· The hobby of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime (comics and animation).
Cosplay has always been a creative escape for me. Growing up as a classic "sensitive art kid", I struggled with socializing and education. Dressing up and acting were liberating! I got to pretend I was anyone I wanted to be and could forget how difficult everything was and how much I disliked myself. An Elementary school teacher told my mother that I would be lucky if I graduated High School. Years later, not only have I graduated High School, but just graduated college with a BA in Theater Arts with a plan to move on to a Masters program. Cosplay and other artistic expressions have been my salvation. I finally felt like I was good at something I loved and that quieted down the judgemental voice inside me. This fun hobby in Middle School developed beyond simply acting but to include costume creation, constructing props and my first experiences with the fun and creativity of makeup. By the time I was in college, I knew I enjoyed sewing, props creation, and acting but then I discovered something that really brought out my creativity. Drag makeup.
I fell in love with the world of Drag Queens and Kings and I wanted in! As I dove head first into this world I found it didn't quite fit my style but it did connect me to the LGBTQ community which helped me discover my own gender identity. It freed me and helped me express my non-binary, gender fluidness.
Feeling more myself, I went back into cosplay and allowed my creativity to flourish with no limits. I love finding characters I like and recreating them on myself or others mostly through makeup. As I practiced, I developed an aesthetic of a strange mix of genres. I call this genre "Creepy Cute" and it is a juxtaposition of something jarring or viewed as creepy with cute themes like bright pastel colors or hearts. I love both of those themes on their own but my all time favorite is to mix them.
Self-expression through my own art medium makes me feel more alive than I have ever felt before. Even when I'm tired and pissed and want to do nothing all day, I still love doing makeup and I’ve never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do now.