Welcome to the sixth session in our series of TEN interviews, each featuring one of Cosplay and Coffee’s official Instagram page models! Each of these girls offer incredibly well-crafted and stunning cosplays, so here is your chance to get to know them a little better.
Paige aka @canaryofmelbourne is an Australian gaming guru. She has a knack for flawless Black Canary and Harley Quinn cosplays, but you can also find her geeking out over Star Wars. Catch up with her on Instagram and make sure to see her gallery at the end of this exclusive interview!
Cosplay and Coffee (C&C): What is the cosplay scene like in Australia?
Canary of Melbourne (CM): Here in Australia the cosplay scene is pretty small but we’re a tight knit bunch. Whilst we’re a small community we are pretty good at what we do. We all kind of know each other or know of each other, at the least, which makes it easier for us to come together for collaborations. Events like PAX Aus, SupaNova etc. are generally packed with amazing cosplayers and it’s a great way to meet and get to know each other.
C&C: Have you met any well-known cosplayers?
CM: have met a few well known Australian cosplayers, yes! To be honest, though, I am extremely shy and have social anxiety so often I struggle to get out more than an awkward “hi, you’re amazing” *runs away* OR I freak out entirely and look on from afar.
C&C: Do you plan on visiting any comic-conventions in America this year?
CM: I would absolutely love to visit a con in America! I don’t have any plans set in concrete, but I do have another motivation for visiting the US so we’ll see what 2017 holds. If I do, I’ll bring my American Dream cosplay and best attempt at an American accent with me!
C&C: Do you have friends or family that cosplay?
CM: Yes! One of my closest friends Sam Moody (@sammmy94 on IG) is the one who got me into cosplay! We cosplay as Arrow and Black Canary at any cons we go to together. I’ve also made some wonderful friends through cosplaying, and I’ve met some pretty special people. I’ve also got my youngest sister into cosplaying and she does a KILLER Suicide Squad Harley Quinn… but she had better stay out of my stuff.
C&C:Do you see yourself doing cosplay long-term?
CM: Definitely! I love it! I want to be one of those families that take their kids to cons and do family cosplays because I think that it’s absolutely adorable!
C&C:What is something that you’ve learned as a cosplayer?
CM: How to deal with getting a lot of attention in social situations. Having social anxiety, being in large crowds is quite difficult for me as it is let alone having people come up to me when I am cosplaying asking for photos and asking about my cosplays. Cosplaying has really helped me learn how to approach social situations and actually enjoy them rather than panic like I normally would.
C&C: Have you ever been told that you look like a celebrity?
CM: Not really a celebrity, but I was told I look like Lucius Malfoy once. I took it as a compliment though I’m not sure it was meant that way!
C&C: What would you tell your 18 year old self if you had the chance?
CM: As much as everyone says you will, you will literally never regret missing house parties or nights out with people you don’t particularly like. Enjoy your wine and heavy gaming session.”
C&C: What is one thing you want people to know about you?
CM: I am the senate.
C&C:Who is your favorite animated character of all time?
CM: Scar from The Lion King. Hands down. Most relatable character ever. Scar is my spirit animal.
Be sure to follow Paige at @canaryofmelbourne on social media. See her links and her cosplay gallery below!
There is something remarkable within the cosplay community where an unyielding force brings like-minded people of geek culture together. Some cosplayers spread this unity by endorsing other cosplayers, raising money for charities, or building a common ground to stand on. And one such force is the organization Cosplay Against Bullying.
Bullying seems to be a never-ending cycle, even as one gets older. With today’s infamous internet trolls, it’s hard to get away from crude and demeaning remarks. Cosplayers of all skill levels are extremely aware of this type of bullying, and CAB is looking to put a stop to it.
