I'm beyond excited to share today's interview with Arkady cosplay. I am in love with her work and she just has the BEST personality. Read her full interview below!
I'm Arkady and I'm a 29 year old cosplayer out of LA! I'm best known for my armor cosplays, but I've been branching out into all different types of cosplay recently. I have so many fandoms and charactersI love that I try to never limit myself to one genre or type and am constantly trying something new!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I started cosplaying in 2012 when three friends invited me to come along to New York Comic Con with them. They were making a Thor group and knew I loved Amora the Enchantress so they kept gently elbowing me until I caved and started building her outfit. I really didn't know anything about crafting or cosplay culture when I started, so I just looked up tutorials and dove in without knowing what I was getting myself into! NYCC was such an amazing experience with so many passionate, creative people that I was instantly hooked and haven't stopped since.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
I picked Arkady based off of Isaac Asimov's character Arkady Darrell from the Foundation series. She's a smart, independent, heroic teenage girl and those are so rare in science fiction of that era that she instantly struck me when I was younger. I started using Arkady as a handle online as a teen so it became the natural choice when picking my cosplay name.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
In my day job, I'm a makeup artist and do everything from basic beauty makeup to large fx work. I also enjoy reading, gaming, boxing, and petting all of my friends' pets.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
More so than any skills I've learned or awards I've won, I think I'm proudest of learning to be a little more fearless through cosplay. I'm incredibly introverted and used to be painfully shy, but cosplay has slowly subverted that. It lets me be more outgoing, interact easily with other people, try new things, and put myself out there in ways I'd have been scared to do before. I think learning to be less fearful and embrace just having fun is at the root of everything I consider an accomplishment with cosplay.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
Right now I'm wrapping up details on Futaba's Oracle suit from Persona 5, so there's a lot of finalizing LEDs and attaching the last small pieces of the belt. I also just started Widowmaker's classic skin from Overwatch, so I'll be working on her armor pieces shortly.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
I love Kamui. She was the first cosplayer I came across who was doing large scale, detailed armor builds, and she's so open and encouraging of others that she's always been someone I look up to as both a craftsman and a positive influence in the community. I also really admire Kat Valkyrie, Luiren Cosplay, Dark Incognito, Downen Creative Studios, and Evil Ted.
What is your dream cosplay?
I really want to build a huge detailed mech suit, like the Emperor of Mankind from Warhammer. Right now the only thing stopping me is space. I live in a small LA apartment and a cosplay build that size would consume my entire place for several months. It's just not practical for me right now, so sadly my mech dreams are on hold until I live somewhere with a garage or a craft room.
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
I love WonderCon in Anaheim, CA. I love how self contained the main hotel block and convention center are, the weather is usually mild and perfect for cosplaying, it's never too overcrowded, and I think it always brings out some of the most jaw dropping and diverse cosplay.
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Unfinished backs or undersides of armor and props. Which I'm guilty of myself! You may swear that no one will ever see the unfinished back and then of course you get pictures back and can see it and the illusion is thrown off. I've learned to at least just slap a quick coat of paint on the back and underside of everything to be safe, even if I think it'll never be seen.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
I think my worst horror story was getting followed around by a guy at a con once and realizing the con didn't have an anti-harassment policy to protect me or other attendees from those kinds of situations. It was incredibly frustrating and scary. The upside though is that I was able to get the owners of the con to implement an anti-harassment policy across all their North American cons as a result. For me, the take away from the experience was that if something is wrong in the community, speak up. Sometimes people and cons are blind to problems and you have to make yourself be heard. Real, positive change can happen in the community if we fight for it though, so if something is wrong at a con, go to staff and security and make them hear you.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes or let yourself be a beginner. Fear of failure can be paralyzing, so learning to embrace messing up and not giving up is incredibly freeing. Mistakes are how we learn and get better, so I think it's so important to be able to step away from our mistakes, view them objectively, and always try again. There's no such thing as failure in cosplay so long as you're having fun, working towards your own goals, and learning.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Photos provided by Tiffany Chien, Mark Edwards, and Dapper Geek News.
Such a great interview! If you're not following her everywhere yet, make sure you go find her on all things social! And if you want to see someone featured, submit them here!