1. Hi Mel,thanks to join in our interviews,so please introduce you first.
Thank you for having me! I’m Mel, or as some of you might know me by WindoftheStars. I’ve been cosplaying since 2004, and truly love this creative art form. Some of my favorite types of costume to make come from video games and from my own design. In the little free time outside of work and costuming, I love to swim, play video games or watch movies with my dog.
2. I noticed you’ve made many amazing cosplay and really hot in many cosplay social network, so how did you get started in with cosplay, what was your first cosplay?
I was always really into costumes since I was a kid. When I was a little girl, my mom and I would work together to make rather elaborate Halloween costumes for me. In fact I dressed up as Sailor Moon for two years in row. I remember using a Christmas bows and my old cheerleading skirt for the costume! It wasn’t until I got into college that I really found out about cosplay and conventions. Wanting to make new friends and find out about more anime, so I joined the anime club on campus. They had an annual event in which they encouraged members and attendees to cosplay. This idea just sounded like so much fun that I had my mom help me with my costume and I dressed up as Cassandra Alexandra from Soul Calibur II. It was so much fun, that I started looking into cosplay more online. That’s when I found about anime conventions, and well, the rest is history.
3. What has been your favourite cosplay?
This question is always a tough one for me to answer. There have been several costumes that I would consider my favorites for one reason or another. My top 4 in no particular order are Eternal Sailor Moon from Sailor Moon, Lina Inverse from Slayers Next, Lilith from Borderlands, and Cassandra Alexandra (3p) from Soul Calibur II.
4. Describe your creative process for starting a costume through completion.I see your shop in etsy.com, so I think you can promote it to our readers as well.
I first start off by doing a lot of research. I look up reference images, different techniques I might use in the project, figure out what patterns I might need to use, and I might even look at other costumes just to see if I can get any inspiration. Then I start the planning and brainstorming phase. I make a game plan on how I want to tackle each part of the costume and what materials I will want to use. If I don’t already have a specific way in mind I’ll sit down and brain storm ways to solve the problem. Sometimes if I’m really stuck or unsure of something will work, I’ll run it by my friends to see what their input is on it. Even if you don’t take their suggestions, it might help spark an idea in you that you never thought of. From there I start gathering supplies. Since this is the expensive part of the costume I try to spread it over a few weeks, if not months, so the financial burden is a little easier to bear. Once supplies are gathered, I’ll start crafting. Working little bits here and there. I usually try to have a few things going on at once so if I get stuck (sewing or mentally!) I can take a break and focus on something else. If something isn’t working out, the best thing to do is to put it down and walk away for bit. Even just sleeping on it will make the world of difference if you are struggling on something. Slowly, the costume takes shape and it’s done. At the con and/or photo shoot is when the magic happens. The first time you get to put on the whole costume with full make-up and hair, and getting to see all your hard work come to fruition, it’s extremely gratifying. Yes I do run an Etsy shop. I sell a variety of cosplay accessories for Sailor Moon, Avatar the Last Airbender, Devil May Cry, and Final Fantasy XIII costumes. I offer some basic larger resin shapes like hearts and rounds that can be used for a variety of different costumes. I also have prints of my costumes for anyone that’s interested in those as well. You can find all of this at Windofthestars.etsy.com
5. What is the biggest learning curve you have learned about the hobby in the past years?
Most definitely sewing. When I started cosplaying, I didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine. My mother showed me how to use the machine, but that was about it. The rest of the stuff I know, was mostly learned through self teaching. I learned a lot from reading tutorials online and most important, my mistakes! I’ve been extremely lucky to have gotten a job as a professional tailor a few years ago and I have learned so much more than I could have ever learned on my own.
6. Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?
Make sure to have fun! It doesn’t matter what your costume looks like as long as you enjoy the time you spend in it. The memories you create with your friends while cosplaying will be the things you hold onto more so than stressing about if your costume was 100% accurate. Take things one stitch and brush stroke at a time. Learn from you mistakes, because they are the best tools for learning.
7. Lastly, what is your con schedule looking like through 2013?
I’ll be attending Fanime con in San Jose, CA and Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA. I will have an artist alley table selling costume accessories and prints at Kintoki Con in Sacramento, CA.
Places you can find me at: