I think we here at The Junction are honoured to have an interview from the lovely Dzerena, who’s Morrigan cosplay is simply outstanding!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Dzerena I’m a 25 year old Cosplayer from Belgium and I have been into Gaming ever since I can remember
it’s a big Part of my life and my Fiancée and myself have dedicated our lives to our hobby. Ever since I was little and my brother and I got our first console (N64) I have been fascinated with games, and I’ve always wanted to BE the hero or heroine in question.
Zelda in particular she was the first character I wanted to cosplay ever since I was a little girl. As the years passed my love for gaming did not waver, in fact it grew, I discovered cosplay when I was about 14 and my Mother helped me with my first Cosplay (Yuna FFX) it wasn’t the best cosplay but it was mine and I found out I simply LOVED dressing up, and I guess you can say it all started from there. Most of my Cosplays are of course Game related but I do enjoy anime as well and so i had to Cosplay my Favourite childhood heroine as well, Sailor moon. I’m sure I’ll be cosplaying for a long time I’ve just grown so much as a person from this hobby, I’ve met wonderful people, friends even. And I love this community.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
Who…I guess it would have to be the characters I choose to cosplay. Back in the day we didn’t have Cosplay idols as we do now it wasn’t that mainstream yet. But I just desperately wanted to cosplay Yuna for Carnaval (it’s a Holiday in the Netherlands/Belgium).
And as the years passed and my Passion for the characters I played as grew I just really wanted to show that love by Cosplaying as them, and meeting other fans through that certainly was a big motivator. I was/am kinda shy and cosplay has certainly helped me come out of my shell.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I guess it would have to be strong female protagonists, they are everything I hoped to be when I grew up. Most of the characters I cosplay if not all, have qualities that admire, for instance Zelda she’s wise and will do anything for her people, Yuna kind and dutiful she does what must be done, Morrigan powerful, intelligent and speaks her mind, all qualities I Love and admire, so much so that they inspired me to Cosplay as them.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Challenging ey, not so much in construction but mostly in my mindset, body wise. It would have to be Morrigan from Dragon Age Origins.
It’s a Game franchise I love with all my heart and I have a special thing for Morrigan. But seeing as her outfit is euhm well revealing I had a hard time deciding if I actually could pull her off. I’m a big advocate for body positivity but I had never done a Cosplay that revealing so to put myself in the right mindset and just go for it took some effort. I’m so glad that I did though she is one of my absolute favourites to wear.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
Well every Cosplay is different and I’m not gonna pretend like I made all of them, some were second hand and some are just de-constructed clothes sewn together. I have since mastered the Sewing machine but still a lot of what I do is trial and error. I Usually start by pinning down the fabric on my mannequin and seeing how it would all fit together and trying to make a decent pattern. Sometimes even when a fabric doesn’t particularly works like the Velvet I used for my Morrigan top, It was thick and heavy because it actually used to be a curtain XP. I just keep at it till it does work, sorta. Honestly there is no method to my madness and I think a lot of Cosplayers have that, just keep trying and everything usually works out.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
I enjoy every Con I go to but my absolute favourites have to be FACTS and The Elf fantasy Fair
FACTS for the merchandise my Fiancée and myself are HUGE collectors and FACTS is huge and the merchandise it plentiful I also love that most of my cosplay/geek buddies are there, so it’s a big social gathering as well what’s not to love about that. And then there is the Elf Fantasy Fair held 2 times a year on 2 different locations all equally beautiful it’s the perfect place for Photo-shoots and don’t get me started on the food and people, all AMAZING. Those are definitely the cons I love the most and attend every year
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
So many to be honest, but the most special are the reactions of children. I Remember I was doing a Cosplay Makeup workshop at Made in Asia as Sailor Moon and this little girl just kept staring at me, so I waved and she hid behind her dad. Her dad came up to me and he said that she wanted to know if that was my real hair. So I looked at her did my Sailor Moon pose and said “Of course! For I am Sailor Moon Champion of justice” that little girl giggled so hard and so did her father. She wasn’t shy after that and asked for a picture with me and a hug. I loved that moment SO much.
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?
Hahaha Well I’m not that popular so every chance I get I take, It’s the only time I love getting my picture taken and coming up with new poses that fit the character is something I totally dig. And just a nod and wave the camera will do, I can usually spot someone that’s interested in taking a picture so it’s all good.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It has had a HUGE impact on me. I Used to be a very reserved person, very shy I hated going out in public and if I could avoid people entirely I would.
I still have my bad days of course and my shyness hasn’t completely vanished. But I can talk to people more easily now, I’ve made so many friends I never thought I would or could be this social, ever. Huge crowds don’t bother me as much and I love the fact that some people come up to me for a random chat about the character or series. Over all I think it changed me as a person I feel more confident and happy with myself so yes it has had an impact on my life.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Start small, and just work your way up from there. Don’t worry about “haters” or stuff like that, the community is actually really nice and accepting. Don’t compare yourself to others, yes there is always someone who will do that costume better then you SO FREAKING WHAT!? You all like the same character. In the end we’re all just nerds playing dress up so have fun that’s the most important part of Cosplay.