September’s Cosplayer Of The Month
I’ve been cosplaying since 2007, had a few year break from cosplay due to college and car payments and growing up getting a big girl job. I paid out of my pocket for everything myself so it really was hard on me financially. But I actually did it, and after some time at my first real-world job, I ended up getting something more related to my field in April 2014 and now I couldn’t be happier. To celebrate this I decided to get back into what was once, and now again is, my favorite hobby.
My cosplay name smzeldarules, or smzr for short, came from my dad when I was ten. He knew I loved the Zelda franchise, and he knew I needed a pen-name for the internet so I didn’t have to use my real name. S and M stand for my initials, and Zelda Rules is self explanatory!
I love cosplaying from my favorite video games; I’m not a huge anime fan (I’m very very picky with anime) but there could be some more anime cosplays in the future. I’m excited to get back into cosplay and to grow my crafting skills once again – there is so much that I’ve missed in the past few years. Tutorials are everywhere and there’s literally nothing we can’t do now. Dream costumes can become more of a reality now, and I am incredibly excited!
Here is our interview
What is your name and do you have an alias?
Sarah, and my cosplay name, and username practically everywhere, is smzeldarules. My dad made it for me when I was ten going online and it just stuck.
How long have you been cosplaying?
Technically since late 2006, but I started going to cons in early 2009, and took a break during college. I returned to cons in 2014.
What was is or who inspired you to start?
I drew online with the Californian cosplayer Shiya Wind when I was ten. When she started cosplaying with our friend, whose alias was x3Rikku, I wanted to do it too!
Tell us about your first cosplay experience?
My first cosplay experience wasn’t all that interesting, but my first con experience was really fun. I went to my former university’s con, UBCon, and a con at RIT an hour away called Tora-Con, both in 2009 and within a week of each other. I had a lot of fun despite them being pretty small back then.
What do you find a challenge with cosplay?
Sewing!! I’m not a very good sewer, so as much as I can I like to take thrift store clothes and completely alter them. I feel very accomplished after sewing but if you flip my seams they are literally atrocious. I enjoy faking people out though when they think I made stuff from complete scratch! My motto is #cosplayonabudget. Sometimes thrift store stuff is cheaper than expensive fabric. If it looks the same and I pull it off in the end, it saves me money so I’m all for it.
I do have plenty of local cosplay friends willing to teach me how to properly use patterns though! So I’m excited to finally learn how.
What is the most enjoyable part of cosplay for you?
Hanging out with friends at cons, meeting new people and getting photoshoots!
Have you met any lasting friendships because of cosplay?
Yes! I knew Shiya when we drew together online when we were younger and now I know a lot of her cosplay friends in the west coast – but I also have a lot of cosplay friends on the east coast too. I’d like to thank my cosplay page for that though. If I didn’t make it last year when I got back into the scene, I wouldn’t know all the friends I do now.
Do you plan on continuing cosplaying for years to come?
Yes! I have so many dream costumes planned still.
What is one or two characters that you want to do but haven’t yet?
Next year I plan to make Tabby from .hack//Roots. I already finished my original .hack game series dream costume, BlackRose; debuting her at Tora-Con at RIT this year. Tabby and BlackRose are two of my absolute dream cosplays because of my love for .hack and growing up playing the games and watching the shows.
I also really want to make Rikku’s Final Fantasy X outfit and Yuffie’s Final Fantasy 7 outfit next year. Both characters I enjoy being and want to make their original outfits; I already made 2 alternate Rikku outfits and an alternate Yuffie outfit.
If you had to choose only one costume to wear for the rest of your life what would it be?
Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender, another costume I recently finished (Book 3 with her hair down). Debuting her at Colossalcon! SO COMFY, and I also feel really pretty as her!
What is your favorite convention? (FanExpo, Comicon, Anime Con….) and why?
I don’t really have a favorite right now since I’ve only been to a handful before last year.. but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Colossalcon after this June.
