Interview with a Cosplayer is back with A VENGEANCE!!! This time we touch down in The Emerald city of Seattle to chop it up with the sensational Morbid Heart Designs. There is no artistic medium safe from her wicked skill set. Whether it’s Cosplay, or Acrylic Painting she has the means to mesmerize the masses with her excellent work. Lets gather round and give this beauty our undivided attention.
What’s the Cosplay scene like in Seattle?
I am in Seattle but I have also been involved in the Salt Lake City, UT scene too. There are similarities between the two and vast differences. Overall, the Utah scene was more welcoming when I first started cosplay. Though it has grown greatly with the Salt Lake Comic Con hitting the scene. At one point the larger con wasn’t even 5,000 people and all the others were luck to reach several 100 attendees which is nothing compared to the 10,000s of 1,000s in attendance at Salt Lake Comic Con.Moving to Seattle I knew a lot of people in cosplay but those who I didn’t know through family and friends were not open or encouraging like I had experienced in Utah or still see in the various Utah cosplay groups I am in on social media. It took me a few years to find other cosplayers in Seattle who weren’t judgmental and who were encouraging. I am grateful I was finally able to find like minded cosplayers that skill doesn’t matter and that cosplay is for everyone! The encouragement and support has been amazing since finding these people! The level of skill in both areas is inspiring and incredible! Cosplay has for sure changed in the 5 years I have been involved in the community.
What got you into the art of Cosplay?
In high school I wanted to be a costume designer! Instead of pursuing that dream I opted for a more “secure” future. As a kid I wanted to be he aliens in Star Wars or the female heroes in the Saturday morning cartoons I watched. One summer I realized how unhappy I was. That I was too busy or to scared to pursue or try things that looked interesting to me. Like costume designing. One day I said screw it! I started working on a Twi’lek costume, an alien from the Star Wars franchise, I decided to make a childhood dream come true like all those costumes I saw at San Diego Comic Con online. The rest is history! The first time I wore that costume was for a YouTube video. I met cosplayers involved in what I now call CAUSEplay, using cosplay for charity. And it was a whirlwind ride went from there as I joined Heroic, a Utah CAUSEplay group. Since then I have joined the Star Wars costume community and am currently in leadership of a LFL approved Star Wars nonprofit costume club called Outer Rim Brigade.
Who are your favorite characters to Cosplay?
The longer I cosplay the more I enjoy making original characters and costumes. One of the great aspects of Outer Rim Brigade and the Steampunk community is you can make up your own character and designs! As far as cosplay characters I would have to say Raven from
Teen Titans. Trough she is serious and quiet something about her makes me actually feel free to photobomb and be silly! I haven’t figured out why but she is a freeing character to me
Can you tell me what it took to make this particular design? (Time, cost, materials, etc)
Warrior Faun I would like to tell you about is my biggest and most challenging build to date! My antlers didn’t want to cooperate the first time I wore this costume so I decided I was a warrior sheep instead of a faun that day! Lol. This costume was pretty much built from scratch and took about 5 months to complete since I mainly had weekends to work on it! This is my first foam and leather armor build and I am so proud of myself! It’s an original design inspired by fantasy art and video games. I made the pants and boot covers with faux fur. I also made the ears shaping expanding foam and covering them with faux fur. I attempted to make antlers with the expanding foam as well but their weigh was to much for the system I created to attach them to my head.the antlers looked fantastic though! I ended up purchasing a lighter foam set at a Halloween costume store and trimming the seams. Approx cost was $500 after tons of coupons so I would hate to think about how much it would have cost without them! Lol
Who/What is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is seeing the inner child of adults come out at cons when they see their childhood hero before them. Or when I child sees their hero. Especially a child who wouldn’t get the chance to go to Disneyland. The awe and happiness just makes me happy! Something changes in their eyes! It’s a beautiful thing in my opinion.
What are the Biggest cons in Seattle right now?
Being in Seattle we have a lot of big cons! PAX West, Emerald City Comic Com, Sakura Con
In Salt Lake it was/is Salt Lake Comic Con. I was there the first year and it was insane!
Which one is your favorite?
My favorite con is actually not a big con or Mega con. My favorite is Steamposium in Seattle and Steamfest in Utah, which is sadly no longer happening.
What is your favorite cosplay moment?
My favorite cosplay moment has to be at a charity event as a member of Heroic. I was dressed as Scarlet Witch from the 90s XMen cartoon. I use an insulin pump to manage my diabetes and often where it on shorts so it was visible that day. A little girl came up to me excited to see someone with the same brand of insulin pump that she uses. It was so great to make that connection with her and have the individual time to speak with her. When I was first diagnosed I was ashamed and it took many years to realize that there was no reason to be ashamed. By me being open about my own assistive technology I feel I inspired or at least showed it’s okay to be different and embrace that side of you. That no matter how the world sees you or a chronic condition that there is no reason for you to not pursue your passion or dreams.
What is your cosplay horror story?
I am fortunate to only have a handful but I will choose the more comical of these to share. My cosplay horror story would be when I was stuck in a costume! I was in a full body suit and the zipper to my knee high boot broke. More jammed. It wouldn’t zip more than an inch and half down! They were super tight so it want like I could get the body suit out of the boot and slide it over. Luckily my BFF lived close at the time and was home. I ended up driving over to her house! It took two set of hands to get the zipper to unjam and unzip. Thank the costume gods for her rescue! I was afraid we would have to cut me out of the boot!
Where do you see the art of Cosplay in the next 5-10 years?
It’s hard to say where it will go from here. I have been into cosplay for 5 years now. With has only rose in popularity. Because of this it is so much easier to find materials, patterns, how to videos and tutorials then it was 5 years ago, even 3 years ago. More people are manufacturing hard to make items like prosthetics, weapons, and armor. Amazing designers and makers are producing patterns! So much easier than making your own pattern or flying by the seat of your pants as you make something! You can find wigs in way more colors and styles and the selection and this just increases each year! Ever year things get bigger and better at the competitive level. Cosplayers are even showing Hollywood a thing or two about costume making! We make costumes at a fraction of the cost, in less time, and with a one or two person team! Our skill as a community is pushing designers in films, video games, and comics to make more amazing and intricate armor and costume designs. We are seeing the bar rising even higher in regards to quality. In all reality I see more people making a living off of cosplay from modeling and photography to designing and manufacturing. I see more acceptance as a multiple skilled art form. Cosplay has so many layers of art within not just one costume but within the community itself. Design. Pattern making. Make up. Wig styling. Sewing. Crafting. Even electronics now. Modeling. Photography. Editing. Marketing. Using recycled pieces is an art form in and of its self when it comes to cosplay. We can only go up from here! One of my favorite parts of cosplay is the creativity and how even through many of us wear the same costume how there is still individuality about this hobby!WR
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