It’s time for another interview, this time with BiZria! She’s a cosplayer from Washington, who has a lovely collection of costume creations!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My alias is BisquickBismarck, BiZ, or BiZria.
BisquickBismarck was drafted after a glance in my pantry. At the time, I had learned about Otto von Bismarck and his diplomacy as Germany’s Prime Minister in the late 1800s; coupled with a sudden urge for pancakes, a username was born. “BisquickBismarck” is probably 5-6 years old at this point.
My username was eventually shortened to BiZ for conversational purposes and a friend once mentioned I was the reigning Queen of BiZria. So, technically, BiZria is a fantastical fictional place~
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started in 2008. For the life of me, I cannot remember how I first began or stumbled upon cosplay, though I was truly inspired to adopt the hobby after a local meet-up. I was astounded by the warmth and acceptance of the community. They loved what I loved, but they weren’t ashamed of it! They folded me in and seemed so excited to have me. So content was I with the experience, I just fell right in and never looked back.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I love puffy sleeves. I have learned how to sew mostly through trial and error and puffed sleeves were one of the first techniques I taught myself.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I am just dying to start work on Princess Serenity, Adolescense of Utena Anthy Himemiya, and several costumes from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
Like most cosplayers born in the 90s, Sailor Moon was my first anime. Princess Serenity, to me, embodies both a serious technical challenge and a nostalgia I hope to adequately represent.
Revolutionary Girl Utena is one of my absolute favorite anime series. It is my personal goal to cosplay all of Anthy’s incarnations.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a new addition to my favorites. Though outwardly saccharine-sweet magical shoujo, Puella Magi Madoka Magica takes an unexpected grim-dark turn within the first three episodes. Coupled with exquisite storytelling and in-depth character development, I cannot get enough of this anime.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Little details are always thrilling. I adore it when a cosplayer is willing to put in that little bit of extra time, effort, and money to achieve something most others gloss over. Such dedication to detail show a level of love for the character, the costume, and respect for one’s self. Details demonstrate a huge amount of care.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
My local community contains some of the sweetest, most talented cosplayers you will meet on the West Coast. Not only are they incredibly skilled, but many are willing to mentor, advise, loan, and shop alongside one another as they create new costumes. They all are good people with huge, open hearts.
I also respect their ability to keep drama to a minimal.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would love to see the community develop a stronger collective maturity. Though cosplay is predominately made of younger individuals, I see no particular reason why the hobby has to perpetuate a high school atmosphere. We’re all nerds and we all know what it’s like to be picked on. Focusing on popularity, drama, and back-biting is completely counter-intuitive for a collection of geeky people with more in common than not.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t obsess. About anything. Cosplay is a hobby. There is so much more to life than being the first, best, most famous, most talked-about, etc. It won’t make you happy, really. I’ve seen several friends attempt to use cosplay for something other than fun and they are more miserable than when they began. Cosplay is a form of entertainment. It should never be the sole focus of one’s life. There are so many things out in the world to experience; cosplay is only a miniscule chip. Take it for what it is and don’t make it anything more.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
AkiCon 2010 was, by far, the best convention I have attended. Not only was the convention itself very relaxed and drama-free, but I roomed with an amazing group of individuals. My roommates made the three days some of the best I had within a con setting.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Rolling Girl Miku is entirely made from ebay and Goodwill purchases. Sometimes all the work you need to do it just a little bargain hunting!
Thanks for the interview, BiZria! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart!