Thank you for accepting the invitation to do this interview for us at JustCosplay! And Congratulations on becoming a Crunchyroll Ambassador. Can you first please tell the readers a little about yourself, for those who are not already following your page.
Thank you for the opportunity to have a chat with you guys! And thank you very much for the congratulations, it was amazing to be accepted as a Crunchyroll Ambassador! Ah yes, so about me… Well let me start off by introducing myself! My name is Skylar and I go by the cosplay alias Lyeric! I am a 20 year old Cosplayer from Saskatchewan, Canada! I have been Cosplaying for 2 and a half years now. I don’t know how to sew very well so I prefer to create and construct big armour sets and props! I started Cosplaying in late 2010 and began with a genderbend Arthas from the Warcraft universe to cosplay at Blizzcon! At the time, I was stunned by all the amazing costumes at Blizzcon. In embarrassment I left my Arthas costume in the hotel and did not wear it to the convention. Later on in the month, I debuted the costume at C4 Comic Convention in Winnipeg. It was the most amazing experience to have your pictures taken in the armour set that you’ve procrastinated over, stressed over, cried over, but then finished last minute in the hotel room. It is such a satisfying feeling. Since then I have been hooked to this hobby, and loving every moment of it!
Can you tell us what Cosplay is like in Canada, do you think it differs in anyway to that anywhere else in the world? Are the general public open to the idea?
Well to start off- THERE IS A LOT OF SNOW. It is awesome for taking pictures in! I live in a very small, seemingly forgotten part of Canada, the province of Saskatchewan. In Saskatchewan we just had our first convention a couple years back. The whole convention scene here is still very small, but growing rapidly! I usually travel to my neighbouring provinces to attend conventions, and the cosplay scene is really great! I will say it is not as big as it is in the United States, that’s for sure! I feel as people are still dipping their toes into the water of actually going to a convention, but once they go I know people will get the urge to cosplay more! At the moment, I am trying to get groups together for the province of Saskatchewan and try to introduce people to the world of cosplay. This year I will be attending the Saskatoon Blitz which takes place in June. I will be hosting a panel to introduce and help people start the addicting hobby! I have only been to one American convention, and that would be Blizzcon. And I do have to say the cosplay there is next level amazing. Being a CMV (Cosplay Music Video) addict, I have seen the high level of cosplay in America, but I think that is only because of the amount of conventions going on over there. Off the top of my head I can name about 8 Canadian conventions I know of, and about 30 American conventions… So that shows how there is such an abundance of cons there. More conventions = more cosplayers!
Everyone I know locally knows that I cosplay and I get a lot of mixed reactions To the general public, most people think I’m crazy. Even a few of my family members have now stopped contact with me thinking I am a crazy woman. I feel as if some people just don’t take the time to understand what cosplay really is. Cosplaying is the art of dressing up as ones favourite characters. As cosplayers, we are the dedicated ones! It involves blood, sweat and many, many tears, and I don’t think a lot of people take the time to understand that. To me Cosplaying is the art of the brave and the art of self expression. Cosplaying means taking chances and risks one would not normally take, and trying new things with each costuming venture. It is about doing your best and really having fun! Not many people can say that they are a crazy, sword wielding barbarian on weekends!
Your costumes are amazing, How did you first hear about Cosplay? What got you started in making your own costumes?
PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A NOVEL OF TEXT! Anyways- Whenever I see this question answered, it usually starts off with ‘I LOVE HALLOWEEN’. So here we go again, I love Halloween! I counted down the days to it each year, every year. It was the one day of the year you could be someone else and detach yourself from the world. I lurked the Internet for most of my adolescent years, and stumbled across pretty ladies dressed up as anime characters. I thought this was very cool, and super cute! Then I saw that people actually gathered together, dressed up and went to these big events! I made it my goal to attend a convention! When I was 16 I attended Animethon in Edmonton, Alberta. It was amazing. It was the first time in my life I felt accepted. I went, bought myself an art table and dressed up as my persona, Lyru-chan. She was just me, drawn out in a pink hoodie with a yellow bow. I seen all these wonderful people walk by my art table wearing costumes they made by hand. They would stop and tell me all the work that they had put into it and I admired that so much. That weekend I bought so much merchandise, and picked out a super cute pair of kitty ears! The following Monday, I got back into town and decided that I had gained enough confidence to wear these to my high school. This did not go over well, and I ended up being beaten up on the way to my car for being a ‘freak’. This didn’t settle well with me, and I decided to keep my fandom a secret from then on.
Later on that year, in December to be exact, I attended a midnight release to the new World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King! Being in the northern part of Canada, it was freezing cold. I stood in line with a couple of friends of mine, when I saw something I thought I would never see. This crazy boy, dressed up in a furry suit with feathers, antlers on his head and a staff in his hand. This boy was Cosplaying as a Moonkin! Holy crap! This was the first time that I had ever seen anyone from where I live dressed up. I approached him, told him I liked the costume, and he mumbled a thank you and brushed me off! I understood though, being in the town we live in I’m sure he thought I was being sarcastic. Otherwise the response he got from the small gathering of freezing geeks was amazing. If he could do it, I knew from then on I could do this, and do this confidently.
In October of 2010 I made my first costume, and have not looked back since!
By some crazy chance, I ended up with that crazy Moonkin boy a few years later. I had no idea that the love of my life was always there all along! Talk about crazy coincidence, right?
What was your first Cosplay? And what’s your favourite Cosplay you have done so far?
