Name: Kristen Lanae
City: Minneapolis, MN
What was your first Cosplay experience?
My first cosplay experience was in May of 2013 when I went to my very first comic convention in Phoenix, AZ where I was living at the time. I had heard of cosplay prior to that, but never really payed much attention or cared about it. At PHXCC though I got to see cosplay in real life for the first time ever and I was completely amazed. I saw how much effort people put into their costumes and how much fun they were having getting to be their favorite video game and comic book characters for the day. It was awesome! I knew from that moment that I wanted to cosplay too and a month or so later I made my very first costume, Tomb Raider.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
I have only been cosplaying for about a year and a half now. That’s kind of crazy to think because I just recently did a count of all the costumes I’ve done so far and I’ve done around 16!
What is your favorite cosplay you have worn/created?
This is always a tough question to answer for me. By far my favorite costume to wear has been Harley Quinn. That’s because she’s just so crazy, quirky, and psychotic which is the far opposite of the characters that I usually cosplay. It’s fun to dress up as her and just be crazy and have a fun time! My favorite costume to make however would probably be Tomb Raider. The reason being is because I’ve put so much work and effort into that costume and it really helped me develop a lot of my crafting skills. I did a little bit of everything for that costume including: make all the props (ice axe, necklace, bow and arrows, quiver), lots of painting/weathering on the clothing and weapons, creating blood and wounds with makeup, and more. I’m really proud of that costume.
If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?
I’d definitely be creating my Mass Effect FemShep armor right this very second if I had the money to get all of the supplies. I just recently started playing the series and completely fell in love with it! I’ve already been doing all of the research and beginning steps for this costume, such as taking all of my measurements and scaling the patterns to fit me. I’m hoping I can get my print shop back up and running so I can be able to purchase the foam I need soon.
What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?
People ask me for advice on getting into cosplay a lot and all I have to say is just go for it, now. Most people feel too intimidated (so did I, in the beginning) but don’t let that stop you. Don’t feel like you have to make a perfect costume by scratch either. If you have to commission or purchase already made pieces for your cosplay then that is totally fine. I, for example, have taken baby steps to get to where I am now. Since I had no prior experience whatsoever in sewing clothing, my first cosplay costumes were commissioned or purchased from cosplay stores. I slowly began building my skills from there by spending TONS of time on Google researching, reading tutorials, watching videos, etc. Now I’m at a point where I can sew my own costumes and make all of my props as well. It just takes practice like anything else!