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: Maverick Léal Cosplay & Martial Arts!
Cosplay Page: Link | Country: USA| Gender: Male
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Diego Garza: I started cosplaying since 2014; I always had an interest in being one of my favorite fictional characters.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Diego Garza: I have met a good amount of people through cosplay who liked the video game series my cosplay was from.
Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Diego Garza: I would say I am a builder more than seamstress. Most of my cosplays are tactical gear put together.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Diego Garza: Seeing how society is changing and my airsoft props seem to stand out negatively even though I maintain a cool attitude. It is unfortunate how uneducated people are when it comes to gun safety. Sadly its them who are misbehaving in a childhood manner while I am not running around causing trouble.
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?
Diego Garza: Can’t say anything relevant as far as wanting to perfect my fitness for the character I am cosplaying.
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?
Diego Garza: I have never felt burnt out through cosplay. I feel that the hobby gets better over time.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Diego Garza: I love going out of my way to go to photoshoots to display my character and explore new places. It motivates me to stay fit and push myself further. The people I have met are the type of friends I never had growing up all through high school.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Diego Garza: There are people that criticize you by minor things about your cosplay. Sometimes it draws the wrong attention from both cosplays and regular people.
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Diego Garza: Like I said, it gets better over time. I get to be my favorite character and get to meet really cool people because of it. It’s every geeks dream to role play who they want to be for one day.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Diego Garza: At the moment I feel like the community is starting to become more judgmental with how mainstream it is starting to become. You have cosplayers making fun of you through social media and you have normies harassing other cosplayers because they feel they can. I think this is a good opportunity for cosplayers to unite and present how we should be by encouraging and supporting other cosplayers. Look out for one another and welcome those for even going out there.
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Diego Garza: My Kato cosplay would have to be the most comfortable cosplay as it is simple. I bought most of it from h&m.
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do someday?
Diego Garza: I look forward to cosplay more martial artist so I wouldn’t carry so much gear. I want to reach peak fitness (my personal goal). I want to cosplay more Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee characters.
Happy: What was an amazing experience you had in cosplay that you will never forget?
Diego Garza: I had more fun going to photoshoots than conventions in all honesty. As much as I love running, I love exploring new environments and using them as backgrounds for my cosplay.
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?
Diego Garza: There are times I will present myself groups of people and I tend to get really nervous. I want to overcome my nervous tension.
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Diego Garza: Wizard World is still my favorite so far. It was my first convention in 2013 and I wasn’t in cosplay yet. I just happen to discover that there are events like it.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Diego Garza: I have been thinking about conventions in cruises and I think going to one would be a blast. I could really use a relaxing vacation with other cosplayers.
Happy: Does any one in your family cosplay? How about close friends? Did you get anyone to cosplay because you were doing it?
Diego Garza: Before I met my friends at conventions I haven’t known anyone who does. After 5 years the only people who have cosplayed is my best friend’s sibling.
Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying?
Diego Garza: I have been thinking about teaching other cosplayers how to defend myself since I am a martial arts instructor and I think someone should teach cosplayers how to be aware and how to deal with situations. That being said I hope to get my certification in that and finish writing my story that I just started working on. I will continue perfecting my current cosplays and my fitness goals.
You can find Maverick Léal 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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