The cosplay community is amazing especially when you make friends that have the same interest as you. For part of my GCCW feature month I wanted to introduce you to some of my favorite cosplayers I find inspiring and have them tell you a little more about themselves as a cosplayer!
Featured Cosplayer: Katy Herndon
Katy is my unicorn. She’s truly one of a kind and a very rare individual. I always tell her she keeps my head on my shoulders because without her I would completely lose it. She’s always there to help me come up with great ideas and more often than not she’ll guide me to finding better and easier ways to do things because she knows my creativity is 90 to nothing. She recently exposed me to the fun and fantasy of Ren Faires and she’s always my go to con buddy. While Katy will cosplay princess related characters with me she also ventures out into other styles of cosplay like Bellatrix from Harry Potter and characters from LOTR.
Introducing my friend, Katy.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @princesskatycosplay
Location: South Alabama
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: Honestly I never quite grew out of “playing dress-up”. As a kid my mom would make costumes for me and they were always unique and original. When I got out of high school she would make costumes for more specific needs (an Antebellum dress because I was a tour guide, or a costume I needed to perform in, etc.), and then I started my own princess company in 2009. From there I just continued to add cosplays. And, thanks to OUATP, I’ve gotten to play some of my favorite fairy tale characters! I’ve made some costumes (with the help of my talented mom), purchased some, and borrowed some. Like I said, I never grew out of playing dress up. I love it.
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: To me, cosplay is form of performing art. I am most definitely a creative type, so this is a way to express myself with the art of costuming as well as performing.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: In my normal life, I am an introvert and it is somewhat difficult to start conversations with people I don’t know. Whereas with cosplay, I can get out of myself and really be a different person.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: Going to Pensacon with @hermajestykat as the ugly stepsisters. It was SO much fun being a villain, and we got a lot of attention.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): My day job is as the Office Manager for my dad’s company (I run the place, ha). I am also a professional violinist (I’ve been playing for 28 years) and have performed in orchestras, string ensembles, hundreds of weddings, written violin parts for recordings, and loads of other gigs.. I dance ballet and occasionally perform with our local Ballet company. And of course I’m a princess performer and manager for your lovely company, OUATP. As for hobbies, I love putting together puzzles, reading as many books as I can, and staring at the cutest cat ever, my one true love, Seraphina.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I haven’t really been to very many cons, but my favorite one in my area is Pensacon. I REALLY want to go to D23 though. I am certain it will become my favorite.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: This one is difficult.. My favorite and the one I’m most proud of are different..
My favorite cosplay is Merida. I love performing as her, I love her character, I love having giant curly red hair, and I love speaking with a Scottish accent.
The cosplay I think I’m most proud of is Zarina (the Pirate Fairy). I styled the wig myself, created her bracelet belt, and my mom was able to create a skirt that actually looks like the animated one. I’m really proud of how it all came together.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: My current project that is actually almost finished, is Queen Elinor (Merida’s mom). I just have to style the beast of the wig. And, as Merida is one of my favorite characters, I have talked my mom into cosplaying as Queen Elinor with me as Merida! I am excited. Now I just need to get my dad into a kilt and my twin brothers to don some red wigs…
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): Okay I cannot narrow it down to one, so I’ll list some lovely cosplayers who I’ve connected with, who are also very talented…
@disneyprincesscosplay: Catherine’s cosplays are always gorgeous, and she is one of the nicest people I have met on social media.
@kara.markley: Kara and I connected because we are both violinists, and she has the most beautiful and ethereal cosplays, and she’s incredibly kind!
@snowmerida: I started following Lauren because two of my most performed characters are Snow White and Merida and I took a lot of inspiration from her! She is also so sweet and another *cough*thirty-something*cough* that I’ve connected with. 🙂
And, of course, @hermajestykat.. because I love you! And you’re exceedingly talented, kind, and generous. ❤
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Do not take this too seriously. Honestly, as I said earlier, we’re all just “playing dress-up”. Have fun with it – find characters that you relate to in some way. And do not compare yourself to other cosplayers. We all start somewhere.
