We have no idea how Michayla fits everything in hobby and keep fit wise, but we do know that the finished cosplay work looks pretty damned good!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hello! My name is Michayla, aka FaeBorne. I’ve been a Colorado girl for most of my life (that first year in California doesn’t really count). Cosplay has been a huge part of my life for 3 years now. When I’m not working, I spend my time building cosplay, bodybuilding, riding my motorcycle, playing video games, and attempting to have a social life.
What or who inspired you to cosplay?
Despite growing up in a strictly religious/conservative household, costuming has always played a role in my life. My mother was a quilter, and taught both me and my sister how to sew. I started going to Renaissance Fairs when I was around 10 years old, making my own costume each year. This was my Halloween. I first heard the term “cosplay” when I was 17 years old, and it intrigued me. However, I wouldn’t attend my first con for 3 more years. Denver Comic Con 2014 was the tipping point. There was never any question of if I would cosplay, but rather who I would cosplay as. I picked Maya from Borderlands 2, and Poison Ivy. Thus began my unhealthy obsession with all things cosplay.
Are there specific types of characters that you particularly gravitate towards, and why?
Most definitely. I’ve always subconsciously picked strong characters. In real life I am a very shy person, but I am also strong. It’s not a quality I get to showcase very much in my everyday life, unless you choose to really talk to me about my background. Cosplaying outwardly strong characters gives me a chance to show that side of me to the world.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Technically speaking, my Art of War Wonder Woman was the most challenging so far. This was my first ever armor build, and I had no clue what I was doing. Thankfully it all worked out! As far as the most enjoyable goes, that’s a really hard question to answer. I’ve loved wearing each of my characters so much. However, I tend to have the most fun in Lollipop Chainsaw.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
A good majority of my costumes are fabric based, because that’s what I know best. I start each one with a large sheet of paper and my measurements. I hate commercial sewing patterns with a passion, so I draft my own for each piece I make. Yay math! Then I break out the fabric. I’m a horrible example and I rarely make a mockup of my piece before making the real thing. Don’t do as I do! For Wonder Woman I used Worbla’s Black Art over craft foam, with leather straps to hold everything on. I also made the chainmail from scratch. The Worbla was coated in multiple coats of Mod Podge, and wet sanded until as smooth as possible, and painted.
Which conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend, and why?
In my short 3 years I have been to the following cons:
Denver Comic Con, 4x
Salt Lake City Comic Con, 1x
Emerald City Comic Con, 1x
Dragon Con, 1x (going again this year)
And a few local small cons
Denver will always be my home con, but my favorite is Dragon Con. The cosplay game is always at such a high bar there, it’s amazing. I plan to keep attending each year.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
Just recently I posted a photo of my Wonder Woman in a FB group I am in, and got so much good feedback, but one lady in particular stood out. She told me that this version of WW was her all time favorite version, and that I recreated it perfectly! That was amazing.
Also, this past weekend I went to the local Renaissance Faire in my Merida costume. So many little girls came running up to me to say hi, and tell me I was their favorite princess. Completely made being in that giant wig in close to 100 degree weather for 4 hours worth it.
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?
Photographers are amazing! I can make a pretty kick ass costume, but without a good photographer, it will go pretty unnoticed.
Posing: It’s hard! I’m still pretty clueless when it comes to this topic, so I really appreciate a photographer who will take the time to get it just right. Which yes, is extremely exhausting, however 100% worth the pain, cramps, and soreness next day.
I am a shy person, so having photographers approach me is just about the only way I have ever met any. At a con, I love having photographers come ask me to shoot. Chances are, if I’m not currently running anywhere, I will be more than happy to oblige. I have also shot with photographers who have found my FB page and messaged me, but I always take safety precautions when doing this. Usually I will look through their portfolio, get in touch with other cosplayers they have worked with, and I always bring someone with me to any photoshoot.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
This is the question I’ve been most excited to answer. Cosplay changed my life dramatically, but first, some backstory. At the age of 16 I was disowned by my entire family due to their religious beliefs. I was left with my now ex-husband, and no one else. In 2015, we went to Denver Comic Con for the second time. There we met a few new friends, and we began building a little pseudo-family of our own. Shortly after that, I met my best friend at a con through her boyfriend who was a Captain America cosplayer I followed. Even better is that I met my amazing boyfriend last year at Denver Comic Con. We will be having our 1 year anniversary this month. All of this is thanks to cosplay. In the words of my favourite fluffy blue alien Stitch “This is my family, it’s little and broken, but still good.”
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
I’ve been asked this question multiple times, and my answer is always the same. Do it! You won’t regret it. We are an amazing community to be a part of, and we are always welcoming newbies! I am more than happy to help anyone that wants to cosplay get started.
Photographs courtesy of:
Wonder Woman and Lollipop Chainsaw photos by Geeks Between Worlds,
Miranda photo by Odin’s Iris Photography
Merida photo by Faeborne