GCCW Farewell!

All good things must come to an end, and today is the last day in my Gulf Coast Super Fan feature month. As a farewell I wanted to tell you all a little bit of my experience as a Super Fan and with the Gulf Coast CW as a whole. As an added bonus, I put together a special cosplay based on the illustration created for me by Steven Moore, GCCW July Super Fan. Check that out at the end of this blog!

The GCCW “Star”:

My journey with the GCCW started a few years ago when they were doing a search for the network’s star (basically a featured personality, i.e. the “face”). I saw some posts about it on Facebook but to be honest, I didn’t think much of it besides that it sounded like fun. I had no intentions of auditioning for the star until one of the final round of auditions. While I was laying in bed, I saw a friend of mine and local radio personality, Matt McCoy, post about it on his personal Faceebook page. There was about an hour left for auditions and I thought, what the heck why not, and headed to the station. During my audition, three judges asked me questions that I’m sure was a way for them to inspect my personality to see if I was fit to be what they called the “star” of the network. Pretty much the only part I remember was when they asked if I had any special talents. I told them that I was a performer so I could sing for them or that I used to be a former collegiate and competitive cheerleader so I could tumble for them. By request, I took off my mic, tucked in the flannel shirt I was wearing (which complimented my ripped up black jeans and combat boots) and threw a back tuck. They seemed enthused so I’m sure they hadn’t seen anyone else do that during their audition. Later on I found out that I was selected to be in the top 15 and this next round of voting was up to the community. We were asked to create a video of why we should be the GCCW star to be posted for a final round of community voting should we be chosen to be in the final top three. I was so proud of my video. I spent days travelling to different locations in the area that I felt really showed my personality and love for my community. I filled the video with a voiceover of me sharing the qualities and traits I believed I had to be a great representative of the station. When voting came to a close I discovered I was not chosen to be in the top three, and while I’d like to say I was heartbroken, I actually wasn’t. Sure I was bummed because I worked hard on my video and the idea of being a representative for a tv show network sounded like a lot of fun, but truthfully, I didn’t even plan on going to that audition in the beginning and I really didn’t expect to make it in to the top anything much less the top 15 so I was just grateful for how far I’d gotten and the experiences I had through it all.

When the top three finalist came out the only one that stood out to me was this super bubbly blonde girl that I had heard of before the star search so since I wasn’t in the running anymore I couldn’t let my voting go to waste and I voted for her. I thought that if I wasn’t still in the running for this position and couldn’t vote for myself I wanted to vote for someone who was deserving of it. In the end, that blonde girl was voted to be the network’s star! Tori B. is a fantastic representation for the network as well as our community because no matter the topic, her enthusiasm is contagious and radiates through the screen when she makes an appearance. As I mentioned before, I knew of Tori B. before all of this but we had never actually met in person. It seemed like we were always attending or working the same events and just never crossed paths. I plan to write a separate blog one day featuring Tori B. and our experience meeting as well as some interview questions I want to ask her, but we did end up grabbing coffee together so we could formally meet and I’m glad we did that because we are so much alike! I’m a firm believer on the view point that whatever happened in our past plays a big part in where we are at now in the present and where we will be in the future, so even though I wasn’t chosen to be the GCCW Star, I’ve had some amazing opportunities that I’ve been able to experience since then that I wouldn’t trade for anything- being a featured Super Fan for the GCCW included!

GCCW Super Fan Experience

I honestly don’t remember if it was an email or a text message but by some form of written communication Tori B. reached out to me about a fun project she was putting together for the Gulf Coast CW network. Soon after I had a phone conference with her and one other rep from the network with more information on the project as well as expectations of us as creative partners. Basically, the network would feature one creative a month that they dubbed a “Super Fan” where they would share any content created by this creative. These individuals ranged from illustrators and gamers to cosplayers like me! I was scheduled to be the featured creator for the month of September. Leading up to my feature I came up with content ideas for my different platforms and I got a fun backstage tour of the CW network facility- they also gave me a super cool CWag bag filled with goodies. I will not lie, this month has been a little challenging for me. I did have a previously planned trip at the beginning of the month so I was unable to focus on producing content, however that was only short term, once I was home I was back on track working on my content. A few weeks later, my future sister-in-law was faced with a sudden loss of a close family member and while I didn’t know this person very long, I was excited to basically have them as part of my family and the effects of her loss were felt within our entire family. Following that tragedy, our area was hit by Hurricane Sally which resulted in a tree landing on my house completely crushing my porch and damaging my roof. We were also without power and running water so I was displaced from my home for days. Thankfully my brother-in-law lives a few minutes away and was fortunate to still have both power and water. During this time I found it difficult to focus and find inspiration to do anything creative. I fortunately have not struggled too terribly much as so many others have this year but needless to say, with the way 2020 has been going it did seem to hit close to home (literally) all at once. Something I try to remind myself, it’s not what we’re given, it’s what we do with what we’re given. That can be interpreted in many different ways, but in my particular situation I take this as- Sometimes we, ourselves, have no control over what has or will happen but we do have control over how we handle the things life throws at us. There was nothing I could do when I heard a crackling sound in the middle of the night and less than an instant later an entire tree was on my house like three feet away from where I was sleeping, I can only pick up the pieces and rebuild. We have to decide how to deal with the hand we are deal. In trying times it’s tough to remain optimistic, but we owe it to ourselves to push forward.

As my Super Fan month comes to an end, I’m thankful for the experiences it has given me, like being introduced to some other amazing local creatives and having another platform to share the stuff that makes me happy! This month was nothing short of challenging, and coming up with specialized content for my spotlight month was also, in it’s own way, [creatively] challenging, but I am elated to have had this opportunity and I know this experience will remind me to continue pushing my own personal boundaries when it comes to the content I create.

GCCW Logo Cosplay

As I mentioned above, the GCCW Super Fan for the month of July, Steven Moore, came up with some amazing illustrations for each featured creator. As a cosplayer, I immediately knew that I could use this as part of my featured content by creating the costume throughout the month and debuting it with my final farewell. My favorite thing about the illustration is that it’s based on me! For other cosplays I’m wearing wigs and doing my makeup as that particular character does but since this was me I could just, well, be me! I sourced the main costume pieces like the body suit, boots and gloves from Amazon but the cape was a little tricky. I couldn’t find something already made that looked even remotely similar to the illustration so I decided to attempt to make it on my own. I remembered that I had some scrap fabric similar to the color of the illustration from a previous project that might be enough to make the entire cape- and it was! It was just enough. I took some measurements of my neck for the collar, draped the material over my mannequin and began cutting the shape of the cape. I’m glad my mom put me through sewing classes when I was younger so the easiest part of this process was just hemming up the ends and attaching the collar to the rest of the cape. The look was finally complete! Since the illustration is heavily super hero influenced I thought the perfect location to do this special cosplay shoot would be in the Downtown area, somewhere that you can see the main buildings that make up our unique skyline. As the month was drawing closer to an end I didn’t have a lot of time to execute this shoot. A friend and I planned to take photos of each other but on the day of our planned shoot it was raining a lot. Since we were both pretty much ready we decided to head to the spot and wait out the rain in my car. As the rain quickly passed a rainbow was clearly visible right over the city and we took that as a sign to go for it and take our photos. I honestly think if it didn’t rain my photos wouldn’t have been as unique because the puddles offered some great opportunities for reflection shots and we were able to use the rainbow for my friend’s photos (she was Marilyn Monroe, check out one of her shots below too!). I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident in a cosplay and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that it was based on myself!

All this being said, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a featured creator for this special project and hope I get to work with the Gulf Coast CW again in the future!

Bonus Image: @shortprincessprobs as Marilyn Monroe

Cosplay Room Tour

My cosplay “closet”, as I’d like to call it, is my creative space. I have two connecting rooms that are dedicated to storing my cosplay costumes, crafting supplies and anything else I might need to express my creativity and get some work done.

Over time my collection has grown so my storage strategies have improved and with that, I’m going to share some of my tips and tricks for maximizing and utilizing space in your creative rooms!

If you’ve watched the tour you’ll know that one of my favorite things is functionality. Having things on wheels or compact storage compartments that also double as a desk or have a top space to stack more items is definitely a reoccurring functionality trick in my cosplay rooms. I have a few drawer storage compartments for accessories in my Cosplay closet that are on wheels so I can roll them in to an open space if I need to get to something behind them. In my makeup room I have the same storage drawers set stationary but I use the space on top to have my organized makeup brushes at the ready when I’m getting in to costume or even doing every day makeup. My costume racks are always on wheels so if I need to clean beneath them I just simply roll them out of the way and roll them right back in place.

If you’re like me and film most of your character videos in whatever available space you have in your home, popping up a backdrop can sound easy but gets annoying when you have to do it multiple times a week. When Coronavirus started to affect my Princess company all services went virtual, meaning I now had to start doing Princess video messages and live calls from home so having to throw up a backdrop every time I had a booking was going to be a lot and leaving it up just wasn’t doable since I use my space for multiple projects, so I moved a few things around to create an empty wall and had my husband install a curtain rod so I could interchange the backdrops and constantly have a backdrop up that wasn’t in the way. Up against the wall I have a large mirror where I can check myself once I’m in costume to make sure everything is in order, then I’m able to drop the curtains to cover the mirror and I’m ready to film.

My makeup room, where I film, has great natural lighting, but if I ever have to film later in the evenings or sometimes at night quality lighting is important, so I usually always have at least one studio lighting stand up and ready but pushed out of the way in to a nook between my desk and wig storage shelves. This space was unused and the light fits perfectly so being able to have that at the ready while also having it conveniently out of the way was important.

For my many characters I have a bunch of accessories. I previously mentioned that I keep the majority of my accessories in storage drawer containers however, having a bunch of accessories thrown in a bucket or drawer can get a little mixed up so I keep everything separated using things like food storage containers. I find containers that fit the accessory perfectly without much additional room is perfect to make sure I’m saving space for other items.

With having a lot of characters I also have a lot of wigs. I happened to score some shelving units from Victoria’s Secret when they remodeled a few years back and these shelves provide so much space for multiple wigs on each level. As an added bonus, there is a cabinet at the bottom of each one that I use for some character shoe overflow as well as garment bag storage. Currently, the top of the shelves is home to my Disney trinkets, but I might need to reconsider their display space as my wig collection is growing so much I’ll need the additional top shelf space to expand.

When I’m structuring the organization of my items in a space I love drawing out the layout of the room with a rough sketch of the items that are going in there, items such as shelving, desks etc. I make a list of the larger items along with measurements, if I can, and puzzle them in to the room drawing with a pencil. This helps me get a visual and an early idea of where everything will go. Doing this helps me avoid getting in a room and moving things around 50 times just to make it all fit.

