Name: Lindsay or @rhythmichigh (Instagram/tumblr)
Location: North Bay Area, California, US
Favorite Cosplay and Why: I'd have to say Hera Syndulla in her various forms. She's fun to wear and I've met a lot of amazing people who've become my Rebels Family. It was with Hera that I joined both the Rebel Legion and the Bay Area Bounty Hunters. She's a great character I identify with a lot and I'm constantly rebuilding pieces for her--I've learned so much in my Hera builds, whether in new sewing techniques, working with materials I'd never worked with before, or figuring out the mystery that is Intense Body Paint.
How long I've been cosplaying: I've always enjoyed costumes (I did theater as a kid), but I officially started cosplaying in 2003. 15 years?
Do I make my own or commission: I make roughly 98% of my costume pieces. It's only recently I've begun commissioning costume pieces, either because I don't have the time or tools required to build it myself. Adulting is hard and I like sleep too much.
What's my favorite thing about cosplaying: It's hard to say! I love the process of creating costumes, but I also love all the cool people I meet through it--especially when it's lesser-known characters or fandoms.
Next convention: SacAnime Winter
Advice for new cosplayers: (With age comes wisdom ;) )
- Cosplay what you want, and don't let anyone but yourself dictate what you can and cannot do. Don't worry about not having the "right" type of body for it, being the "wrong" age for it, or whatever--pick something *you* want to do and just have fun. Feel free to change parts of costumes you're not comfortable with wearing, either from the "this is painful" perspective or the "I'm not comfortable with showing this much skin/wearing stiletto heels/etc" perspective. Maybe you change those ridiculous heels to flats. Maybe you wear a fleshtoned bodysuit under that Huttslayer Leia. Lengthen a skirt, add sleeves, whatever. Your health, safety, and comfort are the most important part.
- Do your research! One of the wonderful things about cosplay becoming more mainstream is that there are a vast number of tutorials available for almost anything you can think of available online. If you like how a person did a certain costume piece, ask them questions about it! Just be polite and to the point. Some people may not respond, but many will give tips or share resources they may have used.
- If you're trying something you've never done before: GIVE YOURSELF TIME. Don't try to make that full suit of armor 2 weeks before the con and then have to deal with the dreaded "con crunch" and all the not-so-great things that come with it. Give yourself time to gather materials, read tutorials, and practice whatever you're making: this may mean starting several months in advance. Spreading it out also helps keep costs down, as you can keep an eye out for sales on certain materials and avoid dropping a large sum of money all at once.
- Your first costume (or five) may not be the most well-made or accurate, and that's totally okay. If you continue cosplaying, use those experiences to learn from and put that knowledge into your next one. Get into the mindset of "It may not be perfect, but *I* made this, and *I'm* proud of myself for getting it done and for the experience I gained in doing so". Don't be afraid of messing up or not getting something perfect on the first try. We learn by doing, and if you do something enough, you'll get to the point where it becomes second nature. And yes, it's okay to yell at your sewing machine in frustration.
- If you like to challenge yourself, try working out of your comfort zone--a foamsmith working on a primarily sewn costume, or a costume that is completely different than your usual "type".
Instagram Handle: @rhythmichigh
Haggar 1: Christine King (@aerlinn.cos on insta)
Haggar 2: James Brownstone (https://500px.com/jamesbrownstone)
Hera 1 (s4): @heroicimaging
Hera 2 (s4): Matt @dndcosplay (Kanan is @spectreonecosplay )
Hera 3-4 (s1): Gerard Fajardo (@g_man135)