First Name & Last Initial: Kelsey H.
Where are you from originally, or where do you reside currently? Pittsburgh, PA
How long have you been cosplaying? 2 years
What characters have you cosplayed? My first cosplay was Poison Ivy, and I wore her to my very first con in 2014. Last year, I created Nightingale Armor from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and cosplayed as Karliah. I’m currently working on three new costumes that I will be debuting next month: San from Princess Mononoke, Zero Suit Samus, and Ryuk from Death Note
1. What inspired you to start cosplaying?
Honestly, I think most of my inspiration came from within myself. I’d constantly be playing games and paying attention to details of outfits, armor, and weapons, and sort of think to myself “I want to be that”. So one day, I sort of took the plunge and now I want to do so many more! Of course I also take huge inspiration from many of my con friends and those that I meet at every convention. The amount of craftsmanship and hard work that goes into these costumes is truly inspirational! The fact that you can start with a few materials and turn it into something amazing, you start with so little and end up with so much … that’s why I do it.
2. What do you do when you are not cosplaying?
When I’m not working on cosplays, I’m either working or am at class! I work as a secretary and am going to school for Interactive Design and Game Development! My dream is to help create games for others with the same effect that my childhood favorites still have on me. That’s the goal!
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
My Nightingale Armor has definitely been the most challenging costume for me so far. Each individual piece of armor was cut out of craft foam, individually detailed with hot glue, sealed in Mod Podge, then spray painted and tinged with silver acrylic! The Nightingale Bow was made entirely of clay, the Daedric arrows of sculpey clay plus detailing and feathers, and the quiver was made the same as the armor. I sewed the cloak and did the makeup myself! It was very time consuming, but so worth it in the end! It’s amazing to see the fruits of your labor when all is said and done! My Ryuk that I’m currently working on is proving to be a challenge, but I’m feeling more confident as I go!
4. What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
The very best advice that I feel I can offer to a new cosplayer is nothing more than to have fun with it! Cosplaying is such a blast, but I think it is important to note that at times it can be VERY competitive. I try to ignore that, and remember why I started dong it in the first place: To have fun, be surrounded by people who share the same passion and interests, and to make a costume vision become a reality! Like I said before, it’s amazing to see what you can turn a handful of materials in to! Just have fun, be yourself, and don’t ever be afraid to try out a daring character or difficult outfit! It’s all about transforming yourself and having fun! Most of the time you’ll surprise even yourself!
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
I’m going to sort of refer back to my last response for this question. Sometimes, I feel that the competitive aspect of cosplay can be very overwhelming at times. Sometimes people tend to forget that we’re all here to have fun and enjoy life! Also, I have not seen it happen myself, but I do feel it needs to be mentioned: Cosplay bullying and body shaming need to be put to a stop. I proudly support cosplay for all, no matter what size, shape, or color you are! Just have fun with it- and let the other person have fun with it without experiencing the fear of being judged. We all do this because we love it, so let’s keep cosplay fun!