What are your personal pronouns?
What would you like your name to be on the article?
CheeseCakePanda is fine! A lot of people use varieties of it in some form (like Panda or CheeseCake). My name (Tyler) works as well. I just don’t think many people know that Tyler is my name.
What city are you based in?
I’m in New Mexico! My city is small and unknown, but just saying the ABQ area would work. Or just New Mexico if that's easier!
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’ve been cosplaying for about ten years now, but only seriously for about seven. It started as something a friend wanted to do and as you can see it has snowballed from there! For a job I mainly do FX makeup for film and TV. I wanted to go into film because of cosplay! I absolutely love creating details. The more detail on a cosplay the better! I’ve reached the point where even details you won't really see are still a must. An example is with my Jester cosplay. I had bound a whole sketch book for her just because I wanted a certain look for it. Anyone who follows my socials also knows that I have two pet rats, named Ori and Dori. They are named after Hobbit characters and I sneak them into any photos I can.
What fandoms are you into?
I’m very much into Critical Role! I just love the characters and the players. I’m also a die hard Tolkien fan. I’ve read all the books and even cosplayed some book-only characters (from the Silmarillion)/
Can you tell us about your first cosplay?
I don’t have a photo, but I believe my first cosplay was Ciel from Black Butler. In terms of first cosplay I made from scratch it was Joker, from the same series! Both were horrendous but that's the fun of first cosplays.
Do you have a cosplay piece that you are most proud of?
That’s a good question… I have a lot of props I really like, but if I had to pick a whole outfit it would be my Pike Trickfoot! She’s not the biggest build I’ve ever done (that honor goes to Ruffnut from How to Train Your Dragon). With Pike I just had a clear vision in my head and I feel the end product matches it really well! Another proud piece of mine would Miss Jester Lavorre because I just love everything about that outfit - especially her giant saw blade lollipop!
What do you hope to achieve through cosplay?
Nothing really! It’s just a fun hobby. I love crafting and it’s such a fun way to learn a lot of different skills. If I had to pick one thing, it would be taking the skills I know and trying to teach others. I like when skills are shared as it lets everyone grow!
If you could give any piece of advice to new cosplayers, what would it be?
Never be afraid to make a mistake and always be open to learning new techniques! Your first handful of cosplays are bound to have issues and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Mistakes help us learn and grow. On top of that, it’s fun to look back at those first cosplays and see how much you’ve grown! A big thing is you cosplay the way you want to. Whether you made your cosplay or bought it, it doesn’t matter! And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The most important thing is that you are having fun and that’s really all that matters.