While I know there are a lot of space maximizing and storage organization for tips out there, especially easily accessible on sites like Pinterest, my cosplay rooms are only temporarily in my home. I’ll be moving in to my new office by the end of 2020 which is a whole space designated for my princess and photography companies. I’ve been able to first hand have a say so in design and structure so I can make sure the space is ready for everything I’ll be moving in so expect an updated tour when I move in!

CW Content: Featured Cosplayer Questionnaire

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

Photos by Katco Photography

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

Jester Photo by Marc Overcash Photography

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

Personal photo: @the.dapper.daniel Kida photo: @elysiagriffin

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

Elsa cosplayer: @rumplepigskin

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

Mrs. Incredible photo by @dcpaparay_z

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
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
Location: Canada

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.

Social Media: Instagram and/or TikTok: @southernrosecosplay
Location: Warner Robins, Georgia

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

Anna photo: Mike Attinger

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!

GCCW SuperFan Introduction: Kat Caraway

Hi! Whether you found me through my social media platforms, know me personally, or saw my featured content of the Gulf Coast CW, I’m so glad you’re here! Here’s a bit of information so you know what this blog and the next couple of blogs will be about: The month of September the Gulf Coast CW network is highlighting me as one of their creative partners, or what they like to call “SuperFans”. CW Star Tori B reached out to me with this awesome opportunity and I didn’t hesitate to jump on board. While I have various blog posts planned for the remainder of the month containing specialized content geared more towards my CW spotlight, today I thought it was appropriate to do a little introduction of myself so you aren’t sitting there wondering “Who even is this girl?” Before I get in to my official introduction, you can check out my featured page on the GCCW’s site here and here.

As I mentioned previously, I have some blog topics already in my drafts I’m working on which will be posted throughout the month of September. These topics will be a bit different from my usual personal and cosplay blog posts but I think you’ll enjoy them! My SuperFan blog topics range from my cosplay journey starting at the beginning, a beginners guide to cosplay with information collected from other cosplay creators, my experience as a GCCW SuperFan and I’m even going to be interviewing other cosplayers to share their stories and insight with you!

I’ve chosen 10 cosplay creators that I personally enjoy following and look to for inspiration for one of my later blogs. As I was reaching out to each cosplayer I thought that it would be perfect for me to include my own answers to the questions I’m asking them as part of my own introduction, but you’ll get a sneak peek of those questions my featured cosplayers will be answering! I’m saving a lot of the in depth information for my upcoming blogs but i’m excited to share with you a little look in to my hobby as a cosplayer.

Without further adieu, introducing myself-

Kat Caraway

Social Media: Instagram: @hermajestykat / @hermajestykatcaraway
TikTok: @hermajestykatcaraway
Location: South Alabama

Q1: How did you get in to Cosplay?: For the longest time I wouldn’t admit that I was a cosplayer because it started with me just being hired to perform for a princess company. I was paid to be characters for kids birthday parties. When I started realizing that I enjoyed doing it outside of the monetary gain I came to terms with the fact that I was, without a doubt, a cosplayer. My first princess gig was a photoshoot in 2015, so I guess you can say that’s when I started to cosplay, because while I knew it was an entry level experience for the job, you could tell I was having so much fun.

Q2: What does Cosplay mean to you?: Cosplay is a form of expression. I was a character performer first so embodying a character and portraying them accurately has always been my goal when putting on a costume and wig so when I cosplay I really enjoy the process of becoming the character. It also puts a smile on my face when people, kids and adults (in a cosplay setting like a con), want to interact with me. While I’m not pressured to BE that character, I’m able to be myself but I can see they really enjoy it when I throw out a tag line, strike a signature pose for a photo or respond as the character would to their questions.

Q3: How do you feel when you Cosplay?: Confident. I love cosplaying characters I think I look similar to. It’s a great feeling when people tell me, “You look just like her!”. It gives me a sense of joy and accomplishment because I try so hard to actually bring these characters to life. I love pushing my own boundaries when I cosplay. When I have a special request for a character booking or if I just want to cosplay a new character I’m almost discouraged before I even start because I think to myself, “There’s no way I’ll be able to pull them off.” Then I’m pleasantly surprised with myself and the outcome! I consider myself to have a pretty plain face with basic facial features that can be molded and sculpted with the right application of makeup. Once the wig and costume goes on I almost don’t recognize myself.

Q4: What’s your favorite Cosplay memory?: I have two! I enjoyed going to my first big con- DragonCon 2019. I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of people attending and how far the con spanned around the downtown area of Atlanta. I got to meet a ton of people that I follow on social media and I received a lot of great compliments on my cosplays! My other favorite memory is going to a local con with my friend and princess company manager, @princesskatycosplay as the ugly step-sisters. At cons it’s not unusual to see the same cosplays everywhere but we were the only step-sisters and the best part was that when people told us they loved our cosplays we would say, in unison, “We knooow” as the step-sisters would and they would crack up laughing. We would ask men if they were eligible bachelors then fight over them, and when we saw princess cosplayers we would ask them if they could clean because we needed a new maid since ours ran off and married a prince. It was honestly the most fun I’ve ever had in costume.

Q5: What are you doing when you aren’t Cosplaying? (Job, hobbies, school etc): I work a regular schedule at my dad’s accounting office. My job is pretty standard, answering phones and handling the calendar, but it provides me with the opportunity to respond quickly to requests for my princess company and run a lot of the social media marketing. On weekends if I’m not princessing at a kid’s birthday party I’m photographing a wedding, family portraits, engagement photos etc. Otherwise in my free time I like to hang out with my husband, he’s a pretty cool guy, and our pets. Our pets have the funniest personalities and between them and my husband I’m always entertained. I enjoy drinking wine and binge watching tv shows while my hands are busy restyling a wig, reorganizing my princess rooms, or cleaning up my house. I also enjoy travelling and I frequently look for opportunities to visit new places. This year, in less than two months alone, I’m adding 3 new states to my “US states I have traveled to” list!

