Another Monday….but another COSPLAYER! This cosplayer has a unique talent. You may have guessed by her name, but find out how it fits into cosplay!
Hi! What is your name?
My name Rachel Millin but in the cosplay community I am known as “Crochet Cosplay”
When did you start cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in 2011. I was able to go to DragonCon for the first time and I was heavily into bleach and dressed up as Youruichi. I had bought all my stuff for the first time and I was proud I was able to pull everything together in time. The wig was ordered from China, so yeah, I was stressed about shipping, lol.
Why did you start cosplaying?
I wanted to fit in. I admired everyone for dressing up and making their cosplays and I wanted to be like them. It was hard. I started out sewing and trying to copy my more skilled cosplayers and it was frustrating not looking as fantastic as they did. I didn’t want to buy my cosplays because the ones I wanted were outside of my budget and I really wanted to be able to say, “Yes, I made this.” By 2014 I picked up crocheting again. I was taught by my mom when I was 8 yrs old and dropped it for cosplaying. After sucking at sewing for 3 years I decided to make all my cosplays out of crochet. I had never seen another cosplayer do so, so I figured I could be the best of my own skill.
Who are your cosplay idols?
I don’t have cosplay idols. I appreciate POC cosplayers and other crochet cosplayers, but I try not to look up to anyone. We’re all human with amazing skills and separate from that our own character, flaws and all, and it’s easier for me to look at other cosplayers and appreciate them for their skill but not idolize them.
What types of cosplay do you do?
I try to cosplay everything. At first, I started with anime because the word “cosplay” is Japanese. Later, I started cosplaying whatever I liked/wanted to be. As a WOC (woman of color) I tried to cosplay characters that are dark like myself, but it’s a limited list. My first gender bent/non-poc cosplay was Natsu from Fairy Tail and I was SOO worried I would get hate from die hard fans. The whole “you’re not white” or “you’re too dark to cosplay” crossed my mind but cosplayers like KayBear and KrissyVictory showed me “Screw the haters. Cosplay who you love.” So, I did just that. I’ve done anime, video games, comics, Disney movies, and many more and I refuse to stop, lol.
What are your favorite cosplays?
My favorite cosplays are Nidalee from League of Legends and Lana Kane from Archer. Nidalee was the most detailed cosplay I’ve made, and I got her done two weeks before Anime Weekend Atlanta. Lana is the most fun to wear because the show Archer is crazy and the fans jump into character and act out scenes with me. It’s great!
What is something you want to cosplay but probably never will?
I will let you know when I find THAT cosplay, lol. So far there hasn’t been a cosplay I wouldn’t wear/make. It’s just a matter of time and lots of trial and error and cursing.
Do you make, buy, or special order your cosplays?
I make all of my cosplays. It’s a personal preference and cosplayers who buy/special order their cosplays aren’t any less of a cosplayer than those to make their own.
What do you love about cosplay?
My favorite thing about cosplay is the mix and matching of fandoms. I’ve seen cosplayers paint an inflatable t-rex suit to look like he’s wearing Deadpool’s suit. I’ve seen Storm trooper Pikachu and Disney princesses as mortal combat characters. The creativity is endless and it’s wonderful.
What is the most difficult thing for you about cosplay?
Ignoring haters. As a WOC the moment I cosplay a character that isn’t dark I have to brace myself for racist backlash. It doesn’t always happen, fortunately, but POC shouldn’t be used to nearing the n-word thrown at them because they decided to cosplay Mei from Overwatch and they’re black.
Who is your favorite character to cosplay?
Natsu, easily. I’m always hungry and eating large bowls of rice or noodles is fun to do and take pictures of.
Where do you get your inspiration for your cosplays?
My inspiration comes from pushing myself to do bigger and better cosplays. I’ve made a cape, but can I make wings? I’ve made leotards, but can I make a full suit? Where is my limitation and is there something I truly can’t cosplay? So far the answer has been, “there is no limit.”
What are your “fandoms”?
Too many to list, but I list a few. My fandoms are mainly comics and video games. DC and Marvel Universe, Overwatch, Wolfenstien, Halo, Star Wars, anime, Neo Yokio (I like anime trash, lol), My Little Pony, Rick and Morty, like it would be easily to list what fandoms I’m NOT into, lol.
What is something you wish beginning cosplayers knew?
Your cosplays don’t suck. Store bought cosplays are fine. If anyone gives you shit over not being “cos-accurate” remind them that cos-accuracy is bullshit. I wish all beginner cosplayers knew that the most toxic parts of the cosplay community aren’t why people cosplay. We cosplay for the best parts, the cosplayers that are accepting of all sizes, skill, ethnicity and experience. We’re just slow at weeding out the toxic cosplayers.
What tips/tricks do you have for other cosplayers?
Practice, practice, practice. Also, plan out your cos-build time better. I’m notorious for stress-crocheting through a cosplay that needed 6 months, but I thought I could finish in 2 months. Stop doing that then tell me to stop doing that, too.
What is something you wish non-cosplayers knew?
We’re not weird. Cosplayers are normal people who like to dress up once in a while from 3-4 days straight. No, not all furries are into animal sex. No, My Little Pony cosplayers aren’t all perverts. And no, just because I’m dresses as your favorite character doesn’t mean you get to touch. And no, we’re not part of a cult. I invite all non-cosplayers to dress up for a few hours and see why we love cosplaying so much.
What cosplays are you working on?
Currently, they’re super top secret but one involves an obnoxious amount of black yarn. The other one is also a secret, but I’ll let it slip – I’m working on a female Arkham Knight Joker because I made my daughter a Batman cosplay for Halloween and she needs a joker to chase after.
What cosplays do you want to do if money and time were no object?
Te-fiti from Moana. I want to crochet an bunch of little leaves and flowers and vines and stitch them onto a bodice until I have the full flowing effect from the movie.
Do you have any an Etsy or Patreon?
Yes, an Etsy store www.etsy.com/shop/crochetcosplay
What do you do outside of cosplaying?
I’m a student and a mom to a soon-to-be 2yr old. My daughter usually accompanies me to conventions I go to and so far she’s enjoyed every one.
Where are you located? Do you travel to conventions or stay local?
Atlanta, GA. I try to go to every major con in Atlanta like MomoCon, DragonCon and Anime Weekend Atlanta each year. I also travel to conventions.
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.