April Gloria answered a few questions about what she does to get ready for a big costume, when she got started and even has a little advice for anyone who wants to get into this crazy hobby!
Q. When did you start cosplaying?
A. I started cosplaying in Spring 2013..so I'm definitely still new at it!
Q.Why did you want to cosplay?
A. I saw it as a creative outlet. I've always enjoyed art and creating things so this allows me to use skills I have and acquire new ones in order to make my own types of 'art pieces'. I also love learning about makeup, hairstyling, and photo editing so cosplay is a way to be able to enjoy those things and become better at them.
Q.How many cosplays have you done so far?
A. To date I have three complete costumes: Elizabeth(short hair) from Bioshock Infinite, Aela the huntress from Skyrim, and Elizabeth (Burial at Sea version). I wore the first Elizabeth three times, but I tweaked it every time to make it better! First I swapped my skirt for something less poofy, and then I got rid of the ill-fitting corset. Now I'm really happy with it.
Q.Whats your favorite cosplay to date?
A. probably Aela. I love how the photos turned out!!! The entire outfit minus the shoes and wig is handmade so when I look at the photos I feel really accomplished! I learned a lot while making it; it was a great experience. However it's not easy to wear...body tape does not cooperate well with the leather I used for some reason so I will have to think of a solution if I want to wear it again. But that's the thing about cosplay; you are always learning, which is awesome!
Q.You mentioned on your site that you are learning to sew and getting into making more of your own costumes. Before that who did you commission from?
A. I commissioned the Elizabeth jacket from Sherryval on Etsy. She sews entire Liz outfits but I could handle the rest on my own. She did a good job on it!
I also got my pendants from another Etsy shop called CosplayDesu.
Sometimes if a piece is out of my skill level, or if I don't have tons of time to finish, I'll pick up some things at Goodwill. I did that with my Burial at Sea Liz shirt. I've never sewn a dress shirt and I didn't have tons of time so I bought a black shirt and a white one. I snipped the collar and sleeve cuffs off the black shirt and attached them to the white one. It worked pretty well. Someday I will learn the skills to make my own!!!
Q.What is the something you have learned from cosplay?
A. It's always more expensive and more time consuming than you estimate! I can't even tell people when certain costumes will be ready..because that date changes all the time! I might have real life issues come up, or need to use my 'play money' for other things, run into problems with construction...anything can happen really!
In relation to that...I learned that it requires a ton of patience and trial and error. Things often don't turn out the way you picture it the first time....or even the second or third. This is tough for me because I am the kind of person who wants to get everything right the first time I do it. I know it's not a good way to think, but I'm working on it. Cosplay has helped me a lot.
Q.Do you have any tips or advice you can share to new cosplayers?
A. 1. Be prepared to pay! Cosplay is expensive. Between materials, convention tickets/airfare/hotels, photo shoots...materials alone add up fast.
2. Be patient! Like I said above, trial and error is a commonplace thing. But don't get discouraged because eventually you will figure it out and it will be worth it.
3. Google and YouTube are your best friends. Research everything!!! What material is best? How does Pepakura work? How do you make armor from Worbla? What the heck IS Worbla? Pretty much anything you could want to know, you can find online through blogs, forums, other cosplayers' sites, and videos. I've learned so much just by Googling.
4. Don't be afraid to commission! It's awesome to make your own costumes. I admire anyone who has the skills to sew an entire outfit. But I'm not afraid to commission or buy something from Goodwill and alter it. Don't let lack of sewing skills limit who you cosplay.
5. Be confident! Fake it if you have to! At cons, be open and approachable. I'm naturally an introvert so this is something I have had to work on. I've gotten so much better in this area. Show the world how proud you are of your costume and how much fun you are having, and people will notice.
6. Prepare for trolls! They will come around every so often. But don't let them get you down. Some people seem to enjoy putting others down for no reason. Just remember that as long as you are doing what makes you happy, that's what matters. If you let the trolls get to you and discourage you, they win. I hate losing...so that's motivation for me, haha!
Q.Whats your favorite memory so far in cosplaying?
A. Probably when the official Elder Scrolls facebook page posted a photo of me in my Aela costume. Skyrim is my absolute favorite game so the fact that the creators of it thought I did one of their characters justice was just completely surreal!!!
Check out April Gloria's facebook page by clicking HERE.