Today I'm stoked to bring you an interview I did with Desiree. Desiree is truly an artist when it comes to cosplay. Her craftsmanship is so inspiring! And I love her Red Sonja cosplay!
1) Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself!
My name is Desiree and I've been a very creative person all my life. I'm always pursuing some sort of artistic activity, and I tend to feel incomplete if I'm not engaged as an artist. I began sewing and drawing at a very young age, and have been designing costumes and throwing things together for many years. I've admired cosplay from afar for a long time (given that I'm also a lifelong comic book, fantasy, and sci-fi fan), and only recently felt I had the time and finances to actually dive in and try it out myself!
2) How long have you been Cosplaying?
I've been cosplaying for just over a year.
3) How did you become involved in cosplay?
I've admired cosplays created by others for a very long time, but I really got the kick in the butt I needed to get started when Wizard World decided to bring a con to St. Louis for the first time. A con less than 10 minutes from my house? Of course I'm going, and if I'm going I better be dressed up! It had been about 15 years since I'd been to a con, and I was long overdue.
4) Do you remember the first character you portrayed?
The first character I officially portrayed as a cosplayer was Poison Ivy.
5) What does Cosplay mean to you?
For me cosplay is an alternative art form - a way to create a 3D piece of art that includes yourself as both the canvas and part of the artwork. I also see cosplay as an ultimate expression of love for a character or fandom. If I cosplay a character it's because I am so enamored with that character's personality or design that I feel a pull to throw a ton of energy and work into recreating or interpreting the character as well as I possibly can.
6) Do you make all of the pieces you wear?
My cosplays are usually a combination of pieces that I've made and pieces that I've bought and/or altered. For example, my Joker cosplay includes a bra I covered (with pinstripe fabric that I hand painted) and added straps to, a bustle I commissioned from a favorite seamstress (https://www.facebook.com/
pages/LoriAnn-Costume-Designs/ 143014375748826), boots that I painted with special shoe paint, necklace and grenades that I painted, a cane that I fabricated using sculpey and a doweling rod, a corset that I purchased and added a collar to, as well as made-from-scratch shorts, glovelets, flower brooch, and trench coat.
7) What are your thoughts on making your own costume versus buying a pre-made one?
I appreciate both of those options. I personally like to have a hand in what I'm wearing. It gives me a huge sense of pride when someone admires something about a costume and I can say that I made it myself (my auto mail arm for my fem-Edward Elric costume is a great example of this). On the other hand, I completely understand that cosplayers don't always have the time to learn new techniques and create their own costume pieces. I have a lot of respect for commissioning needed pieces from other talented costumers. In fact, I'm planning to commission a cowl and goggles for a planned cosplay before the end of this year! I love the idea that by commissioning others we can help bolster their business and put money back into this community. I also think it's pretty cool that by buying pre-made costumes some individuals who might never get a chance to cosplay have that opportunity.
8) Do you travel often for Conventions?
I only recently started traveling for conventions, but I'm pretty much hooked. Just last weekend I attended the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (a.k.a. C2E2), and it was amazingly fun. I'll be going to Dragon Con in Atlanta for the first time this year as well, and am super excited for that. I have a feeling I'll be finding ways to get to most of the cons within driving distance of me from now on haha!
9) What is your favorite thing about Cosplaying?
I know several people say this, but it's so difficult to choose one thing. I guess my favorite thing is how others respond to my costumes. That is, the way a kid's eyes light up when they see a character they love brought to life, or the opportunity to geek out with other adult fans of the particular fandom a character belongs to. That's not to mention getting to "talk shop" with other cosplayers about techniques and approaches.
10) Do you prefer to cosplay with a group or fly solo?
So far I've mainly cosplayed solo, which I find to be a lot of fun. I did do a collaboration with my friend, Lyght Strife (https://www.facebook.com/
LyghtStrife?fref=ts), at this year's Wizard World - St. Louis, and it was a lot of fun. He conceptualized and created a Mystery Machine themed Iron Man armor, and I was his sidekick as Velma Dinkley. I also informally teamed up with an adorable Harley Quinn cosplayer at C2E2 (https://www.facebook.com/ hquinnade) while I was cosplaying as Lady Joker. I've found that the crowd response is much more energetic when several cosplayers team up, and it makes things even more exciting. I look forward to being able to be a part of more cosplay groups in the future!
To keep up with Desiree's awesome cosplay appearances as well as progress, be sure to follow her both on Instagram and Facebook!
Photo credits and characters:
Red Sonja - photo by Julie Dietrich
Rogue - photo by Julie Dietrich
Fem-Edward Elric - photo by Thomas G. Ricks (https://www.facebook.com/
Poison Ivy - photo by Julie Dietrich
Mystery Machine and Velma - photo by Todd Morgan of Backbeat Photography (https://www.facebook.com/
Lady Joker and Harley Quinn - photo by Jeremy Smith
Red Sonja - photo by Danny Diaz
Lady Joker - photo by Julie Dietrich