It’s time for another interview, this time with Daydreamernessa! She’s a long-time cosplayer from California, who loves seeing characters brought to life!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Daydreamernessa; it’s still the one and only cosplay alias I’ve gone by since 2001! As you can guess I chose it because I was a big daydreamer, even now it’s still true! But back then I didn’t realize I daydreamed so often because it was my form of escapism from bullying at the time, which is something I’ve only recently ever admitted!
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
17 years… and counting! Once I hit middle school I started hopping on my family’s computer, and exploring anime online. This is late 90’s and early ’00’s so it wasn’t as accessible in real life. I wanted to know more, and would visit all sorts of anime shrines, Anipike, which led to seeing convention reports and cosplay photos! I’ve always been a fan of playing dress-up, and loved seeing people outwardly share what characters, and series they loved! Back then it was so pure how we tried our best to recreate characters, it still makes me smile thinking of our early cosplay days. 🙂
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Depends on what things mean! If it’s material-wise, then really nice quality satins for my mahou shoujo costumes! If it’s for props, then definitely insulation foam and regular craft foams!
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
As of right now in 2018/2019 I’ve yet to really use Worbla, which has been out and in cosplayers’ hands for years now and revolutionized how cosplay armor and props are made. So I may be late to the game, but definitely that! If money weren’t an issue, I’d love to play with laser cutters, and the Cricut machines! 🙂
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I’m a sucker for seeing costumes brought to life. Seeing a really well executed costume, where someone puts their all into recreating a character. My dear friend Li Kovacs does this with every character she tackles, and you can see the love! I also recommend QuantumDestiny and HikikoMuri for these traits as well. As a fan of these people, it’s always my favorite day seeing progress they share, and the finished projects they create!
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
The scene changes every day! Because we are on a global platform, and recognized in ways we’ve never been, it’s changed the hobby quite a bit. I think my biggest opinion, is that back in the old days our audience was fellow fans. We didn’t have rando’s seeing our content. We stuck to our costuming websites and forums, or creating personal sites. The general public didn’t know who or what we were, and it was rare to be engaged by non-cosplayers. Fast-forward, and shifting to social media that has the whole world as our audience, it’s changed. We now have a global audience, and that includes people who don’t participate in the hobby.
I think the biggest change about the scene nowadays is what makes up people’s first impressions, and what is popular. For better or for worse what makes up first impressions of cosplay now is usually cosplayers with large followings, and the content they share since that is what’s shared most frequently due to social media algorithms, and being able to pay to show up in people’s feeds. Back in the day if you shared something there was no bumping your work!
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Honestly I’d love a solid place to connect with fans like I did back in the day. I really do miss the less intense approach where we were all fans, not on a global microscope.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Learn the basics, and start with a costume/character you feel excited to make!
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
For cosplay reasons, Fanime! It has the best photo opportunities, and has become a spot where people across the west coast come out for! Some of my favorite events are really small ones too where you pretty much engage with others easily, and feels more cozy!
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Yukiho Starry costume that I made from scratch, has 150+ LED lights that were hand-sewn down to conductive thread, and made in under 2 months!! I worked a 8-6pm job and would come home, eat, and work from 7pm-2am most nights then get up to go to work! It was a very daunting costume to do in a short time, while working full-time!