Cosplayer Highlight – Lion Pride Cosplay
Welcome back to Cosplayer Highlight, where we speak to members of the cosplay community about their experiences, backgrounds and get advice from them for anyone intrigued enough to try cosplay.
We’re on week three and this week we’re speaking to a wonderful cosplayer who I first met over on Facebook. We got talking about the series and having looked around their page, honestly… There are some gems in there.
So it’s with pleasure I introduce to you our next amazing cosplayer… Rebecca Carter from Lion Pride Cosplay.
Interview With the Cosplayer – Rebecca Carter
Q: Welcome to GeekOut South-West! Before we start, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
A: I’m Rebecca Carter from Buckinghamshire, although I’m better known to most as Lion Pride Cosplay. I’m a zoology student with an unhealthy obsession with lions, but as soon as a convention is coming up I pull out the capes and armour and become a cosplayer!
Q: Let’s get right to it – Why did you start cosplaying? Do you have any particular memories of what it was like when you first started cosplaying?
A: I knew cosplay was a thing but never knew it happened in England until I went to my first convention in May 2012. I completely fell in love with con-going and from the second I left the hall I decided to jump straight in and make my first costume for October that year.
I’ll never forget one of my favourite memories of cosplaying is the first time I wore that costume (a set of N7 armour from Mass Effect), and a group of boys yelled “Oh my God it’s Commander Shepard!” as I got off the train – I wasn’t even at the convention yet, but it was such an amazing feeling to be recognised so enthusiastically with my first costume.
Q: When in a costume do you like to use it as a way to interact with people as a character, or do you prefer the strictly crafty element of cosplay? Why?
A: I personally prefer crafting the costume and would rather get to know people at a convention and that they meet me rather than a character. I also often find that people who are in character can be a little over the top, and coming from someone who is quite shy it can be a bit much at times, so I choose not to do that. Also I’m in no way an actor so that also plays a part.
Q: Are you a DIY Cosplayer, or do you like to buy your costumes? What are your views on both the DIY Cosplayer and the shop bought Cosplayer?
A: I make all my own costumes, it’s the best part of cosplaying. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to look at something really random like a yoghurt pot and realising it makes the perfect scope for a rifle! Also because I have to make things on a tight budget that’s the best approach for me. My Skyrim armour for example is mainly cardboard that somehow is still holding together!
I have nothing against people who buy costumes – some people aren’t artistic but still want to join in, or often start out with a bought costume. As far as I see it, cosplay is just having fun being a character you want to be and it doesn’t matter if the costume is made or bought. As long as the person is being nice to others and having a good time, what else matters?
Q: I love asking this question; can you list all of the costumes you have made? What costumes can we expect from you in the future?
A: I started out with a set of N7 armour from the Mass Effect trilogy, shortly followed by a set of iron armour from Skyrim. I then moved on to make Arkham City Harley Quinn and my latest costume was of the newly revealed female Thor. I’m hoping to make Phoenix Force Magik from X-Men when I get some funds. I’ve also helped my partner, Moonset Cosplay, with the odd prop or costume component, and I do his wig and make-up when we do our Joker/Harley pair together.
Q: Through your Cosplaying adventures, have you been to many conventions? What events have you attended so far? Do you have any coming up this year?
A: I’m a regular face at London MCM, London Film and Comic Con and ReadCon. For the first time in March I’ll be hitting London Super Comic Con which I’m pretty excited about. No new costume but I’m hoping that my new Thor might be more recognised now that a few of her comics are out. Also in June for the first time there will be a convention in my home town, so I’m massively looking forward to cosplaying at Wycombe Comic Con!
Q: You have a very popular Facebook page – Do you tend to get recognised at conventions through your page, or have you not really seen that?
A: At the last two conventions I was at a few people did recognise me and it was great! They started talking to me about my costumes and it was really nice to be recognised. Most of my followers are in America though and my page isn’t massive compared to others, so it’s really not something I expected. Also I don’t really think I stand out that much as a cosplayer, it’s not like I’ve done anything unique or massively popular, so again it’s just not something I expected to happen.
Q: If money was no factor and you had all of the skill in the world, what would be your dream costume and why?
A: This is a slightly odd one because it’s not really from something in “geek” culture, but I would love to be Nala from the Broadway version of The Lion King. I love that costume so much and Nala is a character I absolutely adore. So many elements of that costume are beautiful; the mask, the beaded corset, the patterns on the fabric, the make-up. I’d give anything to have the time, money and skill to make it.
Q: Away from cosplay and conventions now; Who’s the real Rebecca? What are you generally like as a person and what are the geeky things that you generally do?
A: Well I’m actually a final year zoology student with a passion for lions (hence the cosplay name). They’re my main area of research and after I graduate I plan on moving to Africa to work with them in the wild. I’m usually very shy and it can take me a long time to open up to people, but I’m working on that. I love creating art in various forms which is probably why I love cosplay so much, and making music as well is another passion of mine.
Geek-wise I’m very into video games and wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t grown up with them. I also love geeky films and have recently been getting into comics, mainly because my partner keeps sending them to me and insists I read them – he is the sole reason I got into the Batman universe in the first place.
Q: Last question now. You’ve been approached by someone who is just getting into Cosplay, but s/he has realised that their skill in making a particular piece, let’s say boots, are lacking. The Cosplayer is getting really disheartened by their lack of knowledge. What do you suggest to this Cosplayer who desperately needs to have these boots?
A: There are several ways you can approach this problem; sometimes it’s just a case of taking a break for a few days and trying again, I often find that’s the best fix for me when it happens.
You can do other things though; ask someone to help you who has done something like that before, whether it’s advice for technique or actually making a small tricky part of it.
You can also google and find tutorials on YouTube, DeviantART, Tumblr, and so many other sites.
Also most cosplayers who have Facebook pages are very approachable, so you can always message them and ask how they made a particular thing or if they can offer advice.
Sometimes you have to go right back to the drawing board and re-think about the materials you’re using; sometimes just changing something as simple as the thickness of foam for example can massively help.
Basically the main message is to try not to give up. It may be disheartening when something doesn’t go to plan, especially if it happens a couple of times but it’s honestly worth trying again. You learn so much by giving it another go, and you will eventually end up with something you love.
I’d like to extend my thanks to Rebecca for her time with us today!
What I’m taking away from this highlight is that even the most simple of materials, such as cardboard, can produce such wonderful works of art, which can last for a very long time. To think her Skyrim costume was mostly made out of cardboard, it’s staggering. So long as you give something a try and adjust where necessary, you can turn anything into a costume. You just have to keep on getting up.
I also like the message of reaching out to your fellow cosplayers who are on Facebook – That’s something I haven’t been so active in myself, simply due to me not having own own Facebook account (Strange, isn’t it..?) I’ve noticed that Twitter also has a very friendly and diverse cosplay scene so please do go check them out too.
Please remember to support the cosplayers and the cosplay photographers once more. Please check out Gallagher Photography’s Twitter and Facebook pages. For Kurnikoff, please visit Kurnikoff.com, his Twitter and his Facebook pages.
As always, please leave your comments below and we’ll be back next week for another awesome Cosplayer Highlight, where we go and speak to more incredible members of the cosplaying community.