It’s time for another interview, this time with LauraC! She’s a talented cosplayer from California, who has some crazy mecha costumes!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is “LauraC.” I decided to go with this name because it’s pretty much my actual name. When I first got into cosplay, I set up an account at Cosplay.com. At the time, I couldn’t think of a good user name so I came up with just “LauraC.” I know it’s not very unique nor is it exciting.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I started cosplaying late 2006; so about six and a half years. A good friend of mine suggested we attend Fanime 2006 and I agreed to go, so I put together a closet cosplay of Tifa (Final Fantasy VII) and later on re-made it. However, that first convention fueled my passion for making costumes. Cosplay became a natural hobby for me because I enjoy arts and crafts. Before cosplay, in my spare time I would draw, watercolor, make Christmas ornaments, and leisurely sew stuffed animals.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I love to work with fabrics that are easy to sew. Since I taught myself how to sew, I am constantly learning; therefore, sewing with materials that are forgiving makes my life easier. Also, it is no secret that I love to use foam core for armor type cosplays. It’s not the sturdiest material but I am able to get the look that I want.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I have made quite a few “armor” cosplays and a large number of people have suggested I try a material called Worbla. It’s always fun to try unique materials because the possibilities could be potentially endless! Also, I heard the material is fantastic for dome/round shapes. I can imagine that it would make beautiful shoulder armor and breast plates!
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
The fun thing about cosplay, is that you can be anybody you want! When I choose a character, I think of a makeup design or think about how that particular character would look “fleshed out” in real life. Someone I really admire is Imari Yumiki (USA) she flawlessly pulls off powerful women and even can transform herself effortlessly into a handsome guy with the power of makeup. The same goes for Yaya Han (USA), I highly respect her craftsmanship and makeup abilities.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I believe the cosplay community is full of artists and fans. We all come together to celebrate our interests for cosplay/anime/video games and manga. It’s a very unique community because you meet people from all walks of life and maybe even foster life-long friendships with some of them!
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
It would be a utopian society if everyone liked each other; which is definitely not real life. Cosplay IS NOT about who makes the best costumes, who makes the most awesome props, who is the most beautiful, who get the most fans, or who wins first place in a masquerade. In my eyes, cosplay is just for leisure and expressing whatever creativity I have. What attracted me to cosplay was the ability to utilize different skills to create a costume.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
This applies not only to life, but also to cosplay. To not care what others think about you. Who cares what people think of you? As long as your closest friends/family and you are happy, that is good. Furthermore, HAVE FUN! I cannot emphasize that enough. When cosplay becomes stressful it’s time to take a break and do something else. So what if you can’t make a deadline; there will always be another convention to show off your stuff! Don’t take cosplay so seriously!
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
My two favorite conventions have to be Fanime and San Diego Comic-Con. Fanime is in downtown San Jose and it was the first convention I ever went to. I not only cosplay, but also staff this convention. Fanime holds a special place in my heart. I love San Diego Comic Con because I enjoy seeing all the different types of comic book costumes and seeing the industry side of a convention.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Autobot Jazz cosplay (Transformers Movie 2007) was constructed in about 5 weeks and was made under 120 USD. I pride myself in spending as least as possible on materials while producing something that looks relatively decent. I feel that a costume should not cost way over 100 USD unless it is for something very special. It baffles my mind when I hear people spend 300 USD and up on materials.
Thanks for the interview, LauraC! If you’d like to see more of her work, you can go to her American Cosplay Paradise account!