Oct 20, 2015
October’s Cosplayer of The Month
October’s Cosplayer of the month is…
1. What is your name and do you have an Alias?
My name is Carly M, but my cosplay alias is Mink the Satyr.
2. How long have you been cosplaying?
I’ve been cosplaying for getting on 3 years now, though I’ve been actively pursuing cosplay for the last year-and-a-half. I’ve been a costumer for around 8 years, specializing in renaissance and fantasy clothing.
3. What was is or who inspired you to start?
I’d been going to conventions such as the Big Apple Anime Fest in New York and the Boston Anime Convention and Arisia in Massachusetts for a little while in mundane clothing. I’d often pined after the costumes I’d seen people wear, swearing one day I’d do that myself (and never had). It wasn’t until I got into Live Action Role Playing (LARP) that I started making and wearing costumes outside of the Halloween season. I of course never looked back. I mostly stuck to wearing original costumes for conventions rather than “cosplay” of specific characters. It wouldn’t be until my first PAX East in 2013 that I dressed up as a licensed and trade marked character. My boyfriend may have been the one to encourage me to try cosplay, but I think the people who inspired me to actually do it were friends in addition to professional cosplayers I follow online such as Yaya Han or Jessica Nigri.
4. Tell us about your first Cosplay experience?
My first true cosplay experience was at PAX East 2013. I decided I wanted to cosplay as my favorite video game character of all time: Lucca from the game Chrono Trigger. Since the game is for the Super Nintendo, the graphics aren’t all that great for character reference. There was some official art from Akira Toriyama, but the character designs were pretty flat and simple. I wanted to reimagine the character as if she were a real person stepping foot into a real version of the world she lives in. I tried to design everything about her accordingly: from a functional leather tool belt to a more attractive outfit… even her bag saw an update with a hand-embroidered design of Gato, the robot she built in the game. I was nervous to hit the show floor in my costume, especially of a character from a game that released 20 years ago! But the game made such an impact on me as a young gamer, so I felt compelled to try to honor my favorite inventress! I was so delighted that people not only recognized my character, but they wanted to talk about the game, take pictures of the costume, or just make references from the series. It was a magical experience.
5. What is a challenge you find with Cosplay?
For me, the big challenge with cosplay is managing a realistic timeline. I tend to schedule the start time for a cosplay rather close to the deadline for when I intend to debut it. I’m getting better on that front. One consideration I’ve had to keep in mind is “play testing” the costume. That means I put on all cloth, armor, wig/hair extensions, makeup, and weapons to test how long it takes to get into costume and if there are uncomfortable elements that will need to be adjusted to support all day wear. If I finish the costume the night before or don’t take the time to see the costume fully completed, I invite disaster once I hit the show floor. This happened when I didn’t playtest the holster for a prop gun I had. When the holster failed, the gun fell to the floor and knocked the LED battery rig out of alignment. Since I didn’t bring any screwdrivers with me, I had no way of repairing a simple mistake and so a costume element that could light up but didn’t. Playtesting really saved my bacon not too long ago when I discovered that a headset I was wearing really started hurting me after 20 minutes of wear. This was important to note because had I simply put on the costume and taken it off again, I wouldn’t have realized that I’d be in pain over the course of a whole day. I was able to adjust the costume so that the parts that could cause me pain were addressed.
6. What is the most enjoyable part of Cosplay for you?
I think the most enjoyable part of cosplay is actually getting to the convention and being with people. I love meeting new people and I love watching the beautiful works of art other crafters create when they attend these events. When I am in costume, I get to act like a character, which is it’s own fun. Being in costume gives me a new level of confidence to allow me to go up to strangers and tell them how much I admire their work or ask for a photograph. I’ve meet some of the most amazing people by seizing the day and talking with them about the fandom they are wearing.
