What got you into cosplay?
I wasn't aware of the cosplay community, but my mom had a red coat jacket and a pink nightgown which I altered to fit me as an Aeris cosplay to fit with. That was my first (however horrible) replica costume I made.
What was your first costume and why?
Aeris. She was my favorite character ...ever. My mom had an old suit she was going to give away and a pink nightgown, so I altered them to look like Aeris' outfit and to fit me. I made the metal bands out of duct tape, packaging tape and oversized sequins.
What is your favorite costume and why?
My favorite costume at the moment isn't a cosplay costume, but rather my Fidget (drake) costume, but probably just because I love the character so much. She's been my LARP character for the past 5 years.
Do you have a dream costume you'd like to make?
In all honestly...I'd love to re-make all of the costumes I've made for myself and friends over the years (sounds crazy, I know). My skills have improved so much over time, and unfortunately my costume documentation skills back when I was in high school weren't the best, especially for those which I felt weren't 110%.
What has been your most memorable cosplay experience?
Back in high school (this would have been 2003), we ended up making my best friend's FFX-2 Paine costume at the convention. It was vinyl so we didn't have to finish the edges and we ended up jimmy-rigging it (tape & hot glue) together so she could wear it for the masquerade. She then got up on stage and sang a verse from the Cell-Black Tango from "Chicago". Hilarious! I'm not saying I'm proud to have put a costume together that way, but we all have to start somewhere and I'm not afraid to show my roots. It makes me proud & accomplished from having moved on from throwing together last-minute items with masking tape & hot glue - but we've all been there.
Do you participate in masquerades?
I'd like to say yes but I guess the answer is "no". I haven't participated in a formal convention competition in 6 years now ;( - I intend to change that soon.
What was your best masquerade experience?
Anime Central 2004. I was so pumped. We ended up winning a Merit Award for Craftsmanship.
Have you won any awards for your costumes?
I've won a few at local competitions, and a few misc. ones on-line that don't really mean anything.
Our group, however, did win a Merit Award for Craftsmanship at Anime Central 2004.
Tell us a little about yourself
I graduated from Western Illinois University in December 2009 with a degree in Family & Consumer Sciences (emphasis: fashion). I have been with a wonderful man for four years now.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I started my own cosplay business in December 2008. I've sold in both artist alley's and dealers rooms. While going to school I only did it part time and did 4 shows in 2009. This year I'm already scheduled for 3 shows in the first four months of the year! I'm attending a Costume Convention (for buyers only) and hope to expand to selling licensed cosplay products as well in the future in addition to items I make. I am both paypal & eBay ID verified and hope to become BBB accredited by the end of 2010.
When I'm not working on my business, I help to run our local NERO LARP chapter: http://www.nerovanguard.com/
My favorite anime
Sailor Moon, Chobits, Record of Lodoss War, Lupin III, and anything by Miyazaki
My favorite game(s)
Video Games: Anything with Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, Harvest Moon, or Final Fantasy in the title.
Card Games: Fluxx, Zarr
My favorite book(s)
Anything by Tamora Pierce, JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer
My favorite character(s)
Aerith Gainsborough, Aino Minako, Carson Beckett, Gregory House, Edward & Alice Cullen
My favorite movies(s)
Anything Disney "Toy Story" and older; anything by Miyazaki; Broadway musical adaptations
My favorite actors/actresses
Tim Gunn, Hugh Laurie, Jeffrey Donovan