Cosplay can launch many different hobbies from fashion design to makeup to photography. It’s always wonderful to see cosplayers grow throughout the years and watch them bloom into a work of art!
I am happy to introduce to you all a very wonderful human, Adrien.
Please tell our readers a little about yourself.
My name is Adrien, non-binary and enjoy art and cosplay as a hobby. I’m a writer and currently a barista. Although being a barista is interesting, my goal is to be a teacher, while it’s slightly complicated at the moment, next year is looking very promising. One of the other things I enjoy doing is being a foster parent to kittens: I raise them and help them find their forever homes. Although sad to see them go, it’s rather rewarding and worth any stress. Cosplaying is a fun way to de-stress, even if it seems to cause more when you might be styling wigs, making props or outfits. It’s really enjoyable and gives me a lot of energy.
Tell me about one con-going experience: the positives, the negatives, favorite things to do, etc.
I tried going to cons and cosplaying when I was smaller, but it never felt fun. I didn’t really get a full con experience until Wondercon I believe 2019. Not only did I get to stay at a hotel and spend time with friends, but I actually felt confident and comfortable in my cosplay. I think that’s why it stands out to me as a memory, I always felt inadequate in my cosplays. I took that confidence I gained and pretty much threw myself into learning how to cosplay all over again. While all the booths and panels are fun, the best part is when someone recognizes who I am cosplaying and look completely ecstatic about it.
Like most things there are negatives. Sometimes you might have a headache from wearing your wig for too long, your feet hurt from walking around in heels or uncomfortable shoes, or a panel might get moved or canceled. I have met a few rude people, con drama is a thing that happens, and boy it’s like a train-wreck; you just can’t look away, but you’re also horrified. The best thing to do is try not to focus on any negatives, embrace both them and the positive aspects of a con. Let’s also not mention the dreaded line con, I have no cure for that one, except get your tickets early.
How do you store your costumes up?
I have a small office where I keep all my cosplay stuff. The closet is usually where I store my costumes. I keep the shoes specifically for each outfit in a large black container so they don’t get confused with my normal ones. The wigs are on the wall via tiny hangers, they’re sort of like wig heads but on walls. Those that do have to hang are on wig stands or wig heads. Finally, I keep all my accessories in a dresser; they’re separated by types such as rings, bracelets, chokes, and earrings.
How far do you go into researching a character you would like to cosplay? Is an image and basic background enough, or do you prefer that you’ve watched/read about the character?
I want to say that I usually would like to know the character before I do the cosplay. Sometimes the character can look good, but is not what you expect once you get into the show/movie they might be from. It’s basically the same way I approach almost all my cosplays. I need to know the character and their backgrounds either through watching, reading, or both. Ironically enough, my most favorite cosplay to date – Shuichi Saihara from DrV3 – started from seeing and barely knowing anything about the character. All I knew was his basic outfit and a little of his background such as him being a detective and the second protagonist. But through this cosplay, I looked more into him, played the game and he is now my favorite.
Have you learned more about yourself since you started cosplaying?
I have learnt more about myself. As a kid it hardly meant anything, I just wanted to dress up and be cute. I learnt that there’s nothing wrong with being confident or proud of your cosplay. Whether you make it yourself, buy or commission it, you’re bringing that character to life through your own unique view and style. It’s okay to break the mold. Give it your own twist and say “This is a character I care about” even if it seems strange to others.
One of the biggest changes I realized for myself was my appreciation for makeup and not just face paint. I was always worried of being perceived as overly feminine, looked down on it and hated the idea of ever using makeup. Now I love it! I use it to express myself, the bold colors, the quick and troublesome application of eyeliner, and that it has no gender– it can be for everyone. It might seem rather small, but to me it was a very big deal and I even use makeup to vent my emotions I sometimes can’t put into words.