Emily is a 20 year old cosplayer from the UK that has gained a lot of followers on facebook because of her creations and her positive attitude towards cosplaying. With a love of anime, league of legends and an obvious affection for fluffy pokemon, its clear that Emily loves to get herself involved in the cosplay scene and interact with her fans. We here at JoypadAndMe wanted to know a bit more about her so we managed to get some time and have an interview with Emily.
Q) What was it about cosplay that got you interested in it?
I first witnessed cosplaying as a whole at mcm Manchester 2013, I saw how much fun other people were having dressed as their favourite characters and the effort that had been put into it, I just thought ‘hey I want to try cosplaying, I think I’ll be able to do it’ then my cosplay journey just went from there really. What really sparked my interest as a generalisation was the fun of it and I wanted to be part of the cosplay fun,
Q) What made you decide that it was something that you wanted to get involved in and did you intend for it to go as far as it has for you?
In reference to my previous question it started as nothing more than wanting to be involved in the fun of cosplay and comicon, id been watching anime & gaming for a rather long time prior so by having a huge love for many characters it was a way for me to express my fandom. I only started my cosplay page on a whim back in July so I didn’t intend for it to go this far or get so big, with over 11.5k of likes it’s still surreal to me that people enjoy what I do to the point I have a real life fan base, its crazy!
Q) What was your first cosplay outfit and why did you choose that particular character?
My first cosplay was rena ryuugu from higurashi, I chose her because she is my favourite character over all, cute and crazy one of the ultimate yandre girls but it’s just a shame higurashi is so under rated considering what a great anime it is to watch. This cosplay was a bought outfit from hello cosplay as I didn’t have the courage to make my own costumes back when I began cosplaying I didn’t have the confidence but also believed it would be cheaper buying, I learned fast it wasn’t.
Q) How do you pick out which characters you want to create?
I choose characters that I love basically, whether it’s from an anime, game tv show ect. I just have a tendency to see characters and go okay that’s another for my cosplay list! But how difficult it is to make does come into consideration as I don’t have the time or money to be every character I’m a fan of,
Q) Does outfit, body style, overall perception of the character and attitude affect your decisions when deciding which character to take on?
Not at all! I love this question; I have so much to answer with. I believe you can cosplay whoever you want to be regardless of gender, body shape, and costume. There shouldn’t be anything stopping you apart from yourself. The only things that have stopped me cosplaying a character are just money issues and whether I could do it or not with my skill set, jinx from league of legends for example? She’s an incredibly skinny character whereas I’m a size 10-12 with curves but it never stopped me being her. Self esteem, online hate, body shape none of it affects my cosplay choices even if my page followers hated one of my costumes I’d still do it because I cosplay for me, my page is just a lovely addition to it’s which I’m grateful for
Q) What have been the reactions you have had from some of your creations?
Theres been a lot of positive and negative reactions, majority of the positive comments have been that people love my cosplay, its well made & I pull it off well, I’m a great cosplayer, I won’t list everything as I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging. But I have had a lot of good feedback which in turn makes me feel good as a cosplayer. Some of the negative feedback I’ve gotten in all honesty has really hurt me at times, comments such as calling me fat, fed, a whore, I buy my pages likes. None of which actually relevant to cosplays just general unwanted nastiness about my body but as a result of this because I’ve done my best not to let it bother me, I’ve been told im an inspiration to over cosplayers because I still cosplay, show my body and just don’t feel ashamed of myself so that’s one nice thing that has come from it,
Q) What’s been the hardest cosplay character and costume to produce?
Hardest has to be janna from league of legends, I had such an array of issues making that cosplay, the base of my costume never turned up so I had to buy another set also while making the prop from expanding foam I accidentally sliced the end of my thumb off resulting in bleeding all over my work then a day trip 2 AE, wasn’t the best. Then the last issue was the jewels and glitter falling off after I spent so long sticking it on. Surprisingly it turned out to be one of my most popular cosplays at London Mcm October so the stress was worth it in the end.
Q) How long does it take you to design and create the majority of your character pieces on average? Have there been any exceedingly long creations?
Usually it depends on the character itself but maximum time has been a 3-4 weeks, I’m not someone who procrastinates or loses interest with my cosplay making, I happily sit for hours on end creating as it relaxes me most of the time. One of the longest creations has to be a commission I did, which was kirito from sword art online I was working with real leather and making a sword thus taking such a long time to finish due to the actual making and clean up job.
Q) There must be a financial investment when it comes to some of these outfits, have any been fairly extravagant?
Most definitely although my idea of investment is different to other cosplayers just because we all have different budgets and money to spend. I base my cosplays on a budget price maximum 100, the most I’ve ever spent is about 200+ though that was a bought cosplay so postage/tax added to the price. For one cosplay but I do try to get more for my money by using cheaper materials & basic clothing pieces as bases the building my costumes from there for example my eevee cosplay is a brown dress with attached fur & a tail made from a pillow case but it works plus it is the cosplay I’m known for as I’m Eevee cosplay.
