I'm so honored to feature Amanda on the blog today. She's a like-minded plus size cosplay BABE, and her costuming is absolutely stunning!! Read her interview below!
Hi! I'm Amanda, also know as Smoke & Honey Cosplay. I'm 26 years old plus size cosplayer from New Jersey. By day I work in the book publishing industry and when I'm not working I am sewing, making cosplays props, geeking out, and watching anime with my Fiancé.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I first started in 2014, when I went to NY Comic Con for my publishing company. I had taken lead with planning out the comic con booth and had to get everything together in 2 weeks. So naturally I wanted to dress up, that first year I went as Amy Pond and Clara Oswin Oswald for NYCC. They were both closet cosplays, so the first time I really got into cosplay was HVFF 2016 during the huge snowstorm. During HVFF 2016, I cosplayed as Black Canary and Posion Ivy. It was an amazing con experience and it's one of the reasons I got into cosplay.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
When I was in college, I was introduced to a beautiful novel about a town's war on February called "Light Boxes". There is a character in the book called "the girl who smells of smoke and honey". I instantly fell in love with the name. So fast forward to HVFF 2016, I was brainstorming with Penny Lane and my Fiancé about what my name could be. We came up with Smoke & Honey Cosplay as a homage to my favorite character in literature.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I work as an analyst at one of the top 5 Publishing Houses. I haven't always been an analyst, I actually got my degree in creative writing but I truly love my job. Other than that, I love to paint and read all types of books. I recently got into video games, I am playing through Horizon Zero Dawn. When I come home from work or a convention, nothing is better than snuggling in bed and watching Netflix or Crunchy roll.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
That would be cosplaying as Winifred Sanderson at NYCC 2016. This was a huge project for me, I made everything (except the corset) for this cosplay. This was my first time sewing complex jacket pieces and I was so happy with how it came out. I also hand made Winifred's spell book, which took a long time to get correct. The whole cosplay took me over a month to complete, but it was worth it!!
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on Season 5 Nora Valkyrie from RWBY for a huge cosplay group at Katsucon. I am so excited since RWBY is coming back and Nora is my favorite character. I am like her in so many ways and I cannot wait to cosplay her and boop everyone on the nose!
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
MoMokun is one of my inspirations. She was the first curvy cosplayer that I found who was not afraid to show off her curves in any cosplay. Seeing her, and her confidence, It made me more confident in the cosplays I was thinking about doing.
What is your dream cosplay?
I am actually really lucky to have completed my dream cosplay as Winifred Sanderson.
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
My favorite convention is Katsucon. At local cons, or even NYCC, I am always running around doing photo shoots or running to see my friends. Katsu had a totally different vibe to me, I wasn't on any schedule or under any photoshoot times.
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
My biggest pet peeve is when people stop walking in the middle of the aisle at a convention. There are times when I have white out contacts in and can't see when people stop suddenly. Just be mindful of your surroundings.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Watch out who you buy your props from!! I cannot stress this enough! I spent $250 dollars on 2 weapon props that I commissioned from someone who was a mutual friend. She left everything till the last minute and made it seem like I was getting a 3D piece. When I received them they were 2D cardboard cut outs, like actual pieces of cardboard, just painted. The lines weren't even straight and one of the props was bent. It was the worst experience I've had, it almost made me want to give up cosplaying all together.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
The only thing I can say is cosplay whoever you want! There is no right or wrong way to cosplay a character, just cosplay them because you love them! As a plus size cosplayer myself, it's the best advice I can give anyone.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Photos for this interview provided by Ed Lippincott, and PI Creative.
What a delightful interview. She's so cheerful and positive and I think that's so important in our community. Go follow her!! <3