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: Clouded Hue Cosplay!
Cosplay Page: Link | Country: USA| Gender: Male
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Shawn Washburn: I think I started cosplaying back in High School. I’m so sorry I don’t remember the exact date I started cosplaying- I think my first cosplay was from the anime Glass Mask.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Shawn Washburn: I remember feeling so impressed with all the hard work my fellow cosplayers had done! I had so much fun seeing everyone all dressed up. My first convention was Arkansas Anime Festival and it holds a special place in my heart.
Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Shawn Washburn: I think I would consider myself more of a builder- but I am planning on expanding and it’s my goal to sew more of my own costumes. I recently got a really nice sewing machine- now I just need to learn how to use it.
Happy: Anyone who really inspires you?
Shawn Washburn: So many. The cosplay world is filled with so many great people- but I think I have to give a special nod to The Alchemic Fox- her cosplays are always so amazing, and I love her cosplay videos.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Shawn Washburn: Fortunately the bullying I have experienced has been pretty minimal, but that hasn’t been the case
for all cosplayers. The con mods of all the conventions I go to take bullying very seriously and any problems are handled quickly and efficiently as far as I am aware.
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?
Shawn Washburn: I have always been naturally shy, so cosplaying characters that require me to exude more confidence is great practice for life outside the convention- there are lots of situations in life that require me to find my spine and put a steel rod in it. Also, I am sure once I learn to sew the basic sewing skills will be useful.
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?
Shawn Washburn: I don’t think I could ever burn out on cosplaying because I love it so much- but I can understand why people would- it requires a lot of time and money before you ever get to the con- especially for those who sew their own cosplays.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Shawn Washburn: I love all the friends I have made in the cosplay community. And I love the body confidence I have gotten as I grow as a cosplayer.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Shawn Washburn: I wish it were less expensive. And I dislike when people bully others over their cosplay. It’s supposed to be art that comes from inside you- it’s supposed to be something fun, not something that upsets you.
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Shawn Washburn: I remember a few years ago, I helped out with a Harry Potter café at Konsplosion. I was cosplaying Bellatrix This gentleman had brought his little girl to the con for some father-daughter time. I had bought a “sorting hat” from a vendor, and we thought it might be fun to “sort” the guests who had come to the café.
So the little girl sat down in the chair for her turn to be sorted, and three people (including me) shouted out “GRYFFINDOR!” This child’s face lit up- she was completely thrilled. Moments like that are why I cosplay. I want to use my art to make other people smile, and make the
world a little more beautiful.
Happy: Have you ever hurt yourself accidentally or intentionally for cosplay?
Shawn Washburn: When I was cosplaying Kaneki, I built my own eyepatch. It looked great but it ended up being kind of uncomfortable. And as much as I adore wearing wigs they can be uncomfortable too. There can definitely be some uncomfortable elements to cosplay, which is why I try to take comfort into account
when putting my cosplay together.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Shawn Washburn: I would give most of the cosplay community a 10 out of 10. Most cosplayers are very kind and loving people- there are a few very select exceptions, but almost everyone I have met has been absolutely wonderful.
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Shawn Washburn: I am so proud of my Yuri Plisetsky cosplay from Yuri!!! On Ice. It’s the first proper cosplay I’ve ever bought. All the rest of them were results of gathering items from stores and thrift shops and wearing things I already own.
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?
Shawn Washburn: Sebastian Michaelis from Kuroshitsuji. Oh my goodness I want to cosplay Sebastian so badly. He’s so beast mode.
Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?
Shawn Washburn: I cosplayed Vincent Volaju from Cowboy Bebop once- and I didn’t have time to get a proper hat for the cosplay, so I ended up wearing a beat up old witch’s hat I had on hand, because I knew at one point
he wore it to blend in with the crowd in the anime.
One of my best friends Westly Gilliam (aka Dada Fox
Cosplay) who is far more experienced in his cosplay said, and I quote, “You are the only Volaju I’ve ever seen who was bad-ass enough to wear the witch’s hat”. It made me so happy that the thing I disliked the most about my cosplay became what got someone else’s attention.
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?
Shawn Washburn: There have been challenges- saving money for cosplays and/or materials to build them, money to buy or build props, gas money to get where you’re going, money for the room- cosplay does cost money. So I have to make choices with how I spend my money so I have enough for cosplay.
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Shawn Washburn: At the moment? Konsplosion. But I hope to branch out and attend a lot of different cons.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Shawn Washburn: I have always wanted to Dragon-con. There are so many fantastic authors that attend that I would love to meet.
Happy: Does any one in your family cosplay? How about close friends? Did you get anyone to cosplay because you were doing it?
Shawn Washburn: My family doesn’t cosplay and they don’t really approve of my cosplaying either. They think it is a waste of time and money.
Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?
Shawn Washburn: My goals within cosplay are to guest at more conventions (I was a guest at 2016 Konsplosion with the group Good Hearts Cosplay and I could not be more honored), and continue to improve my art.
My goals outside of cosplay are to continue my education- I am going to school to be a social worker.
You can find Clouded Hue 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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