Happy Hump day! We have a super EPIC cosplayer for today. Don’t forget to support all the cosplayers on here by following and liking their posts!
WHAT IS YOUR NAME?
My name is Vanessa, but I prefer everyone to call me Vann, and I go by the handle, VSoL Cosplay
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEVERAGE?
I love to drink tea and apple juice. I hardly indulge in any alcohol and don’t particularly enjoy coffee because I believe I have a caffeine sensitivity. But when I’m going out with friends, I’m always 100% down for bubble tea!
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
Well, I am a 29 year old, medical assistant. I’ve worked 2-3 jobs at a time my whole life and still make time for leisure, friends, anime binging, video games and responsibilities. I enjoy traveling, especially traveling to try all different kinds of cuisines. I love to draw and sleep in my spare time, and I take care of my pet crested gecko, Pancake, who is 6 years old. My guilty pleasure and favorite anime is Ranma 1/2 and my favorite color is yellow. I’m a dog lover, especially pugs. Eating is also one of my favorite things to do, as it is part of my culture – as I am half Filipino and Puerto Rican. Most importantly, cosplay plays a very big role in my life!
WHEN DID YOU START COSPLAYING?
I started cosplaying back in 2006. I wasn’t much of a hardcore cosplayer back then, but I always LOVED to dress up. Some of my earliest handmade/closet cosplays include Link from the “Legend of Zelda” , Shorty from “Bust A Groove”, and Sho from “The World Ends With You”. I loved getting into the different personas so much, but it was only until 2015 that I really started to get serious about cosplay. I had a lot of good encouragement and decided to dive deeper into the craft and start up my Instagram page. The rest, is history.
WHY DO YOU COSPLAY?
Cosplay has played such an integral part of my personal growth and self confidence. While I still have my struggles, as anyone would, cosplay has brought me such light and ambition that I haven’t experienced with anything else before. I do it to be part of a great community; for that intense sense of belonging. From being the awkward teen who was really into Pokemon and Naruto and being embarrassed by it, to becoming this woman who holds her head high and expresses her love for anime unapologetically – it’s been a journey I don’t regret for a second.
WHO ARE YOUR COSPLAY IDOLS?
I, like many of us, have tons of individuals and internet personalities that we follow and admire online. But two that really stick out to me are IG: @RianSynnth and IG: @ElizabethRage. These two women in particular have captivated me by not only their cosplay skills but by their raw personalities as online presences. They continue to execute seemingly flawless craft as well as keep things real and relatable in regards to their personal lives and daily struggles. Having those reminders that life isn’t always picture perfect and even the greats make mistakes keep me hopeful, grounded and motivated to follow in their footsteps and press forward with my cosplay journey.
WHAT TYPES OF COSPLAY DO YOU DO?
I’m pretty much open to all sectors of cosplay. I have lists upon lists of plans in every genre and hope to see all my goals met, with no rush of course. I appreciate the journey. But, truth be told, I find myself cosplaying more so anime characters and video game characters. I plan to branch into Superhero territory, such as DC and Marvel once I get better at making body suits!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COSPLAYS?
I’d have to say, to this day I still love cosplaying, the Avatar, Korra from Nickelodeon’s “The Legend of Korra”. I feel most at home in my heart when I put on her costume. There are some cosplays in my repertoire that come close, but Korra is still the reigning queen in my book. She’s such a strong, though emotional character. She went through struggles that were bigger than herself, but she persevered and became great despite all those who seemed against her and I admire that about her, along with her spunky attitude and openly bisexuality that really paved the way for others to feel comfortable coming out.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO COSPLAY BUT PROBABLY NEVER WILL?
Honestly, probably most mainstream protagonists like Naruto, Sailor Moon and Deadpool, orr most fanservice characters liek Yoko Litner and Moriggan just to name a few. And it’s more of… I wouldn’t really and don’t really want to cosplay characters like that. It’s all just personal preference, but I see them cosplayed way too often and don’t stand out enough for my taste. That’s not to say that I don’t know individuals who cosplay those characters are anything short of great or anyone who chooses to cosplay those characters aren’t amazing and valid – it’s just not something I’ll be doing anytime soon.
DO YOU MAKE, BUY, OR SPECIAL ORDER YOUR COSPLAYS?
I personally make all my cosplays. I bought 2 back in the day and only wore one out in public. I taught myself to sew and do basic craftsmanship with power tools and the like. I’ve only started to get an interest in 3D printing and casting but will only start with some small requests for my friends when it comes to props, just to see if I like it. But other than that, I prefer to fully make or alter my own costumes.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT COSPLAY?
Cosplay is… A roller coaster… One you’ll want to ride again and again. As so many of us would say, it’s full of ups and downs, blood, sweat and tears but more importantly, feelings of accomplishment. Cosplay brought me out of my shell and made me more confident in myself than I’ve ever been before. I’ve made more friends than I’ve ever had in my life. Cosplay gave me a sense of belonging and community. Cosplay has shown me nothing but love even though I kick myself in the face often for doing cosplays up until the last minute, haha, but other than that – cosplay has breathed life back into me and now I feel limitless.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING FOR YOU ABOUT COSPLAY?
What ISN’T the most difficult thing about cosplay? It’s all a huge learning curve and I still make many mistakes and rough drafts to this day. Everything I’ve ever done was a combination of skills I taught myself, YouTube videos and help from friends. Cosplay is difficult because it requires more than craftsmanship skills. You need to have good organization, time and money management, and practice patience. It takes a lot out of one person to manage all the things that need to get done from making a cosplay and planning the trip to and from a convention or photoshoot. So it’s always good to remember that your pace, is your own pace. You’re just as valued as any other cosplayer and don’t always compare yourselves to others unless it’s for growth and learning. The lifestyle is rigorous, if you’ve decided to take it on seriously. And it can take a lot out of you, but it can be one of the most rewarding hobbies and sometimes even career choice that one could ever make.
