It’s time for another interview, this time with Javakat! She’s an amazing cosplayer from Washington, who has a great collection of costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Javakat. I chose it because I love the 40’s/50’s aesthetic plus… it’s a silly reason, really. There was a pin-up girl on the Java Jane Coffee Drive-through near my high school. My middle name is Katherine. So: Javakat. I very rarely go by it. I actually get called the Angry Mushroom Pixi or just Marie. 😀
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
6 years now. My first costume was Lina Inverse in 8th grade, but I don’t count it 😄 because it was for Halloween and frankly, just terrible! My first “cosplay” was Miss Golden Week from One Piece. I got into cosplay because I saw it at Sakuracon and was fascinated.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I love Props and Special Effects. I have a thing for Armor and Weapons as well as Prosthetics and Makeup. I often choose a costume with a cool prop or intricate design. I’m finding it’s less about my love of a character and more about my love of the characters design. I’m moving out of anime and into Science Fiction and videogames.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I want to challenge myself in SFX (special effects), Makeup and prosthetics, and Casting especially. I need to teach myself more complicated and professional techniques. I also haven’t worked with Fiberglass much so I’m planning to work with materials I haven’t yet. I’ve been saving it for a special project that I keep managing to avoid because it’s my dream costume and I’m a tad intimidated.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I give myself a hard time when I’m sloppy with my sewing so I appreciate clean craftsmanship. I make my costumes to unravel after 2 days so I love when attention to detail is made just in the base construction as well as like the time taken to put in lining or small details. You can really tell when someone put in the hours in a costume.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Its different everywhere. My view changes as I get older and do different things. The cosplay scene is often connected with anime and manga fandom in my mind, so there’s a younger, more energetic crowd. It’s calmer in Steampunk or other cons where the age range is older. The cosplay “scene” gets more and more impressive every year. At the last Sakuracon, I was blown away with how well crafted the costumes were.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I have heard of fans trashing other fans’ costumes, but have been lucky to avoid it. I also hear a lot of negative connotations of the individual series’ fandoms and how people look down on people who cosplay from a particular series, comic, what have you. People are individuals. Don’t group and label people.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Challenge, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Do LOTS of research, but also talk to people. They are often more helpful than Google.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I adore PAX (Seattle, WA) because cosplay is appreciated, while not as common as Sakuracon (Seattle, WA). It’s also very relaxed, while still exciting and eventful. I don’t feel the need to costume to have a good time; PAX doesn’t need my blessing. Akicon (Bellevue, WA) is a small con that is intimate and great for catching up with friends. Steamcon is one of my new favorites, as it’s totally friendly and relaxed with a completely different atmosphere. It’s great for costumers who aren’t into anime or videogames. Sakuracon is the origin con, my first, and what I do there changes every year. I’ll be staffing for my second year there.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
The costumes I’m the most proud of are the underappreciated ones, like Arale Norimaki and other characters no one has heard of. I made her jetpack for nearly no cost out of PVC and junk I got at a junk store. Its creativity and innovations like that are what keep me sane when I get super jealous of costumers who make such gorgeous costumes.
Thanks for the interview, Javakat! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart!