“I feel as if cosplaying became second nature to me because I grew up “on stage” in dance and theatre performances. I was always in a costume and I was always creating them and playing with makeup at a young age. My first convention was in 2008 where I dressed up as the Blood Elf Priestess from the Burning Crusade trailer in World of Warcraft. That costume is a funny story – my ex was in a WoW raiding guild and I shamelessly would watch him raid for all hours of the night. I loved playing video games and fantasy, so it intrigued me. One day, I showed up to his house with my laptop and a copy of WoW and started playing. I then became good enough to raid with him and our Guild and I got hooked. I saw that there was a convention coming up called “Blizzcon” and saw all of these beautiful costumes from in-game. I *knew* I had to go and wanted to dress up as a Blood Elf (since they were my favorite characters). I met my best friends there that year and the rest is history!
I create cosplay outfits because I like playing with different materials such as fabric, makeup, special effects, and different techniques. I learn something new every time I create a new character. I always feel so accomplished whenever a new costume is complete. My favorite part about creating an outfit is doing all of the research before because you learn so much about the character, their personality, and what the artist was trying to convey when they created it. You then take this concept and add your own twist to it. You add to the character by making it your own.
I like to think that my cosplaying outfits are unique because they’re completely over-the-top. I like to do simple designs with lots of detail. I also like to do extravagant makeup with all of my characters. I am a perfectionist and I like to think it shows in my work.
My favorite materials to work with are leather (it’s the easiest to understand), Chiffon, and Mehron Paradise Color makeup. I feel like you can’t go wrong with any of these and automatically gives you an element of fantasy.
I laugh at this question because asking an artist what their creative process is like asking someone how they just survived a tornado – at least my creative process is like that (you can ask my boyfriend or any of my former roommates lol!!) . On a good day, I have already spent hours of research and created a sketch or layout of what the costume will be in terms of materials and construction. Once I have all of the materials, I’ll start laying everything out on my dress form and start pinning. I’ll then cut out patterns, sew the pieces together, and pray it all comes together. I like to work best under pressure so most of my work is always completed in tight deadlines – which I highly recommend to *not* do unless you enjoy the sleepless nights. I always put on good music (Beats Antique Radio or Blackmill Radio is my go-to) and get lost in my creation. My favorite moment is when you put everything on and it starts to look like your design. It’s definitely a Cinderella moment and it gets you even more excited to complete it.
My current cosplaying space finally consists of another bedroom which has a super-Boho vibe to it. I’m a gypsy at heart so anything eclectic inspires me. I have a desk, sewing table, storage cabinets, and soon it will have a green screen for filming, and a makeup vanity station. I finally have a space where I can work on things and store all of my costumes. Before I moved, I kept all of my stuff in the garage and worked in there or dragged everything into the living room. I still am finding glitter and crystals in my couches from past costumes.
I actually get really melancholy when I have a creative block! I always want to be working and producing whenever I have free-time, so being in that “creative block” mindset is always disheartening. I always try to focus on something else – such as decorating my space or cooking a new dish. This allows me to still be creative, just in a different facet than making costumes. You really do have to be in the right mindset to create a costume because I feel as if a part of your heart and soul goes into each one. It always helps to have a chat with a friend who understands what you’re going through or inspires you when you talk about your creative projects. I always feel re-energized after talking to them.
Each costume ranges from 3 days to 6 months. It really depends on how much I procrastinate and how extensive the costume is. I work full-time and am working on my Master’s program as well, so trying to find time to dedicate to cosplay is always hard for me. Whenever I do have time, I’m always glad that I did because it truly is an experience unlike any other.
Some of my favorite outfits are Maleficent, Shaak-Ti, and Catwoman. These all were so much fun to make and have some funny late-night stories to go with them.
I love doing Blizzard costumes. The amount of detail that they put into each armor design is stunning. They are hard to create because of all the detail, but worth it in the end. I really want to create a Zelda costume because I grew up playing that game.
Some of my role models are now my best friends! Rainyia Cosplay, Leslie Crystal, Art Rhapsody, Stassia de Veux, Volde Cosplay, Maghia Cosplay, Aya Cosplay, Traci Hines, Sonja Wheeler, Chat Hatter, FanboyBrandon, Nyx Valentine and Lonny Sapikowski. Not to mention Castle Corsetry, Miss Chrissy Lynn, Adrienne Curry, Alicia Marie, Jessica Nigri, and Yaya Han.
My tips for aspiring cosplayers would be the following:
– Always put your heart and soul into everything you do.
– Never be ashamed of your skills – we all started somewhere.
– Be confident! It shows in photos and when you meet people if you’re comfortable wearing your own creation.
– Never EVER be ashamed of your body type in your costume. You don’t have to be a certain size, color, shape, whatever to BE that character. If you like the fandom, you create the costume. Whoever tells you differently doesn’t deserve to be in your life or get to know you. YOU BE YOU, you handsome/beautiful creature YOU.
– Don’t stress – it will all work out in the end.
One thing I can’t live without cosplay-related would be my hot glue gun and safety pins. You never know when you’ll need them! In normal every-day life, I can’t live without Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay, chips and salsa, and my Schnauzer puppies.”
-Linz Stanley aka @LinzStanley
Thank you again for your time, Linz and thanks for stopping by! If you want to stay updated on more Gamer Compatible reviews, you can follow us on Twitter: @gamercompatible or on Facebook: @gamercompatible.
Game on! And signing out.