Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Q&A Interview with Celeste Orchid

Credit: Chris Floro

Where are you from?

I am from the USA. Slightly a blend of Midwest, South, and West Coast SoCal life. Currently I reside in Copenhagen, Denmark.

When did you start cosplaying?

I started cosplaying in 2005; definitely was a different age and style of cosplaying back then.

How did you first become interested in cosplay?

I became interested in cosplay when my high school classmates brought a magazine called NewType to school. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. In the magazine they had a section called "Cosplay". I believe it was the issue where they featured Yaya Han and her Fire Fairy costume and it was so inspiring. I have always wanted to try to make my own clothes but never decided on attempting to make costumes.

What are some characters that you have cosplayed?

I've cosplayed a lot of characters since 2005. Some of my personal favorites are Anarchy Panty from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, C2 (C.C.) from Code Geass, a multitude of League of Legends characters, and Chun Li from Street Fighter.

Who would you say is your favorite LoL champ to main?

Oh lord. This is definitely a hard question to answer as I love to play multiple champions. I would dare say that my favorite is Heimerdinger. Small, smart, and sassy.

What are your plans for your next cosplay?

Credit: Chris Floro

I definitely have a lot of plans for cosplays; some of them being Seraphine's All Out KDA skin and Default costume, Eliza from Tekken, a throwback costume of Freya from Chobits, and a few Smash Ultimate characters.

Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?

One of my biggest pet peeves of cosplaying is GATE KEEPING. It truly grinds my gears when people tell others that they should or should not cosplay, whether they are copying someone, stealing their ideas, or calling others copycats. Cosplaying is definitely a "copy" of someone else's work. The way you create it is your own and your interpretation; however, as a creator/cosplayer, we do not own the rights to commercial Intellectual Properties. So in essence if you create your own character that's a bit more like Live Action Role Playing (LARPing). If you create a series and a whole universe like J.K. Rowling and cosplay as that character from a created universe, then that's a different issue.

In no way shape or form am I downplaying LARPing, original characters can hail from any series or genre. It can be a form of cosplaying which I don't think they're mutually exclusive. Here's to hoping that more entrants to cosplay will just do it for the cosplay and not for the fame.

How do you think cosplay as a hobby has evolved since you started back in 2005 and do you think it's headed in the right or wrong direction?

Cosplay has evolved to be more available to the public. We have better access to high quality costumes and wigs just in case you're not crafty. There's such a bigger scene for cosplaying and it's not so frowned upon. With any advancement there will be both good and bad. There will always be those who frown upon sexier costumes and there will always be those who have too strong of an opinion on others' costumes. As long as people are enjoying the hobby of cosplaying without hurting others; physical or mental, it'll be in a good direction.   

Do you have any tips for someone who wants to get started into cosplaying but might be hesitant?

Cosplay characters that you love: whether it's the design or the actual character. It never feels good to wear clothes or makeup that you dislike.

Don't worry about your real skin color for accuracy. Make the clothes accurate if that's your thing but don't paint yourself another human color. Definitely DO NOT paint yourself black or brown as that's very frowned upon.

Credit: Chris Floro

Cosplay does not matter what gender you are. At the end of the day, they're clothes, wigs, and crafted pieces put together. If you're wanting to cosplay as someone that's not your gender, go for it. Don't be limited by gender.

Research both your materials, and your places where you purchase your costumes/materials. Sometimes you don't want to support a company if it goes against your morals.

Join cosplay groups and don't be afraid to ask questions. Everyone's learning about cosplay or buying them.

Everyone starts somewhere, so go for it!

Is it an expensive hobby? Can it be done on a budget?

Cosplay can be an expensive hobby. Is L from Death Note needing a crazy amount of work? No not really. Making costumes can be expensive as opposed to buying a costume. Keep in mind with crafting you pay for your mistakes as well.

I definitely think it can be done on a budget. There are shortcuts where you can keep it cheap. I know that some people like to do arduinos, 3d printing, and vacuum forming; these can completely be expensive but pay off really well.

Highly recommend investing in a good cutting matt and cutting tools will really stretch the budget and last a long time.

Favorite movie? Video game? TV show? Band?

I definitely have a wide variety of favorite movies. It's a tough call, but my favorite movie of all time is House of Flying Daggers. I loved it for the story, costume design, and the romance. There was a lot to it that others will dislike but it's definitely timeless for me. A close second is Jim Henson's Labyrinth; how can you not love young Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie? And that ballroom scene? It was such a fantasy!

My favorite video game of all time is Tetris. Timeless and classic. I think there's a trend with things that I love.

Credit: Martin SquareNoodles
My favorite TV Show has got to be Courage the Cowardly Dog show. I think this was the first real introduction to dark comedic horror as a child. There was something more sinister and scary about Courage the Cowardly Dog as opposed to Scooby-Doo. I think it was more along the lines of a tiny dog that was powerless and alone that always had to get the job done and save his home. 

My favorite band, this is a tough one. I'm terrible with music and remembering their names but I'm definitely into Baby Metal. I got to see them live before Yui-Metal left the band. I loved the Pussycat Dolls, I haven't heard their newer music but still a fan of their earlier works.

I love pop EDM artists too. Main favorites are Zedd and Calvin Harris. My brother looks a bit like Steve Aoki, and that got me into his music a bit as well.

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

Outside of cosplaying I love playing with my bulldog and playing video games  I enjoy travelling but with covid that's kinda taken a backseat. I'm hoping that we will be able to go to theme parks again once the lockdown has been lifted. With a lot of countries still closed, I guess I'll throw it back into fashion, video games and cosplaying.

Where can fans find more of you?

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