Cosplayer Interview with Taylor Bennett
I am a graduate art student that majored in 2D Studio art, and switched to costume-based art during my Masters in Art. Currently, I am a part-time art instructor at a community college. I am a huge sci-fi nerd, and extremely obsessed with Bioware games (if my costume roster did not make it obvious).
What initially interested you in cosplay and when was this? What was your first costume?
I saw photos of cosplay when I was in high school around 2002 or so. I thought it was really strange and I didn’t completely understand the concept, but I was fascinated by the idea of dressing up as my favorite characters. I finally decided to take the plunge into cosplay in 2007 when I saw Jia Jem’s Rydia costume. Her insane amount of dedication to detail and bringing a 2D character to life inspired me to give costuming a shot.
My favorite part when I am making costumes is finding the materials–shopping! I know that is such a girly reply but I feel so satisfied when I find the perfect fabric, even better when I find something on sale or have coupons to save money! It is hard to choose the best part of cosplaying at a con, but I would have to say it is seeing the reaction on other people’s faces. It feels fantastic when someone shouts my character’s name across a room or runs up to me asking for a photo and that they have been trying to find me all day. Meeting people who appreciate the series I am cosplaying from is the best feeling in the world, because we are both sharing this total geek-out moment and discussing our favorite parts about the characters and story.
Is there anything you don’t like about making costumes or cosplaying?
Making costume patterns from scratch. That is the most difficult part and it is endlessly frustrating when I cannot figure out how to get the sizing just right.
Currently I am working on a Wrex from Mass Effect for my friend, which just so happens to be a costume I have been dying to make! I am also working on Scout’s mom from Team Fortress 2 and I am considering a costume from Borderlands–not sure which character to make yet.
Expanding on the last question, what factors go into deciding who you want to cosplay as?
There are a few factors, the most important is cosplaying from a series I absolutely adore. I think it shows how passionate I am about Mass Effect and Dragon Age since those two are the only series I have cosplayed from (so far!), and I think fans of the series are happy to know I am genuinely interested in the games and not just choosing the costume because it looks cool. I am also a glutton for punishment and go for costumes that are complex and rarely seen in the cosplay community.
Never get discouraged, whether it is negative comments on your costume, your skill level, etc. The worst thing you can do to yourself is start comparing your work to cosplayers who have either been making costumes for years, have fancier tools and equipment, or a bigger budget. Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have the right budget, tools, body type, gender, or personality for a character. If you want to dedicate your time, money, and passion into a certain costume that is your business and no one else’s. And always remember: HAVE FUN WITH IT!
A big thank you to Taylor for granting us an interview! Be sure to check out more of her work at her Deviant Art page: http://hmwsgx.deviantart.com/.