Cosplay Spotlight: Destiny Nickelsen

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Welcome back to Cosplay Spotlight! For this tenth edition we present to you  Destiny Nickelsen Cosplay! As usual, our promise is to bring  you some of the amazing work these cosplayers do, but also we will be focusing on the why’s and the how’s!

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Super dork who costumes, plays games and reads comic books. Let’s be friends. – Destiny

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Comic Book Therapy – Thank you for taking the time out to speak to us. How have you been doing lately?
Destiny Nickelsen – My pleasure! I’ve been doing pretty okay, thanks for asking. Just trying to plan for the new con season coming up this spring!
CBT – What got you into doing cosplay?
DN – I grew up being a nerd, I guess. My dad raised me on sci-fi, my brother got me into games and comics, and my mom was teaching me how to sew and craft beforeI could even spell or write properly. She always helped me make halloween costumes, or stuff for school plays, so costuming was already something I had a passion for. As I got older I just kind of merged my crafty world with my nerdy side and started going to cons. 

CBT – What is your process in choosing the characters you want to portray?
DN – I choose characters that I feel I have something in common with, or that I can do justice to as I’m portraying them. I like to only make costumes for characters that I really love and have a connection to in some way or another. S o in other words, you won’t see me making something just because it’s the popular thing at the moment unless I care about it and have some attachment to it. I have to be in love with the design, the persona, and the story of something. If I’m going to put the time money and effort into it, I want it to be something I’m passionate about. 
 
CBT – What was the first character you cosplayed as? Your favorite?
DN – My first “official” cosplay I guess, was Himura Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin/Samurai X. It was thrown together last minute for a party, and I don’t even have any photos of it! It was hilariously bad, but somehow looked presentable.
It’s hard for me to pick ONE particular favorite costume. I feel like whatever my newest costume is, that’s my favorite at the time. Because there’s a rush to feeling proud of the new costume, being able to be that character now, and seeing the response it gets. So all my costumes hold a special place in my heart, but I think I have momentary favorites with all of them.
 

CBT – How long have you been making your costumes by hand?
DN – ALWAYS! Like I said, even growing up, my mom neve took me to the local Party City for a halloween costume. We always made it a project together to create something unique. I think it’s more satisfying to wear your costumes knowing you, or you and people who care about you are the ones who created them. If I don’t know how to do something in particular, I research how to do it and make it myself. I want to cosplay, not model something off of a shelf.
CBT – Creating costumes is very time consuming, especially when you want to make sure it’s authentic as possible. What keeps you motivated to continue and how do you handle the stress?
DN – Excellent question! Personally, I’m a perfectionist, and I think everyone is to some extent. Wanting to have or be the best is a huge motivator. And I don’t mean that in a conceited way, as if I think I am, by any means, “the best”. I just think seeing other amazing costumers and wanting to be on that level is a big driver. It’s inspiring. From an artistic point of view, I love the chalenge of trying to take a 2D cartoon, or a video game character, and bring it to life. I love working out how to make it translate to real life and be something wearable. Then the finished project in itself is motivating. Knowing what you’re potentially working towards keeps me going. All of the reasons I just stated are part of how I handle the stress of deadlines and trying to make it all work. I work better under pressure, and the stress of trying to finish something to perfection in a certain amount of time, on a budget, motivates as well. The only time I find I can’t process stress that well, is when something reaaally just isn’t working and I have to start from scratch. That’s the most frustrating thing EVER.
CBT – Have you participated in any contests?
DN – I’ve done some online “Like” contested and such, but as for convention contests and masquerades, it’s not something I’m really in to. Despite what I put out there, I’m a pretty shy person, and I would rather watch than participate. I also feel like a lot of the time, they end up being popularity contests instead of actually judging the craftsmanship of the costume, and that can be disheartening. So I just watch and appreciate the other people who ARE in to them. :) 

CBT – What is your best Con memory?
DN – I have too many to count! I’ve been a con-goer for almost a decade, so it’s hard to keep track of all the good times. Some favorites include being flown to London for KapowCon to meet Mark Millar, because we were able to collaborate and I did some cosplay cover variants with friends for his Kick-Ass comics, or getting to spend Phoenix Comic Con last year with my dad, as he’s struggling with cancer so that was an awesome time to spend with him while he felt up to it. This past NYCC was amazing also. I got to hang out with amazing friends, debut new costumes and cosplay with my significant other, and spend the weekend visiting my best friend. I think most cons I go to have some pretty rockin’ memories attached. 

