Cosplayer Of The Month is….
1. What is your name and do you have an Alias?
My name is Cassie, and my online cosplay handle is StarsOfCassiopeia. Nice to meet you!
2. How long have you been cosplaying?
I have been cosplaying for about 8 years now, and don’t expect to stop any time soon!
3. What was is or who inspired you to start?
I first discovered cosplay when I was around 12 or 13, and thought the idea was really cool. At that time I was also really active on the NiD.com [from NiGHTS into Dreams, an old cult classic SEGA genesis game] forums, and the crafty people there were always posting cool cosplay, so I wanted to try it as well.
As for construction, a lot of my family members like to sew, but they are mostly quilters. My relatives encouraged me to learn the basics when I was younger, and people like my dad saw value in learning how to work with things like power tools.
I was actually having a bit of an art crisis where I wasn’t really satisfied with my drawings and was running out of steam on writing, so I tried cosplay as a new medium, and fell in love with it.
4. Tell us about your first Cosplay experience?
It was a hot and sweaty Otakon… But it was wonderful! I remember being completely overwhelmed and awe-struck by the sheer number of cosplayers there were around. Everyone was so kind and encouraging, it’s no wonder I decided to continue.
5. What is a challenge you find with Cosplay?
Definitely finding the balance of the cosplay triangle: cheap, fast, and good. There aren’t nearly enough hours in the day for me to do every cosplay I want or even just do crazy detailing on every outfit I do. It’s really hard to pick and choose interesting builds that I can finish in short time frames, and without breaking the bank!
6. What is the most enjoyable part of Cosplay for you?
As an engineer, I really like the designing portion of cosplay. Taking simple sketches or screenshots and somehow morphing those concepts into a tangible, wearable thing is just so cool to me. Sometimes the crafting process can get tedious, but there’s nothing like seeing your finished work and getting the satisfaction with being able to say “yeah, I made that, with my own two hands!”
7. Have you met any lasting friends because of Cosplay? Describe one.
The vast majority of my cosplay group, Princess Brigade Cosplay, falls into this category. About half of us met in high school, and the rest of us found each other through mutual friends connected and became essentially inseparable. I’ve also made a ton of friends while being abroad in Japan through cosplay too, and seeing how cosplay varies from country to country is amazing!
8. Is Cosplay now a life time hobby for you? Or say maybe Addiction?
Considering I’ve been doing cosplay for so many years already, I don’t see myself stopping any time soon!
9. What is one or two characters that you want to do in the future?
One of my dream cosplays is Lelouch Vi Britannia’s Emperor Robes [Code Geass], which is a series I have wanted to cosplay since I started learning to sew. I’m finally going to have a group for the 10th anniversary of the show, and it’s a dream come true!
A few others I want to do, hopefully sooner rather than later: Trucy Wright [Ace Attorney], Suzuha Amane [Steins;Gate 0, because I had soooo much fun with the original!], more Ariel [Disney, probably either the pink ballgown or the park ballgown next?], and Imagni [Engelbaum, which is a really cool indie comic!].
10. If you had to choose only one costume to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?
I’m not sure I could pick a cosplay! Lelouch is one of my dream cosplays, so maybe that one when it’s finished. That being said, I also really like being Pyrrha Nikos [RWBY] and Magic Armor Link [Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess], though it’s hard to move in those two because there’s so much armor involved. Ariel [Disney] is also a fun choice, because ballgowns are striking yet surprisingly easy to wear, and little kids get so excited to see their favorite princesses!
11. What makes your decision on who you decide to Cosplay? EG:(Difficultly body match or do we look a like?)
First off, I have to enjoy the source material and the character– no sense in cosplaying something or someone you don’t like! I usually then narrow down my choices based on how involved the build would be. I always try to learn a new technique with every cosplay I do, even if they are simple. It’s a nice added bonus for me if I resemble the character, but I’ve also cosplayed characters where there are hardly any physical similarities. Friends often also ask me to join in on their groups, because having full sets of characters and cosplaying together is always way more fun!
12. Some People Don’t Understand why you do it. How do you answer them?
Why do you do any of your hobbies? Because it’s fun! Because you can meet like-minded people and make friends. Because you can learn new skills and be creative. And with cosplay, it’s an excuse to travel too. Win-win all around.
13. Who do you hope to inspire?
The younger cosplayers out there, especially those craftsmen who want to get better. I spend a lot of time on forums like Cosplay.com just trying to share my knowledge, and I hope that others can learn from my suggestions and then go on and do the same.
I also want to encourage veteran cosplayers to do the same and share what they know– many of us learned from the (surprisingly few) tutorials that we scraped together in old archives. Since cosplay has evolved so much since then, it would be nice to contribute the expertise we do have.
