Tell us about your first cosplay experience. When was it, where were you, what did you wear, etc.?
Actually, I love Halloween, and since I was a little girl, I always loved to wear costumes. I was a dancer so I always got to wear funny outfits. My first official cosplay.... it was kind of embarrassing. My first cosplay was Shampoo from Ranma 1/2. I made it with a thrift store dress that my mum gave to me and spray painted my hair. (Imagine trying to get my hair straight when it is all curly!! And the awful paint made it worse!) But it was a lot of fun. I wore it once for a Mexican con. I chose that character because I love martial arts and besides that, Shampoo is sexy. I managed to enter the cosplay contest, and I won the satisfaction of cosplay. hehe n_n
You have tons of costumes. How do you decide which ones to make?
Hmm, I just love cosplay. Add to that my otaku and gamer addiction, and I just have to surrender to the cosplay mania! Actually, I think there are three reasons to cosplay:
1. You are a fan and love the character. (Yup, I have many anime idols.)
2. You like the character design and think you would like to use their outfit XD!!
3. You make it because someone asks you to make it, or you want to be in a skit!
What I love of cosplay is the satisfaction of seeing your final work. How you are making step by step the costume. How you try it on and then arrange it and try it on again. How you look at the mirror and every time, you look more like the character. And finally, how your costume is finished and you see how your effort became a good job.
How does the cosplay scene in Mexico compare with other countries?
I think Mexico is a great cosplayer source because everyone puts some of his or her heart into every costume, and we have very good techniques and cosplay quality. We just need some costume culture because sometimes, people are very close-minded. I don't like to compare; I just think everyone has their own thing. Our Mexican style is kinda: if we don't have it, we make it up! And besides that, our cosplay shows are so popular. The last con, there were more than 150 cosplayers and 1,200 in the audience. It was huge. Well, at least I felt it was endless.
What costume construction tips can you share?
Always visualize, first, the construction steps, and take your time. (Ten minutes of planning can save you hours of work.) So first, you have to think of what needs to be done and how you are gonna do it. After that, all the work is minimized because you already know what your plan is.
1. Every toy weapon, sword, or other kind of children's gear can become a great prop.
2. Please don't use shiny fabric in a costume if the character doesn’t require it.
3. Don’t throw away any shoes, dress, wood, or any kind of material that can be used in future cosplay. You never know when it can be useful.
4. When you sew vinyl, try to put some paper (from a newspaper) between the fabric. It makes it more easy to sew.
5. If you are making wings, you have to make them wearable so always make sure that the wire structure (or any material structure) is safe and that it won't fall from your back at the cosplay masquerade.
If anyone would like to know some of my costume techniques, please feel free to ask.
If you could travel to any convention in the world, which one would you choose and why?
I would love to travel to Japan; any convention would be good. I think traveling to Japan is every otaku's dream. I like to travel to cons to meet people. It's one of my biggest reasons for going: to meet more cosplayers. I already have traveled to some cons like A-Kon and Ushi-con [in Texas] and was so glad to meet so many cosplayers. I met Haruka and Lillyxandra (That was cool!) and a lot of good cosplay girls. *hugs girls!* I am working on saving money to go farther. Another thing I was so amused by was the masquerade audience. They were so cute and respectful. Good for you, boys!!
What do your family and co-workers think about your hobby?
Well, cosplay is part of my life. (It sounds so dramatic. o.O) My family first saw cosplay as some kind of childish hobby. But after I managed to win money through cosplay, they respect it a little. And actually, cosplay is my work.
Some people that saw my cosplay profile or some pics or even met me at cons offered me work as a costume designer at theaters and TV-- even movies -- so I really have the perfect job. Besides that, I get to be the hostess of the cosplay contest of my local costume masquerade.
Is it easy or hard to find supplies (unusual fabric, feathers, wigs, accessories) in your city?
Hmm, well I always have to ride my mule to the city... hahahaha!
Just kidding, actually, it is very easy to find every fabric and material. We have a great source of materials. It helps that Monterrey, my city, is near the Texas border, and also, the materials here are way cheaper than in U.S.
What's been the most difficult thing to find when you've gone shopping for costume parts?
I think the most difficult stuff to get is wigs!! Wigs are hard to find and expensive. The long ones are impossible to get. The most difficult one to find was my white Inuyasha wig! I just wanted the perfect wig, and all the others where so awful and short so I had to buy it online. Right now, I am working on my Lulu costume, and I can’t find the blue beads of the necklace so if anyone would like to support this beadless cosplayer, it would make me so happy (XD).
Do you think cosplay promotes an interest in the occult?
<--- strikes a mystical pose. "Hocus pocus. Eh? Are you talking to me?" Well, cosplay is a very sane hobby (yeah sure). And it depends on the individual where the fantasy ends.
Tell us about your role as the president of Cosplay Club Monterrey.
Well, Cosplay Club Monterrey was born as a little project between friends to help new cosplayers to find the better way to make their costumes and to make cosplay a bigger thing. We organize some events like picnics, little cons, shows. The bigger one was a cosplay-only event that took place in a theater, and it was bigggg!!
It's true I am the president, but like everything else, without cool cosplay partners, I would be lost! So, thanks to them for helping our club grow stronger.
What does the club do to promote cosplay and anime in your city?
We encourage new people to make cosplay and help them with some tutorials, and sometimes we do how-to's on wings, weapons, and various techniques.
What will you be when you grow up and will cosplay contribute to that goal?
I would love to be production staff of a movie company, and I am also training hard to become a Kung Fu SI-FU (instructor). As of this writing, I am a red belt, and I enjoy kung fu so much, it is a way of life not just a martial art. Cosplay has a lot to do with that because, without my favorite anime (Ranma ½), I think I would never have discovered Kung Fu. (Just a warning, Kung Fu is not as easy as it looks on anime. =P) And when I get older and grow gray hair, I can always give some advice to new cosplay generations and wear a Chinese uniform in my academy. I am a multipurpose girl and can do a lot of stuff: I am a dancer, a drummer, an artist (painting), a martial artist, a designer, a seamstress, I can make crafts, and I cosplay. I think cosplay gets all my hobbies and puts them together into one.
Any words of wisdom to impart on fellow cosplayers?
Well first of all, thanks to Cosplay Lab for giving me such an honor. And thanks to everyone who've helped make cosplay a way of life. Every cosplayer has their own special thing because wearing a costume and making a good performance is not that easy.
I just would like to add: Feel free to talk to me any time because I love to make new cosplay friends!
Alechan, I am always excited to see the enthusiasm and passion that fans from Mexico and South America have for cosplay. I would have to believe that Anime is growing the fastest there as a result. What impresses me most is your array of talents that add to your creativity. It's great to see cosplay being taken to the next level - getting paid to do what you love. We hope to see you at an upcoming convention. Comiket anyone? Best of luck in all you strive for.