Monday 9 January 2023

Interview with Vancouver-Girl

I have known @GirlOfVancouver since the 2022 Fan Expo Vancouver where she dressed up as Supergirl on both days. We first ran into each other and asked for a photo together after which she handed me one of her cosplay business cards. After following her on Instagram and seeing all the amazing content she regularly posts in the form of reels, I was blown away by her dedication to her page and the effort she puts into her creations.

She is a huge fan of the CW's Arrowverse shows and has taken a selfie with The Flash himself, Grant Gustin on set while cosplaying Supergirl. Seeing her support all her followers on Instagram is like nothing I've ever seen in today's age. Most cosplayers that I know are very competitive. On the other hand, she loves to see everybody else in the community grow. For that, she has my admiration and respect. Be sure to check out her interview below and follow her on Instagram and other platforms!

How long have you been cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in September 2019. About a month prior a first look at the new Supergirl (CW) suit, the one with *pants* was released. As soon as I saw the image it was liked something clicked in my brain, I just had to have it, so my parents bought it for my birthday. At the time I didn't really know that cosplay was a thing, I wasn't active on the internet much I just saw something I knew I had to wear. I only really joined the cosplay community when I created Vancouver-Girl in July 2020. Only recently I started creating my cosplays; if you count thrifting, I started in the past couple years or this year if you require a more hands on crafting approach to count.

Why do you love cosplay?
Cosplay is just such a wonderful and fun creative form but if I had to simplify why I love it I could bring it down to two reasons. When you cosplay, you get to connect with your favourite characters in a way like no other creative medium. There's something just so special about getting to experience the character like that, the amount of dedication required to plan/craft/afford cosplays and then wearing their clothes. The other main thing I love about cosplay is the people and community. I've gotten to meet so many cool people through fandoms and especially cosplays. Even if I don't know the character I'm still in awe of the amount of work and passion that's gone into it. I love connecting with other fans/cosplayers and seeing their creative processes. It's really special how cosplay brings people together from all over the world, I'm really grateful for all the friends I've gotten out of it.

Which conventions have you attended, and do you have any advice for newcomers?
I guess you could say I'm a little newer to the convention scene but I've been to a couple now, currently saving up to attend more! My first con was Fan Expo Vancouver 2020 and I was hooked on cons from then onwards, the only problem is COVID hit soon after but luckily, I was able to return for Fan Expo 2022. Next year I plan on attending Star Trek: Mission Seattle next year in addition to Fan Expo Van. Other cons on my radar are Capital City Comic Con as it usually runs my birthday week, Emerald City Comic Con, San Diego Comic and Legends Con (Nov 2023).

My main advice for newcomers is just do it! Find a local con in your city and give it a try. Try to convince one real life friend to go with you so you don't have to hit the show floor by yourself, but don't worry you'll soon be making friends fast once you get there! When trying to convince a lot of my real-life friends to come they can be intimidated by how professional and dedicated people are but there really is no need to worry, even if you aren't a cosplayer just show up and have fun! (Though I extremely encourage everyone to cosplay even if it's small!)

What are some of your favorite fandoms?
Fandoms are like Pokémon for me, I'm always collecting more and more! I guess to be more specific I'm predominantly a Science Fiction and Superheroes fan. The fandom I'm the most known for is the Arrowverse. That one was my first big one and it will always be special to me with all the memories connected to my hometown. I've always enjoyed NuTrek but recently I've really become a Trekkie and like I mentioned I also love other Sci-Fi such as Resident Alien. Of course, I also consider myself a Marvel fan but I wouldn't call myself a die-hard fan as I don't know everything about the franchise and only occasionally post about it but I really enjoy majority of the films. Really, I watch everything, Star Wars, DC films too, so many more, I could go on for hours about all the shows/movies I watch!

What’s been your most favorite cosplay to date?
My favourite cosplay is and I think will always be my Supergirl cosplay. It was my first cosplay that started me on this crazy journey.

What’s been the most challenging cosplay so far?
Depends on what way you mean challenging, to wear? My White Canary Cosplay from DC's Legends of Tomorrow was very challenging to move in without damaging. The shoes were also a little hard to walk in. Most challenging to actually work on has been my Seven of Nine cosplay, which I'm currently working on. It's my first time venturing into the land of special effects makeup (which I've found a new found passion for) so there has been a learning curve but I'm excited with how things are turning out.

Do you have any handy tips/tricks when it comes to putting together a cosplay from scratch?
Unlike most cosplayers I'm not usually someone who makes things from scratch, however I'm excited to be learning to sew soon. That's my next medium I want to discover. My strategy for creating is to look at the world around me and think what tools and materials do I already have access to? I'll attempt even the craziest costume as a closet or thrifted cosplay before crafting anything. I guess I have this talent where I can march in a thrift store and just start scanning the racks and piecing it all together. Then I usually hit up the dollar and then art store and just start seeing what tools I can use to piece things together. It’s amazing how cheap I’ve been able to make things out of the strangest things from the dollar store. I'm just kind of able to see it all piece together in my head and then I pour it all in my sketchbook (it's really something else in there).

