What inspires your costumes? Do you base them on a series or fandom, or are they completely your own creation?
I generally look to my favorite characters from other fandoms to take cues and ideas from when I am in the design process . I also look to my own wardrobe when it comes to designing clothes.
Do you give your characters a backstory, or come up with "in-character" explanations for parts of the costume?
Um. Yes. Character backstory should be one of the first things to get done!
Overall, why do you do it? Do you like the freedom of original characters/designs? Do you like the challenge of coming up with a design from scratch, or do you find it more personal than strict recreation?
It's definitely more personal for me. This is a character I've had for over 2 years and she's also my most beloved and well known. I want her to get more recognition! Raine-chan loves attention.