For those of you who have heard of this organization, but you’re not sure what they’re all about, we’ve gathered the top 5 Things You Should Know About Cosplay Against Bullying:
Cosplay Against Bullying is an online campaign that embraces friendship and simultaneously combats negativity. It all started with four administrators from the Philippines who decided to combine the idea of anti-bullying with “geek” culture. The group has since branched into countries all around the world from Norway, Canada, and the U.S.
Their social media presence is one of the few places in the cosplay community where you can start a discussion about your own bullying problems. Comments such as, “you’re cosplay isn’t accurate” or “your wig looks bad” are sometimes hard to hear. On their social media, you’ll find encouraging words from cosplayers going through the same type of harassment. It’s a way to unify those whole fall victim to those pesky online trolls, and a place where you can laugh it off together.
Their YouTube channel in particular shows interviews with well-known cosplayers (such as LeAnna Vamp) who have experienced years of ridicule under the internet microscope. Their entertaining videos follow Spiderman as he walks through conventions, gathering advice from cosplayers.
Or you can simply watch Spiderman giving out doughnuts, like the hero that he is.
Arthur, who heads the CAB leg here in the U.S, spends his time spreading friendship and positivity as a Spiderman cosplayer. However, it’s not just online and at conventions that he uses his Spidey skills. Recently, Arthur joined The Buddy Walk, an organization that spreads awareness to those effected by Down Syndrome. Though he was the only cosplayer at the event, bringing Spiderman on the scene brought out ton of excitement for those in attendance. Their goal is to attend more events like The Buddy Walk so they might lift the spirits of anyone hindered by their ailments.
The idea to join the cosplay community to stand against bullying started small, but man has it grown. In the U.S. alone, these cosplayers have expanded from Indiana to covering conventions in Orlando and New York. Now they’re hoping to increase their efforts to visit as many charity events and conventions as possible. Their hope is to lighten the sometimes lonesome burden of being bullied.
If you want to collaborate with Cosplay Against Bullying IRL, help them reach your local convention by endorsing them in their campaign on Go Fund Me.The donations will help cover costs to bring their enthusiasm and charisma to conventions all over the U.S.
And if you’ve experienced bullying, follow them on social media (links below). You’ll find uplifting messages, but there’s also some pretty hilarious memes for those days when you’re feel particularly down. Give them a follow and see how other cosplayers have joined their efforts!
Welcome to the third session in our series of TEN interviews, each featuring one of Cosplay & Coffee’s official Instagram page models! Each of these girls offer incredibly well-crafted and stunning cosplays, so here is your chance to get to know them a little better.
The Collected Mutineer is a Californian cosplayer. She’s a writer for the fandom blog, The Collective. In fact, she’s also a contributing writer for Cosplay & Coffee. Her cousin is The Collectress, and together they are taking over sunny CA to cover as much cosplay ground as possible.
Photo by: @gerikramerphotography
Cosplay&Coffee: How long have you been a cosplayer?
Collected Mutineer: I’ve been dressing up since I was a kid! But real honest-to-goodness, dedicated cosplay started happening in 2014. In only 3 years, I have grown so much as a cosplayer, and I want to keep improving!
Cosplay&Coffee: Is there a particular character that got you into cosplaying?
CM: Yes. I have a weakness for Lady Loki.
Cosplay&Coffee: What are your passions?
CM: I am a huge bookworm, and I love writing. I’m passionate about learning, expanding my worldview, and being creative. I think that cosplay fits into the things I love pretty well. It’s an opportunity for crafting and self-expression, just like writing is.
Cosplay&Coffee: Which character has been the hardest for you to cosplay (from wardrobe malfunctions, to just not feeling the character)?
CM: I did a “casual” cosplay of Peter (Petra!) Parker at Long Beach Comic Con last year, and it just didn’t work out the way I had wanted. I went casual for the day because I wanted to take pictures of other cosplayers, and the outfit I wore was supposed to emulate one of Peter’s from The Amazing Spider-Man. But it was way too hot, and didn’t feel the way I had imagined it would. I ended up ditching half my outfit so that I could breathe properly! I would like to redo it in the future…but maybe only in the winter.
