We bring you Spufflez! And pink hair. Did we mention Spufflez? We did? Excellent.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Alyssa, but I go by the cosplay alias of Spufflez. I’ve been cosplaying since 2012 and making my own costumes since 2013. When I cosplay at conventions, it’s usually a mixture of both store-bought and handmade cosplays. I also really love photography and bring my own camera with me to any and all cosplay events that I attend. I usually stick to conventions in the North Eastern area of the United States, but I hope to one day brand off and attend cosplay events in California and Canada. I love being on both sides of the camera and cannot wait to work on more costumes and photoshoots I’ve previously been a part of!
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
My first convention was New York Comic Con 2011, and I was really amazed by all of the wonderfully talented cosplayers there. I wanted to show off my love for my favourite characters through my own cosplays. I started off with closet cosplays and worked my way into making my own outfits. I’m really inspired by all of the friends I’ve met in the convention and cosplay community in my area, and being able to cosplay with them is a real motivator. I keep on going because I want to be able to portray all of the characters that I adore via costuming.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I really love characters that have pink hair. A lot of my favourite characters end up having some kind of pink hair, so I end up cosplaying them a whole bunch. Whenever I’m not wearing a pink wig I usually get a few people asking “so your hair isn’t really pink?” I also like cosplaying a lot of younger/smaller boy characters because I feel like they fit my body type and facial features very well. I’ve done a lot of crossplaying, and the characters that I choose are usually the ones referred to as shotas. I’m just really drawn to their personalities and character types. I’m also very drawn to characters that have animal-like qualities. Two of my favourite cosplays that I wear are Aries the Ram from Fairy Tail and Coco the Alien Fish from Tsuritama. I’m just really drawn to them, so I usually end up cosplaying as my favourites.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
It’s been my pleasure to cosplay as some of my favourite anime girls, but some of their outfits are a little out there. My most challenging cosplay that I’ve made myself is my Coco from Tsuritama. I handsewed her outfit from scratch, which took me a few weeks, so I’m pretty proud of it. Her cosplay was a great deal of sweat and tears, but I’m so happy that I got it done. It was basically my dream cosplay ever since 2012 when Tsuritama first came out. I also did two versions of my Aries the Ram cosplay throughout the years. I remade my cosplay since I learned some new techniques and got better fabric for her. It was challenging to come up with patterns in my head for her outfit, but I’m so glad I made it work. I enjoy all of my cosplays, but I’d have to say that I feel the most confident in my Junko Enoshima from Super Dangan Ronpa as well as my Coco from Tsuritama!
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
For the cosplays that I’ve made myself, most of them are done via handsewing. I didn’t have a sewing machine when I first started cosplaying, so I made everything by hand. I also alter clothes that I already own and make them look more like the character’s outfit. My stitches were not that great when I started, but I’ve gotten more used to sewing by hand and have even gotten a basic sewing machine since then. My friend Re-L Cosplay on Facebook has helped me a whole bunch in learning how to use my new machine for cosplay. I learned a lot thanks to her and hope to use my newfound sewing skills for future projects. A lot of the little props I bring are made from model magic and then painted by hand with acrylics. I used to be an art student back in high school, so I know a lot about crafting. A lot of my cosplay is trial and error as well as trying on my outfits at each step while I’m sewing. I adjust as I go and make alterations where necessary. I’m not a pro by any means of the word, but I am learning a whole bunch more about sewing and making my own clothes!
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
Zenkaikon is my favourite convention out of all of the cosplay events I’ve been to. When I first started making and wearing my own costumes back in 2013, I made my very first fandom friends at Zenkaikon. The convention holds a very special place in my heart since the people there are always so friendly and warm. I’ve made a whole bunch of friends from going there, so it will definitely keep its spot as my favourite con. I also really love AnimeNEXT, Otakon, and DerpyCon because of the friends I’ve made there. The programming and events at those conventions is very fun as well, so that’s part of the reason why I adore them so much. I also have great memories of my experiences in the Zenkaikon and DerpyCon cosplay contests. It meant so much to me to be able to go up on stage and share my hard work with everyone in the audience. I don’t think I’ll ever forget my time in those contests.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
I’ve had people come up running and crying to me before because of how much they loved my cosplay. When I first cosplayed my version of the Nyan Cat Website back in 2012 using the giant crotchet Nyan Cat Scarf my friend DeathlyDreams on DeviantART made for me, I had a girl scream out “Nyan Cat!!!” and then she came up almost crying with joy saying how happy she was that I stopped to say hi. I’ve also had people come up to me when I was Coco from Tsuritama and say that they’ve literally never seen another cosplayer of her in person before. They told me that I literally made their entire convention because of how much they loved Tsuritama and that they were so happy they saw me cosplay as a character no one else really does. It really warms my heart when I hear people say that seeing my cosplay has literally made their day. I also met someone at ColossalCon this year who told me that my Eclipse Aries cosplay from Fairy Tail literally inspired them to make their own version of the cosplay. I was honestly blown away and extremely humbled by that sentiment. I don’t think that I could possibly have any greater pleasure than being someone’s literal inspiration for their costume.
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 can never get tired of shooting, haha. As an amateur photographer myself, I’m always thinking up new ways and unique poses for my characters. I try my best to think of a good variety of things before I head out to the convention or cosplay event. I also do a lot of photography with my friends (both in front of and behind the camera), so posing is really second nature to me. And honestly, if a photographer just comes up to me and asks to take a photo or do a mini photoshoot I am more than happy to comply. The only time I will decline is if I am in a rush and have to go somewhere to meet someone. I will pretty much always accept a photographer’s invitation to photograph me as long as I’m not busy.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Cosplaying has really shaped my life in these past few years. A lot of my close friends now are cosplayers who go to the same events and cosplay from the same series that I do. I am way more confident than I was back in high school, and I’m a whole heck of a lot happier because of it. I was always the introverted nerdy girl who kept to herself and didn’t have a lot of friends. Now I’m able to hold conversations with people I’ve just met with confidence. I don’t have to shuffle my feet nervously and look at the floor while I’m talking with other people. I’m also way more happier in my skin now that I’ve embraced my body and acknowledged my flaws. I feel like I could take on the world and finally stand up for myself, something that I was too scared to do in the past. I’m very happy that cosplaying has changed my life and demeanor for the better.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Just go for it! Forget about what the naysayers tell you. Cosplay is about fun and showing off your love for your favourite characters. The only thing that matters is your love and passion for the character you want to portray. Don’t feel bad about buying your cosplays or commissioning them either. If you’re not entering a costume contest then it really doesn’t matter if your costume is from Ebay or Amazon. Just embrace your favourite series and show off that love for them. Anyone can cosplay. Cosplay is literally for everyone. Do not forgot that ever. There will always be haters and people who try to tear you down, but that means nothing. The only thing that matters is your happiness. If cosplay and costuming makes you happy, then just do it! I’ll always be in your corner cheering you on!
The Coco (Tsuritama) photo by Re-L Cosplay on Facebook.
The Aries the Ram (Fairy Tail) photo by Michelle Wang.
The Junko Enoshima (Super Dangan Ronpa) photos by Lam Lam Photography and Cosplay on Facebook.
And the Eclipse Aries (Fairy Tail) photo are by Raymond Sun (@sigmaraven on Flickr)
Facebook – facebook.com/spufflez
Twitter – twitter.com/pyroar
Deviantart – spufflez.deviantart.com
Tumblr – pelipper.tumblr.com
Instagram – instagram.com/spufflez
Youtube – youtube.com/user/Spufflez
Flickr – flickr.com/photos/spufflez
Cospix – http://cospix.net/spufflez