Welcome back to Cosplay Spotlight! For the sixteenth edition we present to you Ithlia Lin! 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!
Comic Book Therapy – Thank you for taking the time out to speak to us. How have you been doing lately?
Ithlia Lin – I have been doing great, thank you for asking!
CBT – What got you into doing cosplay?
IL – Well, I have always been into video games and anime since I was young. In 2005 my sister and I found out about our local convention and decided that we should cosplay. I’ve always been interested in it, so I figured…meh, why not do it? Ever since then, I’ve loved everything about cosplaying!
CBT – What is your process in choosing the characters you want to portray?
IL – Usually I pick characters from series that I watch and play. I tend to pick characters who have a great personality or role in the show. I do also take into consideration the design of their outfit, but usually I pick characters that I like. If I can relate to the character, that’s fantastic, but I also like to challenge myself to act like a character that isn’t like me at all.
CBT – What was the first character you cosplayed as? Your favorite?
IL – Saya from Blood: The Last Vampire. My favorite…oh gosh, it’s definitely a tie between Yoko from Gurren Lagann and Jin from Yu Yu Hakusho. I love Yoko’s character and her role in the show. Jin is from my favorite show and I feel I can embody him very easily because our personalities are surprisingly fairly similar.
CBT – How long have you been making your costumes by hand?
IL – Just this year. I was able to get a sewing machine early this year, so in the past I had my cosplays commissioned. I love the work my commissioner did, but I just want to try and make everything myself now as a way to keep myself challenged and engaged. However, I still keep commissions in mind when it comes to props and armor. I don’t have the best crafting skills, but rather I’m good at sewing and wig styling haha. I do wish to get better though so I can eventually make everything myself! I’m actually taking on my first difficult crafting project with an upcoming cosplay.
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?
IL – What really keeps me motivated is my pure love for cosplaying, and the people who support me. I’m not “famous” like some cosplayers out there, but the little fan base I have is still fantastic! I’m very grateful to all of them for following me and supporting me, and I don’t want to let them down! So that combined with my love for cosplay really keeps me motivated. There is honestly nothing that I dislike about cosplay haha. As for the stress…I already deal with stress from college, so cosplays just pile up on top of that. However, cosplaying is my way to escape the stresses of the real world, so I don’t necessarily get negative stress from working on my cosplays. Rather, I use that worry to try and do my best so the cosplay is completed on time, but also accurate and made of a good quality.
CBT – Have you participated in any contests?
IL – Not yet. I really want to participate in contests next year though! I have always found them to be interesting and I want to showcase my cosplay as much as I can. I don’t really care if I win or lose (though, winning is always fun haha), but rather the experience is what is important. Experience to model my cosplays better and to converse with fellow contestants on how things are made, sewn, etc… would be fantastic!
CBT – What is your best Con memory?
IL – Oh goodness…this is so hard! I have so many fantastic memories with my friends! I love them so much and we have a lot of fun rooming together at Otakon (and Katsucon for the first time next year!). Just anything I do with them is memorable. Such as our mini photoshoot we did together at Otakon this year and just walking around. Or the time my sister, our friend, and I walked the streets of Baltimore at night to get our friend’s things from another hotel so she could stay with us. Just bonding with my friends is always memorable to me. I also love meeting new friends at cons! I also love seeing people smile when they see me cosplaying as a character they love, it makes me so happy. So just picking one memory is extremely difficult for me!
CBT – How would you describe yourself as a geek?
IL – Oh goodness…myself as a geek eh? I would honestly say that I’m mostly involved with video games. I do love anime, don’t get me wrong, but video games…ugh! I grew up with video games and caught on to anime after, so of course I have a deeper spot in my heart for them. I really want to get into comic books, and I might start with reading Ms. Marvel when I get the time. I love her design and her concept, so I would love to get involved with her comics so I can cosplay as her! But overall, yes…my geekiness definitely shows when I’m talking about video games. I guess you could also say I’m pretty geeky about literature as well since I love to read haha.
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?
