Interview with Avian Firefly

It’s time for another interview, this time with Avian Firefly! A talented girl originally from Maryland, she now lives and creates her costume from New Jersey!

Avian Firefly out of costume

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Avian Firefly (Avian_Firefly or Avian-Firefly); I like Hotaru, from Sailor Moon… a lot. Hotaru is Firefly in English. My screen names always have 2 parts. I like ‘A’ names. My cousin has told me many times that I stole Avian from her. It’s probably true. So Avian Firefly was born…made…created?

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
8 years now. 2013 will be my 10th year of cosplaying! That’s a long time. I had wanted to cosplay 10 years prior, but I didn’t know how! I had no idea where or what conventions were. So in high school, I was in math class and the girl a couple seats behind me knew I loved Sailor Moon. And she was going to a convention with some of our mutual friends inBaltimore. She asked if I wanted to go! And they were dressing up! And I was like “Only if I can be Saturn!”

Avian Firefly as Messiah of Silence from Sailor Moon, photo by PopeCerebus

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I always look forward to trying new fabrics and methods. What I recently worked with is Fosshape and it defies gravity, like for real. I love this blog because your tutorial sections inspire me to do things I would have never attempted to do before!

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Wonderflex and resin gems! I’ve always marveled at the people who make these things into fantasy armor. It’s going to take a lot of work and patience (something I am not good at; I want instant results) but I think I can do this and it may be able to take my cosplay to the next level.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I always marvel at the people who take the time to hand sew things. Like hems, or trim, and most of all beading! Oh my goodness beading and hand-embroidery! I’m always afraid if I were to do those things I would mess up my costume completely! Like Princess_Garnet on cosplay.com; she hand-embroidered the leaves on her Garnet cosplay! That takes dedication and a love for the character.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It’s easy to get jealous over people you think are copying you style or have done something “better” than you. But you are where you are, and they are where they are. And if you want to get to where they are, ask them! I’ve had tons of people message me and ask “where did you get this” or “what pattern did you use”. Most people started out as beginners, not a crossover from the theatre/movie world. So usually people will be glad to answer your questions. Just don’t berate them. Ask nicely.  It’s kind of a compliment, to be asked how you created what you made.

Avian Firefly as Skuld from Ah! My Goddess, photo by NG Master

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Like I said before, if you are talking trash about someone, analyze your feelings. Do you hate them because of something they did to you or are you jealous over their costume? If it’s the later, level up! I sometimes loathe my friends because of their cosplay. But then I’m like is this really going to affect our friendship? No. Have sewing parties! It’s the best way to learn. Plus it’s social. I don’t know about you, but when I’m making a costume it’s usually just me and my sewing machine going at it for hours.

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Start with an easy costume or commission your first costume. My first Sailor Saturn was a commission. And then I was like, well I spent X amount of money and it isn’t right. So then I got into sewing and my first project was an easy one; Mistress 9 the next year. And then I slowly worked my way into harder projects.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Otakon! My first, and at one time local, con! I’ve been to many cons in DC-NJ area, and this is my favorite. It is in a convention center and not a hotel. Plus there are multiple floors and rooms. So it’s not just one big area with maybe little rooms off to the sides. Small cons are better to meet people and establish connections, but Otakon will always be my favorite.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Super Sailor Saturn; I made her with removable accessories, including the sleeves. So her leotard and skirt (with are the hardest/most time consuming parts of her costume) can be used for Super Sailor or regular Sailor. Plus when I remake regular Sailor Saturn, the sleeves have to stick up and can’t be put into a garment bag anyways.

Avian Firefly as Super Sailor Saturn from Sailor Moon, photo by NG Master

Thanks for the interview, Avian Firefly! You can see more of her work on her Cosplay.com account, her Cosplay Lab account, and her American Cosplay Paradise account!

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About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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