( This interview was originally posted on March 2014 ) Last week I discovered a new cosplayer from a suggestion on Twitter. I always like discovering new cosplayers and the Supergirl cosplay profile pic looked really good. I found a new cosplayer and got a chance to interview her to learn more.
Photo by Emerald Coast Cosplay
Who are you and where are you from?
My actual name is Brittany. However, you all can call me Sparky Cosplay or just Sparky! I hail from the great state of Alabama! I originally dropped from the mother ship in Tennessee.
How long have you been cosplaying?
I have been cosplaying for a little over three years now!
How did you get started and what was your first cosplay?
I got into cosplay when a person I was friends with said, “Hey, you sort of look like Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. There’s a convention coming up soon and you should dress up as her and go!” So, my story began at Kami Con Season 3 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama! I wore my very first costume, Lightning Farron from FF XIII a three days.
What did your friends and family think when you started?
Well, I grew up in a very small town in Tennessee, so cosplay was unheard of. I was a big “closet nerd”. At first my friends and family were very skeptical of the whole cosplay community. They were honestly slightly worried about me. At the time I was living two hours away from home. So, I could understand their concerns. But luckily I had a loving and supportive convention family. Now, my family and friends think it’s exciting and support me full on. They’ve even helped me with a few costumes! It means the world to me that they accept me for who I am and the community that I cherish.
What is your most recognized cosplay?
I’m not really sure. Hahaha, I honestly never really pay too much attention. At first, it seemed to be Lightning. She was a costume I stuck with for a while. But now, it seems my Neliel from the anime Bleach has taken her place. Which I am okay with. That costume is SUPER comfortable!
Where do you get your inspiration for choosing what to cosplay?
My inspiration for my cosplays mostly come from my love of the series or characters. I always have some kind of connection whether it’s the attitude, trials the character goes through, or the feels I get when I see the character, I want to love and appreciate what I cosplay.
Photo by Whitney’s Wonders
Do you make all of your cosplays?
My first costume was straight up bought. Back then, I had never touched a sewing machine. My friend at the time tried showing me, but it was hopeless….those things still scare me today! Haha. I have come a long way since then. But sometimes, I do not make ALL of a costume. There are somethings that are beyond my skill levels right now, like full spandex body suits, that I can’t do. However, I always try to make as much as I can. In some costumes though, like my Female Red Robin, I just borrowed stuff for a fun shoot with friends. I will be making an official version soon though! My skills are growing though! I haven’t been in cosplay for long, but luckily I am a fast learner!
What has been your easiest and most complicated cosplay?
My easiest cosplay has to be Neliel. I mean, come on guys have you seen her costume?! Haha, while she’s difficult to pose in, I can flail and derp around without too much of a care. One of my most challenging costumes would be my version of Poison Ivy. I hand glued ALL of those flowers, not to mention had the bright idea to make the train of flowers and greenery off of the back. It was so much fun to wear though. My Pyramid Head is a close second. And to think I am remaking both of them. HA!
If you could cosplay anybody from anything who would it be?
I was a big fan of the Gundam series growing up. I would absolutely love to cosplay as an actual Winged Zero Custom. I mean, those wings just call to me.
Who have people said that you should cosplay as?
I get a lot of people wanting me to cosplay from comics. Which I am okay with, I grew up with them. Recently it’s been Wonder Woman (my hero) and Black Canary. I also get requests to cosplay from League of Legends. Which I am currently working on a Midnight Skin Ahri for Anime Weekend Atlanta.
What was one of your most memorable experiences you have had while cosplaying?
One of the most memorable things to happen to me at a convention happened at this past Anime Weekend Atlanta. I had been in Poison Ivy all day and was starting to feel the aches and pains of cosplay. I was sitting at a table when a family passed. They had a young boy with them who flipped out over my cosplay. Even though I wasn’t a cannon version of Ivy, he knew who I was. He hugged me and said he loved my new outfit and that it was nice to see me in person. He had been reading about me in the comics. He also apologized for Bruce Wayne shutting down my program. Hahahaha, I thought that was so precious. He thought I was the actual character. It brightened up my night of fatigue and gave me a new energy. THAT is one reason why I cosplay. You can’t get those memories anywhere else.
Photo by MV Photography
What do you think makes a good cosplay?
I think love for the genre and character you cosplay as makes a good cosplay. It doesn’t matter who makes what or who bought this or that. Who looks more like that character or who has more sex appeal. At the end of the day you are surrounded by friends and people who share your passions. Sharing that love is a beautiful and wholesome thing.
How would you describe the state of the cosplay hobby right now?
As of right now, I am glad that cosplay is getting more attention and being recognized as a community. Though I feel some things are more negative than positive, it is nice to see the community growing. My only hope is that we do not forget where we came from and how to love one another.
What advice would you give to somebody just starting out cosplaying?
My advice would be to have fun! Cosplay who you want to and don’t be afraid to ask for help! I still do all of the time. You would be surprised at who would help you out and give you some excellent tips! If you see me at a convention say hi! I love new friends. Also…fear the hot glue.
Besides cosplaying what other hobbies do you have?
I love gaming, cuddling up to watch Dr. Who and all those nerdy things. I also love to hang out and meet new people. When I go to Tennessee to see my family, I will ride my horses or ATVs. (I grew up a redneck!) I also love photography. So when I can get my paws on a camera, I’m almost as bad as the paparazzi.
Photo by Chris Auditore Photography
Thank you again to Sparky Cosplay for the interview. You can visit her other sites here.