Laelya Cosplay is an Edmonton, Alberta based Cosplayer. Featuring costumes from WoW, Bioshock, The Legend of Zelda, Portal, The Elder Scrolls, and other geeky goodness.
Jack Nickelz: So tell us what first got you started in Cosplay?
Laelya Cosplay: Growing up, my family was really into Halloween and costuming. My mom was (and still is!) known as the Queen of Halloween due to her ability to knock out amazing costumes on a minute’s notice. I always loved coming up with ideas for elaborate outfits each year, so the transition into Cosplaying came pretty naturally. My best friend (Caeron Cosplay) also started Cosplaying around the same time I did, and she’s been a huge motivation in terms of getting projects done.
Jack Nickelz: What was your first Cosplay outfit?
Laelya Cosplay: My very first Cosplay was Princess Zelda (the Ocarina of Time version), but it was done for Halloween when I was about 19. It was terrible, but I loved it.
Jack Nickelz: How was it going to a convention in full gear?
Laelya Cosplay: My first major convention was the 2011 Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. I had a very casual Link costume that I put together last minute. This was during a period where Cosplaying wasn’t super popular at cons yet, so it was amazing how many people were interested in taking photos of my group of friends and our costumes. We even shot a quick promo for the Space channel that year.
Jack Nickelz: What has been some of your fav. Cosplays to do?
Laelya Cosplay: My favorite Cosplay is my Aela the Huntress (Skyrim), but I’m also very fond of my newest outfit, a gender bent Elder Maxson from Fallout 4.
Jack Nickelz: Do you have a Cosplay that you are becoming known for?
Laelya Cosplay: My Aela Cosplay is definitely my best-known; it’s been featured on a number of blogs and tends to be the most recognized outfit at conventions. There’s nothing better than someone recognizing you from your hard work!
Jack Nickelz: How do you pick which Cosplay to do?
Laelya Cosplay: I choose characters that leave a lasting emotional attachment. I think about the games and NPCs that have resonated with me, and try to pick Cosplays that are both recognizable and engaging. I don’t really pay attention to the gender/body type of the characters when I’m making my choice. I just pick characters that I’m passionate about.
Jack Nickelz: How long does it normally take you to do a Cosplay?
Laelya Cosplay: A casual Cosplay might take me a couple of days, the more involved ones can take months of tinkering away. I tend to pick away at small pieces of each Cosplay over a longer period of time, and then work steadily as the next convention looms over my head.
Jack Nickelz: What’s the hardest Cosplay that you have had to do?
Laelya Cosplay: I did a Codex (The Guild) costume when I was first getting started with Cosplay, and I think that my lack of knowledge/technical skills at the time made it more difficult to complete. Aela was definitely the most skill-testing build I’ve done.
Jack Nickelz: Who are some of the Cosplayers that you admire?
Laelya Cosplay: Caeron Cosplay (my partner in crime), Lightning Cosplay, Kamui Cosplay, Yelaina May Cosplay, and Cyehra Cosplay are some of my favorites.
Jack Nickelz: Are there any Cosplays that you had to adjust because they were too revealing?
Laelya Cosplay: When I initially started sewing the tunic for Aela, I was a little concerned about the amount of skin that would be showing. As I started piecing everything together, I realized that each component of the costume really did have a purpose in the overall structure of the outfit. My version ended up being a little more modest than the source material, but that’s mainly so I didn’t go spilling out everywhere. 😉
Jack Nickelz: Why do you think that Cosplay is becoming more main stream?
Laelya Cosplay: Why wouldn’t it? Its fun, relaxing (sometimes, haha), and a great creative outlet. I teach college-level design, and I’m finding that more and more of the population are lacking a place to flex their creative muscles. I think that Cosplay is approachable and attainable enough to appeal to a wide demographic.
Jack Nickelz: What do family and friends think about your Cosplaying?
Laelya Cosplay: They’re completely supportive. A good number of my friends go to conventions or are immersed in the culture in some way. I even met my boyfriend through the Cosplaying community!
Jack Nickelz: What are your thoughts on people saying Cosplay is becoming too corporate?
Laelya Cosplay: I think that the focus needs to be on viewing Cosplay as a method of personal expression, rather than focusing on the broader picture. Every Cosplayer I’ve ever met has different reasons for pursuing their craft, and if the recent surge in Cosplay interest means that more people can take part, I’m all for it.
Jack Nickelz: What future Cosplays can we expect to see from you this year?
Laelya Cosplay: This year I’ll be doing Anju (The Legend of Zelda), Elder Maxson (Fallout 4), and a Dark Souls build. Sorry, I can’t say more than that, as I’m still making up my mind!
Jack Nickelz: Thank you for taking time out to do this. Is there anything else you would like to say to the fans?
Laelya Cosplay: Don’t be afraid to get out there and start building costumes! It can be terrifying to join a community that includes Cosplayers of all skill levels, but there’s no better time to start than now. Believe me, all of the hard work, tears, and late-night build sessions are worth it when someone recognizes your Cosplay and is blown away by your talent. There’s no feeling like it!