Cosplay Confessions is yet another monthly feature I’ve added to my blog, though I’ve recently gotten a bunch of submissions so I may do it twice monthly if this persists. Every month (and maybe twice a month), I plan on featuring a different cosplayer and my interview with them, along with photos featuring their cosplays. This will not only be beneficial to the cosplayers themselves – because any publicity is good publicity when it comes to updating your fans on which conventions you’ll be at, and what you’re working on – but it will also be beneficial to those who are interested in cosplay as a hobby.
Since this is a new feature, I have asked some cosplayers I know to fill out my questions and it’s my great pleasure to introduce a Boston area cosplayer who I met very recently at Portland Comic Expo here in Portland, Maine where she was showing off a fantastic Pearl cosplay from Steven Universe. Prepare to say hello to Mink The Satyr Cosplay.
On to the interview!
QUESTION: Hello! Many people reading this may not know much about you. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been cosplaying?
Hello hello, mythical beings! My name is Mink the Satyr (or just Mink for short) and I’ve been cosplaying for about three years as a casual hobby. Within the last year and a half, I’ve been transitioning from a casual hobby to “I do this thing more than just casually.” I’ve been a costumer for nearly a decade. I love to LARP (Live Action Role Play) and I adore Renaissance Faires and the like. You could say that nerdy niche is what ultimately started me on the path to cosplaying!
QUESTION: Do you attend many conventions? Which ones are your favorite to attend?
I’ve been attending way more conventions in the last year or two. My favorite show to attend is PAX East in Boston, MA. I live quite close to the convention and have an awesome time getting to see what the newest games coming out are, play some retro-classics, and meet fellow nerds like myself! It’s just a really relaxed yet amazing atmosphere. I recently attended my first Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. A friend of mine called it “Cosplay Mardi Gras”, which I think is probably the most accurate way to describe the explosion of sight, sound, and talent at that convention! I also enjoy the occasional steampunk convention. The Steampunk World’s Faire in NJ is one of my favorites. It features wonderful and talented patrons, vendors with beautiful wares, and some of my favorite performers!
QUESTION: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to cosplaying?
I have two pet peeves regarding cosplaying. My first is friends or acquaintances saying they could never cosplay/costume as a specific character because they are too fat/thin/tall/short/old/young etc. It breaks my heart to see that people are self-limiting because they are afraid of negative feedback within the community. I literally just spoke to a close friend of mine who wants to cosplay as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but is afraid to go to a convention dressed that way because he thinks he won’t look good. Spoilers: he looks fantastic as Spike. And what’s more – he really loves the character. That’s the kind of person I want to cosplay with. Those dedicated fans and fanatics who love every line and dedicate themselves to enjoying their hobby or art breathe life into the cosplay community.
My second pet peeve is more of an inside joke than anything else. It’s footwear. I am weirdly interested in making sure my footwear matches my cosplay. I see loads of costumes out there in internet-land where the costumes are absolutely beautiful and meticulously rendered… but that same care was not afforded to the footwear. I know it’s a strange thing for me to look at. Especially because, as they said in the Shawshank Redemption, “how often do you really look at a man’s shoes”. I find a quiet zen when I can find, make, or modify the perfect shoe for a character to wear in my cosplay.
QUESTION: What’s one cosplay project you’d like to do in the future?
I’d love to make an Astrid cosplay from How to Train Your Dragon 2. I am half-Norwegian, so when that movie came out, I absolutely imprinted on that character. I love her fearlessness and her “rough around the edges” demeanor. It doesn’t hurt that her character design is pretty on point as well. I especially love her armor set. Making that costume would be a fun way for me to flex my leather-crafting and resin-casting muscles. It would be a real thrill to get to adopt some of her personality traits for the day when I eventually get to wear said costume!
QUESTION: Are there any cosplayers (professional or otherwise) who inspire you? If so, why?
I am so inspired by so many cosplayers. I know that’s a stupid answer. I’ll do better. I’m inspired by big names like J. Hart Design, who makes flawless and meticulous costumes. J. Hart’s work inspires me to strive for excellence, perfection, and hard work. I’m inspired by Gogo Incognito. She is also a fantastic craftswoman, but just as importantly, she’s a welcoming friend and supportive community member. I have not known her for long, but she made me feel so welcome and special in the vast ocean of cosplayers out there. I know she is often that warm presence one looks for at a convention for many people besides myself. She legitimately turns up the fun and positive spirit of any convention she is at.
QUESTION: What do you think sets you apart from other cosplayers?
I am not sure how to answer this question. I don’t know if I feel like I set myself apart from the other people who make up this fabulous community. I like to be the welcoming, encouraging person I see in so many others at the conventions I attend.
As far as craft is concerned, I like to think of myself as a jack of all trades. I am thirsty to learn as many trades and skills as I can to apply to my cosplay. I am honing my skill in resin casting and hope to use my knowledge to become a more skilled prop maker. It can be hard for me to ask for help, but I’m also learning to ask those who inspire me if they can pass on any advice or offer any tips to perfecting my art!
QUESTION: Any advice for someone wishing to begin cosplaying?
My advice to anyone wishing to begin cosplay is to just go for it. One need not over-think their costume or fret about it coming out “perfect” the first time. Cosplaying for me is about having fun and meeting people. If it ever gets too stressful, I take a deep breath and remind myself that it isn’t about the hundreds of hours (and dollars) trying to make the perfect costume. That may be one aspect of it. But it ultimately is about sharing your love of shows/games/movies/etc with other like-minded people. It’s a way to be social and to start a conversation with a person you might not have been bold enough to talk to in your mundane clothes. The biggest hurdle is deciding you are going to do it and turning off the “self-doubt” part of your brain. I find it helps to cosplay with a group you like. It somehow makes the environment feel safer and no matter what happens, you are surrounded by supportive friends while you’re convention-going.
QUESTION: Last but not least – do you have a website or Facebook page where people can check out your cosplay endeavors?
I sure do have a Facebook page! You can check it out right HERE. I would be thrilled and honored to have you follow my page and my cosplay adventures. I enjoy doing silly giveaways too as a thank you to my fans (and because I legitimately love giving whimsical surprise presents to people). Please come stop by and see my work sometime!