As mentioned, my first cosplay was my Arthas Menethil genderbend costume. I created this for Blizzcon 2010, and was this ever a learning process! I used craft foam, newspaper, and glue. A LOT of glue. It was very fun to cosplay, and I think my most well received costumes I have ever done. I wish I knew some of the techniques and materials I know of now to make this costume, but hey! That’s how you learn!
I will say that my Barbarian has been my most favoured cosplay out of the few I have done. It was so fun to wear a costume that I felt super comfortable in, even if I felt uncomfortable wearing it at first. It is the most revealing costume I have ever done. This was a huge deal to me, I didn’t want to over step anything I should not do. My arms, legs and chest where very much exposed. To be honest I wanted to play it safe. I didn’t want fat/ugly comments, which was stupid of me to worry about in the first place. Cosplay for fun, not for anyone else! I think this costume means the most to me because it really boosted my confidence, and really gave me the ‘YOU CAN DO IT’ attitude. This costume really means a lot of me for that merit.
Have you ever taken part in any competitions? Or ever wanted to take part in any competitions on a large scale such as The World Cosplay Summit?
I do like to preach that cosplay is just for fun, yada yada yada, but I LOVE to compete in costume contests. It is a great way to meet other cosplayers who are there to show off their stuff. It helps you improve quite a bit, and helps you do your very, very best! When you have a panel of judges looking at every little detail you have put into your costume. It also encourages you to not cut any corners, and finish everything off quite cleanly. Just make sure that the competition doesn’t go to your head, and make you mean! HAVE FUN WITH IT!
My dream is to compete in the World Cosplay Summit. It would be such an amazing and life changing experience. To me, WCS is pretty much the Olympics of the cosplay world. I patiently await the day when Canada will be able to compete in it.
You are currently working on some more armour projects including the glorious Orrian armour from GuildWars2. What is the hardest thing you find to make when making such costumes? And what do you find the easiest?
For me, and I’m sure many other prop and armour makers out there will agree, the most difficult part of making armour sets is the lovely pair of female anatomy, BOOBS. So I would have to say chest armour is my costume nemesis, and of course that’s usually the focal part of the costume. They are difficult to construct, you have to consider how comfortable it has to be, how much mobility you will have in it and how it will attach it to yourself.
I always start my costumes with making the bracer armour It is usually the easiest to make, and it gives you a taste of how the rest of the costume will be to make. I will say that the Orrian armour will be the biggest and most complex costume I have ever made.
Do you ever consider dropping the heavy armour for a big frilly dress?
You know I love to cosplay big, bulky armoured characters. I get asked quite a bit why I cosplay these big, armoured girls, why not something more dainty or elegant? Well the truth is, I don’t consider myself a strong person in real life. I am not brave, I’m not strong, nor am I someone who stands up for them self. I really have never been that person. I was greatly bullied in school, cast aside, and I allowed that to happen because I could not stand up for myself. I want to be a strong person, and I want that side to show of me when I cosplay. I want to be seen as that strong barbarian girl, the Queen of the Undead, warrior donned in Orrian armour So I try my best to cosplay that, and by Cosplaying that I hope to achieve being a stronger person in the process. I think the quote that really hit close to home was this quote from Game of Thrones:, “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour and it can never be used to hurt you. – Tyrion” At the same time though, I would love to throw on a big frilly dress. I don’t think I would be able to get up though, I would most likely be on the ground dizzy from spinning around in it for too long!
What is your favourite materials to use? Do you tend to spend more money on materials or do you try to find a cheaper yet just as effective way? And have you found a great money saver you repeatedly use?
You are talking to the most frugal Cosplayer around! I try my best with every costume to make it very cost efficient. I look at it this way, spend all that money on materials or have more spending money at the convention? I like to get sheets of big name cosplay materials like Wonderflex and Worblas Finest, but I think the biggest money saver I have found is using Sintra (PVC sheeting). I paid around $68 on a 8’x11’ sheet that has lasted me two costumes so far! And I have only used around half of it! Also craft foam is very inexpensive, and you can paint it to look really awesome!
I love using Sintra for armour It is very sturdy, smooth and you can take paintball bullets in it and you will be protected! I also have really loved working with Wonderflex in the past, and really cannot wait to start working with Worblas Finest Art! I just know I won’t be using newspaper ever again!
Do you prefer Cosplaying at conventions Or going out for photoshoots?
I have never really had a professional shoot done. I usually get my mother or my friends just to snap shots of me when they can. But this year it’s a goal of mine to work with some cosplay photographers and organize some shoots! I love cosplaying at conventions, and I will say that is my preference.
Do you have any tips for posing for photos in either situation? Do you have a favourite location for your photoshoots?
DO NOT LOOK DOWNWARDS AT THE CAMERA. OH, I CAN NOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH. It will make you look awful, and look like you have 1000 chins. FEAR THE WRATH OF 1000 CHINS! In all seriousness, just be relaxed, look in character. Don’t be afraid to look silly, those are usually the best organic photos. Try to pick a location that is relevant to your costume. I really like forest scenes, or snow shoots. Desert scenes are very, very cool too!
Thank you for your time, before we finish off, do you have anything else you would like to add? Anyone you would like to give a special mention to?
If you are scared to cosplay, don’t be! Just have fun with it! I promise you, it will be the time of your life!
And I just want to take a moment to thank my boyfriend. He doesn’t get any of the spotlight, and if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be Cosplaying So this is for you! Thank you Jared, for being the best cosplay handler and boyfriend in the world! You rock. I would not be able to wear these armour sets without you taking care of me . Love you, hunnybuns!
Thank you again Lyeric for you time doing this interview for us and giving some amazing detailed answers it was great to talk to you x
Don’t forget you can visit Lyeric, and see more of her pictures and progress on her own facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LyericCosplay