Featured Cosplayer: Parker Bliss
Parker and I met working a princess ball in Texas. We stayed at our friend’s house together so I had the opportunity to get to know her a little more. Since meeting her we’ve worked together on different occasions, even doing a 7 hour road trip to work another ball together, and we bumped into each other at DragonCon 2019! I enjoy following her on social media because she always does some different and interesting cosplays that I enjoy seeing.
Introducing my friend and fellow cosplayer, Parker.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @parkerbliss
Location: Atlanta, GA
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: I actually found cosplay through my first convention, DragonCon. I’d heard about DragonCon when I was still in high school but actually decided to go with my roommate my sophomore year of college. I grew up in theater and absolutely loved Halloween so the idea that I could ‘dress up’ other times during the year was an amazing and completely new idea for me. I made my first two cosplays for DragonCon 2013, with lots of help and support from my parents, and I’ve never looked back.
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: Cosplay has given me a creative outlet and a support group full of friends that I’d have never met without it. It gives me the creative freedom to express myself through my favorite fandoms and, most recently, through my own original characters. It’s given me a way to continue to explore different mediums of creation, not only through costume construction but also post-production. To me cosplay means not only creativity but freedom.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: There’s an almost strange sense of relief and, again, freedom when I cosplay. Being able to step into another character’s shoes and take a moment to escape my own life can be incredibly beneficial. Through original characters, it has also taught me a lot about myself and how to relate to other people. Part of cosplay is the ‘play’ aspect and that can be amazing for character study. It’s made me a better writer, actor and person, in my opinion.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: I’ve been a princess performer for almost as long as I’ve been cosplaying and my first years in the industry were spent in a non-profit organization. We spent a lot of our time with ill children, some terminally so. Whenever I’m asked about my favorite times in cosplay I always flash back to those times, especially with one specific little girl named Karma. The organization had been visiting her since before I joined but I was lucky enough to spend time with her as well. One of my personal favorite times was when my friend, Miranda, and I got to don our own ‘mermaid personas’ to swim with her. The company rented out a pool and we showed up in full mermaid get ups, silicone performance tails and seashells. Being able to bring magic to life for children who desperately need and deserve it, will always be the best thing to me.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I’ve been lucky enough to make cosplay a part-time job in the last year but my primary job is as a private music instructor for a performing arts center. I spend most of my free time singing, writing and playing Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve recently started streaming on Twitch, both on my personal channel playing video games, and I’m also one of the owners of ‘The Welcome Inn’ – a Dungeons & Dragons focused twitch channel.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: My answer for ‘favorite’ convention is what I consider my ‘home convention’ – DragonCon. I’ve gone every year since 2013 and always love it. Not only is it a huge multi-fandom convention with tons to do but it’s also the convention that most of my friends can attend, even those who live across the country. I’ve also fallen in love with Holiday Matsuri in the last few years but that probably has something to do with my personal love of Christmas – and it being close to Disney World.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: I get this question a lot and it gets harder every year I’ve been cosplaying, especially now that I’ve started to cosplay my original characters. However, as of right now, my answer is Jester Lavorre from Critical Role. I immediately fell in love with the Critical Role community, specifically the cosplay community, for being so inviting and wonderful. I’ve made 5 versions of Jester so far and am working on my 6th right now. I’ve learned so much through each other those builds, whether it be working with leather and bodypaint, wig styling or making her horns from scratch. I’ve found Dungeons and Dragons cosplays have taught me a lot and still leave a lot of room for creative interpretation.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: With no conventions looming in the distance I’ve been focusing on more personal builds, specifically fantasy. I recently purchased my first pair of fairy wings from HelloFaerie, something I’ve wanted forever, and I’m designing an original fantasy look for a photoshoot in the forest! Now is the time for solo cosplays and safe photo shoots, so I’m working on channeling my creativity into those sorts of projects as much as possible.
