Krystal’s Cosplayer of the week
The Cosplayer of the week is….
Sabrina Kniseley goes by Curly Girl in the cosplay world. She chose this name because of her extremely curly hair. When she meets new people they always comment on her super curly hair. Her name choice is purposely ironic “I thought it would be kind of ironic since there aren’t very many characters in anime or video games that have curly hair.”
Curly Girl has been cosplaying for about 4 years. So Tell us about how you started out?
“In 2010 I had bought my first cosplay which was Chun Li from Street Fighter. I got the costume because I was tired of buying costumes from Party City that were poorly made with cheap fabric and that charged me $45. I didn’t like the fact that someone else could just walk in and just buy the same exact outfit as me. I really wanted to stand out, so I chose her because everyone has seen her or know who she is. She is famous! Unfortunately I didn’t make that costume because it was before I got into sewing. I did however make her wristbands out of Styrofoam and paper-mache . They were kinda cheesy but I was proud of them because I had made them.”
Her very first cosplay experience was in San Japan in San Antonio, TX in 2011. She had gone as Chun Li. The one thing she said to have remembered so vividly was “the fact that it was like I was famous! Everyone wanted a photo of me or wanted a photo with me. I was stopped every 5 secs for a picture.”
Sabrina is always challenging herself, with each new cosplay she will always try to one up herself and that helps her to develop her skills. What is a big challenge she faces well Curly Girls says “If I had to pick one challenging thing, it would be making things the right proportion. I have a hard time making things the right size sometimes and stuff comes out bigger then they should be and I look silly and have to redo the dang thing.”
The most enjoyable part for Curly Girl is when her cosplay is all done and she is showing it off! “Everyone tells me what a good job I had done.” Sabrina Recalls, “The number one thing I enjoy is impressing my dad. I didn’t know he was interested in my hobby but when he bragged to his friend how talented my sister and I were, I felt awesome. I didn’t think my cosplay hobby could impress him and for me that was the greatest.” How heartwarming that is. Sometimes there are things to bring us together that we never would expect.
A big part of cosplaying in the convention setting is meeting new people but Sabrina has a little bit of a different story. Unfortunately we live in a society where we are judged on our looks alone. For the average people they face criticism but we neglect the fact that the people who fit into the perfect bubble are criticized too. It’s a long story of women feeling the need to be in competition with each other. So when we see a woman who could potentially take the spotlight of the men we feel aggressive and protective. Sadly this stops us from reaching some amazing true friendships we could have if we weren’t so superficially preoccupied with pleasing the other sex. Listen to her story, “I haven’t really made too many friends in the cosplay community and its very sad. In the past 4 years I’ve made maybe 3 friends that I still talk to all the time and were hardcore cosplayers. They are mostly guys. Females not so much. Females seem to be in constant competition with one another , I know when someone is giving me angry vibes and its mostly from females. Females are already like that in the normal world but when it comes to trying to show off your skills in cosplay, the angry vibes really penetrate. I find it very hard to find girl friends because if your stuff is good, they’ll hate you, if your stuff is bad, they think they’re better than you. I don’t know what it is but I’m not the type to hate. I try to make friends everywhere I go and I try to be nice to everyone unless they’ve done me wrong. Maybe I’m just going to the wrong conventions.” I hope we can read this a come to a realization that we are all women that love cosplay and that should bring us together not apart. Sabrina I hope you meet up with some nice girls soon! I know in Canada there is a lot of friendships that blossom each year!
Curly Girl does plan on cosplaying for as long as she can. “I’ll probably make my kids and husband cosplay too haha!” You may laugh Sabrina but I personally keep on cosplaying with my husband and my three sons. They love it and excepted it as normal right away, so don’t worry!
