Cosplayer Kayla Rose impresses me with her versatility. She’s cosplayed as a gender swapped Zangief from Street Fighter, Darth Maul from Star Wars, and a nurse from Silent Hill. She’s currently working on a Cinderella dress. She can sew, apply amazing makeup on herself, and work with Worbla among other skills. All this and she’s only been cosplaying since August 2013. Her work is proof that you can dive in, apply yourself, and learn. I asked Kayla about her cosplay history, what she’s learned, and more.
Adafruit: How long have you been cosplaying and what inspired you to dive into this hobby?
Kayla Rose: I have only been cosplaying for just over a year now. I started in August 2013. Since I first learned what cosplay was, I always thought it would be something I’d really like. Something that took all types of art and combined them into a celebration of all the nerdy things I love. I didn’t actually take the leap until a few years later. I just decided one day that I’d go into a store, buy fabric, and without any prior sewing experience I set out to creating my first cosplay! I made Masquerade Iron Man in two months.
Darth Maul, photo by Micktography
Adafruit: You’ve cosplayed as a wide variety of characters; how do you choose which costumes to make and wear?
Kayla Rose: This one is a weird answer for me. My roommates and I make a lot of jokes about costumes we find amusing, and then sometimes I just make them. Like with Zangief, we made that joke while playing Street Fighter and then two weeks later it was a reality. Sometimes I do plan in advance for larger ones like Darth Maul and Panne. Otherwise, it’s sorta just whatever character I’m feeling when a con approaches.
Panne, photo by Micktography
Adafruit: Which costume has been the most challenging to make and why?
Kayla Rose: Probably Panne [from Fire Emblem: Awakening]. I didn’t do well with having to pattern and make the armor. When I use fabric I never use patterns, I just eyeball it and it’s forgiving enough that I can fix things when I mess up. But armor is not like that at all. I had to pretty much learn how to plan and be organized because of that costume. In the end, I think it worked out well but there’s many things I’ve learned that will make my next armor better!
Adafruit: Have you had to learn any new skills because of cosplay, and if so, which ones?
Kayla Rose: Pretty much everything. Sewing, patterning, armor building, makeup, etc. Makeup is the skill I’m super surprised I picked up so quickly. With no prior experience, I taught myself and my boyfriend how to put on a bald cap, horns, and paint my face all at 5am. We took a total of 6 hours to get that costume on me the first time.
Silent Hill nurse, photo by Lucid Visual Photography
Adafruit: What advice would you give to those who want to cosplay?
Kayla Rose: Just jump into it! The community is super welcoming. Through it I’ve met some of the best friends I’ve ever had! If you’re thinking of making your own and don’t have experience then YouTube and Google are your best friend. Take it from me, you can teach yourself anything with the help of the internet!
Keep up with all of Kayla’s new projects at her Facebook page.
Top photo: Zangief, photo by Rale Photography