Today we have an epic interview with the wildly talented Cielinabox. I've never seen such passion AND attention to detail in a craftsperson. Read her interview below and then follow her on all things social!
Hi! My name is Sammie, aka cielinabox! My pronouns are she/her or they/them, either are fine! I’m an illustrator and scenic artist from Pennsylvania, and a page model with Bree on @curvy_curvy_cosplay (IG)!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
In 2007, I was absolutely obsessed with the Legend of Zelda series. (I still am!) I was always a crafty kid and tried to make my own Zelda movies, which led me to masquerade skits on youtube. I wasn’t allowed to go to cons so dressed up as Sheik for halloween, then went to my first convention in 2009!
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
It was a silly joke with my friends about Black Butler in middle school. There’s a part where they put the main character Ciel into a suitcase, so we’d sing “Ciel in a box” to “pop goes the weasel”. Ah man what a simpler time. I’ve grown out of it and have considered changing, but often people don’t make the anime connection and call me “Cielina” as a name so I’m fine with that, haha.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I’m a scenic artist at a local theater as my day job, which means I paint giant backdrops and furniture or other large set dressings. It’s a really amazing job that I’m so lucky to have! I also run my own jewelry and accessory business called Flora Royal, which I do on Etsy and have a stand at a makers market for!
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
I’ve won a few masquerade awards back when I used to do skits every year at Zenkaikon, but those were quite a few years ago, like 2010-2013. Generally I’m just very proud of the work I’ve been able to create more recently that culminates my years of experience into one big cosplay, like the Great Fairy!
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
I can’t pick just one! I really like watching people create big cosplays and seeing their progress such as seams.come.true, joshuahartdesign, crescentshay, and avantgeek!
What is your dream cosplay? Why haven't you made it yet?
I think both Princess Zelda from Twilight Princess, or Breath of the Wild, specifically her royal dress from that game. I don’t have a lot of experience with gowns, and they’d both be a lot of clean, crisp sewing from scratch! There’s a lot of stuff like BOTW zelda’s almost quilted bodice or TP zelda’s lace trim near the bottom of her dress that I just straight up wouldn’t know how to tackle. Maybe someday!
If you had to choose one current event to make a social stance on, what would it be and why? Use this space to share important topics within or unrelated to cosplay and how others can help or support.
Within the cosplay community I see so many gatekeepers towards people of color, disabled people, curvy women, etc. When I was younger I felt like the community was so accepting to everyone, but maybe I was just ignorant of what was going on. It pains me to see people with the same passion as everyone else in the community get laughed at and called names. I’ve seen so many people even quit because the hate gets so bad.
I think there’s a lot we can do, first of all becoming more educated towards their struggles, then using that to correct our behavior. You can also stand up for creators that you see being made fun of or pushed out of the community. Also filling your social media feed with more cosplayers from these communities and supporting them both helps out the creators, while also creating a more diverse feed for yourself to appreciate!
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Oh so many. Taking pictures without permission, or asking while I’m eating even! Touching or hugging without asking, or people who just straight up insult you. OH and those signs people walk around with that say “your cosplay sucks” just to be a troll.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Definitely know your boundaries! I’ve had people take my props without asking and break them, or touch me without asking and I was either too young to know how to react, or too shocked to tell them of or find security. Especially for the touching, know that your body and consent are SO important. Speak up for your friends and others too if you see it!
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Everyone starts somewhere! Don’t compare yourself to cosplayers who have been doing this for many years and have way more experience. I’ve talked myself out of so many things because I thought I wasn’t worthy to do the same thing, and now regret it. And don’t let anyone tell you you can’t cosplay or you’re doing it wrong. No matter if you make things from scratch, alter thrift store clothes, or buy your costumes premade, you are a cosplayer and you deserve to be treated with respect!
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
Right now life is so hard for us creatives without the socialization and fun of conventions, as well as how much upsetting world events are happening. It’s so easy to not be motivated or feel like it’s worthless. I think one of the biggest things we all need to hear right now is we don’t need to constantly need to be creating content, and we owe it to ourselves to take care of our bodies and mental health. Someday we’ll all be back to cons, and I can’t wait to see you all there!
What social platforms can we find you on? Link them all here!
Both my tiktok and instagram are cielinabox!
Franziska Von Karma photo by Karamel Photography.
That interview has me so inspired and excited to work on some exciting projects!! Please give her a follow on Instagram. She shares work in progress content in her stories and it always gives me LIFE!!
Know someone inspiring who deserves a moment in the spotlight?! Send their info my way either by filling out the contact form or DMing me in IG.