It’s time for another interview, this time with Serephita! She’s a lovely cosplayer from Nevada, who has a beautiful costume collection!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Serephita! I was really in love with the manga Angel Sanctuary, and loved the idea of the “Seraphim Angel” Adam Kadimon – also called Seraphita. I misspelled it the first time I typed it out, and just stuck with it.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2007. I started with a Slytherin cloak (which I still have!) for the release of the 7th Harry Potter book.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Sateen! Cotton blend sateen is one of my favorite fabrics to work with. It’s incredibly forgiving, and is fairly sturdy, so it holds up for almost anything, and is machine washable. Plus it doesn’t wrinkle -too- badly, so it’s easy to iron.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I’m really excited to be making Beatrice from the series Umineko. I’ve been dreaming of this dress since I watched the anime in 2009, and after 3 years of plotting out the patterns and piecing everything together in my mind, I’ve actually started making it and I can’t wait to complete it and wear it! Since I’ve recently become enamored with historical costuming, I’m also looking forward to making Anna Rochefort’s purple gown from the end of Le Chevalier D’eon for a very special project I’m hoping to do in 2013, mixing the anime styling with historical fashion, fabric and scenery!
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
To me, creativity and individuality is a huge thing. I love seeing the creative aspects that people bring to the craft, like how they interpret the styling of wigs, or what materials they use to create designs in patterns that are on a garment. I’ve always admired what the ladies of Cosplay Cupcakes have done with things like that, and of course Yaya Han, and Rufflebutt. I also love Kamui and her husband Benni; I’m incredibly envious of their skills with armor and props!
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I’m still what some people would consider “fairly new” – having only been really paying attention to it 2008 (I stumbled upon it in 2004/2005, but didn’t really think much of it). I feel like it’s changed a lot since then, in terms of peoples’ attitudes, how cosplay is perceived by the general public, and all kinds of things. It’s grown a lot, mostly in good ways. I think it still has a long way to go, and that people need to understand that how they present themselves does reflect not only on them, but on cosplayers as a whole. So always put your best foot forward, or at least be polite! You never know what opportunities it might lead to.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Attitudes! We’re all nerdy people in goofy costumes and wigs! Who cares if someone buys their costume because they don’t have the skills or time to make something? They’re still enjoying themselves, probably more than you are if all you’re doing is looking down your nose at them in your impeccable garment or whatever. We all have to start somewhere, so shut up and enjoy being a nerd, surrounded by other nerds!
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Be passionate about it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, online tutorials are your best friends, and practice, practice, practice! Start out with super cheap fabric to practice with, never use cheap costume satin… just try to stay away from satin in general, because really, the shinier it is, the less flattering it will be. Invest in wig heads, a small portable fabric steamer (irons can be really iffy, especially in hotels), and don’t be afraid to ask questions of other cosplayers.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Another Anime Con in Manchester, NH is my favorite convention by far. I’ve attended a couple of larger conventions that I’ve enjoyed, but AAC is like family. For a smaller convention, they have great programming, the staff is pretty awesome (I would know, since I love it so much, I decided to join the staff!), and everyone just really wants to be there. I also really love Katsucon in National Harbor, MD. I’ve only had the chance to attend once in 2010, but it was a very positive experience for me. The energy was really laid back compared to most of the other conventions, the attendees seemed a lot more mature in a way as well, and I just really enjoyed it. Plus the location is beautiful, and great for taking all kinds of photos!
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I designed all of the flowers on my Terra Branford costume, and spent over 200 hours hand beading all 7,000 crystals onto it! I had no idea how to bead, but once I got started I really enjoyed it and it was much easier than I initially expected. The whole costume was a great learning experience and helped me push my comfort boundaries! Before then (and since) I’ve been kind of… avoiding challenging myself so much when it comes to construction.