Q6: Do you have a favorite con or event to cosplay at? What is it and why?: I really enjoyed Dragon Con because it was by far the biggest I have been to and I did have a lot of fun, however it was very tiring from all of the walking and I had major FOMO because there was so much I wanted to do but wasn’t able to do so I felt like I missed out on a lot. I think I have to say that my favorite is Pensacon which is about an hour from my home town. It’s larger than my home town con but not too large so I’m able to get a lot done. I always feel fulfilled after Pensacon. I find some great art to add to my collection, I like listening to the celebs at their panels and local cons provide my performers the opportunity to tag along since we don’t have to travel far. I would like to attend D23 in the future because I’m certain it will become my new favorite, I’m all about Disney!

Q7: What is your favorite Cosplay you’ve done? Feel free to talk about why and the process of putting it together.: This is like asking who my favorite character to be is- because each of the characters have such different personalities, I enjoy being a number of them! I have to say that my favorite cosplay, and the one I’m most proud of, is Mary Poppins. I wrote a blog post that goes more into detail on this topic, which you can read here, but to briefly answer this question: I fell in love with playing this character quickly once I got an Amazon dress and added her to our company line up. When I wanted to tackle making a full costume on my own, as I was upgrading other costumes for our company, I decided on Mary, so when I am her I feel accomplished and proud. I created the bodice, skirt and belt and styled the wig myself. She’s also just so fun to be because of her accent, personality and the fun things you can refer to from her story.

Q8: What’s your next Cosplay Project? If you don’t want to share you can just give a hint or vague description.: I have a few costumes I’m working on for my company but my next personal cosplay project is Winifred Sanderson! I have a costume on the way and a wig ready to be styled. Katy has Sarah Sanderson and with Halloween coming up I thought what the heck. Now we just need a Mary!

Q9: Do you have a favorite Cosplayer? Who and Why? (Share their name and social handles if possible!): It’s hard to narrow it down to just one because I find so many cosplayers inspiring! I’ve narrowed down my favorites to a list of 10 who will actually be answering these same questions for an upcoming blog post, so come back in a few weeks to see who my favorites are and to read their answers to these same questions! The blog is set to go live September 23!

Q10: What advice would you give to a new Cosplayer?: Cosplay is for everyone and it should be fun! While cosplay is an investment, don’t compare yourself to others. Do what you can for now and if it’s a hobby you enjoy, work towards what you want! I didn’t buy all this stuff over night and I definitely didn’t start out having high quality stuff. It’s a process, but a fun one, and if you find friends who enjoy cosplay too, do it together! I also have a blog I’m working on that will be a beginner’s guide to cosplay with information and tips I’ve compiled from people in the cosplay community and other outlets like cosplay blogs. This blog is set to go live September 16th, so if you’re a beginner cosplayer you’ll want to check it out! But I want to leave you with this, cosplay for YOU. Do what makes YOU happy.

Check out some of my cosplays!

Aurora, Sleeping Beauty

This sleepy princess has always been one of my favorites. I mentioned in my Belle blog that I didn’t really grow up watching Beauty and the Beast so I never had a personal connection to Belle as a child, it was probably because I spent most of my time watching Sleeping Beauty. Aurora was always the most beautiful princess to me. As a young child I wanted to grown up to have long beautiful blonde hair, being so young I thought it was possible but I had very dark brown hair, and still do, so clearly that didn’t happen.

I really enjoyed her whole story from the featured villain and her good fairies to the romance between her and her prince. To me, Maleficent had such an interesting look and her magic was intriguing. Her good fairies had three different personalities which was entertaining to watch, and I always thought her Prince was handsome and dashing. I actually think my husband looks a lot like Prince Phillip so I’d like to think I’m living out a fairy tale just like her story and like I hoped I would when I became an adult. One of my favorite scenes was when Briar Rose was dancing and singing in the forest with her woodland friends before she met Prince Phillip. The way Aurora talked and sang was just so soothing to me, and the animation of her dancing was so graceful. She truly was, and still is, the epitome of beauty in my eyes.

Growing up I didn’t really ever have a favorite color over all other colors because I just enjoy colors and colorful things in general, but I think I was just naturally drawn to the color pink. Aurora is one of my most favorite characters to be because not only do I get to have that long flowy blonde hair I had hoped to have when I grew up, I also get to wear a beautiful pink gown just like her. I also have the opportunity to embody the character I loved so much as a child and I get to talk, sing and dance like her too. Being Aurora is a dream come true. Sadly she’s not a very popular character with kids in our area especially because there’s newer characters like Elsa and Anna but when I do get a request to be Sleeping Beauty for a child’s birthday or family event I get so excited.

Over time I’ve accumulated 4 Aurora dresses to be able to offer and cosplay in. My first dress was a theme park inspired pink swirl gown. It’s a different representation than the gown in the movie but I enjoy being able to wear it because I feel just like the real thing! The Aurora performers in the theme parks are always so beautiful. I have an alternative pink gown with a little bit more of an accurate color to the movie. The bodice features a beautiful elegant rose point pattern and the skirt does the most beautiful swooshes and twirls. You might think I’m crazy, but I had to get the same dress but in blue. Although I prefer pink over blue, she does spend more time in her blue dress in the movie. I thought when I got the dress I’d change my mind about preferences because I personally think I look better in blue but my mind did not change, I’m still a solid “Make it pink!” person. The final dress I have for her is her Briar Rose outfit. I was always fond of this outfit too because it’s so simple yet so beautiful. I love the look of the black vest and her taupe colored skirt. It’s got a slight medieval/renaissance feel to it that I really like.

I love the opportunity to create different looks based on the characters I cosplay as. One of the easiest things to do is create a ballerina princess look because all I really have to do is throw on a tutu. My newest favorite thing is creating renaissance takes on different characters. One of my friends, Katy, is also a cosplayer who has she’s introduced me to the fun that can be had at renaissance faires which is what sparked my interest to create the medieval princess looks. Briar Rose was so easy to do because I basically just used the costume pieces I already had, threw on a pair of lace-up boots, pinned up my skirt on one side and changed my shirt to to make it a little different than the exact movie look. So far, it’s my favorite renaissance princess look.

I hope that if I’m ever lucky enough to have a daughter I can introduce her to the stories of my favorite princesses that I enjoyed watching when I was a child. Sleeping Beauty will always top my list of favorites.

Belle, Beauty and the Beast

Belle was the first character I ever portrayed. While the beginning of my cosplay journey will be covered in a separate blog, I can at least give you the gist of how this came about. Basically, I found out there was a princess company in my area. At the time I looked at it more of a group of girls dressing up for events because I didn’t realize it was such a legitimate thing. When I reached out to offer my availability, because I noticed in an event photo the group lacked a Belle, I was politely turned down because the group did have a Belle, she just wasn’t pictured. Some time passed and the owner of the company reached out to me asking if I wanted to be a part of a mini shoot as a couple of characters and can you guess what I said?

I was invited to be first be Belle. Funny thing actually, I don’t recall watching Beauty and the Beast when I was young. I remember watching every other princess movie except this one and I’m not sure why, Belle looked so much like me! So in truth, Belle didn’t hold much sentimental value to me but I was happy to be there either way. I enjoyed the photo shoot, living in a blissful moment as I was able to twirl as this beautiful character, but little did I know that would spark my interest in learning more about the character and growing closer to her.

When I took over the company I worked for, again more information will be in a separate blog, the first high quality costume I put my own money in to was Belle. I recant part of that last statement- When I took over the company I worked for, I begged my parents to help me purchase the first high quality costume I could call mine. I absorbed our company in the month of August so I asked my parents if they were willing to help me out with the purchase as an early Christmas gift. Around the time of my taking over my maternal grandmother had actually passed away, so my mom gifted me a sum of money as a gift from my late grandmother to use towards the gown so that I was able to get it which immediately added a large amount of sentimental value to this character. A quick side note: The maker of this dress is a highly coveted american seamstress who has been providing the princess industry with high quality character gowns for years. She rarely has the availability to post ready-to-ship items and her current wait time is at least a year unless you get lucky and a spot opens up. She listed this Belle dress for sale so the urgency of snatching it up before someone else did was highly prominent. But I think you can gather that I managed to get the dress.

This dress is a beautiful butter yellow made with high quality fabrics and features a full circle skirt, the best for twirling. I’m frequently asked who my favorite character to be is, and while I feel that my personality resonates better with more upbeat characters like Ariel, I feel so regal and elegant as Belle. In 2019 I went to DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia. This was by far the largest con I had been to so I walked a lot, met a lot of people and took a lot of photos. I agreed to be part of a character encounter and was assigned to be Belle so I was able to wear this gown I had invested so much money in. The character encounter was only a small part of my day but I stayed in costume the entire day I was at the con. I received a lot of compliments and I have to admit, my favorite thing was hearing the whispered compliments as I walked by.

Jumping back in time for a moment, my husband and I traveled to Europe to elope and while I was there I had a spur of the moment idea to get a tattoo. We started our trip in Austria, where we had our ceremony, then continued the vacation to Germany where we stayed with a friend of mine from the states. She knew of a tattooer she had previously used and liked in the city of Mannheim. I decided that while there I wanted to get a tattoo that meant something to me, so I chose a rose to go on the back of my arm that was a representation of my experience as a princess but not just that, it was a tribute to my first princess, the princess whose name is translated to beauty, the princess who’s story encourages us to learn and the princess who not only shows kindness and compassion to others but who also finds the beauty within others when they might be misunderstood.

Belle will now and forever hold a special place in my heart and will always remain a big part of my life and my story. While I wont always be able to accurately portray her for children’s parties and events because I know inevitably I will age out of this chapter of my life, I will cherish the memories I made as this princess and I will look forward to one day hopefully seeing my daughter wear this dress and feel the joy I’ve felt as her.

CW Content: Beginner’s Guide to Cosplay


the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game

Cosplay is used as a form of expression. Expressing creativity, appreciation of a favorite character, confidence and so much more. I enjoy cosplaying because it’s a hobby my friends and I like doing together, and we have so much fun when we do it! As part of my CW spotlight month, I wanted to put together a “Beginner’s Guide to Cosplay” filled with tips and information from my experience as a cosplayer as well as other cosplayers. Just to clarify- I’m not trying to sell this as the Bible of cosplay information for beginners, but I do hope that the information I include in this ‘guide’ can be found helpful to beginning and aspiring cosplayers out there!

For this blog, I used my cosplay Instagram platform to ask other cosplayers tips and information about cosplay including things they would like to have learned in the beginning of their cosplay journey. So that’s what you’ll find here and I’m so excited to share some of the great feedback I received on this topic! Click on any of the cosplayer handles mentioned hereafter to visit their Instagram pages.

