Meet the Cosplayer: @CosplayCounselor

Hi everyone!

Welcome back to our “Meet the Artist” series!

Today, we have an interview with an amazing cosplayer, @CosplayCounselor !!!

Our first collaboration was animating this awesome photo (Check out our Instagram page for actual animation):

She was so supportive and kind that we collaborated one more time and, today, we bring you a very inspiring interview!

Below is our interview!:

1. What is your Instagram for your cosplay? Do you have any other social media accounts where you share your cosplay?

Instagram and Facebook: @CosplayCounselor

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/c/cosplaycounselor

My Website is: http://www.cosplaycounselor.com

2.When did you become interested in cosplaying? What influenced you or who influenced you?

I grew up as a dancer, so I always loved acting and performing. But after attending grad school and working, I drifted away from the dance studio and lost my flexibility.

About 4 or 5 years ago, I attended my first convention and I saw a bunch of people dressed up as various comic book and TV show characters. They looked amazing and all posed with such confidence. I thought to myself, “Hey that seems like fun! I should do that!”

Eventually, I gathered enough courage to do it and the rest is history!

3. When did you begin to do cosplay?

April 2017 at Wondercon in Anaheim, CA.

4. Who helped you with your cosplay?

I assemble my cosplays independently, but I have two friends who act as my cosplay handlers when I’m at photo shoots and/or conventions.

Jonathan (@acc_photo_art) and Kiet (@shotsfiredbyjimmyolsen) are amazing!

5. Which was your 1st cosplay outfit? What was the process like putting it together?

I think my first cosplay was Lois Lane from Superman: The Animated Series about 4 years ago.

However, I consider Wonder Woman (who I debuted three years ago) my first cosplay since it was the first cosplay where I fully committed to portraying the character accurately. I took on a rigorous diet and exercise regime, so that I could be strong like her character and got prescription blue contacts, a wig, and all her accessories to look the part. I even made her cuffs from aluminum tin. It was my first time working with metal, so it was a lot of trial and error in shaping it. I don’t take credit for making her entire outfit from scratch, but I did extensive research online to find pieces that would work together since many of the prepackaged outfits had components that I liked and disliked.

6. Which is your favorite cosplay and why?

Chun Li is my favorite cosplay because she can be both fierce and adorable. I get the most photo requests from kids and their parents since she is “the strongest woman in the world” and I kind of look like her.

I actually have a sub account for Chun Li on Instagram called @ChunLiStyle where you can see all my street fighter posts exclusively.

Additionally, her cosplay is the most comfortable since her outfit is breathable and the shoes are flat. Many of my other cosplays wear heels and when I have 10 hour convention days my feet thank me when it’s on ground level.

7. Do you do cosplay events or competitions? Do you have a favorite you like to attend and why?

I typically don’t do competitions since the majority of my cosplay are not made from scratch.

However, a few months ago I was informed that Capcom would host the “Street Fighter Ultimate Cosplay Showdown” which was based on performance and showmanship as opposed to cosplay construction. Additionally, it’s been on my bucket list to reenact a scene from the Street Fighter Game and in essence be a live action version of my favorite fighting game avatar – Chun Li! My friend Tim (@MrTimTastic) choregraphed a routine with accurate Street Fighter movesets and played opposite me as the game’s male protagonist – Ryu. We made Top 10 and I couldn’t be more proud of our team and all the contestants. We all kicked butt and I walked away with many ultra talented Street Fighter friends.

8. Do you make or buy your cosplay? Or maybe both? Do you have any stores or sellers you highly recommend to aspiring cosplayers?

I mostly buy my cosplays, but usually I alter most of the pieces or add embellishments to elevate the look.

Depending on the character, I either buy pieces from Amazon (especially if the sellers have a return policy with no additional shipping costs) and I often go to various thrift stores to see if there’s clothing that I can experiment on.

I also commission artists from Etsy if making the item is beyond my current skillset and/or if I don’t have the resources readily available.

9) What do you enjoy about cosplay?

Initially, it was a creative way to portray some of my favorite characters who I looked up to growing up and now I love how cosplay connected me with so many people.

When you go to a convention or an event and you see other characters who belong to your “universe” you instantly have a connection because you already know that they’re a part of the same fandom.

I’ve gotten to meet so many incredible people from all walks of life and, sometimes, even the companies (including media giants DC Comics and Marvel) who made these characters take notice too!

I’ve been featured on TV, attended a red carpet event, and done photoshoots with celebrities!

Suffice to say cosplay has given me some incredible perks!

10. What has your experience been like sharing your cosplay online?

It’s been really positive and people are often amazed to see me transform into all these different characters.

I have had some acquaintances comment that this hobby was silly and that I shouldn’t share these with the public.

However, I’m even more motivated to do so 1) because it’s a creative outlet and 2) I want to be an example for my students to embrace their own uniqueness.

11. Do you have any advice for aspiring cosplayers considering sharing their cosplay online?

Pick a character and a convention (or event) and do it!!

When you have a deadline there’s an urgency to get things done.

Regardless if it’s “perfect” or if you feel like you’re not ready know that there are amble opportunities to improve and make it better.

I’m always fine-tuning (both new and old cosplays), and each time I take one out for a spin I find out what works and what doesn’t.

Everyone has to start somewhere and your time is now!

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