14. Do you have plans for your next convention yet?
My next convention is Otakon in Baltimore, Maryland! I’m bringing along some older costumes like Pearl from Steven Universe and Honoka Kousaka’s track suit from Love Live, but the vast majority of my cosplays will be new! I’m debuting sail dress Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, dancer Marinette from a Miraculous Ladybug alternate universe, Judal from Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, and circus Honoka from Love Live!
I’m already planning stuff as far out as spring 2017, so look forward to that too.
15. What are some insider tips or tricks you would like to share with fellow Cosplayers?
Keep a research catalog, and copious notes. Organization can help you find resources or materials you need when tackling a new project, and being able to reference your own work later if you’re doing something similar again is soooo useful.
On a more specific note, I really like weathering with shoe polish. I never really see it mentioned in tutorials but it’s so nice.
16. Can you explain how you feel in your Costume?
When I’m wearing cosplays I’ve made, my first reaction is always to pick out the flaws, but that’s just because you are your own worst critic. That always quickly subsides into a feeling of “Yeah, this is cool!” And sometimes it’s followed up with “I made this, with my own two hands!” Seeing something go from a sketch or a model to real life is always really rewarding.
I think I feel a little different in every costume, which might be a result of getting into character, but it’s an overwhelming self-confidence boost.
17. What other fun things are you into?
I’m an engineering student at Harvard, and therefore spend a lot of time in the lab doing research and building medical technologies. I also study East Asian languages & culture, and learned some Japanese before moving to Japan for the summer!
Presently, I’m captain of my university’s Quidditch team, and am also a member of the national Society of Women Engineers. When I’m not doing any of that, I do backstage production for college theater, write, spin fire (poi), and of course, cosplay!
18. Have you had any funny or interesting stories from cosplaying?
Oh man, too many to count!
One that comes to mind happened last summer. I was swimming in the pool as mermaid Ariel at Colossalcon one time, and a little girl was staring at me from the beach chairs near the pool’s edge. I swam over and waved at her, and her mom encouraged me to talk with her. I sang a little bit, and made some fish jokes, and the little girl was so happy she screamed.
I love interacting with small children in-character (especially in Disney gear); they always get so excited.
19. Now that you have experience, what can you say to first timers that are nervous about loosing their Cosplay virginity?
We’re a bunch of goofball nerds who dress up like fictional characters– don’t take it too seriously! If you’re really nervous, bring a friend, and if you can, cosplay together.
If you’re a first-time crafter trying to make an outfit from scratch, I’d also like to enlighten you about the Pi rule of engineering: give yourself 3.14x as much time as you think you’ll need. Even experienced craftsmen and women sometimes underestimate the time needed, or make mistakes, or find something is more difficult than anticipated. You’ll be much happier picking a manageable project and giving yourself lots of time to work through it, because all-night con crunch is terrible (0/10, do not recommend).
20. Where can we look to find more of your Cosplaying?
I’m “StarsOfCassiopeia” nearly everywhere– Facebook, Tumblr, Cosplay.com, Cospix.net, Cosplay Amino, and YouTube (where I’m posting tutorials, con vlogs, and craftsmanship guides!). You can also find me on DeviantART (though I don’t update that often), and newly on Twitter as @StarsCassiopeia.
Thank you So much for talking with me today and we hope to continue to be inspired by your work in the future!
Make sure you come back next month for another amazing Cosplayer! Cosplay On!
Krystal Clear Photography
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StarsOfCassiopeia Feature: Cosplay Credits
– Ariel [Ballgown]: Shoomlah’s Historically Accurate Disney
Photo: Yenra Photography
Prince: Gazebo Tier Cosplay
Snow White: HoundedinGotham
– Ariel [Mermaid Tail]: Disney’s The Little Mermaid
– Bill Cipher [human]: Gravity Falls
– Hilda [Default]: Pokemon Black & White
Calem: Gazebo Tier Cosplay
– Honoka Kousaka [School Uniform]: Love Live!
Photo: Gazebo Tier Cosplay
– Katniss Everdeen [Mockingjay Dress (book)]: Hunger Games
Photo: Galaxy42 Photography
– Lady Loki [swimsuit]: Marvel’s Avengers
Photo: Jess Hargrove Photography
– Lady Rainicorn [ballgown gijinka]: Adventure Time
Photo: Micaiah Reid Photography
– Link [Magic Armor: Legend of Zelda- Twilight Princess
Imp Midna & Eldin: Bird King Cosplay
Zant: Gazebo Tier Cosplay
Human Midna: Valiant Cosplay
– Mewtwo [Cowslip Gijinkadex]: Pokemon
Photo: Nancy M Photos
Mew: Bird King Cosplay
– Pyrrha Nikos [default]: RWBY
Jaune Arc (cosplayer): CaptainDanKaas
– Suki [Kyoshi Warrior]: Avatar- The Last Airbender
Photo: Scott Waldron Photography
– Suzuha Amane [default]: Steins;Gate
– Tuxedo Mask [genderbend]: Sailor Moon
Photo: Dancing Squirrel Photography