“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton
We love Cosplay, unabashedly so, and one of the cool things about hanging out at Cons is hearing why someone enjoys a character or genre. Cosplay is the biggest form of that flattery, and we aim to bring you the stories behind all those people in funky, fun dress up.
We searched long and far for our first guest of February….Just kidding….A local ambassador of the Northwest, please enjoy KaythulhuFerret’s cosplay story:
MoGT: Let’s go ahead and let you introduce yourself
Ceilidh: Hi everyone! My name is Ceilidh (Kay-lee) and I go by the cosplay handle KaythulhuFerret. I am a 19-year-old Oregon native, and I believe that people can cosplay what they want. I love cosplay period, but I’d have to say that I have the most fun with video game characters. Whether they’re from League of Legends or a Legend of Zelda series, video games were my first love and will always be where my heart lies, and will probably be what I will always go back to.
MoGT: How does cosplay fit into your life?
Ceilidh: For me, cosplay represents an outlet that I can show my family and friends the kinds of things I can do. I was bullied a lot in high school for being nerdy and being gone a lot (I have Crohn’s disease), and cosplay is a way for me to show the world that I didn’t back down, in fact I stood up and I’m not just making costumes; I’m having fun doing it.
MoGT: When did you get started & who’s your biggest supporter?
Ceilidh: I started off going to KumoriCon, and I will always remember it as a good con because it was my first and I had no idea what to expect. I think my best memory was when I was just relaxing on the last day in my Summoner Yuna costume from Final Fantasy X, and a photographer (my now friend) Roget Ratchford came over to me and asked if he could shoot my costume. Looking back that was the coolest thing ever, and I would never have thought I was good enough to have photos taken of me. Since my first con in 2011, I’ve kind of shyed away from Anime conventions and am starting to focus on the more all-around conventions and Comic Con scene like Wizard World Portland and Emerald City Comic Con.
My “unofficial start” to making costumes and props for an event was in 2008. My favourite author, Tamora Pierce, was coming to my town (which is kind of small) for a book signing to promote her new book. So I immediately started freaking out, and made a really crappy bow, and threw some ideas together to create her character Veralidaine (Daine) Sarrasri from her Immortals Quartet. Daine is the heroine in that particular quartet, and she can speak to animals among other things, and a the time it was my favourite quartet. A year later, I spent even more time creating the main antagonist from the Immortals quartet; Zhaneh Bitterclaws. Once again, she absolutely loved my costume. A couple years down the road, I discovered this thing called “cosplay” on the internet after scouring deviantART for wallpapers from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. I knew I just had to do it, so I looked up local conventions, found one, convinced my parents to let me go, and the rest is history. I’d have to say that my mom is my biggest supporter. She was an accomplished seamstress as well, and knows a thing or two about crafting. She’s always so awed when I come downstairs with a new costume, even if I haven’t sewn it yet. And she’s always so happy when she sees my pictures from con, selfies and photoshoots. If something goes wrong on a costume, she’s the first one I turn to. Usually I don’t want help, I just want to vent; but she’s always there, and willing to help in any way that she can.
MoGT: What are your biggest challenges cosplaying?
Ceilidh: I think my biggest pet peeve while cosplaying is when a wig isn’t fastened on properly. It happens so often, especially when it’s a character with long heavy hair. And I will never get over the chills followed by upset that it gives me when I take a picture only then to discover my wig is falling off. Second to that is if the incorrect fabric is used. We’re all guilty of it, but I think that it distracts so much from what could be a beautiful costume.
MoGT: We already know what the Northwest has to offer for cosplayers, but what is your experience?
Ceilidh: The cosplay culture on the West Coast is HUGE. Living in between two major cosplay metropolis’, it’s great for being able to log onto Facebook and see photos that a friend of mine took at PAX Prime or SDCC. After I started cosplaying, I slowly lost most of my friends that don’t do it. So I’d have to say that basically all my friends cosplay, and the ones that don’t do it seriously, do it for laughs and to have something to wear at a con. All of my friends now are somehow related to the convention scene.
MoGT: Outside of cosplay, what do you enjoy spending your time on?
Ceilidh: What hobbies outside of cosplay? HAH! This is actually a hard-ish one. Well as I mentioned earlier, I love video games. Always have, always will. I have a distinct memory of an earthquake when I was about five or six. My mom told me to get a blanket, a book, and my favourite toy in case we had to leave the house. So I grabbed a blanket, the Primo Walkthrough to Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and my [Mom’s] N64 with cords and games, and put it by the door. Other than video games… swimming? I was on the swim team in high school, and I loved it. Partially because the coach was nice to me, but it was also very freeing and relaxing, and it gave me a sense of accomplishment because I couldn’t do contact/impact sports. I also like cooking and baking I guess. Some people will say that I don’t like it, but I do in fact love to cook for those who appreciate it.
MoGT: Tell us about making some of your costumes?