IF YOU COULD LIVE IN OR VISIT ANY FANTASY WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?
Truly, I would love to visit the Spirit World from Legend of Korra. I think the peaceful vibe and ability to be with Uncle Iroh would be such an honor and very enlightening. Also lately, I wouldn’t mind living in the realm of Boku no Hero Academia! To have a decent enough quirk or to meet All Might would be so cool! Not to mention just learning alongside a powerful team is very dream worthy!
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COSPLAYS?
Inspiration starts with my fandoms and my friends. My friends and I tend to geek about the same things and all it takes is just one of us to spark an idea in our multiple group chats and we run from there. We start planning who will cosplay who, what con we should debut it for, what kind of concept we want to take the cosplay to.. And let’s just say we’ve got some crazy ideas. 😉
WHAT ARE YOUR “FANDOMS”?
Oh boy.. I have a lot. I’ve been a weeb for so long, haha. But if we go waaaay back:
Pokemon, Ranma 1/2, Sailor Moon, Ouran HS Host Club, Fruits Basket, Gundam Wing, Final Fantasy, Full Metal Alchemist, Inu Yasha, Studio Ghibli, Nintendo, Disney, Steven Universe, Avatar the Last Airbender, Legend of Korra, Legend of Zelda, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, and Boku no Hero Academia, JUST to name a FEW, haha.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH BEGINNING COSPLAYERS KNEW?
I wish most cosplayers, beginner or not, would remember that they are not superhuman, and they are regular humans with real limitations, emotions and situations. Cosplay is not a hobby that should make you broke, or homeless. Cosplay is meant for FUN and if you are no longer having fun doing it, take a break and come back to it, or really evaluate and reflect on your life. Cosplayers require basic human needs such as sleep, water for hydration, friends and family and love for support as well as showers (don’t ever forget to shower and wear deodorant!). Cosplayers have FEELINGS and that should be taken into high consideration when you decide to voice any opinions that could be harmful. Cosplayers have LIVES outside of cosplay. We have bills, families, responsibilities and sometimes even relationships. Respect the fact that we may not put a photoshoot, a meet, or even a convention first on our priority list. We cosplay because it is an escape. It’s something we look forward to get away from stress or work or whatever, and we craft because it’s a drive. So remember to keep it fun, respect one another, love each other in this community and keep it beautiful and welcoming regardless of skill level or follower count. Make LOTS of friends, travel the world, and keep improving. Take care of yourselves before anything, and embrace your inner weeb at all times.
WHAT TIPS OR TRICKS DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER COSPLAYERS?
Barge/ Contact cement can be your best friend, but keep them at a safe distance or a well ventilated area. Things will stick for eternity but you’ll also get really bad headaches if you inhale it too much. Be resourceful! Use anything that you think will help if you are already throwing it out or its just taking up space in your house. Use old bed sheets to make patterns for clothing cosplays. Use trash bags (yes, trash bags), poke a large hole in the bottom, throw it over your body and get the masking tape to help make mock up patterns for armored cosplays. LEARN TO SEW. It is an AMAZING skill that is not only handy for cosplay but literally anything from fixing a hole to hemming a dress that is too long that you bought in a store. Foam work is a huge learning curve. Definitely take your time and practice your cuts; having the right tools help. And when in doubt, YouTube and Google are your greatest teachers. Not to mention, other cosplayers are always willing to give advice or tips if you just ask.
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WISH NON-COSPLAYERS KNEW?
Yes, we know we are nerds. Yes, we like to dress up. We are here, and we aren’t going anywhere. Instead of staring at us, or give us the side-eye, stop us. Talk to us. Ask for a picture. We appreciate being seen as humans. Also COSPLAY IS NOT CONSENT. Do not be a creep and sneak photos of us in our outfits. WE DO SEE YOU. AND ITS NOT COOL. If you just ASK us for a photo, its much more respectful, even if you’re still going to be a creep when you leave us… (which is still not cool but unfortunately can’t always be helped..). Also,parents, we love kids! If your kids recognize the character we are portraying, PLEASE, ask us for a photo. It makes us feel good, and proud! Lastly, we are SO sorry that we are loud, and weird and take up a lot of space at your local restaurants. We can feel your locked stares. But, unfortunately, us weirdos need to eat too, and we are paying customers anyway. 😜
WHAT COSPLAYS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
My cos-plan list is always growing, but so far this year, I hope to accomplish Rinoa (Final Fantasy), Witch Blair (Soul Eater), San (Princess Monooke), Ruby (RWBY), Katara (Avatar the Last Airbender), Batgirl (DC), Valkyrie (Marvel) and Pharah (Overwatch).
WHAT COSPLAYS DO YOU WANT TO DO IF MONEY AND TIME WERE NO OBJECT?
Haha, ANY. If I had all the time and money in the world, all my cosplays would be pumped out like nothing. That’d be all I’d want to focus on an I’d be completely content. But. I’d probably want to do really big builds – especially Pharah from Overwatch would be no problem if I had.. Well,.. No problems haha.
WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOUR COSPLAYS?
My cosplays can be found mostly via Instagram (VSoL_Cosplay) and Facebook (VSoL.Cosplay). But I’m also on Cosplay Amino App (VSoL Cosplay) and Tumblr (but barely… ).
Please remember I do not own any of these pictures and the opinions in this survey belong to the interviewee.