This awesome cosplayer has some great unique insights. And don’t miss her Armor and Special Effect Makeup!
What is your name?
Tess or @MissMadison_Cosplay
What is your favorite beverage?
My all-time favorite drink is Tao Yuan Apple Soda but it’s hard to find (totally worth it if you can find it). Most of the time I drink whatever soda is free and immediately available.
Tell me a little about yourself?
I am an engineer and geologist by trade and work a regular day job. I am 27 years old and married with no human children but I have two cat and three dog babies who I love dearly. I always have at least 3 project going on simultaneously at home (some are home improvement work, some are cosplay or prop-making) and I spend 90% of my non-employed working hours on my projects. I might have ADD but I am not sure J I just know I have to stay really busy all the time.
When did you start cosplaying?
My first official cosplay was Alamo City Comic Con 2016 where I competed in the cosplay contest and won 3rd place. I was beat by an incredibly awesome Terminator skeleton (1st place) and an impressive Man Spider (2nd place).
I love costume and building things in general so I have been making costumes for various occasions for years. Every day is dress up! Most days I just cosplay a “normie” with a day job and bills to pay J
Why did you start cosplaying?
Why be one thing when you can be many? I have always thought life was too short and the world too vast to limit myself to one path and one life. I love new challenges, trying new things, feeling new feelings and of course meeting new people! And of course I love gaming and anime with all my heart. Coupled with my love of making things, cosplay just seemed like a great outlet for my interests. And now I’m addicted!
Who are your cosplay idols?
I don’t have “idols” per-se but there are professional cosplayers who provide excellent content examples that have been the starting point for my bigger projects. Kamui Cosplay and Punished Props are my favorite (and they are friends!). Carl Martin @carlmatincos has some really impressive work as well as @Sveta.Frost who has spot on makeup skills for her cosplays.
What types of cosplay do you do?
I cosplay characters with whom I feel a connection and they can be from any outlet. My ACCC2016 cosplay was a blood elf death knight based on an artist creation from DeviantArt with some of my own game character mixed in. I have cosplayed Temari from Naruto because she is hardcore and crazy smart. I even cosplayed Bevo the longhorn once (but that was mostly to prove a point to an Aggie). I am working on Hawkgirl from Justice League right now because our new theater Wonder Woman deserves her female co-hero.
What are your favorite cosplays?
Creative ones! I love anything that has a personalized quality by the designer <3 I always make cosplays with a personal flair, whether it’s a fabric that has more texture than the anime, or incorporating my character name into a prop, I always love adding a bit of me into the mix. So when I see a cosplayer who has put their own spin on an outfit or prop, I get really excited!
What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
Our new, lovely Wonder Woman <3 (I have a signed picture of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in my workshop). I adore how her character and outfit have been rejuvenated! It was really empowering seeing her in a whole new way (I never read the comics because I was busy reading manga :P) so I only knew her from the Justic League show and Hawkgirl really outshined her in my opinion. But now because she is so popular, I don’t want to cosplay her because she’s everywhere in multiples. I will leave that to the lovely ladies who have done an amazing job already!
Do you make, buy, or special order your cosplays?
As of now, I have not officially bought a cosplay but I plan to buy two in the near future. I prefer to make my own cosplays because I love the challenge. But because the cosplays I am working on are very time consuming, I will not have time to make the simpler cosplays. So I am planning on buying cosplays of Shiro from Deadman Wonderland, swimsuit D.Va,, and Elma from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.
What do you love about cosplay?
I love trying new things! New makeup techniques, new prop making materials, learning about new anime and games! I have learned so much since getting into real cosplay and attending conventions and there is so much more to explore!
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?
Finding a balance between comfort and durability. Since I am new to the whole “wear it for a whole weekend convention” thing, my prior costume skills were no match for continuous wear and tear. So durable construction has been a key focus for me. Unfortunately, that means that comfort might be sacrificed and having to pop advil like candy to keep my feet, chest, and head from hurting is not ideal. I am still working on finding good techniques to improve the comfort factor. The first lesson I learned is to not wear wigs that are super heavy!
Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
I loved my BEDK from World of Warcraft! My character Hettok was awesome and I felt so powerful wearing the armor and wielding that giant Maw of the Damned!
If you could live in/visit any fantasy world, where would you go?
I would leave for Azeroth and never come back!
Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?
Most of the time, watching shows and movies gives me inspiration for characters. But sometimes I see a new prop-making method and want to find an excuse to try it out! My upcoming Hawkgirl and Kanade “Tenshi” Tachibana will both feature resin props, which I have never tried with quality materials before so I am very excited!
What are your “fandoms”?
Oh lord, open Pandora’s box
Pokemon (I am forever a child…I too have seen Ho-Oh)
World of Warcraft
Avatar the Last Airbender/Legend of Korra (never the movie!)
…and on….and on….:D
What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew?
Don’t talk yourself of doing something because you don’t think you’ll look good or you don’t have the craft skills to build it! Cosplayer come in many shapes sizes, genders, complexions. Cosplay what you want and wear it with pride! Also, buying a cosplay is just as good as making it <3 we all do it at some point (even if some wont admit it) and if you want to make it, go for it! We all start from knowing nothing. So if you have never sewn, or used a hot glue gun, or used EVA foam…don’t be scared! Do research, ask for help, fail and try again!
What tips do you have for other cosplayers?
(1) Tutorials on youtube are a great place to start if you have no idea what you are doing. Patterns are great too and many are free. But don’t let these things restrict your creativity! If you think you have a better idea of how to make something, do it and share it!
(2) If you need to make a skin tight garment, use the duct tape method. You are your best mannequin!
(3) Don’t forget to eat and drink water while working. You need nutrients for energy and brain function for all your great ideas!
(4) Keep a personal log of photos of your work, in progress and finished. This is good reference material for later and you never know when you will need that information.
What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?
Cosplay is not a means of escaping reality. We don’t actually think we magically become a character because we wear a costume. Conventions are social events where fans come together and talk about similar interests and show of craft skills. Cosplay is just as real as dressing in a business suit and attending a convention on investment commerce and international stock trading.
Also, I bet you have a tv or movie character that you like enough that you wouldn’t mind dressing up as them for Halloween. Guess what, that’s cosplay too (you nerd :P).
What cosplays are you working on?
Right now, Hawkgirl from DC Comics and Kanade “Tenshi” Tachibana from Angel Beats! are my primary projects. I really hope I don’t get “inspired” again this year. My wallet and brain will probably break!
What cosplays do you want to do if money and time were no object?
Giant Iron Man! Honestly, I just want an excuse to make a giant mecha-suit of some sort that I can fit into. If I ever got to that level I would probably rent my own booth at conventions
What is once cosplay skill or resource you wish you had?
I think I need a photographer! I am realizing now that I haven’t had any professional pics done of my cosplays T_T
Where can people find your cosplays?
@MissMadison_Cosplay I post all of my project updates on my Instagram!
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.