Ceilidh: Grab some popcorn and a comfy seat because this is going to be a long answer! I started out buying items that were as close to the costume pieces that I needed, and then modified them. With Yuna, I bought the skirt I wear for her on eBay for $8 and then I painted the flower motif onto it. However with some things I made them from scratch. The Obi Belt/Bow and the sleeves for my Yuna cosplay are 100% handmade. At that point I didn’t really know how to use a sewing machine and was actually kind of afraid to use one. So the obi belt is yellow linen over interfacing that’s hand-sewn together with hooks and eyes in the back to close it, and industrial snaps holding the bow on. Now that I look back on the costume, there is almost nothing I would change if I remade it today except for maybe embroidering the designed rather than painting them on (another pet peeve!), and I would definitely make the costume fit better! Nowadays I hand make most things. Store bought items mostly just feel like cheating to me now. If it’s a character like Lara Croft, I’m not going to sew a tank top. I can buy a tank top for less than the fabric would cost to make it. So if it’s a character that lives in the real modern world, I’m going to do my best to dig through Goodwills and Value Villages [Savers] to find items close enough to the characters. However if I’m making Elsa (Like I have…twice!), I just don’t feel comfortable buying a pre-made dress or skirt. I’m going to sit there for hours and hours and cut out little foam rectangles and glue them to a corset, I’m going to sit there with my sewing machine on the slowest setting to make sure I don’t mess up the hem.
MoGT: Who do you like to work with for your photography?
Ceilidh: I have a couple really good friends that I shoot with. Brian Ewell and Christopher Gasser are my go-to guys when it comes to shooting! I also have worked with Tom Good and Roget Ratchford, and loved it. They’re all just really great guys, and I just feel super comfortable around them which allows me to relax and get great photos! I think my favourite locations that I’ve shot so far are the Oregon Coast (we made a day trip, and hit a bunch of beaches), Silver Falls, and Bald Peak. All three locations make for stunning backdrops.
My all time epic cosplay? Sheesh, another hard one. Ok. I’ve wanted to make the Angel of Strife from the Magic the Gathering card game. It’s such an insane design, and I’d want to do it justice! I think another all time epic cosplay would be a movie replica of Arwen’s dying gown from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
MoGT: What genre, movies, TV, Video Games, Comics, inspire your cosplay?
Ceilidh: Oh so many! Definitely the Zelda series games, Final Fantasy, Harry Potter, and of course Lord of the Rings. When I was younger we had the extended edition of Lord of the Rings with the Behind the Scenes discs. I would watch the crap out of those discs. Yes, I loved the movies themselves; but watching Weta Workshop create these beautiful suits of armor and gorgeous blades, and all the dresses and SFX makeup; I think that’s what made me say “I wanna do that when I get older”, and here I am!
MoGT: What would be your dream role?
Ceilidh: I’m going to have to go back to Tamora Pierce. I would die of happiness if I could be in a Game of Thrones-like TV show based on her books. All the quartets expanded upon, and made into reality. I would love to see people like Bradley Cooper as Raoul of Goldenlake and Malorie’s Peak, Colin O’Donoghue as Duke Roger of Conte, and Natalie Dormer as Delia of Eldorne (very similar character to Margaery!). While I would love to see my childhood become real, I think the best thing would be to see their interpretation on the costumes!
MoGT: What are your thoughts on cosplay is not consent?
Ceilidh: This is actually a huge issue for me. A couple months before his movement really started gaining publicity and speed; I was drugged and raped at a convention that I was a cosplay guest at. I don’t like to reflect on it too much anymore (I have a video about it on my YouTube channel), but I definitely think it’s an important thing to get across. It’s not just cosplay though! I am absolutely disgusted when I hear people talking about a girl wearing a short dress and saying “she deserves to be assaulted because she’s dressed provocatively”. It makes me sick knowing that there are still so many people who have such a disregard for women (and men!) that they think it’s ok to violate them because they’re proud of their bodies.
MoGT: Who do you look up to in the cosplay realm? Any advice for other cosplayers?
Ceilidh: Just do it! And do it with confidence. I think that’s the biggest thing. If you’re not proud of your costume because you messed something up, own it! When people aren’t happy wearing the costume they’ve slaved over for weeks, it shows on their face and draws your attention to the problems with their costume. If you own it, and are proud of the work you’ve achieved; it honestly makes the costume look better. And the other thing is, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The internet is the best resource we have in the world! If you’re having trouble with something, just look it up and find tutorials. Great websites that have tutorial sections are cosplay.com, deviantART, and cospix.net. There are also costuming groups on Facebook for almost every fandom! They’re great places to meet other people making costumes from the same show/movie/game/comic as well as seek out help from those more experienced.
Oh definitely! Misseryu, Glory Lamothe, and Valentine Cosplay are some of my idols. And while they’re all great in their own way, my #1 cosplay idol that I look up to is Ida from Starbit Cosplay. She’s so beautiful, and so humble, and her costumes are gorgeous. I’ve said time and time again that I would probably cry if I ever met her.
MoGT: Where can fans keep up with your work?
I’d just like to thank Ministers of Good Taste for interviewing me, and I’d like to thank all of you for reading! I hope to see you on my social media sometime!
Hope to see all our Northwest friends @ Emerald City!