It’s time for another interview, this time with Sharsachan! She’s a talented cosplayer from Nevada, who does some amazing work with wigs!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I use “Sharsachan” online but tend to go by “Shara” because it’s easier to pronounce with the mouth. Shara originally came from a misspelling of my legal name in kindergarten and I kept it, wanting to be unique. Sharsachan is a nickname a friend came up with when making Shara ‘cutesy’
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
My very first cosplay was Sailor Jupiter in 2000 for Halloween. I was in 10th grade and the costume was so badly made, no pictures exist and the only physical evidence left is the rose earrings I made. My first convention was 3 years later. In early 2003, I read online about someone going to a convention. I simply typed “anime convention” into my search bar (it was Alta Vista back then, not Google) and Yaoi Con came up. I read through the site, all the rules, events, EVERYTHING I could. I made my best friend Amidoji read it. We both were in love. We pre-registered, and figured out our travel and costumes. We even entered the cosplay contest. We were hooked. Been attending conventions and cosplaying since.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I think paint and bead work. I made Lani from Final Fantasy IX and she has some very interesting patterns on her clothes that seemed best attained with paint, which I had a lot of fun doing. She also has some small but interesting beadwork on her skirt and gloves that I just had so much fun picking out the beads and creating. It was the first time I had really used either in a costume.
But really, I’m totally in love with making wigs. I have so much fun making the wigs for costumes. I make wigs for members of my cosplay group, Desert Chikins, as well. I love cutting and styling the wigs and matching the hairstyles of the characters. I actually find them really relaxing, well most of them. Some of those wigs are just horrific and should never be cosplayed *koff SEYMOUR koff*.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Honestly, I’m most excited to work with my kids in the future. I took some time off cosplaying while my kids were very little but I am getting back into it and plan to make costumes for my kids as well as myself. I think cosplaying as a family will be so much fun and a great way to spend time together.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I LOVE attention to details. The little details totally make the costumes. I think
Quantum Destiny [ http://www.cosplay.com/costume/68182/ ], Glay [ http://www.cosplay.com/costume/62312/ ], and PikminLink [ http://www.cosplay.com/member/3414/ ] all do amazing jobs with their costumes. I have never met QD or Glay, but I have met PikminLink and she is also so super nice, I love to talk to people about HOW they constructed things.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I am by no means an “old school” cosplayer at all. However, I do think I am older than most of the current cosplayers. I am not sure exactly what I see, but it feels like there are way too many cliques these days…. I am not even sure how you make cliques when you’re all dressed in costumes but it seems to happen. It’s like people forgot that we do this because we love the characters. Yes, awards are nice and all, but when it comes down to it, I am cosplaying this character because I LOVE them. And it really doesn’t matter how good or bad it is made. We should all be enjoying our character love, not picking everyone apart. Its not high school. We’re all geeks anyway. What does it matter?
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I think it’s hard for inexperienced cosplayers to feel comfortable wearing a less than stellar costume. We all have to start somewhere and we all have those costumes that definitely need some more help. You shouldn’t be afraid to wear a costume. Tons of my early costumes were poorly made and I look back on them and laugh. But they were my costumes, and I loved them and I had fun wearing them. Now though, it seems like anything less than perfect is looked down upon. It’s not supposed to be a contest. It’s supposed to be doing something you love and have fun doing.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t get discouraged if your first costume doesn’t turn out amazing. Trust me, first costumes (and 2nds, and 3rds…) are learning experiences. I pretty much started in ‘03 and really didn’t have a costume I was “proud” of until 2006. I liked my costumes, but they were not GREAT and they were not works of art. You just have to keep doing it, keep sewing, keep beading, keep creating. Practice really does help. Everyone gets better. Don’t get upset if there aren’t a lot of pictures taken of you.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Every Fanime I have attended has been so much fun. It’s a big con but it’s relaxed and open. Anime Oasis 2007 was also a fun con that I enjoyed. I haven’t been to AO since they changed hotels though, so I can’t speak for now.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I basically taught myself to sew WHILE making Selphie’s yellow dress. It was fun and challenging. I loved it.
Thanks for the interview, Sharsachan! You can see more of her work on her Cosplay.com account!