First Name and Last Initial: Deyanna D.
Where are you from originally, or where do you reside currently? Rhode Island.
How long you have been cosplaying? 8 years in total.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Kakuzu (Naruto Shippuden), Gakupo (Vocaloid), Asura (Soul Eater), Love Machine (Summer Wars), Sharrkan (Magi: the Labyrinth of Magic), Reiner Braun (Attack on Titan), Mink (Dramatical Murder), Kotarou Amon (Tokyo Ghoul), Striker (Gangsta), Yamori Oomori aka Jason (Tokyo Ghoul), and Aleksandra “Zarya” Zaryanova (Overwatch), as well as several other projects in the works at the moment.
What inspired you to start cosplaying? I fell in love with anime as a kid, and then was introduced to manga in elementary school. I didn’t know cosplay was even a thing until my freshman year of high school when I met my first group of friends who had attended Anime Boston. I went to Anime Boston for the first time in 2009 and the rest is history.
What do you do when you are not cosplaying? I work three jobs, actually. My main job is at a university mailroom, my second is at a JoAnn Fabrics store as a cashier and my third is as a daycare assistant.
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why? Zarya was a cosplay I had prepped about a solid 2 months for, buying materials and making the blueprints for her particle cannon, and before I knew it, it was 3 weeks before Katsucon, I had no armor done and no finished cannon. In the end, it took 2 and a half weeks of back to back all-nighters to build and install the LEDs on the cannon in time. It was my first time doing LEDs and soldering in general and it came out really good. Yamori I had a good 3 or 4 months to work with, the outfit and wig were ready within the first two months, so the rest of the time was spent putting together the mask, finger rings, and kagune. The kagune themselves took roughly 2 months of all-nighters experimenting and modifying patterns I found on tumblr to make Yamori’s thicker and more poseable compared to the ones I’ve seen for Kaneki. And then there’s Love Machine. His original helmet was done for me in a commission years ago. When I decided to bring back the cosplay, I decided I should rebuild the entire helmet, which was made from plaster and cardboard. It took two days to fully dismantle the old one and then rebuild the new one from craft foam, bits of cardboard and plastic.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Save, save, save! Coupons and discounts are your best friends in this this hobby, and cosplaying can get expensive. Also, don’t be afraid to go big; just don’t be too ambitious, especially if it’s something extremely complicated.
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? Be kinder to each other. Cosplay is for everyone to enjoy and express themselves, not to judged and ostracized over whether you buy or make your cosplay, controversial characters, etc.
Featured Image Credit: Pan S. Photography