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): That question is almost like asking me to pick my favorite friend. There are so many fantastic creators in the cosplay community and I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with some of my biggest inspirations. To make this a little easy for me, let me give you the handles for some creators I’ve found more recently that inspire me. Mythicallrose has fantastic content and quite a bit of it is historical, which makes the history buff in me happy. Raineemery makes amazing builds of original takes on well-known characters, as well as original designs. And I will always recommend my friends Pins.Snip.Cosplay, the duo that supports and inspires me to push my own creative limits. They’re constantly teaching me new things and tackling big builds that I can hardly fathom even beginning.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Cosplay for yourself. Cosplay for fun. Cosplay is – for most of us – a hobby. That all seems really obvious when you start out but it’s easy nowadays to fall into pleasing others over yourself. Remember why you started cosplaying. And for a less philosophical bit of advice, do your research. There are plenty of creators out there who have made the mistakes, myself included, so you don’t have to! Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Featured Cosplayer: Kristina Maria
I found Kristina Maria through some other cosplay friends of mine on social media and have been following her for a while. In my opinion, Kristina is a strong, empowering and inspirational woman. She is not afraid to talk about her struggles and beliefs openly on her platforms and I believe, through her stories, she is able to help others in some way or another whether it be to educate or let other’s know they aren’t alone. Although Kristina and I have never met in person, she seems like such a kind person and she also has some amazing cosplays!
Introducing, Kristina Maria.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @itskristinamaria
Location: Orlando, FL
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: I started a job working as princesses for birthday parties! I finally decided to wear a costume to a convention in, I believe, 2015. That’s when Elizabeth Rage came up to me while there with AVbyte and told me that I needed to get into cosplaying!
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: Cosplay has been such an incredible art form for self expression for me. It was a way to take a break from the real world, gain confidence, and celebrate everything that I love about fandoms and dressing up. Cosplay means the world to me, because it’s about acceptance and community to a lot of us who didn’t feel that before.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: I feel powerful and confident when I cosplay! I am a huge introvert, but something about putting on a costume makes me feel like I can take on the world and be whoever I want to be!
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: My favorite cosplay memory was the first time I wore Elena of Avalor to MegaCon. It was right after the show aired, and I was walking on the floor when I heard a little voice yelling “Elena” over and over again. I turned around, kneeled down, and this beautiful little latina girl ran right into my arms. As I was holding her, she started crying, so I held her tighter. The mother apologized and said, “She’s just happy to see someone that looks like her.” This was such an incredible moment, and takes the cake between every party and convention I’ve ever been to. I, as an adult Latina woman, cried when I first saw Elena, so seeing how heartfelt and powerful that representation was flowing into this little girl touched my heart so much!
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I am currently a live-in nanny for six crazy kids! It is a full time job, and I am so grateful for it, and the family, every single day.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: My favorite con of all time (since retired) was GeekyCon, but my favorite on running convention is HolMat in Orlando! Everyone who comes is so full of genuine love and happiness just to be there. There’s a sense of community there, and I appreciate that so much.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: My favorite cosplay I’ve ever done is Kida from Disney’s Atlantis: the Lost Empire! Kida meant so much to be as a child. She was a powerful woc role model, and I aspired to be like her. The beautiful part about my cosplay is that the design is completely original and made by my incredible friend, DaVie McCarthy (@DaVieDreaming). They are such an incredible costumer, and they put so much heart and effort into each of their designs. Also, my beautiful cosplaying friend, Kelly Kirstein (@KellyKirstein), styled the beautiful, yet chaotic wig for Kida’s hair.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I am currently working on Anya from Anastasia: the Musical, K Howard from Six: the Musical, and Redd from Pirates of the Caribbean!
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): My favorite cosplay is Madison Murrah (@aletheia_cosplay). Madison has such a beautiful, wonderful soul. She puts so much effort into everything she does, and she uses her platform to speak out about important topics. We also are dress twins, so I have no choice but to stan.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Cosplay what makes you happy- not what you think will make others happy. When you stop dressing up for yourself, this incredible hobby turns into a job. I lost so much passion doing that and had to re-find myself. Your skin color, height, weight, disability, financial situation, etc. does not define who you can or cannot cosplay.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?: Just like anywhere, there are times when some people in the community won’t be the kindest. Keep your heart strong and full of light, and those who do the same will come. Never let the darkness of others steer you away from what you love to do. Cosplay is for everyone.
Featured Cosplayer: Andrew Eberline
I found Andrew through some mutual cosplay friends on Instagram. We were both invited to work with a character company for a project in Augusta, GA so I was able to meet him in person! Although we all didn’t really have a ton of time to hang out because we were so busy, and there were so many people there it was hard to get quality time with each person, I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Andrew and hope to cross paths again with him at a con or another special project trip in the future!
Introducing, Andrew Eberline.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @JayJawline
Location: Tampa, FL
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: I got in it through starting off with Halloween costumes, and then realized that people actually dress up throughout the year, so I wanted to be cool like them too!
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: Cosplay means being able to dress up as a character that you probably have some type of connection to. Because the characters are fictional, it’s nice to cosplay to “bring them to life” in a sense.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: I feel great and almost someone else when I am cosplaying the certain characters.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: My favorite cosplay memory was when I cosplayed Jack Frost with my Elsa at the time, to do the Jelsa ship together. It wasn’t just having someone beautiful to work with that made it my favorite memory, but having all of the new faces I got to meet through it, and show them around HolMat (since it was their first time) that made it my favorite memory in cosplay.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I’m a photographer on the side, both for modeling and cosplay. I also work as substitute teacher as my normal day job.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I love DragonCon and Holiday Matsuri! DragonCon because it’s such a huge con and there’s a lot of things to do at the convention, along with it being in Georgia (my home state). Holiday Matsuri because I love the holiday themed cosplays that come out to a convention.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: Jack Frost was my favorite by far! The idea with that look at the time was not just the original look, but adding a holiday theme to it. So I had the idea of making his staff into a giant candy cane, which was a nice holiday look. The outfit took a lot to actually put together, but I was incredibly proud of the look after the work.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: My next cosplay project is something for the month of October. No big hints, but it’s something from The Office.
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): If I had to pick a favorite cosplayer (and I honestly hate picking one), I’d have to pick my friend Karrigan. Her handle is @thekarrigantaylor. Not just because she’s my friend, but she pours out such a lot of passion and love for the craft. She does such a great job with her looks, and her follower base is as big as it is for a reason. She does original looks too, and that type of originality with cosplay is such an admirable trait to see in an artist.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Honestly, advice I’d give is to try with either characters you love, or characters that you feel like you resemble the most. People love to see both of those when it comes to cosplay.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?: As much as cosplay is seen as “nerdy”, anyone can do it, and if you’re creative and artistic, don’t let the haters tell you that it’s not cool. Art is art. Jump into the craft and show off your talent!
Featured Cosplayer: Dayna Sauble
I have followed Dayna since I created my cosplay Instagram account. Not only is she an incredibly talented cosplayer and singer, but she is also such a strong and inspiring individual. Dayna shares a lot of personal feelings on her platform, good and bad, which I admire because not a lot of people share their vulnerable side openly. She gives those of us who do struggle with tough or overwhelming feelings behind closed doors hope and inspiration. Through her social media, I have found Dayna to be a kind and passionate human being that expresses herself through cosplay and music. And while we’ve never been able to meet in person, every time I see a new post or story update I’m eager to get to know her a little more.
Introducing, Dayna Sauble.