There is a complaint that we have been hearing more and more about the Super over sexified girls hired to be there. They fill the conventions lately, they are there to sell something but they are not fans themselves. Sabrina brought this up in our interview she says “If this whole thing of over sexified cosplay continues, I don’t think I want to be apart of it anymore. Don’t get me wrong I’ve done a sexy cosplay but some people go a little to crazy and I feel like it gives female cosplayers a bad image and gives male cosplayers a false standard that everyone needs to look like that.” It changes the dynamic of true fans cosplaying it up and associating being white washed by the models and porn stars. It’s nice to look at but not really the point for most of us.
I always ask what other cosplays they are interested in doing in the future Sabrina says “I am seriously considering my next cosplay to be Val from the new game Evolve and another character would be a female pilot from Titanfall. Both look very challenging and seem difficult but I want to be on a pro level and be able to eventually sell my stuff to other cosplayers. Those cosplays will teach me how to do weathering, to work with worbla, and to work with pepakura files.”
One of my favorite questions I ask at almost every interview is If you had to choose a cosplay to wear for the rest of your life what would you be? Sabrina answerd “It would be Misty from Pokemon. Nothing crazy because my cosplays can be so uncomfortable that I want to rip them off at the end of the day. Misty wears shorts, a tank top and cute little suspenders. That is the MOST comfortable cosplay. I don have to worry about stuff falling off or ripping, I can go to class in it, and I can rob a bank with it because I look nothing like her and they will never catch me!! MUAHAHA!!” That’s very smart! thinking of all angles there.
Sabrinas favorite convention is San Japan “Because it was the first one I went to, its 20 mins away from me and it gets better every year. I love seeing how that convention grows and love seeing the local vendors that are from here. There’s a lot of talent in this city!”
Say someone walks up to you and asks why do you cosplay? “I would say, why do dancers dance? Why do painters paint? These people need to express themselves in some shape or form. Would you rather I kid nap children? I find it a silly question sometimes. Plus I go to school for film. If I’m shooting a movie, I don’t want to pay someone to make my wardrobe. If I make it, it’s going to be at the standard that I need it to be compared to someone who going to do it however because they might think I don’t know anything about sewing or fabric.”
I asked Curly Girl what her plans are for her next cosplay adventure. “So my plans for my next convention is to go to PAX South. It’s the first one here so I plan on going as Elise from Assassins Creed Unity. I wanted to be the first to do it but a French girl beat me to it. It’s okay though, I’m still going to have a good time. My boyfriend is going to do Arno Dorian from the same game so it should be fun.”
Sabrina’s cosplay tips for other cosplayers would be to buy Ben Nye Final Seal spray if you’re wearing heavy makeup. “It helps keep your make up from smearing, being sweat off, and/ or wiped off. It really helps if you live in Texas with the crazy heat. Believe me I know from experience.” That’s great advice! Even up here in Canada summer conventions are hot and some costumes are very hot and heavy. That’s a great tip. Last year I was Flame princess from Adventure Time and the gem on my forehead kept sweating off!
Sabrina is into a lot of horror anime and video games. “I love how creative people get to scare each other and I love a good story line. I loved the old Resident Evil games, Silent Hill games and like indie horror games. I also love anime that is very comical and have lots of crazy characters.”
Is there anything interesting you would like to add? “Hmm, anything else Id like to add? Well I’m totally normal, except I make short films, made commercials, modeled dresses and cosplay, I’m into cosplay in general, I work on cars on occasion and hope to be a video editor/ visual effects artist. Other than that I’m average ha ha! I’m a cosplayer that’s goes for accuracy and I love small details. I’ve won a trophy for best in class for cosplay and have made a cosplay for an infant child (He was Raphael from The Ninja Turtles). I make male cosplays for my current boyfriends and hope to convince my mom to be Sindel from Mortal Kombat one day.”
Okay well that’s it! Cosplayer of the week. Thanks Sabrina for taking the time out to be interviewed and I hope to see more and more of your work to come.
Come back next week for a new Cosplayer and her amazing adventures!
If you want to see Sabrina’s Facebook page it’s called Curly Girl Cosplay. “I post almost everyday with new progress pics, videos of photo shoots and sell prints. I appreciate any love!” So go give her some likes!!
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