First name and last initial: Nikki F
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Massachusetts
How long have you been cosplaying? Since I was 16-17, so 7ish years.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Ash Ketchum (Pokemon), Hiei (Yu Yu Hakusho), Belle (Beauty and the Beast/Disney), Junko Enoshima (Dangan Ronpa), Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl, L (Death Note), Rumisiel (Misfile), Wendy Corduroy (Gravity Falls), Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Callie (Splatoon), Link (Legend of Zelda), Rose Lalonde (Homestuck), Pyrrha Nikos (RWBY), an original Steampunk character, an original elf character, and a catgirl.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I always loved costumes as a kid, and I was interested in cosplay ever since I started reading manga. I don’t know what triggered it exactly, but something about learning about cosplay culture.
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? I’m a graduate student at Boston University studying social work full time. With that, I work as an intern and attend classes. I also love reading and collecting things. I have five full bookshelves in my apartment. I will own a library someday.
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? The biggest challenges have been the cosplays I’ve made on my own versus the ones I’ve bought or had gifted to me. I’m still a novice seamstress and I barely know how to make props, so I’m working on my skills slowly. The greatest reward is always someone asking for your picture or a high five after calling out your character’s name at a convention – it means they like your outfit and you made them smile, at least for a little bit.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Cosplay for fun and for yourself. If you buy your costume or commission it – excellent! You’re supporting independent artists. If you make it yourself, be proud of it, no matter what you think it looks like. You’ll always improve, and as long as you’re having fun, it’s worth it.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? I’m not a huge part of the cosplay community because I’m very shy. I think that might be something for me to work on, but also for parts of the community to be more inclusive. The factions I’ve met have been great, but I’ve never really felt included.