I'm so excited to be sharing this interview with Peekaboo Cosplay. She's a Canadian cosplayer who has extreme craftsmanship skills that blow my mind with intense details and design. Read the full thing below!
I reserve my legal name for my professional life, and go by Peekaboo, Ms. Boo, or any other equally endearing variation. I’ve been making costumes for 4 years, and prefer original designs and characters. I love competing, and focus on refining my workmanship skills.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I developed some chronic health issues in 2013 and needed something to keep my hands busy while out of school. I made the outrageously expensive, soul-consuming mistake of asking my mum to teach me how to use her 34-year- old Pfaff.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
Before cosplay, I was obsessed with fitness. My account name was Peekaboo Muscle – in reference to the more subtle muscularity of bikini-class fitness competitors. I never got to compete, but I’d still like to one day. I opened my cosplay accounts with Peekaboo with the intention of changing it later, but it just stuck.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I’m finally finishing my degree this year and looking forward to reading something other than 8lb textbooks again.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
This is a three-way tie between my Best in Show Masquerade awards, hosting my first panel, and being invited to judge a Masquerade. I enjoy many different aspects of cosplay, but my passion is in the workmanship. Being recognized for my work, especially the quality of my work, means a lot to me. My next major goal is an award in the Master division at an international-level ICG Masquerade.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
I’m half-way through Glitterbomb Jessica Rabbit and literally everything is coated in a dust of glitter right now. There’s a small mountain under my sewing machine. The design is based on my Glitterbomb Ivy, and artwork by Carla Wyzgala. It’s a corset and skirt made up of a nude duchess satin and a glitter mesh spandex overlay, decorated with hand-cut lace. This week, I’ll be attempting to alter 6” stilettos to be comfortably worn for an entire convention day.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
There is a long list of veteran cosplayers, professional costume designers, and friends I’ve made along the way that inspire me. I am forever impressed by the quality and complexity of work that cosplayers like Yaya Han and Jessica Nigri can put together in a matter of days.
Designers like Carla Wyzgala, Catherine D’Lish, Elysian Fantasy Artistry, Firefly Path, and Rosie Red Corsetry are a constant source of inspiration to push my creativity. Jessica Harkonnen has helped me out of my basic glamour makeup routine to explore more unique and stylized looks – like my new favourite makeup artist, Kimberley Margarita. I’m also grateful for my local cosplay community for their willingness to share support, wisdom, brainstorming and troubleshooting whenever I need it.
What is your dream cosplay?
White. Feather. [Articulated.] Wings. I have finally finished designing an original character around a set of white feather wings. I’d like to have them move, even in the most basic pulley system-type of way, but I’m considering static pieces so that they can more easily be disassembled and transported in a small car. The rest of the costume will be made up of a supportive overbust corset, hooves, and gold accents. I’ve named the character Pegasus, although I’ve been reminded that the horn really just makes her a unicorn with wings.
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
I love the tiniest to the biggest conventions. The Cornwall Area Pop Event, Magical Girl Market, and The Ottawa Geek Market have a more relaxed and friendly feel, whereas Fan Expo is a massive, intense crowd. I really enjoy being able to bring big and complicated costumes to Ottawa and Montreal Comic Con because they’re more local to me, moderate in size, and the cosplay lounge and Masquerade staff are so accommodating – they’re also my favourite stages to compete on.
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
A good rule of thumb is to not do things in a convention that you wouldn’t also do to strangers on the street. Touching or taking photos without asking makes me feel like more of a prop than a person. If asking verbally is an issue, making eye contact and gesturing to put your arm around me, or pointing to your camera, and pausing for my response is also very much appreciated.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Always do a test fitting prior to wearing your costume to a convention. I finished Xerxes the night before and hadn’t taken the time to walk any significant distance in it. While my footwear held up beautifully, about a dozen of the jump rings holding the chains together all over my body loosened and slipped off, one by one.
I luckily brought a repair kit with me, but it meant stopping in the convention, finding a space to work, and spending 10 minutes putting everything back in its place every time one broke off. Test fittings are especially important for competitions, although they’re not always possible when you’re severely compressed for time. Jessica Harkonnen has a blog series on her Facebook page chronicling our adventures as Young Ursula and the Mermaid as we went from, “I don’t know if we’re going to make it on stage,” to a Best in Show.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
This is your investment. You can choose to invest your time, money, and energy however best suits you and brings you the most joy. There are many different ways to enjoy cosplay, whether it be through attending conventions, sharing your work online, working on character representation and acting, competing in Masquerades or other competitions, modelling and photography, creating unique designs, replicating a design you love, making everything by hand, commissioning or buying pieces to put together your ideal look, or just hanging out in costume. If something is not making you happy, do less of it. If something is making you happy, do more of it.
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
My favourite part of wearing a costume to a convention is hearing someone say that they’ve been following my work online, or they’ve been looking forward to seeing it in person. I try my best to share with my followers all the ups and downs of the construction process, as well as the beautiful images photographers create with the results, and it’s still kind of unbelievable that someone else is interested in what I’m doing. Thank you for your support, and thank you for being there through it all
Where can we find you on all things social?
Photos for this interview provided by MTKS, and Open Shutter Photography.