CBT – Cosplaying various characters must’ve given you a lot of geek credibility. How would you describe yourself as a geek?
DN – I think the whole concept of having to have “geek cred” is a little silly. It’s becoming this huge debate in the community about whether or not you have enough “geek cred” to warrant this, or that. It’s stupid. I think people just like what they like and shouldn’t have to prove it just to be taken seriously.
If I described myself as a geek, I would say I’m considered one because the majority of my focus is on video games, most of the movies I watch are nerdy in nature, and my wardrobe consists mostly of Star Wars apparel. I think you can be a nerd or geek about anything. I think those words describe having an intense passion for one thing in particular. You can have book nerds, music nerds, cooking nerds, whatever. I’m a nerd about sci-fi, costumes, anime, games. It’s just what I like and put my spare time, money, and effort into.
 

CBT – There’s been a lot of turmoil because of the “sexual” component that is being discussed amongst convention organizers that sees many cosplayers getting asked to put some more clothes or turned away because their costumes are to “risque”. How do you feel about the apparent censorship of these costumes?
DN – I have mixed opinions on that subject. On one hand, I think if you’re brave enough to wear something risque and feel comfortable doing so, more power to you. Artistic expression, freedom to express yourself and whatnot. I also see how some people wear the risque stuff in order to be really accurate, as a lot of characters are very sexualized in nature and appearance. I can also see it from the perspective of con admins. Conventions are, for the most part, family friendly environments. So I understand how they might want to keep things toned down. I think trying to censor too much isn’t necessarily fair, as it hasn’t been much of an issue in the past. Kind of like you can’t make rules and then change them half way through the game. I think some costumers take the revealing aspect to an extreme and could modify costumes to be a little more practical for real-life wear though.

CBT – Many Cosplayers are either into Comic Books or Manga/Anime. What are you most into? Favorite Comic or Manga/Anime?

DN – I’m into a little bit of everything I think. For the most part, I’m into movies, games and comics. I love anime also, but I’m more selective about it so I don’t read or watch quite as much as your normal ‘otaku’ might.

Star Wars and Tron are two of my huuuuuuge loves. I’m also a huge video game geek. I don’t get to play half as many as I would like to (They’re gosh darn expensive!) but I love stuff like the Legend of Zelda franchise, Fable, Halo, Mario, Lollipop Chainsaw, and the Final Fantasy series. I like RPGs and FPS games.
I have a few favorite comics, and I’ll have to go with Captain America, X-Men, Kick-Ass, and Wolverine. Manga wise, SAILOR MOON ALL THE WAY. 
CBT – Cosplayers are vital and very popular at conventions. Is there a network that cosplayers established to assist eachother?
DN – I think sites like Facebook, Cosplay.com, the Replica Prop Forum and other sites are extremely beneficial to us. They’re all places where can get discuss work, give pointers, advertise ourselves and our work, and stay in touch as friends. 

CBT – Any Advice you would like to offer to offer up and coming cosplayer?
DN – BE YOURSELF! Don’t ever try and like something or change yourself just to be popular. Stay true to what you love, aim for characters that inspire you. Learn from your mistakes, google is your best friend. Work within your means, and don’t try to tackle huge stuff without practicing on smaller projects first. It’s easier to mess up and learn with the small stuff, then goof up big time with expensive materials! Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or seek tips from costumers who inspire you. I promise we don’t bite. Take notes, and plan. Make lists, and start your projects in advance. A lot of the time, you run OUT of time, because con season sneaks up on you. 
CBT – Thank you so much for your time. Anything else you’d like for us to be on the look out for?
DN – Thank YOU for talking to me! Be on the look out for new costumes! I’m working on a bunch to debut this spring. Also check out  girlsofgeek.com, I’m going to be in their 2013 Calendar along with a bunch of other awesome geeky ladies. All the proceeds go to Breast Cancer funding!
I’ll also be in the 2013 WoCC calendar https://www.facebook.com/comicbookcosplay
 
I also have posters available!
http://www.destinynickelsen.storenvy.com

Make sure you check out Destiny’s pages below to see more of her cosplays and updates!

http://www.facebook.com/OfficialDestinyNickelsen
http://www.twitter.com/R2Des2

http://www.quorraiso.deviantart.com

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