Today I get to feature an amazing Canadian artist that I've had the pleasure of meeting a few times in person. Jessica is such a sweet person and she's so open to sharing cosplay tips and advice. Read on to learn more about this fantastic woman.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I made my first cosplay/con appearance back in April 2014.... so I've been doing this constant for 2 years, going on my third year now. I had always wanted to go but never had anyone to go with, I managed to convince my best friend to come with me and I fell in love with it instantly, I literally haven't had a break from it since.
What do your friends and family think of your hobby?
Well my best friend has always been supportive of it. She's actually been with me for all my 'cosplay' firsts and never questions what I do or why. Everyone important in my life has actually been very supportive, even my boss at work, which is awesome. They all think it's cool and want to hear all my stories, everyone's always asking what I'm working on next or finding random scraps of materials that I could use for props.
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?
I haven't even thought that far ahead hahaha. I'm sure I'm not going to change my mind on this, I'm pretty passionate about it. I'll probably still be cosplaying characters that I have some sort of connection with even if I'm old and wrinkly and the character is young...... I'll make it work ;)
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
Going crazy. Just kidding. I actually work for the department of highways in my town, it's a government job, I don't mind it. I get to be outside all day in spring and summer which is nice. My boss is super supportive of my cosplay and hobbies which is so awesome.
I paint in my spare time or I'm making other costumes for photoshoots that aren't necessarily cosplay related. I also run my own little side business. I design geek themed shoes, I'm ALWAYS busy with everything. FYI I'm also always geeking out over something. It's unavoidable now hahaha.
How do you choose your next cosplay?
Usually it's when I'm watching a movie or playing a game and something just clicks with the character. Usually how it makes me feel at the time will help me determine what I'm going to do next. Sometimes it's based on a group cosplay, where someone invites you. Which is great cause you get to cosplay something you might not have given any thought to before.
I usually switch up the designs though to make it my own. I think the only cosplay I've made that has been accurate and not my own twist would be Rey from Star Wars.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
Oh god. There is so many. My friends inspire me, they're all cosplayers. I can't pick haha. Basically the whole community though, in all honesty. Seeing happy faces at conventions or getting messages from people saying how much they appreciate your work or that you've given them confidence to pursue something.....that inspires me, that makes me want to do better and push myself.
Of course there's some cosplayers who have great attitudes/talents etc and they definitely inspire my creative side. But it's the 'little guys' that do the inspiring.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
I JUST finished my Rey cosplay. When you sent me this interview I was working on building a life size BB8. He's adorable. This is my new favorite cosplay, I know everyone and their mom has done it but I love it.
What is your dream cosplay?
I've always wanted to make this massive intricate armored piece. I've sketched things out but I've never gotten around to it yet.
What is holding you back from making your dream cosplay becoming a reality?
Time and money! This is a very expensive hobby! I'm also so busy with everything else going on in life. I don't want to rush this, it's something I'll have to work on throughout the year to make it exactly what I have imagined in my head.
You also design and make shoes. When and how did you start this artistic craft?
Again it was because of my best friend Kim. She was getting married and her Bachelorette party was supposed to be 'prom themed'. Anyway she really likes Alice in Wonderland. I wanted to get her a unique gift, but couldn't find anything anywhere. So I decided to make her a pair of Alice in Wonderland themed shoes for her party. They were really over the top and glitzy.
I surprised her with them, she cried. After that I had people messaging me asking if I coukd make them shoes. So I made a public facebook page for it and started taking orders. Basically started doing shoes for other people around the same time as I started cosplaying.
How many pairs of shoes have you designed to date?
Oh man. Uuuuuh. I tried counting, over 100 different designs for sure.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that other's can learn from?
Surprisingly I don't have anything that extreme. OH, well before I knew how to properly sew I hot glued everything. I was trying to glue a bra into a body suit, I was wearing it WHILE trying hot glue it in. I burnt the side of my boob soooo bad. Don't do that. Hand sew if you have to lol
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Be yourself and have loads of fun. Don't worry so much about what other people will think of you. Life is so incredibly short. Too short to worry about what others will think of you. There's always going to be people who love you and love your work and there's always going to be the ones who don't. That's okay. Just weed those ones out. Be confident in what you do and take it all in stride.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Photos for this interview are from her facebook. Individual credit can be found there.
She's so down to Earth. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to interview her. Go show her some love and get your own pair of sweet shoes from her!