Social Media: Instagram: @thedrpepperprincess
Location: From SoCal, currently resides in LA country
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: A friend of mine @reagankathryn told me about cosplay and how it’s like Halloween but whenever you want and I said “UM yes that’s what I need in my life. Halloween all year long.”
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: As an actress and a singer for my career, cosplay has been an outlet to bring characters I love to life. It also allows me to, in a way, not wait to be cast as someone by a casting director, but become them on my own terms. And I really love the chance to bring joy to others and inspire them through what I do.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: Happy. But it can also be stressful sometimes haha. But mostly it makes me happy. And when others appreciate what I create or share it’s also very rewarding.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: Any moment that I’ve made a friend because we cosplayed the same character, or were from the same universe, or because we complimented each other’s cosplays and geeked out over how cool the other person is and then started talking and connecting.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): Before the world changed this year I was working full time as a character performer for kids birthday parties, singing with an a capella group that performs at Disneyland and other places, performing in a musical Pirate stunt show as a Pirate Queen, and singing and dancing in Professional musicals.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: Wondercon and Disney D23 are my favorites. Wondercon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first convention. I always have a wonderful time there with friends and I love that it encompasses not just comics, but tv, film, video games, and just everything. D23 is another favorite because of how much I love Disney.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: I honestly don’t think I can pick just one. There’s a joy I feel when I get to become each of these characters I love. Spiderman would probably be one of my favorites because I have loved him since childhood and always wanted to be him, so dressing up in a spidey suit is so thrilling to me. I really feel like a superhero.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I’m getting more into body paint and finally doing a dream cosplay that requires it and allows me to use my talent as a singer and actress as well. I’ll be bringing Elphaba from Wicked to life and I’m so excited!
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): This is WAY too hard to only pick just one and this is already giving me anxiety. Haha. I love so many of my friends and they all inspire me.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: You can cosplay ANYone and ANYthing. Don’t let people who aren’t even a part of this community tell you that because of how you identify, or the color of your skin, your height, your weight etc. that you can’t cosplay the character. Cosplay is for everyone. And it’s cosPLAY. Have fun with it.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?: Thanks for reading! And let’s be friends. 🙂
Featured Cosplayer: Sydney Maloney
I actually found Sydney through TikTok! I downloaded TikTok in October of 2019 hoestly as a joke because I had heard someone made a good amount of money to buy cosplays with so I thought, what the heck. The algorithm almost immediately showed me Sydney and her incredibly creative cosplay videos! She’s so entertaining to watch, especially when she does villains because I imagine her to be such a sweet, soft spoken person. I get inspired with her creativity, and just when I think she’s outdone herself with a creative TikTok she does it again and continues to produce quality content.
Introducing, Sydney Maloney.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @sydthedisnerd
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: Growing up, I had such a huge love for Disney and would always play dress up as a little girl. I discovered cosplay through social media. The first YouTube video I remember watching was Michelle Phan’s Snow White tutorial, and I became hooked on makeup and character transformation ever since. As I looked for more character tutorials, I stumbled across Traci Hines, an incredible cosplayer and singer who inspired me to start cosplaying. I love how she combined my love for Disney, makeup and music. I started cosplaying in December of 2015 and the rest is history! Hard to believe I’ve been cosplaying for almost 5 years!
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: When I cosplay, I consider myself my own canvas. I can transform into whoever I feel like that day and escape reality for however long I need. Cosplay is such an amazing creative outlet that has allowed me to connect with so many amazing people and to challenge my artistry in the best way!
