We love pretty much most things Star Wars related, so it was only a matter of time until we interviewed the brilliant cosplayer, Jedimanda, who was given a thumbs up by Carrie Fisher for her Leia cosplay. Added to that were some absolutely impressive Yang Xiao Long and Cersei Lannister cosplays too.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Well, I’m 28 from Kentucky. I’ve been in the cosplay game since 2012. I’ve been making garments and costumes since 2008. I studied costume design in college and jumped right in the cosplay as soon as I could.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
The act of wearing what you make in front of people. Simple as that.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
Yes, I gravitate towards very strong female characters. Especially ones with an attitude like Cersei Lannister or Yang Xiao Long.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Four characters? Umm, the most challenging have Ahsoka Tano because of her headpiece and body painting, and maybe my first Daenerys Targaryen cosplay because I had a 5 foot long dragon that sat on my shoulder the entire time.
Most enjoyable. Well all my costumes are enjoyable, if they aren’t enjoyable, I will sell them. But I would say my Yang Xiao Long, Cersei, and probably Mary Poppins are super enjoyable mainly because everyone really loves those characters.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
Sure, I first research the heck out of them, lots of pictures I print or pin to a Pinterest board. Then I write out every single item I need to make the garment. Purchase said items, then spend as much time as I can working on them.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I’ve really enjoyed D23 Expo, C2E2, and my local cons because I like to hang out with a lot of my friends there.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
Lots, I’ve have several production companies of that character tweet, retweet, post, share, LOVE my cosplays. HBO shared my Daenerys and Drogon, Adult Swim shared my Rick and Morty cosplay, and Carrie Fisher gave me some thumbs up on my Leia cosplay. #win.
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?
It does, but it’s insanely worth it. Photoshoots are half the reason I love to cosplay, I love been able to show off what I made. Just ask, it’s pretty simple. I have my favorite photographers I like to work with, but if you want a photo, just ask. No drive by photos please.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It’s made me really excited about creating. Simply loving the fact that I can and have the skills to literally create ANYTHING. I’ve always been an out-going person so it’s always been fun for me to be in front of people. But mostly just having the power to create all the things.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Ya, my advice is to go to a con, not in cosplay, and watch other cosplayers. See what they do, ask how they like it. See how many photos are taken of them, see the amount of time they are on their feet. It takes a lot to cosplay a full day at a con. Maybe people don’t understand that.
Secondly, if you are creating your cosplays from scratch, start small and work your way up. If you have no training with a sewing machine, start small (pillows, pj pants, tote bags), just to get your familiar with the skills and lingo of sewing. Then work up from there.
All photos are from Alexandra Lee Studios
Facebook – https://facebook.com/adhcosplay
Instagram – https://instagram.com/jedimanda
Twitter – https://twitter.com/jedimanda
Youtube – https://youtube.com/jedimanda
PODCAST – https://cosslaypodcast.podbean.com