Hurrah an awesome UK cosplayer! Linkle is always a sure fire hit, and although it’s not an easy costume to pull together, it’s always good to see it done well, and Jess is fantastic. But Jess does more than “just” Linkle, read on.
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name’s Jess, I’m a 20 year old University Student studying Psychology and I live in England! I’m in a band called Lantern Brigade and do a little voice acting, but my interest is certainly cosplay.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I wanted to cosplay way before I made my first costume, probably since I was 13, but never had the confidence, or anyone to do it with. But about 2 years ago now, I began to play Dragon Age and met a lot of friends as well as my girlfriend through that, who encouraged me to put together an attempt at a Merrill cosplay, and that’s when I went to my first con and cosplay meet up! I’m so glad I started playing that game, haha.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I’ve actually noticed this recently! There are two types of characters I seem to cosplay a lot for some reason. That’s upbeat, cheeky girls (like Linkle from Hyrule Warriors and D.VA from Overwatch) or very shy girls (Like Paya from Breath of the Wild, or Lillie from Pokemon Sun/Moon). I’m not exactly sure why that is, maybe because they remind me of myself? As for guys, I don’t tend to cosplay them as much, but if I really like the character I’ll go through the pain of binding!
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Up to date, my most challenging would probably be Selena, seeing as I made a lot from scratch and was working frantically up until the morning of the shoot I was meant to wear her! I’m also working on a few particularly difficult projects at the moment which really encourage me to learn new skills, and I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it, but there’s definitely a lot more satisfaction when it’s done! But my favourite still has to be Linkle, it was only the second costume I made but still one that I’m most proud of, and being her is so much fun!
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
I always start off by collecting reference photos and sketching the outfit to really memorise all the details. After that, I’ll select what fabrics would be most accurate, and get to work! I do also tend to look for premade items that are similar, I mean if they’re just wearing a white shirt what’s the point in making one from scratch? But since I started, I’ve been making more and more from scratch. I believe to enter quite a few cosplay competitions you need to make at least 70% yourself. I always buy wigs and circle lenses, even if the character’s eye or hair colour matches mine, it just looks better! The process after that differs a lot depending on who it is, for example when there are armour elements there’s a lot more involved, you have to build up the shape from foam then cover it in a thermoplastic called worbla, and detail work all depends on how motivated I am to make it perfect.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
Being in the UK I’m afraid there’s not many big cons to attend, so London MCM is the main event everyone goes to. Personally, though, I prefer smaller cons where you can just hang out and relax a little! Sunnycon is possibly my favourite so far, but next month I’ll be going to Metrocon in Florida, which I’m super excited about!
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
A lot of people were confused about Linkle, haha, I got everything from “female Link”, “Link’s little sister” to “Link’s girlfriend”, it was pretty funny. I remember one time when I was feeling pretty insecure about my costume at the start of the day, when a group of girls walked out of the bathroom and all started to freak out. It was so nice and it completely changed my outlook! It’s a positive to cosplaying less known characters, not many people will recognise you but when they do it means a lot more.
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?
Definitely not! It’s always flattering when someone wants to take a photo, and even though when you’re walking around it can be a pain to keep putting everything down, it’s part of the con experience, and I’ve never been annoyed by someone asking. The only time I don’t appreciate it is when people just take them without asking, especially when I’m sitting down or eating. I mean, I worked hard on this costume, I want to make it look good, not a candid shot of me eating a sandwich! Just come and ask, I won’t bite.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
I’d say a pretty massive impact…on my life and my bank account. It’s not a cheap hobby, but it’s so fulfilling that it’s worth it for me. The creative process is really rewarding, I love the community, and I’ve made so many friends from hanging out with new people at cons. I always feel like a totally different person when I’m in cosplay! Honestly it’s taken over my life a little, my girlfriend and I are always coming up with new ideas, so we have more plans than we could ever do.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
It might sound cliché, but just go for it! Drag a friend along and get involved, it’s such a welcoming and helpful community in my experience, and people are always more than happy to share their knowledge. And if you’re worried about the cost, sure you might not be able to do that mecha warrior you love, but there are certainly plenty of characters you can cosplay on a low budget (Charity shops and car boot sales are your best friend). At the end of the day, it’s a hobby for fun, after all!
Photos courtesy of the awesome Tony – https://www.facebook.com/Toneagraphy/