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: Cosplay is something that makes me happy, especially when I portray characters that I admire so much. When I first started cosplay, I got stuck in a bubble to just do princesses since I related to them so much. But, I started to experiment with villains, like the Evil Queen and Maleficent, and more sultry characters, like Poison Ivy. Doing a variety of characters allowed me to discover so many different sides of myself. And because of that, cosplay allowed me to gain SO much confidence.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: One of my favourite moments was when I went to my first convention in 2017 as Rapunzel. I was interacting with a little girl and she asked me where Pascal was. I replied, “I brought him with me but we’re playing a game of hide and seek right now. If you find him, let me know!” And she went on her way. About 10 minutes later, I hear an excited little voice say “RAPUNZEL! RAPUNZEL! I FOUND HIM! I FOUND PASCAL!” I had never hid a Pascal toy anywhere nor did I bring a live chameleon with me. But this moment made me treasure what I do. Cosplay allows me to not only immerse myself in a character, but to allow others to feel the magic the characters I cosplay bring.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): When I’m not cosplaying, I’m a college student! I currently study the performing arts at Randolph College in Toronto. It’s been a challenge studying online but it’s been wonderful nonetheless! I also work as a party princess and it’s the absolute best job!
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I absolutely loved attending the Toronto Fan Expo Holiday Market last year. I met so many amazing people and loved seeing the extra touches of holiday cheer that everyone added to their cosplays! I’m also looking forward to attending Toronto Comic Con next year! I’ve missed conventions so much!
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: I love all the characters I do for so many different reasons. But I’d have to say my favourite to do is my girl, Snow White. I discovered my love for this beloved princess through cosplaying her! Ever since I was little, I’ve always been compared to her. But when I started cosplaying Snow, I felt such a deep connection to her. She is such a ray of light and has inspired me to be a beacon for others.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: My next big project is Evie from Descendants! I’ve been wanting to do her for so long and I’m so excited to bring her to life!
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): Oh my gosh, SO many!!! But one of the closest friends that I have made through cosplay is Cory Nation. He is incredibly talented and does amazing genderbent cosplays. Him and I met through TikTok. I started to duet his videos, we started messaging each other and the rest is history! We’ve been the best of friends ever since and will be celebrating 2 years of friendship this coming November!
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: The most important thing to remember about cosplay is that there are no rules. You can do whatever the heck you want with a character, whether you sew your own amazing garment or gather clothing you have on hand to create something fun! Don’t worry if your cosplay isn’t extremely accurate to the character. Your own personal touches are what make your characters so unique! And just have fun with it! That’s what it’s all about!
Featured Cosplayer: Heather Coy
I consider Heather to be a good friend of mine! We ‘met’ (I say it like that because truthfully we just started interacting online) years ago when I began party princessing. The first time we formally met was years after our first online encounter. My party princess cast and I headed up to North Alabama to perform in for a Fairytale Ball. The ball requires us to have a full cast of characters and with our travel arrangements it was easier to hire a few girls that were closer to the area and didn’t have to travel with my group as a whole. Heather was one of them! After that I continued to hire her for other balls held in my local area. We’ve also taken a Disney trip together, I attended my first DragonCon with her and we’ve both been hired to a couple of events together! I’m super grateful to know Heather because she is nothing short of supportive and encouraging, and she’s definitely a cosplay inspiration of mine.
Introducing my friend, Heather Coy.
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: I was a part of an Improv comedy team that performed around the southeast at conventions. I wanted to join in the fun.
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: It’s a way to bring some of my favorite characters to life as well as express myself creatively and connect to other artists along the way!
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: I feel really proud of the time and effort I’ve put in to create something I’m passionate about.
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: My favorite cosplay memory is the process of coming up with the idea of Disney princess mean girls with friends. The whole time coming up with and putting together costumes and then just having a great time walking around the con together in character was just so fun.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I’m a middle school art teacher. I also participate in community theater.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I love Dragon Con because it’s local to me and because it’s so large and covers pretty much all of my interests. D23 is also such a fun cross country trip for me.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: I loved putting together Hera from Hercules because she was my first cosplay I completely put together. I made the wig myself which was a huge undertaking and I sough out and designed my own dress (although I had a commissioner create it) I even learned to body paint and make arm socks for it. It was a huge payoff in the end and she’s just such a unique look that I hadn’t really seen done before.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I hope to one day put together Anastasia or Powerline from a goofy movie but most of my cosplays end up being spur of the moment ideas.
