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Cosplayer Spotlight – Shannon from Diamonds and Dynamite Cosplay

For your final cosplayer of the week, we have a great in depth interview. Don’t miss her great insights and suggestions!

Hi, what is your name?

I’m Shannon from Diamonds and Dynamite Cosplay!

What is your favorite beverage?

My favorite beverage would be Green Tea, I’m an absolute sucker for herbal teas too. Alcoholic though would definitely be Vodka & Lemon Mineral (7up for me in Europe).

When did you start cosplaying?

I first cosplayed in 2008 when I attended a local anime convention which has now unfortunately discontinued. I used to do mostly anime cosplays back then, but it wasn’t until 2016 that I properly began cosplaying within the community. Since then, my boyfriend has also joined me and now we attend conventions in Ireland under the Diamonds and Dynamite Cosplay name as a couple.

Why did you start cosplaying?

I’ve always been interested in dressing up. I’m a trained actor professionally of 2 years, but was part of a local Theatre School from 2003 to 2012. That was where the interest first began. I always loved to act as the characters, especially ones that I relate to or those that push me out of my comfort zone.

Who are your cosplay idols?

As I am mainly a Classic Harley Quinn cosplayer, my two big idols would be Lady Haha and RottenCandyCosplay. Others would definitely be Sylvia Slays Cosplay… and of course, I adore Anthony Misiano who is famously Harley’s Joker. I would kill to meet him in person and get some photoshoots with his amazingly accurate Joker.

What types of cosplay do you do?

I dabble in the genres. My main love will always be the 1992-2006 DC Animated Series, but I have done Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo too. I also have done Professor Chaos from South Park, Haruhi Suzumiya from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Shannon from Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, and Mabel Pines from Gravity Falls. 2018 will be the year of the weird, with Tina Belcher from Bobs Burgers and a secret Game of Thrones cosplay soon to be unveiled!

What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?

Honestly, I would love to do a Zarya from Overwatch or possibly a Black Canary. My only problem is I do not have the drive to go to the gym, nor the climate to wear fishnets! I’d need to travel to a warmer country to do a Black Canary without catching a cold.

Do you make, buy, or special order your cosplays?

Some cosplays I have had to special order, but 95% of them have been modifying thrift buys to get the desired look. I’m not so much a perfectionist, but I feel that if I don’t at least make 50% of my costume pieces, then I’m kind of cheating a little. My Harley Quinn was a special order that has been modified due to weight loss or threads coming loose over time, and now that I feel comfortable enough with the outfit I do plan to make an alternative version of the cosplay in the coming year myself.

What do you love about cosplay?

When I first began, what I loved was how it was somewhat of a hiding technique. I’ve had a lot of problems with bullying throughout my childhood and teens, so I would hide my interests from my peers. When it came to cosplaying, I first threw on the wig and accessories on the bus to the convention in fear that someone would recognize me. Now, I am proudly strutting my cosplay interests and happily promoting myself.
I have found the community is an amazing thing to be part of; the group meet-ups, the mutual sharing of your latest creation, the discussions of hot glue gun burns, and the humorous videos that all come out of the conventions are some of the best parts.
But, of course, the most important moment is when a child rushes up to you with their parents desperate for a picture with you. The joy they have when they pose with you, or when you talk to them in the character voice is something that cannot be beaten.

What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?

Knowing when to finish a piece. There is always going to be something you look back at and go “I should have stitched that better” or “that shade of makeup isn’t right”, and I still haven’t nailed down the looks completely how I want to but you have to accept that sometimes your fabric colour might not be 100% and just enjoy the fun of being in cosplay!

Who is your favorite character to cosplay?

Harley definitely. She’s a character that I relate to strongly, as the DCAU was my introduction to Batman as a child and Joker’s Favor was my first episode to watch – which is also her first canon appearance in the show. Other than her, I have been testing Tina Belcher and am finding myself having a lot of fun getting back into the mindset of a teenager riddled with hormones desperately writing fanfiction because you’re too antisocial to talk to boys properly!

If you could live in orvisit any fantasy world, where would you go?

I’d say Gotham but I don’t think I’d last very long because I’d be sent to Arkham for trying to kidnap The Joker! They’d surely think I’m mad and send me away, but I think that would just make me feel closer to him. Maybe if I was in there, I could get a cell across from him! Okay yes, I’ll go Gotham!

Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?

Artists like Joe Quinones, other cosplayers, the content itself of course. Sometimes the way I decide on a cosplay is just sitting down, watching the show, and suddenly finding myself rooting for them throughout the series.

What are your “fandoms”?

I try to keep away from the fandoms, to be completely honest. I used to, as I think we all have, use tumblr and unfortunately the way people act in the fandoms on that website can become very overwhelming. Wars over what version of the character is more accurate, what writers are the best, whether or not they are “problematic” just gets tiring after a while.
In my own world the main things I am dedicated to is the DCAU from 1992-2006, Five Nights At Freddy’s, Gravity Falls, South Park, Umineko no Naku Koro Ni, and Code Geass.

What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew?

You don’t need to have the perfect wig, you don’t need to spend hundreds to get the right costume, you don’t even need to look or act like the character. As long as you have fun while doing so and make friends along the way, then you are a cosplayer. As well as this – cosplay any character you see fit. It doesn’t matter if people say it is over-done, or tacky, or even if people don’t know what the character is. Do it! Do what makes you happy!

What tricks do you have for other cosplayers?

Go to Thrift Stores/Charity Shops for your material, trust me. Sometimes, your best cosplay will be made out of a curtain. A friend taught me that.
Invest in a glue gun, even a small cheap one will do. Always bring a charger for your phone or camera because you will never have enough battery for the entire convention day. Also wet wipes are your best friend.

What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?

For some of us, this is incredibly important. If you want to support us, don’t take our pictures or videos from our pages and repost them without credit. Please, please don’t tell us that we are childish or stupid. If you will happily wear a football mascot outfit or cover yourself in your favourite teams’ colours, don’t criticise us for dressing as our favourite characters. We are doing exactly the same as you – showing our love. Respect that.

What cosplays are you working on?

I have a couple planned and a couple completely for the 2018 con scene. I have the base for a Casual Mercy cosplay from Overwatch but need to make the Halo, I have 2 alternative Harley Quinn designs on the list, and the Ice Queen from Adventure Time is also on the cards. The one I am most excited for though is the secret Game of Thrones cosplay I have planned.

What cosplays do you want to do if money and time were no object?

The full Samus Metroid Suit. A complete Mercy from Overwatch. Semi-Human GLaDOS. Lambdadelta from Umineko no Naku Koro Ni. Scarlet Witch from the Comics. Unity from Rick and Morty. There are a lot more on the ever-growing list, hopefully when I finish my studies then I will have enough money to get the material needed!

Where can people find your cosplays?

You can find me on Facebook at DiamondsandDynamiteCosplay.
You can also find me through Hooptalkpodcast on Instagram, Musical.ly, and Youtube. I have a few skits set up for my cosplays as well as some Cosplay Music Videos, so definitely subscribe. Just look for the Purple All-Seeing Eye Logo and you’ve got us!

Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.

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