1. If someone at commissions you for a costume, how much lead time do you need or want? 1) I actually don’t take commissions for people I don’t know. Personally, my skills as a seamstress aren’t where I would like them to be to sell my work to strangers. I consider each costume I make for myself as practice to enhance my skills. I try to do something new with each costume I make, be it a new type of garment or a making the lines of my costumes cleaner and more precise. I might consider taking commissions once my skills are up to a level where I would feel confident in my abilities as a seamstress, but unfortunately, that’s not going to be any time soon.
2. What inspired you to start making costumes? 2) I need a creative outlet, otherwise I feel like I’m going insane. I went from doing theatre to doing Rocky Horror (where I would have to make some of my costumes) to doing burlesque (where I would modify and enhance pieces I found in thrift shops/on Amazon) and now I’m doing cosplay. My desire to make costumes has always been there. Even as a little kid, I remember watching Grease 2 and wanting so badly to wear the costume that Paulette wore to the bowling alley. Now, as an adult, I can finally make that dream happen if I want to. I also have always wanted to be a princess in a Disney park, but unfortunately, I don’t have the body type and I’m far too tall. But through cosplay, I can be a Disney princess on my own terms.
3. Outside of Cosplay, what are your interests? 3) Disneyland is basically my favorite place in the world. I may or may not have moved to LA from San Francisco to be closer to Disneyland. Honestly, if I’m not downtown buying fabric for my next cosplay, I’m probably at Disneyland. I’m also a big fan of just holing up in my apartment and binge watching something on Netflix. I’m a bit of an introverted extrovert, so I’m happy to spend long periods of time alone with my laptop and my Netflix subscription before I start to feel like I’m going crazy and need human interaction. At which point, I go to Disneyland. It’s a vicious circle.
4. What is your primary method of funding your projects? 4) I have a full-time job at a non-profit organization, so a good portion of my paycheck (after rent and bills and whatnot) goes to my cosplay problem. I’m very fortunate to live in Los Angeles where we have an expansive fashion district downtown. I can get fabrics for much, much less that I would be able to if my only options were Joann’s and various online fabric stores. I tend to estimate how much I’m willing to spend on a certain costume and set that money aside from each paycheck.
5. What is your number one anime of all time? 5) Okay, so I’m one of the only cosplayers who isn’t into anime. No judgments for those who love it. To each their own, but it’s just not for me. I did watch Sailor Moon in fourth grade because that was the thing to do in the 90s, but really, that’s the last anime I watched. I do remember liking Sailor Mars because she was kind of a jerk, and I identified with that on a deep, emotional level, lol
6. What is your favorite material to work with? 6) I love working with faux dupioni. I can get it for about $4.50/yard in downtown LA. It irons beautifully and gives a nice stiffness to bigger ballgowns. When I remade my Lottie (from Disney’s Princess and the Frog) costume, I made it out of faux dupioni instead of the taffeta that i had made it out of the first time. It gave the skirt a nice stiffness and the fabric had a very subtle texture to it that gave the costume some depth. Warning, though. It does fray like crazy, so if you do decide to use it, make sure you serge your edges or at least create a lining for your project!
7. What is your favorite convention globally speaking? 7) I only went to a convention out of state for the first time this year! I was able to go to Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle and I absolutely loved it. But I’m a fan of any convention where it doesn’t feel like the con is being held on the surface of the sun like it does in LA. I tend to plan cosplays for the LA heat, and it was nice to actually think about incorporating something warm into my costumes for the brisk Seattle weather.
8. What is your favorite local event? 8) I have two favorite local cons: D23 and WonderCon. As I mentioned, I live in LA, so we have plenty of conventions to keep us fueled throughout the year. D23 is the Disney convention that only happens in Anaheim once every two years. It will return in 2019, and honestly, I can’t wait. It doesn’t have much to offer by way of Artist Alley, since Disney is pretty strict about their copyrights, but for a hardcore Disney fan like me, it is Disney nirvana. WonderCon is good for people like me who love big conventions, but would have an absolute meltdown at San Diego ComicCon. Since WonderCon is a sister convention of SDCC, I can get a good feel for what SDCC has to offer without the inevitable panic attack from the hoards of people trying to fit through the con floor.