Sunday, January 24, 2021

Q&A Interview with HeatherAfter Cosplay

Where are you from?

I'm a military kid. My family moved somewhere new every two to four years when I was growing up so I don't really have a hometown. Currently I live in Colorado.

When did you start cosplaying?

In 1996.

How did you first become interested in cosplay?

A friend asked me to go a local convention (AWA '96), and mentioned that some people liked to attend dressed-up as anime characters. I cosplayed as Devil Hunter Yohko and was immediately hooked! 

What are some characters you have cosplayed?

I have done over 200 cosplays, so I won't try to list them all here. Some of my more popular recent costumes include Elvira, 66 Catwoman, Jessica Rabbit, Lara Croft and Black Widow. 

Do you have any future cosplay plans?

Always! I don't usually share because then people start asking me about how certain costumes are coming along and the added pressure doesn't help my creativity haha. That said, it is an open secret that I've got 66 Batgirl in the works.

What is your favorite part of cosplaying?

Whenever I set about creating a new cosplay there are always problems to solve and new techniques to discover. That's what I enjoy the most is the creative problem solving.

Image by Kim Kosnar

Favorite movie? Video game? TV show? Band?

Movie: I don't know that I could ever choose an ultimate favorite....but 'Spaceballs' is pretty awesome.  I used to watch it all the time and am pretty confident I can still quote the entire movie.

Video Game: Again, hard to choose. I'm a big fan of the old school side-scrollers, though I play mobile phone games more than anything else right now.  'Wizards Unite' is my current addiction.

TV Show: It depends on what I'm in the mood to watch. I enjoy documentaries, dramas, and sitcoms like 'Friends' and 'Seinfeld'.

Band: I tend to gravitate towards the classics. I'm a big fan of 80s music.

As a veteran of the hobby, how do you think cosplaying has changed over the last 20+ years and how do you think it will evolve in the future?

I love how cosplay has become more mainstream! Back when I started, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of convention circles familiar with the term. Nowadays most people know what it means, and accept cosplay as a valid hobby.

 I also appreciate how professional so many cosplayers are now, too! All aspects of cosplay (i.e. costume construction, makeup, photography, etc.) have leveled-up incredibly in the past decade or two. It's wonderful to see, and keeps me motivated to continue learning new skills that I can apply to my own cosplay projects.

What cosplay took the most time/work on creating?

I honestly don't know.  Each project has its challenges, and they are all different. I wouldn't know how to even begin comparing them to one another.   

Okay, what's the most expensive cosplay you've ever done?

Again, I don't know. I almost always make my costumes, and after doing so for as long as I have, I've got a surplus of materials on hand. Whenever possible I try to keep my costs down and make use of things I already own to create new costumes. 

I don't remember how much I paid for everything I've purchased over the last 20+ years and to be honest, I'm probably better off not giving it too much thought haha. 

What is a cosplay pet peeve of yours?

Storage! Figuring-out clever ways to store things like wings, hats and various props is a constant challenge.

Do you have any tips for people just starting out?

Don't be afraid to experiment in order to figure out what sorts of cosplays work best for you.....and above all, enjoy yourself!

Outside of cosplay, what are some of your other hobbies?

I also enjoy drawing, gaming, hiking, cooking, etc. Cosplay is definitely my favorite creative outlet though.  

Where can fans find more of you?