Name: Dancing Raptor Cosplay – Lily, Leah and James
City: SoCal (Los Angeles and San Diego )
Photographer(s): We’ve worked with a few different photographers (will list with each photo)
What was your first Cosplay Experience?
Our first Cosplay all together Disney Pirate Princesses for Wondercon 2012.
Lily: My first time cosplaying was back in 2003. A group of my friends were going to SDCC and dressing up as Lord of the Rings characters- I didn’t have a real “cosplay” costume but I had stuff from Ren Fair so I cobbled it together and went as some sort of elf warrior thing. People were still excited to see me, though! Costumers weren’t as common back then! After that I very quickly made a proper Eowyn dress (and wore it to all the LoTR premiers!)
Leah: In public? Like most girls my age, I combed thrift shops for anything I could pass as a costume piece. I wanted an outfit for everything from a green and silver school girl get for Harry Potter book releases to a black vinyl catsuit to look like Trinity from The Matrix. But in truth? When I was young, I used to tie my bed sheets together to try to make Princess Serenity’s (from Sailor Moon) dress.
James: I went to Star Wars Celebration when I was younger and had a few cool costumes, but I didn’t dress up outside of Halloween until I met Lily (I was dressed as nyan cat at the time!). My first cosplay costume was at Wondercon 2012, I went as the Deacon from Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
As a team, almost 2 years. Individually, Lily has been involved for about 11 years, Leah for 10 years, and James about 3 years.
Who or What inspired you to take up Cosplaying?
Lily: I started dressing up with Halloween – I LOVED the costumes. For a while when I was a kid I wanted to be a professional bellydancer just for the costumes! My mom is an amazing seamstress, so she would make my costumes – she hated the awful polyester party store costumes, so she would make whatever I wanted. When I was in middle school I discovered Renaissance fairs, and then soon after Comic Conventions – by then I was able to sew by myself, and since I grew up reading comic books and playing video games it was a natural progression!
Leah: When I was eleven, someone finally pointed out that a lot of the cartoons I liked were from Japan and were called anime so I started to seek it out anime that wasn’t being shown just on Cartoon Network. I quickly entered a world of Technicolor hair and gravity defying outfits and of course, it’s thriving internet community. Just seeing how many people took these impossible creations and constructed them out of real materials just grabbed me. Thanks, Internet!
James: My awesome wonderful girl friend inspires me and encourages me to try new costuming techniques. Lily is the one who introduced me to cosplay so I learned from her.
If you had to pick a favorite Cosplay you have worn or see someone else wear What would it be?
Lily: my favorite I’ve ever worn was my Galacta (the daughter of Galactus). My favorite that I have seen is Volpin Props’ Big Daddy From Bioshock!
Leah: Death, from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. It was the last time my shoes were actually comfortable and I didn’t have to make a super serious face!
James: My favorite that I have worn is Magneto, followed closely by the White Walker from Game of Thrones.
If you had unlimited funds and resources, what Cosplay would you create?
Lily: Saint Celestine from Warhammer 40k! She’s so badass and amazing and has been my dream cosplay for years, but my armor making is just not there yet and I really don’t have the space to start making power armor and massive wings right now.
Leah: Esther Blanchett’s coronation gown from Trinity Blood. Every inch is so detailed and textured, without losing its delicate appearance. Plus the style of the gown is so heavily inspired by Queen Elizabeth I, one of my favorite historical figures.
James: I would love to make a full set of functional knight’s armor. I want an r2d2 and a set of Mandalorian of armor, and maybe Daedric armor from Elder Scrolls. And a full Dr. Doom! And I want to make a functioning robotic ClapTrap to accompany our upcoming Borderlands Costumes!
What advice would you offer others who are aspiring Cosplayers?
Never be afraid to try new techniques – we always pick up something new with each costume whether it is leatherwork, 3d printing, or a new method of makeup or wig-work. Reach out and talk to other cosplayers, make friends and ask for advice! There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and you’re not alone!
Also if the shoe fits, get it in a half-size bigger (your feet will swell from walking a convention all day.).
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