The brilliant Dallas cosplayer Melfina caught our attention with an excellent Sailor Neptune, and we set out to nab her for a quick interview. There was an exceptional attention to detail, and that goes for all of her work, which just really stood out to us. To find out more read on…
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’ve been cosplaying for about 12 years now, and I currently live in Dallas, TX. I love cosplay with all my heart, and it’s definitely the hobby that I’m most obsessed with, haha. I do advertising and graphic design for a small company full-time, and have been picking up on social media marketing, as well. I also enjoy drawing fan art, painting, and writing when time allows!
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
Watching anime inspired me to cosplay. I had no idea cosplay was a thing back then, but as soon as I started watching anime in my pre-teen years, I knew I had to have my favorite characters’ outfits for myself. I didn’t actually start cosplaying for a few years after that, but getting into anime planted the seed.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I particularly enjoy evil and morally-gray characters. If they’ve overcome a lot of strife or adversity along their paths of evilness, then even better. Really, any time there’s some sort of internal or psychological conflict or change, it draws me in. I find characters like that to be the most interesting. Also, not-quite-human and undead characters are pretty rad.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Probably Ciel Phantomhive and Sailor Neptune, on both counts. I like them so much, so they’re a ton of fun to make costumes for and dress up as, but at the same time I feel I never really reach perfection with them because I like them so much. Utena was also incredibly enjoyable, largely due to my friend Jinxie who cosplayed Anthy with me, and the photos we got.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
I always start by researching the costume, then looking up sewing patterns I could modify. When I have my patterns selected, I look for fabric, and then it’s time for all the cutting, sewing, and crafting.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
Katsucon was always a blast whenever I’ve attended, due to friends who attend, and the amount and quality of cosplayers who frequent that con. Anime North Texas is also a lot of fun, as it’s a small con that draws many local cosplayers, and it’s pretty easy to see everyone and not get caught up in crowds.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
A group of Japanese tourists, not in attendance of the con I was at, wanted their picture with me when I cosplayed Sheryl Nome – they recognized that I was Sheryl and called me “Sheriru”!
There was also a guy who thought I really was 14 when I was cosplaying Utena one time, and mistook my husband as my father when he asked if he could take a photo of me, which was kinda weird.
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 love being approached by photographers and getting photos taken, so unless I’m feeling ill or hungry, I enjoy posing for pictures! I think most cosplayers are going to be receptive to having pictures taken, so unless the photographer is a blatant creep or starts snapping pictures without consent, there isn’t much to worry about. And most photographers already are polite and respectful, so I’d say to be just that.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It’s definitely introduced me to many people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise, precious friends and husband included. It’s also given quite a bit of passion and unique flavor to my life. I’m a pretty serious person typically, so cosplay enables me to lighten up a bit more than I normally would.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Do it! Whether you buy or make your first costumes, do it your way and have fun. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to poop on your parade or thinks you’re weird – as long as you’re being true to yourself and doing what you want, that’s what matters. On the same token, don’t make plans you can’t keep, realistically. Make plans that you can afford and that you have adequate time for – this is consideration for others as much as it is yourself. It’s so easy to get really excited and over-commit yourself – it’s better not to commit to something than it is to have to back out at the last minute and end up disappointing your group.