If you had to pick one ultimate dream cosplay, who would it be?
I have so many cosplans right now it's insane! There's many I'd like to do but with materials being so expensive it's hard to choose. Probably the biggest one I aspire to have the talent to pull off is the Borg Queen. Even just thinking about it right now I start trying to piece it together in my head and already see so many obstacles. I won't say I'll never do it but you’ll have to give me a few years to master SFX makeup, which I'm now kind of obsessed with.

Are you a gamer? What are your top 3 all-time favorite videogames?
Gaming is one of the few things I haven't totally fallen into... Yet. I'm not sure why but I never really got into video games much. I might be checking out some games on Twitch soon though so stay tuned for that!

Who inspired you to cosplay?
Surprisingly nobody really inspired me to cosplay, cosplay kind of just found me. Like I mentioned earlier I wasn't really aware of cosplay until I joined the online community. I guess if you want to blame a person for all of this you can blame Melissa Benoist's iconic performance as Supergirl. Oh, and my mom for always being so supportive of my silly nerd dreams.

What cosplays can we expect to see from you in the future?
Well, like I mentioned earlier Seven of Nine is well on the way I'm just finishing the prosthetic Borg implants and then waiting for my uniform to get here! I'd also like to get a Star Trek: Lower Decks Sciences Uniform so I could do a Lt. Barb Brinson cosplay. It feels like fate for that one to happen since she's literally the Vancouver-Girl, I just need some clip-on bangs.

Now of course I have other plans than just Star Trek cosplays! I've always kind of wanted to do a Killer Frost cosplay but never got committed enough to try to figure out her makeup, perhaps someday. Another one I feel I'll probably get around to someday is Wonder Woman. There are also various outfits from DC's Legends of Tomorrow which will hopefully find me in the thrift stores. From the MCU I've been drawn to Wanda Maximoff for a while now even though everyone cosplays her, also even though she's not that well received, Captain Marvel.

Are there any cosplayers/photographers/artists that truly inspire you?
Probably my first and biggest inspiration is Taya Miller. She was one of the first cosplayers I found when I joined Instagram and I’m always love the stuff she creates. Taya creates for so many fandoms I love that she doesn’t stick to one. She’s always up to cool stuff and I’m in awe of the positive community she’s created around her passion for celebrating her favourite characters.

What has been most troublesome when it comes to cosplay and the community?
Most troublesome? I’ve been lucky that my experience with the community has been majority positive which I’m grateful for as I know that’s not the case for everyone. Of course, there’s always trolls but they’ve really been pesky flies which are easy to block. The only place it can be a little nasty are YouTube comments but I don’t check those often. One thing that I will not tolerate is hate to anyone, if I see you hating on anyone or doing anything unacceptable like that you will be blocked. I think in the cosplay community it’s very important for us to look out for each other, that goes for reporting anyone who’s stealing each other’s content.

Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Favourite cosplayers? I love so many and I’m lucky to call many my friends. Of course, all my Fan Expo friends like you (@brightest_day_cosplay), @hourglass_cosplay, @cosplaykittenxo, @taro_cos all on IG. Then of course I have so many wonderful cosplay mutuals who I'll hopefully get to meet at a con someday. The whole TrekTok/TrekTok cosplay community has been really welcoming and I always naturally connect with other DC cosplayers.

What is your worst cosplay "horror" story?
As I mentioned earlier, the White Canary Cosplay was very challenging to wear. My horror story is from last Summer when the suit met its demise. I went on vacation to Victoria, Vancouver Island and did multiple cosplay outings. With the challenges of movement in the White Canary suit being a restricting material I didn't wear the suit much so I planned a trip to Hatley Castle which has been featured in many films/TV shows such as "Arrow" "Descendants" or "X-Men". It was the middle of Summer so it was very hot, the ocean breeze was helpful but it was still very hot, I think around 30 degrees? Anyways that leather material was extremely hot in the heat and actually started melting apart. After walking around for a bit and getting some cool photos I feel a breeze under my arm pit and to my horror I see the that the suit has ripped! Luckily, I had a change of clothes in the car so I went in the car and changed in the back seat. It was squishy and hot but I had already pulled a quick change in the back when cosplaying on BC Ferries on the way there. Unfortunately, the suit doesn't fit me anymore so the cosplay is retired, I have no desire to go back to the cosplay as the material is too much of a pain but I'm happy for the photos and memories I got from it.

Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
People call me Super-woman all the time! I honestly don't mind it though; I mean close enough, right? People have also confused me for Melissa Benoist before, that's always fun.

What's the biggest con you've cosplayed at?
Fan Expo Vancouver.

If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
If I ever got to meet Taya Miller, I'd just tell her she's doing a great job and her content always inspires me. It would be really cool to work with or even just to get to meet her someday.

List all the cosplays you've done...
Ava Sharpe / The Beebo Dress
White Canary

I would like to thank Vancouver-Girl for her time with the interview! Stay tuned for more interviews from around the globe! 

Arthur Kaz


No comments:

Post a Comment