community and I can connect with people from all over the world.

Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Naomi Doll: People can be too critical and think that you have to look 1000% percent like the character or you’re not going a good job. We’re human, those are fictional characters, very few people are going to look an anime character.

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

Naomi Doll: I cosplay because I love to dress up, from interesting costumes to colorful wigs. I guess you could say it gives me a sense of fulfillment more so than any other hobby I’ve tried.

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

Naomi Doll: Oh yes, I’ve known the pain of cosplaying. I’ve burned myself with the hot glue gun too many times. There’s also overheating worbla and burning my fingertips trying to mold my accessories. Worst yet was when I bought shoes online that were too small for me. I ended up wearing them for the entire day of the convention.

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

Naomi Doll: For me, I found it welcoming when I first got into the community. But I find as the community grows there’s more judgmental people coming out of the woodwork. Which can turn people away from the hobby.

Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?

Naomi Doll: Definitely Misa from Death Note, Purple Heart from Hyperdimension Neptunia and Sailor Cosmos from Sailor Moon

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Purple Heart (Hyperdimension Neptunia) by Signature Imagery

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

Naomi Doll: There’s so many that come to mind. I couldn’t just pick one, but most of them are armor based cosplay.

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

Naomi Doll: Probably seeing people that I was friends with primary school but have since drifted away from. The local convention here was a reunion of sorts for me when I first cosplayed and saw them cosplaying as well.

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?

Naomi Doll: Time management. I always think I have enough time but I always pick my characters very late and then have to rush to get them done. I’m still working on this but this year will be the test to see if I’ve learned my lesson.

Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Naomi Doll: I’ve only attended Anime Kon Expo in Barbados so that would be one.

Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Naomi Doll: Definitely Colossalcon in America. There’s a pool AND a zoo at their venue. How cool is that?

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

Naomi Doll: My boyfriend cosplays, my best friend also cosplays. I could say my best friend into it, because after going with me when it was my first time, she was set on doing it.

Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?

Naomi Doll: I’d honestly like to improve and grow as a cosplayer. I want my work to look cleaner and my sewing skills to be A+. It’d be nice to also go to conventions in North America and Europe, meeting all my online cosplay friends.

You can find Naomin Doll 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!

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-9-14-06-amDon’t miss the next Cosplayer Feature! Get notified when the newest feature is live by Going to my Facebook page and click the ‘Like button’ Then if you click the ‘Following’ option you can select ‘See First’ and you’ll see all the Cosplayer Features first when you sign on to Facebook 🙂

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