IL – I understand the reason for these censorships at family conventions, but I think the conventions sometimes cross the line. It is NOT our fault that the characters are designed to have skimpy outfits. And many cosplayers are very anal when it comes to accuracy. I would never wear anything in public that would show any part of my butt, for example, but I did it when I cosplayed as Yoko. I HAVE to be as accurate as I can with the design of a cosplay, though sometimes I may make a few adjustments for comfort’s sake or modesty (such as not showing underboob for Yoko…not that I have ginormous boobs to do that anyway haha). But even the cosplayers who don’t do this still shouldn’t be asked to change or leave the convention. There are going to be scantily clad people no matter what, even in the real world. To dictate what people can and can’t wear is ridiculous. The only rules for clothes that I ever found reasonable were those about not wearing underwear and having your privates covered (this includes the breasts for women, though I would say that mostly covered is ok since guys can run around shirtless). However, I have heard recent stories that guys aren’t even allowed to go shirtless to cons. This is ridiculous! Guys go shirtless every day in real life, so why should it be prohibited at cons? It isn’t like there is a giant orgy going on or something, goodness! People are going to be exposed to this no matter where they go. Besides, most of us are just bringing characters to life…again, it isn’t our fault that they are designed a certain way. Of course, some people alter designs to make them more risqué but…that’s a whole topic in and of itself.
CBT – Many Cosplayers are either into Comic Books or Manga/Anime. What are you most into? Favorite Comic or Manga/Anime?
IL – I honestly haven’t had any interest in comics until recently. I keep seeing characters with fantastic designs which makes me want to read their comics to find out more information about them haha. As for aime/manga…my absolute favorite show and manga would have to be Yu Yu Hakusho. I love it so much! It was one of my first anime shows that I became interested in, and I love re-watching it. I also love Miyazaki’s films, Hellsing, Sword Art Online, and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic.
CBT – Cosplayers are vital and very popular at conventions. Is there a network that cosplayers established to assist eachother?
IL – Most definitely! I LOVE helping cosplayers out, whether it is with make-up, sewing, posing, etc… Personally, I use Facebook, cosplay.com, and gaiaonline to talk to more cosplayers. There is also socialcos.com and cosplyr.com that I use as well. We also have cosplay “families” that we establish ourselves with. Basically it is a group of people who cosplay together, room together, hangout, help each other, etc…
CBT – Any advice you would like to offer up and coming cosplayers?
IL – Don’t be afraid to cosplay! Pick a character with a simple design at first so you don’t overwhelm yourself. You don’t have to look like the character, but I would definitely suggest picking a character you relate to. This will make being in-character for poses much easier. As you become more comfortable with cosplaying, picking characters will become easier. Also, practice your poses! It would suck for you to do the same pose throughout the convention, and then when you look up pictures of yourself…it will basically be the same picture over and over again. Study the character and figure out poses you could do for him/her. Also, don’t let anyone put you down for cosplaying. No matter you body type, size, skin color, height, etc… you can cosplay whoever you want to. Do NOT let any of that discourage you! Cosplaying has so many benefits (make friends with similar interests, build self-esteem, etc…) that I would hate to see anyone discouraging you to do it. Just have fun with it! If you want to take it more seriously down the line, that’s awesome! Just remember that it is still a hobby to have fun with, but it can also be viewed as an art form.
CBT – Thank you so much for your time. Anything else you’d like for us to be on the look out for?
IL – Well, the only things I can say to be on the look out for would be me at Katsucon 2013 haha. I will be bringing Jill Valentine from Resident Evil 5 in her battle suit, and Ada Wong from Resident Evil 6 with her crossbow. I will also be touching up my Yoko cosplay because there are parts that I am upset with for next year as well, but that will probably not be complete until Otakon (though I am striving for Katsucon if I can). Also…one last announcement is that I will be cosplaying as Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 for Otakon (or ColossalCon if I can attend it).
Make sure you hit like on Ithlia Lin’s fan page to check out some of her other awesome photos and keep up to date with her adventures.
Hey cosplay and fellow geeks!! As the continuing interest in the cosplay world grows, we want to reach out to the cosplay community and highlight those who dedicate their time and effort to a passion for cosplay. Tell us YOUR story! If you know someone that you would like to be featured in this section let us know!
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