“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.
This week we are happy to feature a costumer and cosplayer: Lady Cels
MoGT: Who is Lady Cels Cosplay, tell us what you’re all about?
Lady Cels: Hello there! I’m Lady Cels, also known more conventionally as Cori. I’m from Glastonbury, CT. I started cosplaying in 2003, and took a break from 2009 to 2014 to get my BFA in Costume Tech and Design. To date, I’ve made 42 costumes.
MoGT: How did you get your start and who’s your biggest supporter?
Lady Cels: I first started cosplaying as a kid. Halloween was always my favorite holiday, and I liked to use any excuse to make costumes and clothing. I learned to sew at an early age and when I first discovered cosplay it was a pretty natural fit. My biggest supporter (besides my friends) have been my mother. I owe her so many favors, as she let me drag her to a ton of conventions before I was old enough to drive and book hotel rooms myself.
MoGT: What are your biggest pet peeves while Cosplaying?
Lady Cels: I always nitpick my own costume, especially at conventions. I can’t help but think, could I have done this part or that part better? I also get annoyed when I hear people scoffing or being rude to someone because of their cosplay. I like to make a point to find something on everyone’s costume that I like, and let them know! Because they made the effort to come out in costume to a con and that in itself deserves recognition.
MoGT: What’s the cosplay culture like where you’re from, do you have friends that cosplay as well?
Lady Cels: For the most part, among the New England convention scene, community is still a big part of the culture. I find people I meet to be a friendly bunch, and very much about supporting everyone within the hobby.
MoGT: How did your costumes come about, did you make them or do you have good shopping tips? If you design and create your own Cosplay tells us about the process.
Lady Cels: I usually make all of my costumes from scratch, or at least have a hand in heavily modifying or adding hand detail to them (Like the bodice for Leafeon). Usually I start by going through an extensive design and research process which involves gathering as much reference as I can. Not just of the costume itself but of similar garments I can use to get a feel for how a 2d costume can exist in 3d. I then go through a series of costume breakdowns where I make lists, sketch up details views, and figure out how the heck I’m going to make it. From there, it’s just a matter of following my plans to create the costume. As for shopping, the biggest advice I can give is to touch everything! I’m always picking up fabric, feeling the material, and unrolling the bolt to give the fabric a shake and see how it drapes.
MoGT: Do you have any favorite photographers you’ve worked with? Throw in your favorite places to shoot!
Lady Cels: I’ve just started recently working with Photographers. When I first started cosplaying, the whole cosplay photography movement wasn’t really a thing. Though in the two years since I’ve rejoined, I’ve met some truly talented photographers. The Wasp’s Nest, Cantera Image, Christa J. Newman, Thee Gartisan Works, and First Person Shooter have been some of my favorite photographers to work with. As for places to shoot, I’d have to say my shoot with The Wasp’s Nest in an abandoned warehouse for Commander Shepard had to be my all time favorite place. The setting was decrepit and eerie, but it was a ton of fun to shoot there!
MoGT: Any good dating stories about breaking the news of your Cosplay/nerdom?
Lady Cels: Unfortunately, not really. I haven’t brought in any significant others into the cosplay culture, as my past relationships weren’t terribly into cosplay. It’s been a point of contention in my last relationship, since it was not something I was willing to give up. It’s too integral to me as a person (after all, beyond cosplay this is also my field of work). While I would like to find someone who is into cosplay, I’ve heard the horror stories and attracted my own share of people who were more interested in me as a cosplayer (or a character) than as a person.
MoGT: What would be your all time epic cosplay?
Lady Cels: Wow, that’s a hard question, to pick just one! I think right now, my all time would to be to do something on horseback, one of my character’s in WoW’s tier armor (With motorized parts and sensors, or something with to scale wings made with real feathers.
MoGT: Cosplay is not consent is a huge movement Cosplayers are getting behind, what are your thoughts/experiences?
Lady Cels: I’ve been lucky as to not have experienced anything scarring. I’ve had a few creepy men (and women!) tail me at cons or gotten overly friendly, but I’ve been surrounded by friends and never been put in a position where I’ve been in danger. But I’ve had things happen to close friends of mine. I think Cosplay is not consent is an important movement, and that we can’t turn a blind eye to it. Everyone needs to help look out for their fellow con goers and cosplayers alike to keep conventions as a safe space for everyone.
MoGT: Do you have any upcoming events/projects you can tell us about?
Lady Cels: Right now, I’m working on a full set of Daedric Armor for the summer, and I’m hopefully going to be debuting it as a new event called Meraki Expo. It’s a one day event in New Jersey for cosplayers and photographers at the Art Factory, a place I’ve wanted to go to for a while for location shoots.
MoGT: Any advice for fellow Cosplayers?
Lady Cels: If you’re out there thinking about starting to cosplay or going to a con, do it! You’ll never know if you don’t try, and failure isn’t a bad thing (It just helps you grow and become more awesome). We’re all a bunch of nerds so just go and have fun!
MoGT: Are there any cosplayers that have inspired you or that you look up to?
Lady Cels: I’ve always looked up to Kamui Cosplay, as I love that despite her fame she’s stayed down to earth and creates some amazing tutorials. As for inspiration, whenever I look at the amazing work of J Hart Design, I can’t help but be inspired.
MoGT: Where can fans follow your work? Do you have a print store?Dragonladycels @ Instagram (http://instagram.com/dragonladycels)
Lady Cels: Most of my work appears on my facebook page, but I also post to twitter, tumblr and instagram! I also have a small print store at http://ladycels.storenvy.com/ LadyCels @ Twitter (https://twitter.com/LadyCels) Lady Cels on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/LadyCels) Lady Cels on Tumblr (http://ladycels.tumblr.com/)
We thank the very talented artist Lady Cels for joining us!
As always cosplay on friends