7. Have you met any lasting friends because of Cosplay? Describe one.
I have indeed! It can be impossible for me to describe just one (but I will try). I met one cosplayer at a convention last year. She was stunning in her costume and I believe the two of us stopped each other just to ask to get the other person’s photo. She had mentioned that she was going to be attending the convention the next day as a character from the same fandom I would be dressing up as, so I mentioned a meetup that would be happening the next day. We exchanged numbers and hung out again the next day. She was such a cool person that we wound up meeting up at convention after convention after that. We will be collaborating on a costume for next year, which is the bee’s knees!
8. Is Cosplay now a life time hobby for you? Or say maybe Addiction?
I like to think of cosplay as an addicting hobby. Since I had been an avid seamstress prior to officially cosplaying, the actual act of becoming another character just sort of squeezed in nicely with my sewing addiction and LARPing addiction. I’ve learned so much by trying to step outside my comfort zone and make costumes from the various shows/movies/games/etc I love. I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.
9. What is one or two characters that you want to do in the future?
I definitely want to make an Astrid from How to Train your Dragon 2. I’ve always loved that character. I think I’d also like to make another video game costume: Lux from League of Legends or Melody from Rune Factory.
10. If you had to choose only one costume to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is such a hard question! I think I would wear my Asami costume from Avatar: Legend of Korra. It was a very comfortable costume and perfect for different kinds of weather because of the layers of clothing. Plus, I always loved the sleek aesthetic of her biker outfit and think that femme fetal look is gorgeous!
11. What makes your decision on who you decide to Cosplay? EG:(Difficultly body match or do we look a like?)
The deciding factor for what character to cosplay is what the character’s personality or design is like. I don’t tend to look at body type too hard when I am cosplaying, and I definitely don’t look at gender as a limiting factor. I usually like to dress up as a character I think looks cool and/or I have a special connection or kinship with. This is especially true of when I dressed up as Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2. She’s a weird little girl with a twisted and strange little mind – and hilarious to boot! I know I am nowhere near her age, but I knew I could pull off her voice and mannerisms well enough. Whether I look like her or not, I had fun dressing as her and acting as her at conventions.
12. Some People Don’t Understand why you do it. How do you answer them?
Loads of people don’t understand why I do it, including my parents to some extent. They accept and respect that I do it, but cosplay just isn’t really their cup of tea. I explain it the same way I explain my love of LARPing – I do this because it challenges me and my craft to compose a recognizable costume. It then challenges me and my acting ability to interact with fellow con-goers in character. Cosplaying also injects me with a boost of confidence that I have not found elsewhere. There is a zen in working hard for many hours on a project and getting to meet people who have done the same and who may even appreciate the work you have done.
13. Who do you hope to inspire?
Sure, as an artist, I hope to inspire other people to art in the form of cosplay. But I hope to inspire a sense of friendliness, community, and fun that shows like Heroes of Cosplay would have you believe don’t exist within the community. (As a matter of fact, that show actually made me afraid to take the initial plunge into cosplay because of the invented drama and cattiness.) I’ve been lucky that my friends are now starting to get involved in the cosplay world. I’ve watched them freak out about “not being good enough”. Which is why I keep telling them that it isn’t about being perfect or great or even good. It’s about having fun and meeting people who like the things you like too.
14. Do you have plans for your next convention yet?
I don’t have any new cosplays in the works for the next convention I’m headed to, as I just made a lot of costumes for the last convention I just went to and I need a break. 🙂 I am starting to dabble in cosplay groups, which is the fun next-step to cosplaying alone. Yes, it means a lot more work getting a lot more costumes ready in time for a deadline, but it’s worth it! My next big group cosplay will be a Sailor Eeveelutions group, crossing over the Sailor Moon and Pokemon franchises. I have already made (and playtested) a Sailor Sylveon, but I plan on making all the eeveelutions for the winter of 2016.
15. What are some insider tips or tricks you would like to share with fellow Cosplayers?
I’ve already covered the importance of playtesting. I’d say the biggest tip I have to offer is, when you are planning a costume, to lock in your footwear and your pocketspace first. For ladies, that often means finding or making a character appropriate purse. I have found both the be incredibly helpful. It always makes me so sad to see gorgeous costumes make with hours of labor only to be offset with a pair of sneakers or uncomfortable shoes that cause the wearer immeasurable pain. I often shop on amazon.comto find the best matching shoe and modify it from there. The “secure your pocketspace” rule of thumb is pretty straightforward. It refers to having a plan about where you are going to put your wallet, phone, keys, items you buy, etc. If you are wearing a giant costume and don’t have a plan for how you are going to carry all your convention swag, you’re not going to have as much fun at the convention.
16. Can you explain how you feel in your Costume?
In costume, I feel unstoppable! I feel confident and like the character I am portraying. Recently, I cosplayed as Pearl from Steven Universe. I got to pull out ballet moves I hadn’t used in years for poses for photos or for crossing the show floor. On that day, I felt elegant and graceful. On the day I wore Tiny Tina, I felt destructive, zany, and playful. I feel differently when I assume the roles of different characters. The one commonality between all these feelings is “I feel good about myself and about what I am doing.”
17. What other fun things are you into?
As I mentioned before, I’m into gaming, LARPing, and renaissance (faire and reenactment). I like to sing (in the car) and I love hedgehogs (I own two). By day, I am a special education teacher, so I love working with kids and teaching them new ways to learn.
18. Have you had any funny or interesting stories from cosplaying?
I have a starstruck story! I had been working very hard on my Asami cosplay: I wanted it to be authentic, so I spent the extra money to get garment leather for the biker jacket. I held my breath as I worked in this very expensive material to create one of my favorite costumes. Though I had debuted it elsewhere, I brought it with me to Connecticon on a whim. And with great fortune, Janet Varney, the woman behind the voice of Korra, was in attendance signing autographs and taking pictures. I was incredibly lucky to have gotten to meet her, take a picture with her, and even talk with her for a short while. She’s very nice, really funny, and unbelievably talented! Also, she told me I smelled nice, which is just the sort of adorkable comment that really endeared me to her and broke the ice for starstruck me.
19. Now that you have experience, what can you say to first timers that are nervous about loosing their Cosplay virginity?
I’d tell new cosplayers not to take themselves or anything they do too seriously. Cosplay is a hobby for most and job for some. When I was new to it (and sometimes even now when I forget my own advice), I stressed out about looking “the best” in order to impress people. Yes, it’s cool if someone is impressed with your work, but that shouldn’t be the goal. The goal should be to enjoy the process and what you are doing. Once I realized that, I began to lighten up. I’ve had a MUCH better time at conventions and even at home working on projects when I put myself in the mindset of being inspired by the fandoms I love, the people I’ve met, and the people I will meet once I’m at the convention.
20. Where can we look to find more of your Cosplaying?
You can find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/minkthesatyr .
You can also find me on deviantart at mink-the-satyr.deviantart.com and
on tumblr at minkthesatyr.tumblr.com .
I’m also on cosplay.com (mink-the-satyr) and acparadice (mink-the-satyr).
Come find me! I’m most active on Facebook and I often hold giveaways for free swag, convention tickets, or costume work.
Thank you so Much! You are an incredible person and exactly the type of inspiration we are looking for! Keep up the great work and we will be keeping up with you and all the adventures you share with us.
Check back next month for another amazing Cosplayer!!!
Krystal Clear Photography
1. Asami Sato from Avatar: Legend of Korra (photography by Vander Photography)
2. Asami Sato from Avatar: Legend of Korra (photography by Vander Photography)
3. Lucca from Chrono Trigger (photography by Thompson Pliler)
4. Rook from Strife the Game (photography by Michael Devin Greenman Photography)
5. Caprice from Strife (photography by Cospix.net)
6. Rapunzel from Tangled (photography by Vander Photography)
7. Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 (photography by Martinez E. Photography)
8. Sailor Sylveon crossover of Sailor Moon and Pokemon: Sylveon (photography by Vander Photography
9. Sailor Sylveon crossover of Sailor Moon and Pokemon: Sylveon (photography by Jon Washer Photography)
10. Pearl from Steven Universe (photographer unknown)
11. Pearl from Steven Universe (photographer unknown)
12. me as I am in real life
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