● Please tell us your name and where you are based.
Dorasae “Akakioga Cosplay” from Cincinnati, OH
● How long have you been cosplaying?
● What characters have you cosplayed the most?
Out of all my cosplays, I have definitely worn Orisa from Overwatch and Static from Static Shock the most! However, I find myself only wearing my costumes once or twice for some reason. I should change that, haha!
1. What made you decide to cosplay?
My first convention was Anime Expo 2006 when I originally lived in California. I had absolutely no idea that people dressed up outside of just Halloween! I was starstruck seeing all my favorite characters walking around the con floor, taking pictures with one another. It was then when I knew that I wanted to try my hand at it as well. I didn’t officially start making my own costumes until 2014, but I definitely did dabble in buying costumes and having them made the years in between! I haven’t turned back since!
Zelda: Brad Conyers Photography
2. What do you do for your day job or hobbies?
I am a recent Masters grad in Clinical Counseling and Psychology! But right now cosplay has been a huge part of my day to day. Due to covid, cosplay has really helped me not only stay safe at home, but allows me to continue to use my creativity; even without conventions happening. Cosplay has honestly been such a saving grace for me, especially this past year! I will be looking to get a full time position as a licensed therapist sometime in the future once Covid begins to no longer be as big of an issue.
Todoroki: Brad Conyers Photography
3. Which of your cosplays have been the most challenging and/or the most rewarding and why?
My most challenging cosplays are always the most rewarding. My top 3 most rewarding costumes are Orisa, Confessor Paletress from WoW and Nargacuga from Monster Hunter. I am a HUGE fan of armor builds. So any time I get to flex my worbla/eva foam skills is always a great time! I am a completely self taught cosplayer who learned like 99% of the things I do online. So seeing me grow from not being able to sew or make armor to what I can do now is always such a humbling experience!
Nargacuga: Darien D Hester Photography
4. What is the best advice you would give to other cosplayers of color specifically?
Cosplay whoever you like! When I choose who to cosplay, I choose them based on if I like them, their personality, and their outfit. I never truly factor in if they are the same skin color as I am! No matter what color, shape, size, etc you may be, choose someone you know you’ll have the most fun with and go from there! Never feel like you have to shoehorn yourself into a character simply because they look like you. If you like a character that isn’t your skin color, go for it! The biggest thing in cosplay is have fun with what you’re doing and never forget what motivated you to start in the first place!
Confessor Paletress: Alexandra Lee Studios
5. What one thing could the cosplay community do better when dealing with one another?
Ooo, that’s a good question. Honestly the thing I notice the most is simply just being kind to one another. We are all in different stages of life and skill, so not everyone has access to the most expensive fabrics or materials to make a perfect cosplay. And hey, not everyone needs to be a top seamstress or armorsmith to be a cosplayer either! No matter if you buy your cosplays or make them from scratch, you are still a cosplayer and are always welcomed into our community! No gatekeeping allowed! Let people enjoy what they love and let that positivity blossom in our creative spaces!
Yennefer: Brad Conyers Photography