We’re back like a bad habit with another edition of Interview with a Cosplayer! This time we’re touching down in the Holy Mecca of Comics San Diego to chat with the gorgeous and talented ChaiBee! Cosplay is literally in this girl’s blood and with her various stunning looks hitting all over the spectrum. Putting a sexy spin on everything she does (including weapons and armor) it’s easy to see that she was born to do this. Let’s see what ChaiBee has to say!
What is the Cosplay scene like in San Diego?
The cosplay scene is somewhat hidden in San Diego. While there are a lot of cosplayers present, there arent as many meet ups or gatherings as say, the LA area. If you look carefully and network, you’ll find more cosplayers and photographers that know about gatherings, shoots and even cons.
What got you into the art of Cosplay?
My father was a member of the 501 Legion, and used to troop as a stormtrooper! My first costume was a clonetrooper with my father, in elementary school. In 6th grade, my mom and I made a Sally costume from the nightmare before Christmas. I got into cosplay even further around the same time I really got into Hatsune Miku. In middle school, I started to research Miku costumes for Halloween, and found really nice ones. Since then, I have both bought and made costumes. However I think I started cosplaying full force around 2013/2014.
Who are your favorite characters to Cosplay?
I love cosplaying as Miku. I feel very in tune with the character and her sense of variety. My second favorite would be Eliza from Skullgirls. Eliza embodies overwhelming power, and I feel even more in character interacting with fellow Skullgirls fans!
Can you tell me what it took to make this particular design? (Time, cost, materials, etc)
Eliza was definitely my first complete cosplay build. I hesitated to make it but I really wanted to test my skill. It took me 5 months (with work and school inbetween) to make the clothing, and 5-6 more to make the weaponry along with other costumes I was making for AX.
Cost for Eliza would be about $150 dollars. I am very conscious of how much I spend on cosplays. However, because the materials were cheaper, my time is what “cost” me most. Everyday I had free time I worked on my cosplay.
Who/What is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration would be Quantum Destiny costuming- her Ryuko was an incredible build that inspired me greatly. Dustbunny’s kindness and representation of herself as a cosplayer is very admirable as well!
What are the Biggest cons in San Diego right now?
The biggest con is obviously San Diego Comic Con. I went a lot in my youth, with my dad. As time went on though, it was harder to get in, and seemed like it started becoming more mainstream. While that isn’t a bad thing, I just found it didn’t cater much to my interests, and isn’t worth the price tag if I don’t care for what’s there.
Which one is your favorite?
My favorite con is Anime Expo! So much anime, gaming, music ect that I love. Its lots of fun despite its rep.
What is your favorite cosplay moment?
I have so many favorite cosplay moments, but the best will always go to the kids. The young girls and boys that run up to me as if I were the character they loved makes me feel so happy. The fact I can inspire them as this character brings me so much joy- even if I know it’s not me personally who is making them happy. I think in general I want to inspire adults and children alike with my art and cosplay
What is your cosplay horror story?
My cosplay horror story… I have yet to experience a terrible situation in cosplay, but I do vividly remember being about 14 years old, and having a man in his mid-twenties wrap his arm around my waist to take a photo with me. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I went along with it. He seemed friendly, and didn’t come off as gross or strange at all. I think in that situation he didn’t have any cruel intentions. He asked for my permission for a photo and all. This was before the cosplay consent movement really took off, so even at the time I was somewhat understanding. Now of course I would really like permission, but I think that moment wasn’t as bad as it could have been haha!
Where do you see the art of Cosplay in the next 5-10 years?
I see cosplay becoming even more mainstream I think it will expand job opportunities and give a new series of careers. I’ve found cosplayers left and right. In one of my classes, I found a girl who was completely “average”, she didn’t seem like the cosplay, geeky type, yet as we talked she revealed she cosplayed which was cool! Another time, I needed cash for an Artist’s Alley- so I walked into a bank in half cosplay. I was very embarrassed but I needed to go. I told the teller to “excuse my appearance” but she gave me a soft smile and said, “No you’re fine- my sister’s a cosplayer too!” I was relieved to say the least. WR
For more info on ChaiBee click on the following links