It’s time for another interview, this time with Paprika! She’s a talented lady from Oregon, who is still relatively new to cosplay!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I don’t really have one most people know me by, but the self-proclaimed nickname that I use on most accounts is Paprika. Though most people just know me by Kitty!
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve wanted to cosplay since I first got into anime in middle school, but never actually got to it until I was 18. So, I’ve only really been cosplaying for a couple years!
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I love planning out the construction of the costume, and paying attention to detail so the final result looks that much better! As soon as I find another character I want to cosplay, I get excited and start planning out how I’m going to do it by sketching it all out in parts and taking a lot of notes before I actually start on it.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
The cosplay I’m most excited to tackle, yet admittedly, just as nervous to start, is Gaige, the Mechromancer, from Borderlands 2. I rarely get so engrossed with a character, but when I do, I always have to cosplay them. Her build and personality are so similar to mine that it would really be a crime if I didn’t cosplay her! I look forward to constructing her robot arm and adding all the crazy details within her outfit!
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I love when cosplayers pay attention to detail. Small things like extra embroidery, painting on small details or in general just going out of one’s comfort zone just to be as accurate as possible is a really admirable quality I look for in other costumes.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I’m rather new to the whole idea of being a part of a cosplay scene: for the most part, I just stick with my close friends or do it on my own. But many pacific northwestern cosplayers I’ve met are really sweet and helpful which is great for introverted types like me. There are so many talented and inspirational cosplayers in the area, and ideally I’d like to incorporate myself within the community even more!
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I’ve seen a lot of relentless judging of other cosplayers because of their body type or other irrelevant factors. Everyone who chooses to cosplay should be able to do so without fear of people tearing them apart verbally to their face or behind their backs (not to say constructive criticism shouldn’t be used when necessary or asked for however).
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Patience is key! Just keep yourself motivated with imagery of how awesome you’re going to look in your new costume, and put that energy into making your cosplay the best you can. If you can’t sew, ask around your friend group, chances are you’ll find someone who can help you get started. Be open to some fair/constructive criticism if you want to get into doing more elaborate costumes, but most importantly do it to have fun!
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Honestly, some of the smallest conventions I’ve attended were the most fun! I really loved Wonder Northwest this year and am excited to attend next year as well. PAX Prime was probably my favorite convention I’ve ever attended, though; very laid back, and a lot of exciting game-related panels and events going on that I was actually interested in attending!
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
The big skirt on my Peacock (Skullgirls) cosplay: one of my best friends and I tried at least three times to custom make a skirt pattern to fit to the same size of my hoop skirt I had purchased for it. Not to mention all the ‘lace’/scallop shapes on the bottom of the dress are all individually cut and sewn on. It was probably one of the factors that drove me crazy and took longer than it should have, but it ended up being worth the extra time and I’m so glad I did them that way!