I want to start out with this: Quite possibly, the most repetitive response I got was that cosplay is for everyone- and that is true! Cosplay knows no bounds when it comes to gender, age, size, skin color etc. Cosplay is meant to be fun!

Getting Started & Creating a Cosplay
Cosplayers all start somewhere. If you aspire to be a cosplayer than you probably have an idea of what type of cosplays you’d like to create. Before you dive in to getting your supplies you should definitely make a plan. My friend, @jps_fx_creations (who makes some awesome armor and cosplay props), suggests to make a pattern for everything, and as someone who considers my methods “sew as I go”, I have wasted a lot of materials because I didn’t physically create a plan or pattern so I agree with this. I’m great at visualizing what I want to do in my head that I get excited and jump too quickly into a project and often end up mismeasuring or not having enough supplies. @bustamover also agrees that creating a plan is helpful before beginning your cosplay project. She suggests to draw or sketch out your cosplay and to write out all the supplies you need as well as the supplies you already have. This will help you get a better visual and will also keep you organized! Here’s a fun tip: Keep these sketches so you can reference them in the future if you decide to remake a piece, use it for another project or to look back on and see how you’ve progressed! I keep my sketches with the materials and supplies I used for that specific project, like trim and beads. I organize this way because if I want to reference the sketch or use items for a different project I know exactly where everything is! When it comes to creating your own cosplay, some aspects of this process can be intimidating, like sewing a costume from scratch. @cosplay.cbeau and @thattallprincess both suggest altering thrifted items or already made pieces if you’re on a budget or if you find sewing to be difficult. Using a preexisting base can also help save some time and avoid additional stress if you don’t have a lot of experience making things.

Connecting With Other Cosplayers
In the cosplay community, I think it’s important to join online cosplay groups and connect with other cosplayers. My friends, @trayleesi and @anewdayprincessparties, suggests joining cosplay Facebook groups and points out that a lot of beginners don’t think to do that- and they are totally right. I didn’t think to join groups on Facebook until a few years into my cosplay journey. Joining groups of individuals who have the same interest as you can provide you with all sorts of resources and inspiration. In the Facebook groups you can ask questions, find support and even just show off your cosplays or works in progress! I personally enjoy having my cosplay Instagram because I’m able to follow other cosplayers for inspiration and Instagram has also provides me the opportunity to create friendships with and even meet some of my cosplay friends! @makeitupkj encourages to look for inspiration everywhere! You can certainly find inspiration on Instagram, Facebook and other online cosplay resources like forums to provide you with helpful information. On Facebook, try searching for a specific cosplay group. I primarily cosplay Disney princesses and other Disney characters so I became part of a cosplay Facebook group called ‘Disney Cosplayers‘. Whether you also cosplay Disney princesses, Harry Potter characters or anime characters, I’m sure there is a Facebook group out there that is geared more specifically to your cosplay niche.

One of my favorite way of connecting with other cosplayers is attending my local cons and renaissance faires. There are two cons local to me that I try to go to every year. No matter the size of the con I encourage you to attend because you have the opportunity to try out new cosplays or wear a cosplay that you don’t get to take out often. My favorite thing about visiting cons is connecting and photographing with local cosplay/fantasy photograohers. I also enjoy browsing the artist’s booths, I try to find at least one piece from each con to take home and have as a keepsake. Renaissance faires have been my new favorite thing. In my area there are more ren faires than there are cons so I use this as an opportunity to create a medieval take on cosplays I already have in my repertoire. For cons I prefer to go for a more character accurate approach, whereas at ren faire’s I like to throw on a pair of lace up boots, bustle up a skirt and swap out my normal bodice for a fancy corset to create a renaissance version of the character I’ve chosen to be. So far I’ve done a pirate Ariel, renaissance Aurora and saloon style Drizelle (Cinderella’s evil step sister). I have so much fun creating and wearing these cosplays! Re-referencing @makeitupkj’s comment again to find inspiration everywhere! I also like to browse through fan art online and try to recreate some of the looks. In the past I have done Belle/Regina George with a Disney princess Mean Girl’s group and a friend and I have also recreated Disney princess/Mickey Mouse fan art by @esteesdave. As a bonus, the artist of the Disney princess/Mickey Mouse fan art liked our cosplays so much he shared our photos on his art account!

Cosplay Resources
Finding cosplay resources such as quality costumes and wigs, accessory sellers and character makeup tutorials can seem difficult, but I promise it’s not as hard as you think to find what you’re looking for. @princess_alyvia_cosplay says that she wishes she had access to quality makeup tutorials. The makeup artistry standard has certainly improved just in the last few years and you can find just about any type of makeup tutorial on YouTube nowadays. If you are portraying a character who has a deep smokey eye, you could likely find a few tutorials of artists who complete smokey eye makeup looks and use those to create a look on your own. Applying a specific makeup look might not turn out great the first time you do it, I suggest practicing to see what colors and techniques work for you! Even if your cosplay character requires body paint, researching good paint and watching tutorials on application as well as practicing before debuting your character can also be helpful.

