It’s time for another interview, this time with AngelKawaii! She’s a sweet cosplayer from California, who has a lovely collection of costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
It’s AngelKawai, but I don’t usually go by it, because I’m too used to introducing myself by my real name. I created the alias a long, long time ago, back in like middle school, I think. At that time I didn’t really know many Japanese words but I wanted to use some in the name. So, I decided to have Kawaii in it, but it was taken. 😄 Then I decided to use a translation of my name +Kawaii, and voila! I got myself an alias.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
Haha, for me it’s a bit different than it is for most cosplayers. I did my first cosplay in 2005, then didn’t do anything until 2007, which is when I really started to cosplay. So, I’ve really been cosplaying only for 5 years. What got me started is back in 2005, my friend decided that we were all going to go to Fanime. I looked up what it was and found out that people dressed up. I figured if we were going to go, might as well go all out. So I made my first cosplay (Witch Hunter Robin) and went. I was the only one out of our group that dressed up. It was a fun experience and that’s when it all started.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I try to keep my costume costs to a minimum, so I love to work with cotton. You can usually get it for $2 a yard at Jo-Anns and it doesn’t fray much, crinkle much, and doesn’t turn a funky shade of color when you iron it (that has happened before and freaked me out, because I thought I burnt it, but turned out the fabric changed color when it was heated). I love beads, craft foam, and Sculpey. All of those let my creativity run wild.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I don’t have materials set for the future, so I can’t really answer this question. For me, some materials change from cosplay to cosplay and some stay the same. So it will really depend on what my next cosplay will be, which currently is undecided.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I think that everyone does a great job in their cosplay whether they are new or have been cosplaying for years. So, I’d say everyone does them well depending on what level they are in. However, what can make a cosplay better is if the person put in that extra effort into make-up or the small details that people usually skip. Good photography helps to make a cosplay seem that much better too. If it’s a skit, masquerade performance, etc., being in character makes it better. So, I think it just depends what it is the person is doing and how new they are to the cosplay scene.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Haha, funny choice of words, since I used that phrase in the previous question.
I think that the cosplay scene is fun and is getting bigger. It seems to be getting more acceptance from the general public and is definitely spreading to many other countries. I see that as a very good thing and hope that at some point the cosplay community will no longer be looked at with any negativity. However, I noticed that throughout the years, more and more drama is starting to happen in the community and sometimes it feels like high school drama. It’s something that brings the whole thing down and makes it not as fun as it used to be for many people.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I want all of the drama to just stop. It’s ridiculous to see grown-up people starting rumors, saying someone is fat and shouldn’t do that outfit, or calling someone’s cosplay crappy when it could be that person’s first time, etc. Such negativity does not make the community seem all that welcoming, especially to new people. We need to become more accepting and not judge others before we actually talk with them and get to know them.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
If you are curious and thinking about it: Just Do It!
Don’t worry about what others will think or say, because there will always be a hater, but there will also always be someone that loves what you did. You are doing it for you, not for other people. You are trying to make your skills better not someone else’s. So, relax, don’t worry, and ask for help if you need it (there’s tons of nice people to help you and there’s loads of tutorials online). And sometimes take a whack on it on your own, because that’s when your imagination and mind will begin to really work and take things apart to see if there’s another way you can make something.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Fanime. It’s my home con and that’s where everything started. The staff is nice (I usually work in the volunteer department) and it’s well organized. There are many locations to shoot and eat at, and there are plenty of hotels within walking distance.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I call the San Zang Fashi wig my “Justin Bieber” wig. Why? Because when I put it on without styling it, that’s what it made me and my friend think it looked like.