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): I adore @_sweetcosplay on Instagram.
She is so kind and all of her cosplays are just so perfect. We met on tiktok! Her tiktok is @_sweetstories.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Have fun with it! I know that’s cliche but that’s what makes it so fun. Don’t make it a competition. Just find people who share your interests and really get involved in the community.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?: Thanks for having me!
Featured Cosplayer: Lisa de Graaf
I don’t really remember when I cam across Lisa’s account but I know I’ve been following her for some time now. She’s one of those performers that we call a chameleon because she can transform into and is stunning as so many characters! When I began my princessing journey I had no idea there were other princess performers outside of the US. As I explored the online cosplay community more I began to find international cosplayers like Lisa, and I’m so glad I did because I love seeing her posts!
Introducing, Lisa de Graaf.
Social Media: Instagram @graafcosplay
Location: The Netherlands
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?:The first time I heard about cosplay was when my brother came back from a comic con and told me all about it. He talked about superheroes and comics. And all I could ask was ‘Is there Disney too?’. So after that day I started planning my first cosplay and went to my first convention together with my big brother! By the time I was 14 years old.
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?:Cosplay for me, is a way to make my childhood dreams come true. As a kid I loved Disney princesses, dressing up and watching Barbie movies. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I was older, I would always say ‘a princess’. In a way, this dream came true. I even found my prince charming along the way.
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: It is great to do photoshoots as my favorite fairytale characters! I love studying everything about them, how to do their make up, how they walk, pose, talk and sing. I think it is so interesting!
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: I don’t have a specific cosplay memory in mind, since every time I am cosplaying is special. But my favorite days are when I get to be with my friends or family!
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I am a full time freelancer! I own a princess company (it’s called Magical Party) where they can hire fairytale characters for their birthday party or event. When I am not ‘princessing’, I am doing performance gigs. Such as stilt walking, acting, commercials, hosting and more.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: Absolutely! I love Elfia Haarzuilens, it’s a big fantasy event at a huge castle garden in the Netherlands. I try to go each year! The location is always so beautiful, lots of amazing cosplayers and photographers and the ambiance is just lovely! The only thing that can get in the way is the typical Dutch weather.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: My favorite cosplay I have done must be Anna in her green epilogue dress of the first Frozen movie! I have lot’s of Frozen books about their adventures in Arendelle and it seems to be the dress Anna wears most of the time!
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I am currently working on Wendy Darling, Jessie (Toy Story), Vanellope von Schweetz, Anna in her harvest dress and Anna in her nightgown.
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): I have lots of favorite cosplayers! I love following Traci Hines (her videoclips are literally to die for) and Jbunzie (her transformations are fenomenal).
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Please spend your money on something you actually ABSOLUTELY LOVE. I have made so many mistakes in the beginning with buying cheap costumes or wigs, while I knew I actually wanted something else. Rather have one costume you absolutely love, than mutiple costumes you are not 100% satisfied with! It helped me boost my confidence focussing on what I thought was important!
Featured Cosplayer: Briana Roecks
Briana was another one of those creators that I don’t remember when I discovered her but I’m so glad I did. If you asked me to describe Briana and her account I would tell you that her specialty is putting together colorful character themed casual outfits. I love seeing the creativity she puts into her different looks. As someone who is an avid Disney-bounder, I definitely look to Briana and her content for inspiration. I’m also a lover of vintage nods in fashion and boy does she have a huge vintage influence in a lot of her ensembles. I’m so happy to have her be a part of this project because I just want everyone to know who she is.
Introducing, Briana Roecks.
Social Media: Instagram and/or TicTok: @brianamatopoeia
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: I’ve always loved dressing up for Halloween, and entering into high school, I was OBSESSED with Sailor Moon. So, naturally I was a sailor senshi for Halloween. I had so much fun in the costume that I didn’t want to take it off. So I would look for reasons to wear it, any opportunity! That’s when I discovered San Diego Comic Con International! I could wear my Halloween costume! That was so exciting! While I was there, I encountered Sailor JAMboree, a Sailor Moon performing group popular in the early 2000’s. I fell in love immediately and wanted to join! I auditioned and was accepted along with my best friend and cosplay became a way of life for me as I would attend conventions, events, store opening and cosplay social gatherings with the group!
Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: I’m sure cosplay means so many different things for many people, but for me, cosplay is an opportunity to learn a new skill. As someone who is always looking to become a better seamstress, I have so much fun expanding my knowledge and skill with every costume I made. It’s so fulfilling to wear a costume you made and are proud of. I love the moment when you realize that you created a garment out of a pile of fabric!
Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: My favorite thing about cosplay is the sensation of familiarity people have when they recognize whatever character you are cosplaying. Sure, not everyone knows Briana, but they DO know Sailor Moon, so we have an automatic ice-breaker! I’m suddenly MUCH more approachable and may have just made a new friend! There’s NO better feeling than that!
Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: One Japan Expo, while performing with Sailor JAMboree, I was dressed as Tsukino Usagi. A very small Japanese child ran up to me and said “SERA MUN!” and I knelt down and whispered to her “shhh, sore wa himitsudesu” (which means, “shhh, that is a secret” I didn’t know a TON of Japanese, but I had picked up some phrases here and there, and BOY was I glad I did when I saw her face light up. I also cannot go without mentioning pretty much every time I ever wore Margaery Tyrell with my husband as Baelish. He looks pretty much spot-on to Aiden Gillen, who plays Little Finger on the show, so when we go places, people freak out. We’ve had so much fun doing nothing at all! Sipping wine al fresco with a Joffrey cosplayer friend of ours, putting together a huge group of GOT cosplayers to play mini-golf at a castle in Sherman Oaks, etc.- we’ve made such incredible memories with other Game of Thrones cosplayers.
Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): When I’m not cosplaying, I love to travel and DisneyBound. My big kid job is in the field of film and television, but I also enjoy sewing and thrifting in my spare time.
Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I love San Diego Comic Con for cosplay. You never know what opportunities will arise from wearing a costume. Things are happening everywhere at ALL times there! It’s almost impossible to NOT have fun when I’m at SDCC.
Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: I’m really proud of my Margaery Tyrell costume and my Alice in Wonderland Parade of Dreams costume. I made Margaery without a dressform or a pattern. I just sort of……dreamed her up. To this day, I’m surprised at how well she fits and how comfortable she is to wear. I made some of my best friends while cosplaying Game of Thrones and that cosplay fandom is one I am so so pleased to be a part of. And Alice was just pretty! I look back and remember all the work I did to make it, and I surprise myself! Finished edges? On a cosplay?! WHAT? I did that? hand-beaded trim around the skirt hem? ME?! So wild to think about.
Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I’m going to be honest and tell you that my next project was going to be a Beauxbaton from Harry Potter, but that has been set down indefinitely. I’m not sure what my next cosplay will be, but recently I’ve been feeling the urge to go back to my roots and revisit Sailor Moon.
Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): YES! The ladies at Cosplay on the Rocks. I met some of them through Sailor Jamboree and they invited to me cosplay with them for a masquerade. I had so much fun with them they became my cosplay fairy godmothers! SO knowledgeable and willing to teach and help you learn how to be not only a better cosplayer, but a better person as well.
Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Just go for it! Don’t let anyone tell you what character you can and cannot cosplay because of the color of your skin or your body type- but please, whatever you do, never change your skin color for a costume. Cosplay is for everyone! And it’s the most fun when everyone feels respected and included as they express their love for whatever show, movie, comic, anime, videogame, etc. they are representing.
Any last thoughts you’d like to add?: Thank you so much for including me in this! It was so much fun to take a trip down memory lane as I look for the future!