By Nicole LukeEditor Note: Cosplayer is Overall Best in Show Winner from Anime Secrets’ Mega Cosplay Contest 2012.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello, my name is Kiki! My cosplay company goes by KannonKosplay. Right now I am currently located in the Florida area, I just moved across country this year. So far I love the conventions and people out here.
When did you start Cosplaying?
I first started to cosplay in 2003. However I started to take my costuming more seriously in 2010. Meaning putting a lot more money and time into them and try to make it more of a lifestyle than just a hobby.
What got you into Cosplaying?
My first costume I created was Videl from DBZ. I really loved the show and I had an online RPG for DBZ. My character I role-played as was Videl. I loved her character so much I wanted to be her character. So I decided to take some clothing and alter it to make her costume. I didn’t know that cosplay was a thing or that people were doing it. I found out about that a little later.
What is your favorite cosplay you’ve made(or that you’ve done)?
Picking a favorite costume is really hard to decide. Not sure I have a favorite. I like different costumes fro different reasons. Depends on my mood!
How do you determine what to Cosplay as in characters?
I pick characters that I like and kind of determine if I think I can somewhat pull it off. Also is I have a very similar personality I feel I can relate to the character. Also I have to like the outfit to really want to do it overall. I think there are a lot of factors combined to make my final selection.
Do you enjoy cosplaying?
I don’t just enjoy cosplaying I LOVE cosplaying!
Do you have any Dream Costumes you want to make or do?
There is a dream costume I wanna make it’s an original designed I created. The character is from a short animated film I did a while back. Aside from that I always have a folder of characters I want to eventually cosplay as when I have the time and money.
Out of all your costumes, which was the hardest to Fabricate?
Probably the most difficult costume to make was my Shidou Mana with the armour. It was a lot of research, figuring out, money, and time.
What are some cosplays you are currently working on?
I always have a good amount of costumes in progress. Right now I am making Tomoe Hotaru’s school uniform from Sailor Moon.
Which costume are you looking forward to wearing in the future the most?
Looking forward to wearing my Rei costume from Evangelion. I have been working on it on and off for some time now. Just can’t wait to finish it! The version I am doing is based off a rare figurine.
Do you think you will ever retire from Cosplaying?
I think there is always a costume someone can make to fit any age. I know I don’t want to retire anytime soon. If I did I think I would go back to animating again.
Have you ever considered wearing costumes outside of conventions for daily wear?
I have worn costumes outside of conventions. In Highschool I made a Battle Royale costume and wore it on a field trip but I think I was the only one that got the joke. lol
In the World of Cosplaying:
Do you or have you participate in any contests? (Convention, online, etc)
I have participated in costume contest at conventions and online. Mostly at conventions though because I like to do stage performances.
Have you won any awards if so what or which?
I have won some awards for my costumes mostly ribbons. All of them are listed on my site.
What was the first event/convention you went to?
First event I went to I believe was called Missouri-Con. It was small but it was the gateway to other conventions.
What is your standing on Handmade vs Store bought cosplay?
I like both hand-made and store bought costumes. I think anyone can cosokay no matter how or where you got your costume. With that being said in Cosplay Contest at conventions I think your costume should be hand-made for workmanship. You are presenting and showing your own personal work. If you are not the person that made it then the person who did should be rewarded for it.
How do you feel about those who Cosplay getting into character? Do you get in Character as well?
I think it’s great when people get into character. I am not in character the whole time I am in costume. Yeah I love to get into character and RP at conventions. Some conventions have really fun larps and it’s a great way to meet people. Usually I find these events are more Sci-Fi/Fantasy cons. It would be great if I saw more of them at anime conventions as well.
Is there anyone you always wanted to meet and have a photoshoot with?
There are so many talented and amazing cosplayers I would love to do a shoot with! It would be awesome to meet Omi Gibson and do a shoot with her! ^=^’
Can you share a few tips for beginners from your experience?
I have a few things I can say are: don’t ever give up! Plan plan,.. and plan ahead of time. Don’t let other people bring you down. Do cosplaying because you LOVE cosplaying. Also do this because you want and to not to please other people.
What are the positives and negatives of Cosplaying in your opinion?
Some positives aspects to cosplaying are: It’s a great way to meet new people! If your shy it’s a good way to get out and hare common interests. It’s nice to pretend to be someone else and imagine living a different life for a while. I also enjoy creating, photo-shoots, learning new things, cosplaying with groups, and many other positive things! As far as the negative sometimes my costumes are un-comfortable like shoes and get blister ect. I think it’s worth it though so I do it anyways. People send me sometimes inappropriate messages about me in my costumes.
How do you deal with negative and positive feedback on your costumes?
Usually depending it the negative feedback is more of a criticism than an attack I take a person ideas into consideration for my next costumes and photos. Sometimes people say things that you just need to ignore and move on. It’s always nice to get positive feedback for my work.
Any words of wisdom for aspiring Cosplayers?
Remember to have fun and that you are doing this for the right reasons.
Outside of Cosplaying:
Do you have any hobbies other then Cosplaying?
Yes I do have other hobbies outside of cosplaying. However cosplaying has taken up most my time now and I have less time for them. I few of them include illustrating, character designs, original costume design, animating, photography, and video editing.
Do you have any helpers (pets) that often ‘help’?
Yes I have 2 cats, Blance and Kupo. They are both VERY needy and other playing around in my fabric. Knock things off my work table, sleep in my fabric, and generally lay on what I am doing to beg for attention and they always win.
Is there anything you do outside of Cosplaying that give you ideas of what to do for a costume?
Usually I get my ideas from manga, videogames, and anime. I don’t currently have a lot of live-action costumes.
Final Words to the Readers:
I look forward to 2013 and I hope I can make better costumes in the future and improve.
For more information on Kiki Kannon Cosplay, check out her cosplay company’s website.