It’s time for another interview, this time with Makeshiftwings! She’s a talented cosplayer from Florida, who has quite the closet of costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My alias is Makeshiftwings. It’s the title of one of my favorite songs by AFI. It’s got a good message about not supporting people who are fake and always adhere to the latest trends.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been cosplaying for about 4 years now. I’ve always loved Halloween and made my own costumes. One year, I put an unusual amount of effort into a costume (it was Link, and it was BAD) and it was around the time that I really got into conventions. I had heard of them before but had never gone to one. I went to Megacon for the first time out of costume and decided I had to dress up for my next one. It’s just not the same being out of costume!
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
My most favorite part has always been the sewing. I love working with nice fabrics, especially suitings. In the end, most costumes make or break by the outfit itself so that’s why I really like working with fabric. Recently I’ve started working with leather and I really like it also. It’s fun to work with, but really expensive!
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
My next big project is a gijinka form of Okami Amaterasu. I’m going to be doing some heavy prop-work for that costume. I have this crazy dream of making Divine Retribution (the mirror on her back) actually spin, but I have no engineering experience so I don’t know if I can do it! Okami is one of my favorite games and I’m very excited to start her.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I love cleanliness in a cosplay. Nothing impresses me more than a well-made costume, whether it is good sewing and tailoring or nice prop work. In overall cosplays, I think Pikminlink and Yaya have really nice construction skills. Prop-wise, Volpin and Fev are two of my favorites.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I personally got into cosplay because it combines all my loves into one: costuming, video games, anime, sewing, painting, etc. I love making my cosplays and wearing them because I also love and can relate to the character I’m portraying. However, I think a lot of people get into the “scene” for the wrong reasons. Cosplay shouldn’t be about attention, but that’s what it’s come down to. More and more people are cosplaying somebody just because they look like the character and thus would get more attention, but they haven’t even played/watched/read the source. Instead of being about fun, now it’s some kind of big competition on who can be the most “famous”.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I’d love to see the drama die down. I think it’s no secret that Florida has a ton of drama. I went to Dragon*Con for the first time last year and I LOVED it. It was hands down my favorite convention ever (and I couldn’t even cosplay 3/4 days because the Marta made me nauseous). The atmosphere is so different. Everyone is there to have FUN. If you see a nice cosplay, people are saying “WOW!” and not talking bad about it. My boyfriend and I spent so much time sitting in the lobby area of one hotel (out of 5, mind you) watching all the cosplayers. In many Florida conventions, you can just feel the drama just by standing in a room. At Dragon*con, it was non-existent. I would highly recommend anyone to go to D*Con, especially cosplayers/con-goers in Florida who are getting tired of the scene. It is a completely different experience. It restored my faith back in conventions, cosplay, and cosplayers. I would love for Florida conventions to be more like D*Con.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Have fun and keep working! When I got into cosplay, the only things I had sewn previously were some pillows and crappy plushies. I learned everything by practicing. Start with an easy costume with pieces you can buy. Make the rest. Try starting with something simple like a sleeveless shirt. If you can’t figure something out in a pattern, google it. You can learn anything on the internet. Also, making mock-ups out of muslin will save you from some expensive mistakes.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I mentioned it earlier but Dragon*Con has been my favorite convention so far. I am so excited to go back. In Florida, Metrocon is my favorite. It actually has some good panels, a great costume contest, and an AWESOME artist’s alley. I bought so much stuff there last year.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Wander has been my most difficult costume yet for two reasons: one, the construction was really difficult. Two, I had to completely mess and tear it up in the end. My ultimate goal was to always do end of the game Wander (I won’t go any more specific due to spoilers), but I wanted to get pictures of it clean beforehand. So after I did my photoshoot with the clean outfit, I tore up the tabard with a razor blade and scissors and smothered the costume in fake blood and charcoal. It was heartbreaking to say in the least, but I’m really happy with how it came out.