PAX East this year was pretty dang fun though and I met a lot of people I befriended through my page; I even met my cosplay friend Xty Kim in real life after knowing her online for about 9 years! There is SO MUCH MORE EXPERIENCES TO COME for this year!!
What would you say to someone that knows nothing about cosplay but is asking why you do it?
For the fun, making friends, improving crafting and sewing skills, and to become characters I always have resonated with and loved, through wearable art!
Would you like if more friends or family would join you in your love of cosplay?
It would be pretty cool. I am making my boyfriend be my Aang when I’m Katara at Colossalcon, so there’s that! But I have to help him make the costume 😛 We’re just going to do his toga outfit because it’s pretty simple! I also want to make him be some characters in the future to with me like Asuma from Naruto since he looks just like him, and I’d be Kurenai. I also think it’d be hilarious if he’d be Swaine when I cosplay Esther from Ni no Kuni. And maybe Barret from FF7 when I make FF7 Yuffie.. oh my gosh I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Do you have plans for your next convention yet?
Tora-Con is April 18-19, then after that Colossalcon June 4-7
Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share with fellow Cosplayers?
Just have fun and be kind to each other. There’s so much more hate in the community these days, and I was incredibly saddened by it when I came back last year. But I like to just ignore all that. Cosplay to me is about having fun and improving skills. Even competing would probably never be in my future just because I don’t want it to take away my fun. It’s not that I’m against it or anything, I’d just rather hang out at the con with friends than get stuck in the contest for 4 hours.
Do you have anywhere online I can send people to check out your Cosplay adventures?
Facebook – http://facebook.com/smzeldarulesartandcosplay
Cospix – http://cospix.net/smzeldarules
ACParadise – http://www.acparadise.com/loves/smzeldarules
Coscom – http://www.cosplay.com/member/51052/
What genres are you in too?
I’m not really too into anime (only specific genres like slife-of-life, drama, sci-fi), and I love ATLA/Legend of Korra, but I’m most passionate about Japanese RPGs and other RPGs. I cosplay from video games 90% of the time.
My favorite anime is Clannad though. I want to cosplay like…everyone.
Do you have some interesting stories of you in cosplay?
It’s hilarious now going to cons and running into people I don’t know personally who follow my page and want a photo of/with me. It’s very heartwarming. Like I said, I’m so overwhelmingly happy I made my page – I would still know my local cosplay friends and friends of cosplay friends – but there’s some people I’ve considered cosplay senpais for years that found my page and wanted to know me personally. After many years of not being able to completely connect with people because of lack of similar interests, it’s such a humbling feeling to be able to talk to cosplay friends about literally anything and being so comfortable doing it. They also make it difficult to wait for the next con, because all I really care about when going to cons is seeing and hanging out with my friends in cosplay!
Thank you so much Sarah for talking with me today! You truly have a big talent for creating such awesome and beautiful costumes. Keep up the great work and we hope to continue to see more great stuff out of you
Krystal Clear Photography
BlackRose2-dothack.png – Pial Visions Photography (Kite is Cole Cosplay)
BlackRose3-dothack.png – Tommyish Cosplay & PhotographyKairi from Kingdom Hearts in “Dead Fantasy 6” by Monty Oum –
DeadFantasy6-Kairi-KingdomHearts.jpg – Pial Visions Photography
Freelancer Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2 –
FreelancerRikku-FinalFantasyX2.jpg – Pial Visions Photography
Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender –
Katara-Avatar.png – OhHeyItsSK (Aang is my boyfriend)
Katara2-Avatar.png – OhHeyItsSK, edited by me
Lana-HyruleWarriors.jpg – Herbiecide
Lana2-HyruleWarriors.jpg – HerbiecideLinkle from the Hyrule Warriors artbook –
Linkle-HyruleWarriors.jpg – Astro Zombie Photography
Linkle2-HyruleWarriors.png – Pial Visions PhotographyLucca from Chrono Trigger –
Lucca-ChronoTrigger.jpg – Jared Mobarak
Yuffie-FF7DirgeofCerberus.png – Eurobeat Kasumi Photography, edited by me
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