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Can you tell us about your first cosplay?

Having gone to cons for years, I decided to cosplay for the first time at DragonCon as Storm in 2017. I really had no idea what I was doing but I reached out to the now well-known cosplayer Cutiepiesensei, who gave me some advice and told me where I could purchase some fabric. After watching a number of YouTube videos, I made my first cosplay. I was extremely nervous and had never been to a con as massive as DragonCon. But my cosplay was one that was so well received and I got a lot of good feedback so here I am now as a cosplayer!

Do you have a cosplay piece that you are most proud of?

The cosplay I’m most proud of is my signature cosplay which is Sailor Storm. It is a mashup between Sailor Moon and Storm. I’m really proud of this cosplay because of the time that I actually took to sketch out and create a costume design that I loved and that would be easily recognizable as both characters. I debuted Sailor Storm at BlerDCon 2019. Attendees immediately knew who I was, so overall the mashup was a success. Since then I have coined it as my signature cosplay.

What do you hope to achieve through cosplay?

My main objective in cosplay is to express and challenge myself creatively through another art medium. Additionally, as a Black cosplayer, representation matters and I’m hoping that being a part of the cosplay community will encourage more POC cosplayers to be comfortable in their skin. I want BIPOC cosplayers to know that they can cosplay any character they choose, any way they want to, from original character designs to their favorite fandoms.

If you could give any piece of advice to new cosplayers, what would it be?

My advice to new cosplayers is to cosplay your way, don't let anyone discourage you from cosplaying the characters that you love, and also find a community support system. In my opinion, cosplaying is not about accuracy, it’s about enjoying embodying the characters that you choose to be. Also, YouTube and Amazon are your friends!

What would you say is the hardest part of cosplaying?

As a Black cosplayer, the hardest part of cosplay is recognition. There are a lot of talented cosplayers in my community that are often overlooked and passed over for opportunities as a whole. Motivation has also been an issue since the pandemic started. With all the conventions that have been canceled with no real definite return, it’s hard to stay motivated as someone whose favorite part of cosplaying is going to conventions.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, who is your cosplay crush?

I actually strongly dislike Valentine’s Day however in the spirit of it I would say my cosplay crush is... SayoNay_Cosplay. Her love for sci-fi and use of body paint when creating her cosplays is simply spectacular. Every cosplay she does is her own, and her designs are always original and intricate. I absolutely love that she is also a beautiful soul inside and out!