Q) Have you ever had any extreme reactions from onlookers and fans for you creations both good and bad?
Nothing extreme like all cosplayers in public places you get stares, I think the most amusing reaction was at a meet up arranged by Pixie Cakeface and myself, people passing by including hotel doormen, police and parking attendants joined us for photos it was awesome that even if people didn’t know what was happening they were interested in what we were doing.
Q) When it comes to photoshoots, how much input do you have in the composition of the shot? How important do you feel location and ‘realism’ is to the overall image?
At school and college I studied media, graphics, film and photography in which I do have an understanding of how essential location is to a shoot and the other aspects that come into play but when I’m cosplaying I am the model I make suggestions for poses and expressions but during the shoot but im not the photographer, I leave it up to them to make the decisions regarding composition it’s a joint effort. For a good shoot I believe it involves good communication & knowledge of your camera and the models themselves, once that’s sorted photos just come naturally photoshoots should be fun for the best part anyway not serious striving for perfection.
Q) Whats been your favourite experience during your cosplaying time?
My favourite experience is definitely people recognising me as Eevee cosplay and meeting people who follow my page, it’s such a pleasure to meet the people behind the screen names and number of likes on the page. I ended up crying at London expo I was that excited that so many people knew who I was I got overwhelmed by it all. Oh people asking for photos with me aswell, it’s addictive after a convention to search through the groups finding photos to tag yourself in them.
Q) How much interaction do you have with your fans and followers of your cosplaying creations?
I make sure to reply to everyone and get to know them; I don’t feel I’d be doing my role as a page admin or a cosplayer if I didn’t interact with people. Anyone can message me for cosplay advice and support I’m happy to offer what I can. On a regular basis I share, leave comments and talk to followers who have page and those who don’t, since making my page I’ve met a ton of lovely people who have become good friends of mine. Talking and meeting other people is the one of the best parts of being a cosplayer for me, having that conversation starter of cosplay has done wonders for myself esteem and social anxiety.
Q) What’s the cosplaying community like as a whole? Are they all generally supportive of each other or are there different sub groups inside the community?
In my opinion there is two types of cosplay communities, you have the convention community and the online community, in my experience the convention community is a lot more supportive & kind, at actual conventions people just interact talk, compliment each other’s cosplays and make friends which is great, it makes for the perfect con atmosphere. Even when you don’t know who someone is dressed as or what fandom there a part of I’ve noticed everyone just gets involved with different fandom’s and groups of people who I love it brings everyone together including people who aren’t in cosplay at conventions, it’s something for everyone. Although a good majority of the online community are supportive like the convention community it does include a lot of trolls and nasty people who is generally known as the dark side of cosplay this is most often seen on groups because I believe most people think just because you say it online it makes it okay when it actually isn’t, insulting and making fun of people is never okay. I’m just lucky I guess to have such awesome people who follow my page so they give me hope for a better online cosplay community.
Q) Cosplay seems to have taken off more in the past few years, do you have any thoughts as to why this might be?
With more and more people cosplaying it’s just become popular I think some of the increase comes from people’s confidence as well, people who are usually too shy have gained that confidence to cosplay and be a part of something big which is essentially the cosplay scene and convention experience. Along with that, the media have been giving conventions much more coverage than in previous years as a result it’s becoming better known and socially acceptable.
Q) How do you see cosplay in general evolving in the future? Are there areas that it can expand into and are there more lavish characters to be explored?
I think cosplay will expand to the initial point of its popularity hitting a peak and as I previously said it becoming well-known and socially accepted, currently people who don’t have an understanding of cosplay misunderstand, think its strange so hopefully that will change in the future. As far as characters go there’s such a vast range of opportunities its obvious there is going to be more amazing cosplays to come from everyone who does it.
Q) What have you got planned for the future in regards to new creations and appearances?
I’ve got quite a few new cosplays planned now, my next few will be kushina from naruto, kenen- from league of legends and yoshi from super mario, my aim is to make 8 new cosplays for London mcm and Manchester mcm, possibly doki doki too if the dates get released but if I can’t make that many I will re-do some characters who I have previously cosplayed as,
Q) Do you have any words of advice for anyone wanting to get into cosplay or wanting to step up a gear in regards to their outfits and the characters they want to portray?
My advice would be to worry less and enjoy it more, have more confidence in yourselves because you’re awesome no matter what you look like, dress as or don’t dress as, it all comes from within. Cosplay doesn’t have standards or judge the only person who can judge you is you, so be kind to yourself and be proud of what you’re doing, if you enjoy your cosplay and time at conventions you’re doing it right!
We would like to thank Emily for her time and look forward to seeing both herself and more of her creations at upcoming events. Im sure that she has given inspiration to some aspiring cosplayers out there and if so please follow her on one of her social media links and let her know.
Social Media links
Robert Mann MA