It’s time for another interview, this time with Scout! She’s a talented cosplayer from Colorado, who has a nice collection of costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias (which is just my name I go by out in the world) is Scout. My favorite video game is Team Fortress 2, and I did a Scout cosplay a few years back. I ended up meeting a lot of new people while wearing it, and I just really liked the name. It’s gender-neutral, which works well for me, and it’s a character I just really like. At this point, that’s the name nearly everyone knows me as.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been cosplaying for about 6 years (unless you count Halloween-I did a pretty fantastic Game Boy when I was 10). I got into it because I always loved making costumes, and then a friend took me to an anime convention. Going there and seeing all those people dressed as their favorite characters made me realize that making costumes didn’t have to be for holidays only.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
My favorite material to work with is undoubtedly wood. I have a little hand saw that is just fantastic for details. I used to make metal jewelry, and I apply a lot of those skills to working with wood. I’ve used some surprising elements in cosplay. I never would have guessed that birthday hats, Styrofoam hearts, and home decorating fabric could ever be useful.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I’m looking forward to using fiberglass. That’s something that’s been dangling over my head and tempting me for years. Since its winter and I can’t do anything outdoors, I’m teaching myself to make a simple electrical circuit for audio. I’m trying to get better at props, since I’m not so hot at sewing.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
My favorite thing to see in other cosplay is effort. Cosplay is an expensive hobby. I make do with cheap fabrics and props, but you can tell I did everything I could to ensure the best accuracy I can. When someone is lazy and puts together something half-heartedly, I feel sad, like they were just trying to churn something out to fit in or mass-produce multiple cosplays. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look good. If your cosplay is missing something important or fits poorly, please wait until you can finish it. If something is the wrong color or slightly off or a different cut, I wouldn’t think twice. I would applaud them for doing their best. But if you’re not going to give your all, don’t give any. I can’t think of any one person who does this. Just go to a con and look for the person beaming because they tried so hard, and that’s who I think did great.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I’m not wild about the “cosplay scene.” I feel like there’s either the people who cosplay at every chance and make cosplayers look like socially inept humans, or the people who look down at everyone who isn’t as good as they are. It’s a very elitist world. I’m not really well-known in it, and that’s fine with me. I’m not going to say I’m not in the “scene” because by the very fact that I cosplay, I am, but I can’t say I like it very much.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
What I’d like to see in the scene is more tolerance. I feel like people don’t hide their negativity very well, with mean glances and bad things said on message boards. That being said, I’d really like the whole “sexy” thing to go away. If the character wears a bikini, go for it. But throwing on lingerie and a wig and saying you’re the sexy version of whatever is really tired and pointless. Female versions are fine, but the blatantly sexual costumes really need to stop. Naruto Sexy no Jutsu? Fine. Sexy Kenpachi Zaraki (not that I’ve seen it, but I’m waiting)? Pushing it. Sexy Guile? That’s-actually I’d like to see that. Same with Halloween costumes. Sexy baseball players, prisoners, bumblebees, watermelons, and Wednesday Addams? Please no. I know that flies in the face of the tolerance thing, but I’m pretty prudish in that respect. I don’t like being assaulted by people who think skin is automatically sexy. I like my women to have a bit more mystery.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
My advice is have fun. That’s why you’re doing it-fun. Do your best, give it your all, put in effort until your fingers bleed, but once you stop having fun, there’s no point.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I’ve only been to the local cons here, so my favorite is Animeland Wasabi. It’s much more relaxed than the other big con here, and they aren’t as obsessed with making everything Japanese. It’s also smaller, so I can actually breathe.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
The little Bowser head on my Malon scarf took so much effort. It’s kinda sad, really.
Thanks for the interview, Scout! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart!