She is a single mother of two amazing twin boys during the day and a crime fighter by night. A woman who has used her over 20 years experience in both the graphic arts and multimedia industry to create some very impressive cosplays. From her Rule 63 Bane to her She Hulk, she has truly lived up to the skillset of her chosen name, Mystique
Jack Nickelz: So what got you started in Cosplaying?
Mystique: I wore a t-shirt that said “Don’t Blame Me: I Voted for Rolsin” and got Mary Mcdonnell to autograph it. Then the next thing I know, people would stop me in the halls, in the dealer rooms and before and after panels asking if they could take a photo of my shirt and me. Needless to say, I loved the attention and thought that it would be fun to dress up in costume for the next convention.
Jack Nickelz: Do you remember what your first Cosplay was?
Mystique: Yes! The first character I Cosplayed as was none other than Star Trek: Voyager’s Seven of Nine played by Jeri Ryan. I knew that she would be a challenge as my first costume; plus, she was blond and I brunette and at the time I was not very fond of wigs. I had to dye my hair several times in order to get the correct shading needed in order to portray her accurately and in time for my first attendance to Dragon Con in 2007. Then, after many screen shots from DVD’s and online research, I learned that I would have to make my own Borg appliances in order to make this costume in time for the convention. I could not find a seller that had these accessories anywhere.
I sculpted; molded and cast the Borg implants myself. Having a fine arts background did help me achieve my goals. I must admit that I’ve never sculpted anything in my life, but I’m very proud of the work I put into making this costume happen. I also had to download several online tutorials about Smooth-On products in order to experiment with different casting techniques while…I eventually found one suitable for my particular situation.
Jack Nickelz: How was your first Cosplay experience?
Mystique: I had a BLAST to say the least. Being surrounded by so many people who share the same fandom as you help change my life. Finally found a hobby that I can really enjoy and express myself artistically.
Jack Nickelz: How do you pick which Cosplay to do?
Mystique: I tend to lean more towards strong characters for my Cosplay. I look for a challenge and either chooses to portray them as accurately as possible or to put my own take on the character. It also depends if I get invited to be involved with a group costume project for an upcoming convention as well will determine my next character to Cosplay as.
Jack Nickelz: Do you have any Cosplay that you are becoming known for?
Mystique: Yes, My Rule 63 Bane seams to have gone viral.
Jack Nickelz: What have been some of your fav. Cosplays to do?
Mystique: I would have to say my Rule 63 Wolverine simply because it’s so easy to wear and it’s casual. I don’t have to put too much effort in making that character come to life.
Jack Nickelz: Has there ever been a Cosplay that you wanted to do but it was too reveling?
Mystique: Not really. I think I can pull off just about anything I decide to Cosplay as.
Jack Nickelz: Who have been some of the Cosplayers that you admire?
Mystique: Kamui Cosplay’s work is amazing! I have all her tutorials on Worbla and because of her my Warrior Wonder Woman became a reality!
Jack Nickelz: What do your friends and family feel about your Cosplaying?
Mystique: My friends support me because most of them are also into Cosplay. My family, on the other hand, thinks I’m on a wild vacation every other weekend. LOL!
Jack Nickelz: What are your thoughts on Cosplay bullying and harassment?
Mystique: I personally have yet to experience being harassed at a con. But that’s not to say that it doesn’t exist. I’m sure that some photographers and convention attendees have harassed other Cosplayers. There are people that don’t respect personal space. I surround myself with a large group of friends and we all look after one another. Conventions have policies about harassment and security protocols (or at least they all should) incase such an incident should occur. I try not to think too much about it. I’m there to have a good time and be with my friends.
Jack Nickelz: How do your children feel about you Cosplaying and have you ever done a family Cosplay with you and your kids?
Mystique: My twin boys love that I costume and yes, we have done a family group together. It was a Star Trek theme.
Jack Nickelz: How does it feel to be recognized for your amazing Bane gender bent Cosplay?
Mystique: AMAZING! I honestly didn’t expect that costume to get this much social media attention. I worked hard to make sure I could play the part. I gained 8 lbs. of muscle just so I can “become” that character. I did the same thing back in 2011 for my She Hulk.
Jack Nickelz: How has your background in Graphic Designs, helped you out in you Cosplaying?
Mystique: Having a fine arts background has defiantly helped me a lot with my crafting skills. Especially in the field of graphics design, I used Illustrator a lot to draw out my conceptual designs for my costumes. For example, I wasn’t sure how I wanted my Warrior Wonder Woman shield to look like until I drew a few illustrations and came up with the final design. It helped me how to calculate the placements of the stars and eagle as well as how thick each intersection should be.
Jack Nickelz: Thank you for taking time out to do this. Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans and readers?
Mystique: Yes, stay tune for Dragon Con 2015 as I will be revealing my dream costume as The Borg Queen. Thanks to the help of Gotham City FX!