It doesn’t matter what or who people cosplay as, but one thing for sure, the passion and dedication to what is described by some as a hobby, has raised it to an art form. You look at some of their work and you hope that they are given opportunities to do this either in a hit TV series like Game of Thrones, or on the fashion runway. Hannah’s creations are nothing short of fantastic, and we know you’ll agree with us. Read on to find out more…
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a child at heart who is obsessed with Barbie and cartoons. I have a baby bunny who dictates my life. I attended my first convention in 2014 and immediately fell in love with the culture. It took me close to a year after that to perfect my first cosplay creation, Elsa, and since then I haven’t left the sewing machine.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I’ve been an art student practically all my life but I’ve always had a hidden passion for film and theatre, unfortunately I was too shy to admit it until later high school. I would always spontaneously dress up, sometimes just for fun, sometimes to see the reaction people would have, both online and in public. Being in costume made me feel powerful in a way. I figured I could merge my passions together by taking the “being in costume” part from my love of film and theater and the “designing and bringing the character to life” part from my love of art because together, they create a cosplay.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
Apparently, I unintentionally cosplay a lot of royal characters. I always tend to cosplay characters with extreme detail in their outfits or recognizable characters that I can put my own spin on. The downside to this is that it takes me months to finish and I end up not having many costumes because of the time commitment.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
I pour my heart and soul into each of my costumes which tends to drive my stress levels up, so each cosplay can be a bit challenging. I would have to say the most challenging creation of mine thus far was my Warrior Princess Peach costume. It is completely different from all my other costumes and I had to learn how to use craft foam in a very short amount of time. I’ve also never made a prop for my cosplays, so making her sword added an extra layer of difficulty. AND I didn’t even use a single sequin! Usually I hand sew thousands of sequins on each of my costumes so I was way out of my comfort zone. My most enjoyable, though, are any character that gives me the opportunity to incorporate my own personal touches to the costume. I absolutely hate making a costume look exactly like the character itself. I get so bored. After all, I’m a designer not a replicator.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
First, I get an idea for a cosplay… usually when I’m trying to fall asleep. Then, I tear through my house trying to find any material that I can use to make the costume. I try to reuse everything and am incredibly resourceful. Next, I usually try to draw my ideas out but usually end up not being able to because I have too many ideas floating around in my head! I also tend to change my ideas about a hundred times before the costume is finished. Then I go out and purchase the fabric and stuff for the costume. I do this a few times since my ideas are always changing. I’ve tried to use store bought patterns before, but with my terribly dyslexic brain, it tends to be easier to make my own. I get really stressed and maybe shed a tear occasionally but somehow it all comes together in the end – usually at the last minute.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I unfortunately haven’t had the privilege of attending many different conventions, so I’d have to say the most enjoyable one for me is Wizard World Minneapolis. It was the first convention I ever attended so it’s a bit nostalgic every time I attend, plus my parents live by so I don’t have to pay for a hotel.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
When I attended Wizard World Madison 2016 as Ariel, I met Philo Barnhart who was one of the animators that created Ariel. He was incredibly impressed with my costume and gave me a free drawing because of it. It was amazing, I mean, you could receive a thousand compliments but none would be as meaningful as one from the creator of the character you’re cosplaying.
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
I absolutely love being on camera but as an extreme introvert I feel completely drained after the first couple people ask to take my picture so I cherish every second I get to myself. I’d say photographers should just simply ask me to take my picture. Unless I’m shoving food in my mouth or fixing my costume I’m not going to say no and even then I would be happy to quickly finish what I’m doing and pose for a photo.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Well honestly cosplaying basically IS my life now. When I’m not in costume, I’m either making a new costume for myself or for others in order to pay for the costumes I make for myself. I’m always busy with something. My dream job has been to dress up in costume so I’m thankful that I’ve achieved that.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
2 words: Thrift Store. Even to this day it’s usually my go to place for items for my cosplays. They’re great especially if you’re not the greatest at sewing, and you never know what you’re going to find! Also, this hobby can get expensive so there’s no need to overpay for something that could easily be obtained at a thrift store.
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