It’s time for another interview, this time with Wingedlight! She’s a detail-oriented cosplayer from Colorado, who likes to remind everyone that cosplay is about having fun!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is Wingedlight, which has been my online handle since I stole it from my friend in 6th grade to use for Neopets…. >.>;
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2007; I got started because some of my friends were anime nerds and I wanted to join them!
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I really like doing hand embroidery because I can lay down while I work on it (lol). I also like working with interesting looking/feeling fabrics, because it’s a lot more enticing to sew when I want to spend time with them. My other favorites are beads and rhinestones, as I’m really attached to shiny things, and I have a long history of working with beads and jewelry (I spent all of my college years working in a bead store).
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
My next big project is a rendition of Cinderella, and it’s going to have a lot of the things I love aesthetically: gradient fabric, tons of beads and shinies, interesting appliqués, etc. One bit that was stumping me when I was looking for supplies for her is that she has some fabric bits that appear to be completely see-through (like a clear plastic), but drape like regular fabric. I couldn’t figure out what to use until I discovered a completely sheer gauze that’s woven with metallic threads! I’m excited to play with it for this costume!
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Two things that I really love to see in cosplay are impressive detailing and overall clean work. There are lots of cosplayers who manage to do both (I’m better at the first than the second, lol)! Some examples who I admire and who I also am lucky enough to count as friends are Alchemical Cosplay, Sarcasm-Hime, and Helen Alice Cosplay. The list could go on for pages though…
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I think the cosplay scene right now is really exciting and fast-paced, but because of that it can also be stressful. It’s exciting to see incredibly high quality cosplays popping up everywhere, and the access to new and innovative materials/techniques/tutorials is awesome! However it can also be stressful to feel like you’re falling behind others in terms of knowledge or output. Being a cosplayer can feel like being a one-man movie crew at times, and you can feel bad if you’re not doing every piece well (even though realistically it’s impossible to be a specialist in everything). It’s hard to remember to just go with the flow and do what you enjoy!
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I think the majority of the changes I would like to see are with cons’ handling of the cosplay community. Some cons are very respectful of cosplayers and the work that goes in to cosplay, which shows in the guests they invite, their cosplay contests, and the programming they put on. Cosplay’s popularity has blown up in recent years, so I think if cons want to continue to attract attendees they need to make sure cosplay is a part of their plans.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t worry too much about keeping up with social media, booking expensive photoshoots, or comparing your self to popular cosplayers. Those things can all become super draining, which sort of ruins the point of cosplay (making friends, making art, enjoying and paying tribute to the series and characters you’re cosplaying). Ultimately most of those things are up to luck, so you might as well focus on the fun parts so you can actually enjoy the hobby eating all your free time.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
All of the cons I’ve been to have their pros and cons, including the international ones. Anime Expo has tons of great guests and artists attending, but is expensive and has problems with line control. Comiket (in Japan) is a ton of fun if you have an interest in doujin, but it’s very crowded. Japan Expo (in France) has the European Cosplay Gathering which is one of the best contests in the world to watch, but it’s in the middle of nowhere and you aren’t allowed to reenter con once you’ve left each day. I think my two favorite cons I’ve been to are Costume Con (which had incredible programming, but is focused on general costume craftsmanship not anime), and Anime Los Angeles (which has a great relaxed environment and a very popular costume contest).
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I made my Takarazuka Sakizo costume to match my friend Yukine Costumes in France. She mailed me swatches of her fabric, and I picked mine to match. In my opinion, our costumes go incredibly well together for being made by two people on two different continents who had never met before!