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WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
Kayla Iorga aka The Fullmetal Cosplayer
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE?
Favorite non-alcoholic would probably be Cheerwine.
As for alcoholic, I’m a sucker for white russians.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am 29 years old and from South Carolina. I have a B.S. in Chemistry and work in R&D for the development of pharmaceutical drugs. I’ve been in martial arts for a long time, acquiring a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo, along with a couple belts in MMA and Aikido. My minor in college was art, so along with cosplaying I also enjoy drawing and painting. I usually paint pictures as gifts for family and friends. I’ve sold one commission for a work friend of my mom’s.
WHEN DID YOU START COSPLAYING?
I started cosplaying my freshmen year in college…almost nine years ago. I threw together a Misa Amane cosplay from death note and attended my first ever convention at a local college. After seeing everyone else’s amazing cosplays I immediately wanted to make my own. It’s sort of snowballed since then. I now have an entire crafting room and half my garage dedicated to cosplay.
WHY Do YOU COSPLAY?
There are many reasons. It definitely provides varying mediums for creative outlets. I also was a theatre nerd in college, so dressing up and acting a part has always been fun to me. I enjoy the satisfaction of presenting a finished piece at a con and seeing people get excited over it. It pushes me to want to make every cosplay better and better. I also enjoy the community. I have met so many friends through our mutual love of cosplay.
WHO ARE YOUR COSPLAY IDOLS?
The usual big names. Jessica Nigri for her creativity and bubbly personality. Alyson Tabbitha for her godly makeup skills. Lately I have been following Kamui Cosplay. I have purchased several of her books and have learned so much from her! And, of course, the countless amazing cosplayers I meet at the cons and keep up with on social media. We cheer each other on. 🙂
WHAT TYPES OF COSPLAY DO YOU DO?
I do a little anime, but most of my cosplays come from my favorite games. I’ve been a big gamer since I was little and continue to do so as an adult. Video games always have fun and unique characters along with vibrant communities. I am an active member of the Borderlands and the Overwatch cosplay community which are both fantastic to be a part of.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COSPLAYS?
It seems each new cosplay ends up being my favorite. My go to cosplay, though, will always be my Edward Elric. I am most well known locally for that cosplay and also got my cosplay name from the anime.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO COSPLAY BUT PROBABLY NEVER WILL?
I would love to do a big armor cosplay like I see at Blizzcon! Those are always my favorite to see. I haven’t come across a character to push me to shoot for that yet and that would also require a lot of skill, work, and dedication on my part.
DO YOU MAKE, BUY, OR SPECIAL ORDER YOUR COSPLAYS?
I do a mix of building and buying. I like to try to make as much as I can. I’m very good at props and accessories. I usually will buy clothing items and modify them. I’ve done small sewing projects but am still honing that skill.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT COSPLAY?
Cosplay takes you to a different world. No matter what your skill level or fandom, everyone who cosplays gets to be a part of a special community. I always say that conventions are my break from reality. I don’t worry about work, or politics, or drama. I get to take a break with others who share in my love for something.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING FOR YOU ABOUT COSPLAY?
Sewing….I would love to get better. I can do simple patterns and stitches, but nothing fancy. I feel sewing will open up more cosplay options.
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER TO COSPLAY?
I honestly had the most fun as Spark from Pokemon Go. It is a simple cosplay but he’s such a fun, lovable, goob.
IF YOU COULD LIVE IN OR VISIT ANY FANTASY WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
That’s very difficult. There are so many wonderful fantasy worlds to choose from! Harry Potter would be fun with all the magic, unless I was born a muggle ahha!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COSPLAYS?
It’s always a character I really like, but I also like to pick characters that present a new challenge or requires a new skill to learn from. For instance, Junkrat required me to learn how to style a wig which turned out far easy than I had anticipated. It even has built in LED lights to make the tips look like they are smoldering.
WHAT ARE YOUR “FANDOMS”?
Oh geeze, too many ahha! Some big ones are pokemon, Fullmetal Alchemist, Overwatch, and Borderlands. I have general mix of anime and video game fandoms. Not so much in the comic book genre. I enjoy the movies but I wouldn’t consider them a major fandom of mine. I also enjoy reading a lot of books. 🙂
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH BEGINNING COSPLAYERS KNEW?
Don’t compare yourself to other cosplayers. Instead compare yourself to your past self. Push to have each cosplay be better than the last. I have upgraded two of my cosplays with this mindset. There is always room for improvement.
WHAT TIPS OR TRICKS DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER COSPLAYERS?
I can’t think of anything very groundbreaking. I guess I would say invest in good tools and work to improve your skill. Try not to cut corners when possible and patience is always a virtue.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH NON-COSPLAYERS KNEW?
That we are just like anyone else. We have jobs, families, and lives. Our hobby is just like any other one. There are people who dress up for football games or red hat societies. Cosplay is no different. Its having fun and communing with your fellow man. I am happy to say that I have received mostly positive responses from “normal” coworkers who find out about my hobby. They see it as something fun and different.
WHAT COSPLAYS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
I’m currently in the planning stages for 2 more Overwatch cosplays, Ashe and McCree. Going to be a lot of props and armor. I can’t wait to get started!
WHAT COSPLAYS DO YOU WANT TO DO IF MONEY AND TIME WERE NO OBJECT?
Some kind of armor piece. Big and elaborate.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR COSPLAYS?
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.