Hello fellow Geeks! It’s been a while, but we’re back in full swing with some amazing interviews lined up for you! This week, we looked into the sunny land of San Diego, where we found the always impressive Shapeshifter Cosplay! From our favorite angsty prince of FFXV to the one and only card flinging X-Men, Shapeshifter has definitely made an impact in the cosplay community, and we just had to see where his inspiration comes from.
1. About how long have you been cosplaying?
I have been cosplaying since 2012, where my first cosplay was a REALLY horrible, bought-online Naruto (Shippuden) costume. My first con was Anime Expo 2012, so I kind of jumped into the convention and cosplay experience with both feet, completely unaware of what I was getting myself into.
2. What first inspired you to start cosplay?
I have enjoyed watching anime and reading manga and comics since junior high, but one of my friends found out about Anime Expo and convinced me to get a ticket. I wasn’t planning on wearing a costume at first, but the closer it came and the more excited I got about the convention, the more I wanted to dress up. I had no idea what I was doing, and the costume I bought was super cheap. I didn’t even have a wig and knew nothing about makeup or contacts for cosplaying. Naruto was what really got me into anime, and although my tastes in anime have expanded and changed, I don’t think I will ever lose my love for Naruto. I even got the Orochimaru’s Curse Seal tattooed on my neck.
3. What was been your favorite cosplay/con moment so far?
At this point, I don’t think I have a favorite con moment of all time. I have been to so many cons and done so many different cosplays so far it would be hard to choose a favorite. My favorite feeling in the world is going through the whole process of buying fabric, designing a costume, making it from scratch by hand, and then once it all comes together, putting on the wig, makeup, and costume for the first time and seeing it COMPLETE on me, and knowing that I did this. Wearing that costume outside at a convention for the first time is an experience I wish everyone could feel.
5. What kind of characters are you most drawn to when searching for a new cosplay?
I wouldn’t say I ever actively search out new characters to cosplay – 99% of the time I just happen to get into a new series and fall in love with a character. I would say that I have a ‘type’ in characters that I cosplay. I enjoy the antiheroes or the strong characters with just a bit of sass and attitude. I am not really a fan of background or heroic characters that much.
6. How has cosplay shaped you as a person?
Cosplay has really broadened my horizons as far as making friends and meeting people. It has made me a much more caring and confident person. I tend to really enjoy being around large groups of people, so the convention scene has never really made me uncomfortable, but I do enjoy meeting new people and making new friends far more than I ever have before. It has taught me crafting, sewing, and design skills I never would have learned otherwise as well!
7. What do you hope to accomplish through cosplaying?
My dream in cosplay is to be able to be the characters that I want and to continue making new friends and traveling the country and one day the world to go to conventions. I enjoy traveling immensely, so I definitely would like to start attending conventions outside my state and country soon! Getting into armor-building, weapon and prop crafting are more of my goals as well!
8. Is there a dream cosplay you have yet to create? If so, what is it and why this character?
One of my dream cosplays is Ban from the Seven Deadly Sins. He is one of my favorite characters, but by the time I got around to beginning to make him, his design changed in the manga and the new season came out, so I am kind of waiting to see what happens. Thankfully, I have been able to complete and wear pretty much every character I have ever wanted to do so far, so I am very happy for that!
9. Is there any advice/words of wisdom you would like to give to aspiring cosplayers?
Never give up, and NEVER let anyone tell you that you wouldn’t be able to pull off a character that you love. If you have passion and desire to be a character, DO IT. Don’t let anyone discourage you from who you want to be. Always be open minded and listen to the advice of those who are more experienced as well. Search out those who can help, and make use of those who have talents you may not. Learn new skills, experience new things, and never be afraid to try something new. Most of all, HAVE FUN. Cosplay is meant to be enjoyable, so don’t do anything that limits your enjoyment of it. Be comfortable with who you are, and make the most out of every new experience.