When sourcing costumes and wigs you should definitely research more than one option and also read the description and reviews thoroughly before making any final decisions. Amazon Prime is a wonderful resource that allows free returns on most items but you may have to sacrifice quality as most of the items Amazon sells are considered inexpensive ‘starter’ options- but I have found some great items on Amazon so don’t discredit it before taking a look! If you’re having trouble researching items for your cosplay, reach out to fellow cosplayers to see if they are willing to share a source or tips for finding what you’re looking for. Keep in mind, some cosplayers like to keep their sources to themselves so if you choose to reach out to someone for help, asking “Do you mind sharing where you got xyz from?” rather than “Where did you get your xyz?” is a better approach and you will likely be offered a lead to what you’re looking for. But don’t be offended if someone doesn’t want to share something with you, it might have taken them a lot of time and research to find their items so it wouldn’t hurt you to put it a little more effort to continue looking. Personally, I find it more rewarding to do most of the heavy lifting on my own!

If you’re anything like me and want to embody your character when in cosplay, such as responding as that character to a compliment at a con or striking the perfect pose for photos, definitely spend some time studying the character. Watching their show or movie a few times to focus on different aspects of the character can help you bring them to life more while in cosplay. Learning their mannerisms, the way they walk and respond in different conversation situations, you can truly provide the individuals you interact with a fun experience. If you’re cosplaying someone’s favorite character and you put on a show when they acknowledge you, you might get a little giggle from them. Short story: When I was cosplaying Lucy Ricardo from “I Love Lucy” for a cosplay photo shoot, a woman riding a bike passed by and called out my name, instead of just waving I yelled out one of Lucy’s well known phrases and she came to me to tell me that made her day and asked for a photo. It was nice to know my cosplay brightened up someone’s day! Lucy is a character that Universal Studios offers for meet and greets so I have researched and found some great reference videos of their performers portraying her which helps me learn how to interact with guests and respond to modern questions. I also find great Disney princess meet & greet videos to study for when I’m cosplaying one of my favorite princesses. The internet is filled with a ton of helpful information for cosplayers, just search a few key words and if you don’t find what you’re looking for at first try a different search, and if all else fails, ask a cosplay friend for help.

@jorielyn17 wants to remind cosplayers out there not to compare yourself to the “master class” or “professional” cosplayers. Cosplay is meant to be fun, so do your best, and if you think it will make you happy to upgrade or add new cosplays work on creating a budget and widening your skill set so that you’re able to get to a point that you’re more satisfied. In the beginning, I wasn’t able to afford pricey commissioners, so I created a budget, made a list of things I wanted to buy and I kept practicing skills I wasn’t that great at. Improvement comes with time and practice!

To close out this blog I want to reiterate a few things: Cosplay is for everyone and should be fun! Do some research to find the resources you’re looking for. And connect with other cosplayers in the community, local or online. I hope you found some of these tips helpful. A huge thank you to those that participated on my Instagram question sticker when I asked for cosplay tip feedback! If you want to participate in future blog research, follow my Instagram!

Here is my sketch when I started my Marilyn Monroe Project:

Here is my DIY duct tape corset and circle skirt pattern:

Here are some photos from my fan art cosplays:

Here are my past renaissance faire cosplays:

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins holds a special place in my heart. Although I didn’t have the honor of watching the original Mary Poppins until I was at least 18 or 19, I grew up watching Julie Andrews as Queen Clarise Renaldi on the Princess Diaries, one of my favorite movies as a child. Queen Clarise was so poised, elegant and graceful. She was charming yet witty. In the movie she was the grand-mother to a San Fransisco girl who didn’t know she was a princess. The queen, after telling the young girl of her royal heritage, trained her on the skills and manners of a proper princess. I just remember watching this movie and its later sequel wanting Queen Clarise to be my grand-mother.

It’s hard to remember, but I’m certain I knew what Mary Poppins was, my parents just never put it on for me like they did other Disney classics like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. My interest in Mary Poppins sparked when the princess company I worked for, which I have since taken over, began offering her for events. Sadly she’s not so popular so I never had the chance to portray her. It wasn’t until I began leading the company that we got a request for a charity tea party in which I had the opportunity to send whoever I wanted so I quickly sourced a starter quality costume, repurposed a different character’s wig and threw it together for the event. When I put on the full costume I had never felt a stronger connection with a character as I did with Mary. I felt so confident, it’s incredible how being in costume can make you feel. The icing on the cake for the event was that we also had an opportunity to perform so after watching her movie to brush up on things I might need to know I thought performing her dance to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” would be the perfect fun performance to add to the high-tea style event and as a dancer growing up, that was probably one of my most favorite performances.

I’m thankful my mom put me in sewing classes and involved me in the art of sewing at an early age. I had been wanting to create a custom character costume for our company but I wasn’t proficient enough in making structured corsets like most of the costumes require, but after throwing together a Marilyn Monroe dress for a special request appearance I thought Mary’s Jolly Holiday dress couldn’t be that hard. While creating the dress was challenging, it came together fairly quickly and easier than I thought. After sourcing materials I thought would be practically perfect, I found a pattern for a shirt that looked similar to the style I was going for, I just had to adjust and add a few things like the ruffled front and shortened sleeves. I also added applique, shoulder caps and ribbon threaded eyelet lace to the bodice part straight from my imagination. The skirt was easy, I’d like to think I’m a circle skirt pro although I’ve only made a handful for various purposes. I added applique and red ribbon bows to the skirt too. But the belt was the trickiest part. I drew a pattern on card stock paper, watched YouTube tutorials on how to add white piping between panels and winged it when it came to the grommets for the lace up back. I’d like to redo it eventually as I mis-measured a few parts of it and I’d like to make my next belt more structured, all in all I’m very pleased with the final turnout.

