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Your new Cosplayer of the Month: Snarky Jay.
Welcome to Cosplayer of the Month, where we feature an incredible cosplayer from our community of fans and learn about who they are beneath the surface and, ahem, WORBLA. This month, we have Snarky Jay!
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Tell us about the first time you put together a cosplay piece.
The first cosplay piece I ever put together was the breastplate for my female McCree cosplay back in 2016. When Overwatch came out, I knew I had to cosplay McCree (even though I wasn't really even aware of what cosplay was yet). I found armor building patterns and tutorials by EvilTedSmith on Youtube, and I jumped right into making the armor out of foam. Even though it was really challenging for me, I loved the process. The build was so well-received when I debuted it at a con that I spent the next year making improvements to the whole thing overall. That breastplate basically started me down the path to cosplay!
What types of characters are you drawn to as a cosplayer?
I find myself drawn to a lot of different characters, but I mainly seek out ones I can identify with, or ones with designs I really love. I love the sleek slyness of characters like Catwoman for instance, but I love the power and spirit of Wonder Woman. Throw in some wildcards like Deadpool and some strong silent types like the Winter Soldier, and you've got a fairly good idea of what I'm all about.
What do you hope to achieve through cosplay?
I'd say I really want to help and inspire others to give cosplay a shot. I consider making my Instagram account my official "entrance" into the community, and pretty much everyone I've met has been really kind and encouraging to me. I've had perfect strangers give me step by step instructions on how to build certain props, others have given me tips for wigs and makeup, the list goes on. If it wasn't for all those wonderful people, I wouldn't have improved like I did, and I wouldn't have developed this love that I have for the community. Positive experiences like that have really helped drive me to be where I am today. I want to be just as approachable and helpful as they were to me for anyone else, regardless of experience.
If you could give any piece of advice to new cosplayers, what would it be?
A piece of advice I would give to new cosplayers would be to really push through regardless of frustration. I know how frustrating building from foam can be, and how troublesome makeup and wigs can be. I also know sometimes the cosplay world can be intimidating, because there are so many talented individuals out there. But we all have something special to bring to the table! It takes time and practice to sharpen your skills. Don't be frustrated, and don't feel intimidated. There's a lot of kind people out there waiting to help you out. It's a great community and being part of it is so worth the struggle.
What would you say is the hardest part of cosplaying?
For me, I'd say the hardest part of cosplaying is actually attending cons in cosplay. It can be physically exhausting to spend 8+ hours a day for two or three days in heels, helmets, wigs, colored lenses, masks, leather; the list goes on. Nobody really walks around in this stuff! Since becoming a cosplayer, I have spent more time wearing uncomfortable clothing and carrying cumbersome accessories than I ever thought I would. Honestly though, I wouldn't change it for the world. Seeing myself embodying characters I admire, or seeing the smile on folks' faces when they see me cosplaying their favorites is one of the most rewarding experiences I've had so far.