First name and last initial: Rebekah W
Where are you from originally or reside currently? USA
How long you have been cosplaying? Since 2013
Other Characters cosplayed: Black Rock Shooter, Madara Uchiha, Black Gold Saw, Rin Nohara, Golden Kitsune Ari (OC), Hatsune Miku, Yoko Littner.
1. Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
I was not inspired by any one person when I first started cosplaying; it just sort of came together by happy coincidence. My sister and I found out about a popular band, who we found via YouTube, would be a guest and perform concerts at a Chicago Anime Convention.
We both loved Anime, and having this band go to the convention as a guest only furthered our interest in attending. So we purchased out badges, booked our hotel, and decided we would go in cosplay to our first con because…well, why not?!
Since then cosplay has become a passion for me. I am inspired daily by the creativity and motivation from cosplayers around the world! I love promoting cosplayers who spread positivity, and strive to be that sort of cosplayer for others.
2. What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I work full time for a company as an administrative assistant, and during the hours I am away from my job I am working on various projects. I am the creator and admin for cosplayingcommunity.com, which is a family-style community with online and offline events. This year, some of the staff and I will be doing Charity Food Drives at two local conventions collecting non-perishable food for local shelters. We also do games and events at conventions with members, as well as spread positivity within the community.
I am usually busy as well with the Collectible Cosplayer Trading Card Series I do. I design and produce the cards myself, and they feature cosplayers from around the world. The beauty of this project is it is not limited to skill levels/social status, it is open to any and all cosplayers. I am just about to wrap up the first set, and the second set will begin here soon.
I am also the creator of the Cosplay: JUST DO IT! events at local conventions (thanks Shia!), and run the JUSTCOSPLAYMOVEMENT facebook page with monthly giveaways and positive cosplayer spotlights.
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
My Madara Uchiha cosplay was my first big challenge, as it was my first armor build. Looking back on it now I would change so much about it, but at the time I debut it I was very pleased with my accomplishments. It was my first crossplay as well, and it was well received. Most believed I was a guy, and the compliments I received were priceless. My favorite moment in that cosplay was being asked to pose with a couples one year old. Madara holding onto this ‘infant’ for a photo was just too great!
My current built in progress is proving to be the biggest challenge, as I am incorporating my own uniqueness to the cosplay as well as adding articulated wings. I look forward to premiering this cosplay however, as lots of hours have already been put into it, and it’s not even halfway done!
Honestly the best reward is to be recognized for the hard work it took in making certain costumes. The ‘wowed’ expressions are very rewarding as well. But in the end, the personal satisfaction of being pleased with the final results are the biggest drive for me.
4. What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Just do it! Cosplay is for you, not to please others. Research, and don’t be afraid to ask the community for help. Remember: There is no cosplay rule-book! Anyone can cosplay! Don’t let hurtful words bring you down, but instead allow them to empower you and make you a stronger/better person.
Never forget where you came from. Everyone starts somewhere, and we all learn at different speeds. You should never stop perfecting your craft, learning new things, and educating yourselves about the goings-on in the community. You may be like me, more of a prop maker vs seamstress, but you should never stop learning or trying to perfect skills you may not be very good at right now. You do so much! Feel proud about all that you do! And know that I, HappyCosplayer, am proud of you. You are important, you are beautiful, and you matter!
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
Respect one another, and stand up for one another when you see someone being bullied or harassed! This is a real thing and the issue needs to be addressed, not looked away from. This comes right back to Cosplay is not Consent. I cannot stress enough the importance of these issues, and why they need to be addressed more by cosplayers and conventions alike. Being a part of the community means you ARE involved, even if not directly. Do your part, educate yourselves and spread more positivity and less negativity.