Mary Poppins will always be my favorite cosplay. I am the most proud of her and myself as her because I was able to use my creativity to produce a wearable item and I feel like I’m able to embody those things I love about Julie Andrews: Poise, grace and elegance. I’m thankful for a character like her who provides me with such a complete feeling when I portray her.

Welcome to my Cosplay Blog!

 Definition of cosplay:

the activity or practice of dressing up as a character from a work of fiction (such as a comic book, video game, or television show)

Webster Dictionary

This category will specifically be dedicated to my cosplay journey including projects, stories, con coverage and more. While this is just an introductory post to what I will be sharing with you here I have a list of fun adventures and cosplay diy’s I’m excited to share with you all.

For now, check out my Instagram and Tik Tok to see a little more in to my cosplaying experience and if you’d like to support my upcoming projects you can donate or “Buy me a coffee” on Ko-Fi! I truly appreciate your support whether it’s a coffee donation or a follow on social media.


Where have you been?!

“Sometimes all you need is a break from life.”

-Owm’r F.

I’ve had a lot of friends, family and followers on social media ask me where I’ve been recently and I have to admit I haven’t been keeping up with blogging as much as I hoped to when beginning this journey. So for today’s blog I just wanted to do a quick check-in to let you all know a little about what I’ve been up to! I’ll generally be touching on some of these things but I do have more in depth blog posts I’ll be doing on some of the topics.

My last blog post was made at the beginning of the year, a time when we all thought 2020 was going to be an amazing year- or that’s what I thought at least. Then Coronavirus started to infect individuals all around the world causing the US as well as other countries to enter in to a state of emergency declaring COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic. To my knowledge over the course of my lifetime we have had other viruses circle the globe but none that people were so afraid of like they are of Coronavirus. It was strange because the world was changing quicker than anyone could have imagined, the future was uncertain. Now individuals in most parts of the world are required to add a mask to their every day attire to stop the spread of this deadly virus. My intentions aren’t to make this post about COVID and how it’s effected me and my life but I did want to preface with this because for a long time there was a lot of uncertainty with going or not going to work at my day job, having to almost completely shut down my birthday party company and not taking photography bookings. There was just so much going on that blogging wasn’t at the top of my priority list. But to be honest it probably should have been because it would have been a nice distraction! However the positive was that I was able to spend a lot of time around my house with my husband and dog. With our work schedules quality time is something we don’t get as often as i’d like but we were able to motivate each other to work on some things around our home.

If you haven’t guessed by now I am a professional photographer in my area. While Coronavirus has barred me from booking sessions with new clients I was still able to do some shoots with family and friends, until tragedy struck. Dramatic, I know. As I was photographing my sister-in-law and her boyfriend my camera suddenly stopped taking photos. After having the camera looked at by a local professional at a camera equipment/repair store he informed me the issue was internal and that my camera would need to be sent off to the manufacturer to be fixed. No problem, I understand things break, but with Coronavirus sweeping the country the manufacturer was closed for new repairs so I basically had to wait it out. During that time I also had to start saving up money for the repair because I was told it could be anywhere from $400-$600 depending on the nature of the repairs needed, ouch. So for four long months I waited patiently then sent my camera off when I received word the manufacturer reopened. Here’s where the happy ending comes in, for this part of the blog at least, after receiving my camera the serial number fell within a range that was eligible for a warranty due to a faulty part. While my camera’s issue didn’t exactly fall within the description and nature of the warranty they decided to fix it anyways so turns out I will have a fully repaired camera with only $40 out of my pocket that was the cost to pack and ship my camera in the first place! Like what!

I’ve been planning a blog to talk more in depth about my jobs and professions but in short, I am also a professional part princess- I’ll explain later. Basically I go to birthday parties and events dressed as a princess and perform various activities with the kids and guests in attendance. Once Coronavirus appeared to be a serious threat we had to stop taking party bookings until it was safe to enter people’s homes and have gatherings again. As an alternative to keeping the company open we instead started offering virtual services such as pre-recorded personalized video messages, live video chats etc. While these services paid our performers and company significantly less than what we were used to making off of regular in person bookings, the amount of time spent to do virtual services was about the same. So basically it was a lot of work for way less money. I thoroughly enjoy what I do as a character entertainer, it is just very hard to keep up with something that requires so much time and effort. Not to mention, normally I would have a cast full of performers to schedule multiple visits in a day as various characters but with stay at home orders in place getting costumes to and from my performers including the upkeep required in between wears certainly put additional strain on running the company during a pandemic. But, to get to the happy ending of this part, we managed to push through as best as we could and with things sort of getting back to ‘normal’ we hope to get back in to doing parties again soon, safely of course.

The last update I want to talk about for this post is a recent project I was invited to do. When I began my photography journey when I was about 18 I had always wanted to be a creative of some kind. I wanted to work with brands and partner with other creatives to collaborate with so I would always have an outlet for my imagination. I began cosplaying after I became a party princess and it quickly became one of my favorite hobbies besides photography. Between being a party princess/cosplayer, photographer and personality for various companies like a local tour company in my city I completely evolved as a person and allowed myself to pursue these things that made me happy. I was approached by a representative for a tv network that spans across the Gulf Coast about being a creative partner. Without hesitation I jumped on board. I’m currently working on articles for my feature as well as a special cosplay for this project (you’ll see why pretty soon) and I’m super excited to have this platform to get myself out there more because my end goal is to create a brand for myself and have people in my community know me and want to work with me.

If you’ve been with me a while you might notice that my site has had some updates, and in time I’ll tell you all about the new navigation of it, but for now I appreciate your attention while I explore all the things life has brought to me and I’m excited to share all the great things with you!