We all know how excited I am about going to Fan Expo Vancouver this year and there are sooo many reasons for that. One of them, is Cosplay, I ADORE peoples Cosplay. I can’t even describe you the lack of talent I have to pull it off but I know more than a few people that participate, including this amazingly talent MOM! In fact a friend of mine told me about here and I couldn’t help but interrogate her, thankfully she said yes and this interview was born!! I hope that you enjoy it!!

Cosplay, short for “costume play”, is a type of performance art in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play. A broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.” –wiki

1. I have heard that Cosplay is a costly hobby, how to you manage to feed your passion with a family and the high costs of living here in Vancouver?

It can be very costly indeed! Partly I feed my passion by making my own costumes and making them for other people through my small (hobby) business: Tekani’s Costumes. Also I find I can often get things from Value Village that I can modify which sometimes ends up being cheaper than buying the fabric and making it all myself.
As far as paying for convention tickets, food, and sometimes accommodations well that is simply a matter of saving up little by little. We have a jar at home that we put all our change into (mainly toonies and loonies) and then every once in a while we’ll take it to the bank and put it into our savings. It adds up pretty fast!
2. Since it is so expensive here in Vancouver do you find that sometimes that hinders your creativity or adds to it?
It hinders how fast I can put together a costume in that I’ll sometimes have to collect all the needed pieces more slowly over a greater period of time. However, it does also cause me to research other ways of making something (primarily props) and see who has the cheapest materials or a cheaper alternative to the one I was originally going to use.
3. As a parent what values, in your opinion, does doing your Cosplay teach your child?
Largely it’s encouraging creativity and self-confidence (one needs a certain amount of that to act the part of one’s character when in costume). I also think that it teaches open mindedness and acceptance. There are people of all ages, sizes, and skill levels that attend these conventions and it’s nice just to see everyone enjoying themselves. It doesn’t matter how good their costume is, whether they made it themselves, or if their body shape matches the character. The point is that they are participating and having fun, and I think that is a good thing for my son to witness.
4. What have you learned about yourself as a parent doing Cosplay and why did it become so important to you?
It’s primarily a form of entertainment for me, as well as an outlet for my creativity. I also enjoy the people that I meet in the cosplay and geek community, so in those ways it’s very important to me.
I’m not sure that I’ve learned anything new about myself per Se, but rather have realized that it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed (dressing up) and which I seem to have a talent for (costume creation).
5. What do you think is the best part about Cosplay for your kiddo?
I think he enjoys being part of something his parents enjoy, that we can all get excited about, and that we can do it together as a family. Despite being a little bit shy normally, he does seem to really like getting a lot of positive comments about his costumes. He also has fun goofing around with us (our characters often pretend to beat each other up) and it’s nice that we can all play and laugh together.

6. What is it like to be a Cosplay parent here in Vancouver? How did you get started with Cosplay?
To be honest I’m not sure how I discovered Cosplay, but I do recall making my first Cosplay of a Night Elf about 7 years ago to attend a gaming convention. I enjoyed the process of figuring out how to make it, trying different ideas, and ultimately being happy with the result and getting good feedback on it at the Con. Previous to that I made my own Halloween costumes, and Cosplay just seemed like a natural progression – the opportunity to have multiple “Halloweens” in one year!
7. What sort of work goes into creating and bringing your chosen character to life? How do you go about making your own costume? How do you choose your character and what have you done in the past?
A lot of researching the character’s clothing and accessories. Finding and saving screen caps from all angles for reference, in order to create a costume/prop that is as accurate as possible. This can be really hard to do! Also watching the show or game that the character is from to really get a good feel for how s/he moves, talks, etc.
With my own costumes I start by deciding on what type of fabric I want to use (cost effective vs qualities of the fabric that may be needed) and how much of each I will need. I also note any extras I’ll need like zippers, buttons, ribbon, etc. Then it’s off to the fabric store! When home I simply set my measurements on my dress form and either draft a pattern myself, or alter one I’ve purchased. Then I sew it all together and periodically try it on to ensure that it’s fitting me as well as the dress form.
For props I draw out different angles of the prop (usually a weapon) and figure out what I want to make it out of. Sometimes I have to research how other people have made a similar prop, and what materials they’ve used. Then I’ll come up with my own combination of materials and get started. Measuring is key to begin with- you don’t want to end up with a great

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replica of a weapon except that it’s way too small!

I choose my characters primarily just on which ones I happen to like a lot from a series, game, or comic. I do try to find ones that I like a lot but also have a generally similar body type to me. I also have chosen characters based on my husband or son’s characters, so that we’ll go together. I always find one that I actually like that compliments them though. For example, I currently Cosplay Marvel’s Domino alongside my husband’s Deadpool, and previously I Cosplayed Princess Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender to my son’s Prince Zuko.
Characters I’ve Cosplayed in the past are: Night Elf (World of Warcraft), Worgen Hunter (World of Warcraft), Neytiri (Avatar), Princess Azula (Avatar: The Last Airbender), Marvel’s Domino, Lara Croft, and the one I’m probably most known for: Oerba Yun Fang (Final Fantasy 13). Coming up will be a female version of Ezio (Assassin’s Creed), and Marvel’s Lady Deadpool and X-23.
8. When it comes to things like Fan Expo Vancouver, what do you look forward to most? What have you enjoyed in the past?
I think what I like most is just having fun with my family. We like to goof around and make people laugh, or just make them happy by posing with them or for them for photos. I think people in costume adds to any Con-goers overall experience and enjoyment of a Con. I also like checking out what is for sale that may be hard to find otherwise. And then with Fan Expo there’s always a great line- up of special guests and panels.

9. What do you expect out of events like Vancouver Fan Expo? Has the popularity increased over the years here in Vancouver?
I expect them to be generally well organized, to have some amusing or interesting panels, and I expect to have a good time! That part is pretty much a given, though.
Popularity has increased steadily I think, primarily with Anime Conventions as we have had those here for many years. The Comic Conventions are still pretty new though, so I’m hoping to see them gain more popularity quite quickly. Last year was the first time Fan Expo came to Vancouver and the turn out was pretty good for a first time. I’m expecting to see better attendance this year as word gets out about it more.
10. What have you gained going to events like Fan ExpoVancouver?
Friends, clients, and a sense of community.
you can find her online at the following places:

About the Interviewee:
Rowan is the owner of Tekani’s Costumes, a hobby-based costume and prop company. She enjoys dressing up and amusing other attendees at local conventions with her husband and son. She also enjoys taekwondo, her 2 dogs, the great outdoors, and general geek culture.

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