Sometimes you see a costume so fantastic that you have to drop everything to see more of the cosplayer’s work. That happened when I saw Olivia’s, a.k.a. Chubear Cosplay, mash-up Lich Queen Elsa costume. Besides being a creative idea, the concept was wonderfully executed. A look through Olivia’s cosplay portfolio showcases a variety of skills from styling wigs, to making armor, to sewing, to applying detailed makeup. I asked her about her cosplay history, her favorite conventions to attend, and more.
Adafruit: How long have you been cosplaying and what inspired you to start?
Olivia: I first discovered cosplaying when I was the vice president of the anime club in high school. Knowing that I loved and played a lot of Final Fantasy XI, my friend helped me make the fishing tunic from the game on a toy sewing machine an hour before an event they had for the game in my city to cosplay with her Chocobo! I won 6th place in the costume contest and have been hooked since then! Most of the things I’ve cosplayed as are characters/designs I’ve admired, or costumes from my favorite video games! What I really love is creating my own version of costumes whether it’s slightly changing the design or choosing fabrics and materials to add texture and details to plain parts.
Blink from X-Men: Days of Future Past, photo by Saffels Photography
Adafruit: I’m in love with your Lich Queen Elsa (pictured at the top of the post) costume. Can you tell me a little about the idea and making of process?
Olivia: It all started when I saw a meme that Elsa was actually Arthas from World of Warcraft. I really wanted to create this costume because it combined my love of Disney and Blizzard for Blizzcon! Blizzcon was my dream convention I finally got to go to this year! Blizzard games have been such a huge part of my life growing up so this costume meant a lot to me! When I mentioned this idea to my friend Saffels Photography and Jordan from Henchmen Props, they pushed me to get over my insecurities and doubts and just do it! It was scary for me to put this costume out there because I thought up the design of how it should look myself! It certainly challenged me because of the time frame (1 week) and it incorporated so many different aspects of cosplay crafting from sewing, embellishing, pattern making, sculpting, and working with thermoplastics!
Adafruit: What is your favorite material to work with when it comes to cosplay and why?
Olivia: My favorite materials are foam and Worbla! Foam is affordable and so easy to work with! It’s so versatile with what you can do with foam! Worbla is also an amazing thermoplastic material, but it can be expensive to use. I love these materials because you can create some really rad armor that is durable for convention shenanigans!
Little Sister from BioShock – photo by Saffels Photography
Adafruit: What new skills have you had to learn because of cosplay?
Olivia: The most exciting thing for me about cosplay is constantly learning something new with each project you undertake no matter how deceptively easy it looks. I had to learn how to sew, wire and make jewelry, beading, working with thermoplastic, sculpting, painting, and weathering. The list goes on! One of my biggest cosplay goals is to learn how to sculpt and cast resin pieces, gems, and add light to my costumes in the future!
Adafruit: Which conventions are your favorites to attend?
Olivia: My favorite convention close to me is Fanime, Anime Expo, and Blizzcon! My favorites where I have to do some traveling is Colossalcon because of the waterpark and cute animals! Also NYCC [New York Comic Con] because that’s where my cosplay bestie lives and I get to hang out with her!
Be sure to follow Olivia’s latest work at Chubear Cosplay on Facebook.
Lich Queen Elsa (top) photo by Darshelle Stevens