Cosplay is a huge part of our Jacksonville NERD scene and on top of our listings we also feature one interview in each of our annual print issues with a local cosplayer. This issue’s Cosplay Feature is Peachy Peaches Cosplay!
What first got you into cosplay, and what was your first cosplay character? I couldn’t exactly pinpoint exactly what first got me into cosplay – I just always loved the idea of dressing up! Halloween was always one of my favorite times of the year because it was a socially acceptable time to dress up out in public, haha! I have also always been into traditional geeky things like anime,video games, and Lord of the Rings. I actually found out about conventions around early high school and was blown away when I discovered that there was actually a way to combine my love of dressing up and my favorite fandoms that I was into! I actually found a website that sold costumes and I bought Sango’s (from Inuyasha) kimono and wore it to school for Halloween! My actual first cosplay that I wore to a convention was Kairi from Kingdom Hearts II, and my first costume that I ever made was a simple Espeon cosplay.
What has been your favorite character to cosplay and why? My favorite cosplay that I have cosplayed has to be between Starfire and Sango for different reasons. Starfire is so full of happy energy and I love being her and interacting with other people AS her – it’s super fun! Since Inuyasha was the first anime that I ever got into, Sango was a very dear character to cosplay for me. I learned a lot while constructing her costume/weapon and I feel very strong and powerful when I get to cosplay her. I also love meeting other Inuyasha fans who come up to me when I’m cosplaying her. I didn’t know many people that were into the show back when it first aired so it’s refreshing to see that there were actually a ton of us!
What’s been your biggest challenge so far in the cosplay world? My biggest challenge so far has been trying to find confidence in myself and my abilities. It’s so intimidating meeting so many creative and talented people in this world – It’s easy for me to feel small and almost have impostor syndrome. It is also sometimes more intimidating (especially in the beginning!) to put myself out there due to being a person of color. There wasn’t as much representation of cosplayers with darker skin tones and there weren’t many characters that “looked like me” if you will. I believe that it has gotten better but society still has a bit of a way to go.
Who are your cosplay heroes and why? CutiePieSensei is my number one cosplay hero and inspiration because she is able to put out amazing work all the time regardless of some remarks that people have on her skin color/effort/etc. She even made a cosplay swimsuit line after several people commented on how her swimsuit Urbosa cosplay wasn’t a “real cosplay!” Also, Shellanin is a hero of mine because of how she embraces her hair type and incorporates it into every cosplay that she does!
With unlimited resources, what would be your dream cosplay to create and why? With unlimited resources, I would LOVE to make Tyrande Whisperwind – she has been my dream cosplay ever since I knew what cosplay was. I love the night elf aesthetic in World of Warcraft and I adore her as a character. I love her design and I think it would be so much fun and a huge learning experience to construct her costume, figure out the body paint, and build her weapons from scratch! She has so many different parts of her that I think I would just love to try to figure out and I can’t wait until I get to do so!
Any advice for those new and curious to the cosplay scene looking to get into costuming? The advice that I would have is to just get out there! There are tons of Youtube tutorials, online forums, books, etc that can serve as wonderful sources of resources! Start small – it’s okay to even start in your closet! Also, no matter how much planning you have, there may be roadblocks that can delay your progress – it sometimes can be really frustrating, especially if you are starting to run out of time. Try not to beat yourself up! Give yourself enough time and grace to help deal with any issues. It is absolutely okay to step away and come back with a fresh mind.
Where is the best place for our readers to follow you? You can follow me on Instagram at @PikAUchu, on Facebook at Peachy Peaches Cosplay, or on Twitter at @Peaches_Cosplay! Thank you for supporting!