Cosplay&Coffee: What was the last TV show you watched? Tell us about it!
CM: I’m watching season 4 of The 100, and loving it! I write about it occasionally for The Collective. My cousin @collectresscosplay and I are also binging the Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix, which is about Drew Barrymore turning into a zombie. It’s hilarious, but also a little gross, so don’t watch it while you’re eating dinner!
Cosplay&Coffee: Have you cosplayed a character from that show? Do you want to?
CM: I would love to cosplay Lexa or Octavia from The 100. They get the cool warrior/post-apocalytic clothes, armor, and weapons!
Cosplay&Coffee: If you could meet one celebrity, who would it be?
CM: My list used to include 3. Jared Padalecki, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Tom Hiddleston. I’ve met the first two, so Tom is next! Although I think I would probably cry and possibly faint.
Cosplay&Coffee: What advice would you give your high school self?
CM: Don’t care about what your classmates think. Stop trying so hard to fit in.
Cosplay&Coffee: What is your aesthetic?
Expectation: The 1940s. Think Agent Carter or Casablanca.
Reality: Lazy cat lady.
Cosplay&Coffee: We all know it takes special motivation to be a dedicated cosplayer. Coffee helps us! So, what kind of coffee do you usually drink?
CM: I love hazelnut flavored coffee, and any of the blends you can get at Disneyland. I’m also a sucker for chai and English Breakfast tea (hey, it’s caffeine—it counts!)
Be sure to follow The Collected Mutineer on social media. See her links and her cosplay gallery below ?
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a night I look forward to every December. Mostly because I love the Victoria’s Secret line, but also because Candice Swanepole is my #wce. And as someone who also grew up watching Disney movies, I was ecstatic when I found Archibald’s artwork of Disney Princesses re-imagined as Victoria’s Secret runway models.
Now, don’t get me wrong: there are tons of other artwork out there that depict Disney Princesses gone VS, but they all seem to encapsulate the image of the runway models, not the Disney Princesses. Archibald steers more towards the facial and body visages of the animated Disney princess, which gives the drawings a friendlier tone. He has stated that his art style is highly influenced by former Walt Disney animator Glen Keane.
Archibald is a self-taught artist who depicts life-like interpretations of all our favorite characters from Disney, Marvel, DC, and more. He has twisted the popular Disney princesses to be anything from fairies, mermaids, and now Victoria Secret runway models. He keeps his artwork fun and light, embodying a somewhat real-life adaptation, yet still maintaining that humble, round-out Disney facade.
Cosplay & Coffee asked Archibald who he considers to be his favorite Disney princess, to which he admitted:
“Oh, it’s quite a lot! I’ll just say Rapunzel and Ariel are my favorite princesses. And Candice Swanepole is my favorite VS model!”
It might seem strange to envision our childhood heroins as fashion models who wear extravagant pieces of undergarments, but we all grow up, don’t we? This fun work of art no doubt inspires some seductive cosplay ideas, but it also diminishes the border for cosplayers and encourages them to enjoy more adventurous cosplays and seductive roles (such as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy).
When asked how fans have reacted to his work, Archibald told us,
“I had mixed reactions to these girls; some love it, and some don’t. I just delete the negative comments and focus on those positive responses!”
Occasionally, when this fan artist has time (though, not at the moment), he takes commissions and will turn you into your very own version of a Disney character! For more of his work, check out his social media channels which are listed below. If you want to see more from Archibald, you can support him on his Patreon account where you’ll be invited to view exclusive new artwork!
Recently, I met with Erika Cosplay in Miami to talk to her about her experience as a professional cosplayer. It was fantastic getting to know her out of cosplay. And, as a newbie, I really appreciate her tips on cosplaying (see also, Erika’s Tips and Tricks)!
Get to know Erika in Cosplay and Coffee’s first video interview below. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!