Ginny is an admirable cosplayer. She makes such intricate designs, and beautiful cosplays. She has a cosplay blog full of reviews and tutorials. Ginny even does some of her own cosplay photography!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I've been sewing since I was very young, because my mom sews, and I had done a little dabbling in costuming — Halloween costumes, Renaissance Festival costumes — but had no idea that cosplay existed until a friend introduced me to it early on in college. The minute I learned you could just make costumes for no reason, I was hooked!
What do your friends and family think of your hobby?
At this point, it's such a huge part of my life that everyone is just used to it. My parents have always been supportive (and this year, they even cosplayed with me!). And the vast majority of my current friend circle centers around cosplay nowadays.
If you're still cosplaying in 10+ years, do you think it will have an effect on your cosplay choices, or the characters you choose to portray?
Absolutely. I currently cosplay a lot of characters that are younger than me, because I have a bit of a baby face. But in ten years, it would take a miracle for me to still be able to cosplay 16-year-olds! While I firmly support everyone's right to cosplay whatever they want, in my own personal work, I think bearing a physical resemblance to the character is pretty important. When I start looking more mature, I'll start cosplaying more mature-looking characters. (Except Disney. You can bet I'm going to be cosplaying Disney characters until the day I die.)
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I work as the marketing manager of a local food cooperative, which is really awesome. It's taught me to eat healthier and more sustainably, plus it's an incredibly cool business model. As for other hobbies, there's lots of stuff I enjoy doing — singing, drawing, camping, video games — but ultimately cosplay takes up the majority of my free time right now, since I'm trying to build a business!
How do you choose your next cosplay?
I do keep a running list of cosplays I want to do, which I add to whenever inspiration strikes me, but most of those never get made. When it's time to start a new one, I usually factor in cost, relevance, and what upcoming events I might want to premiere it at. (Also, sometimes season — e.g., I made Belle's "Something There" dress for a winter shoot, because I refused to shoot it in any weather other than snow.)
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
I am inspired by so many cosplayers, it would be impossible to list them all! But I am most inspired by cosplayers who go above and beyond the norm — for instance, Starbit Cosplay and It's Raining Neon for shooting all of their own cosplay photos, or Major Sam Cosplay for never compromising on accuracy or quality.
What is your dream cosplay?
I've had a few dream cosplays in the past that I've now made, and I'm halfway through making what may be my ultimate dream cosplay — Sarah's masquerade ballgown from Labyrinth. Basically, I'm realizing that having a "dream cosplay" means wanting to make something, but never pulling the trigger. That's not me anymore! At this point, I've tackled cosplays I thought were way out of my depth, and learned that I'm capable of a lot more than I think. So I don't think I have dream cosplays anymore... just future plans!
When and why did you start your cosplay blog?
For most of my life, I've wanted to be a writer. I managed a writing-centric blog for years, but as I got more and more into cosplay, I started posting more cosplay related content on my website, and I wrestled with a blog identity that encompassed all my interests. The writing content eventually slowed to a trickle, and the cosplay content took over, and I realized that I had started running a cosplay blog without even realizing it! While I still love writing fiction and hope it has a place in my future, I had to have a bit of a "come to Jesus" moment and recognize that it's not a part of my life right now.
What are some of your cosplay goals?
The biggest one is to achieve full-time "professional nerd" status — I don't see myself working a traditional 9-5 job for my whole life, and I think cosplay can be a piece of that puzzle. But another really important one is to keep cosplay fun and flexible! The pursuit of "pro" status can easily lead to putting value on the wrong things. I started cosplaying because I love creating, and I love media, and I love celebrating the things I love with other people who love them. It's very important to me to never lose sight of that.
What is your favorite convention to attend?
Although there are definitely some other contenders, Denver Comic Con is my hometown con, and I've been fortunate enough to grow alongside it over the last few years! That's one of those events I wouldn't miss.
What do you like best about being a cosplay guest at conventions?
The coolest thing about being a cosplay guest is getting the chance to meet and talk with so many people! When you attend a convention, it can be hard to meet people and strike up conversations, because you're all doing your own thing. But when you're manning a table or running a panel, you're putting yourself in the position to interact with all these people and learn something about them and why they're there.
What is your dream convention to attend?
I just learned about D23 last year, and being an extreme Disney nut, I was stunned I hadn't heard about it before. Unfortunately it only happens once every two years, but you can bet I'll be there next time.
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Probably my biggest cosplay pet peeve is people trying to define what does and doesn't "count" as cosplay. People tend to take whatever they personally value in cosplay, and then if they find cosplays that don't involve those things, they say "that's not cosplay." Just because you don't like closet cosplay, or sexy cosplay, or purchased cosplay, doesn't mean those things don't count. I wish people could recognize that the way someone else cosplays doesn't affect them. Stay in your lane!
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Um, only a million! But one of the things I've learned the most from was trying to make cosplays based on what I thought would be popular. Not only is that not enjoyable to work on, but I've found that the cosplays I care the most about are often the ones that see the most success. I think people can sense when there's passion behind your work.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
I have two main tips I give when people ask me for advice: One, don't do it if you don't love it. Cosplay is hard work, and there will be times during the creation process that you want to light it all on fire. That kind of hard work isn't worth it if it's not for something you adore. Two, you're capable of more than you think. Nobody makes something perfect the first time. Or the second, or third. Just put your hands on some materials and make stuff! That's the only way you'll improve.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Website! Facebook! Instagram! Tumblr! Twitter! YouTube!
Photos for this interview provided by Ginny Di and WeNeals Photography/
She's amazing. A very talented woman who has worked hard to get where she is. Go check her out and send her tons of love and support.
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