(Originally Published March 8, 2019)
It’s Friday, so it MUST be time for the Up and Coming Cosplayers Pictorial with our charming artist of the moment: Cree Nicole!Try to pace yourself. This is our largest Up and Coming Pictorial EVER!
Got any breath left? I know mine almost got taken away a few times posting these pics!
This cosplayer was an absolute pleasure to chat with. Not only is she very talented, but charming as well. In this day and age of wannabe overnight celebrity cosplayers that seemed pressed out of the same cookie cutter of wigs, fake boobs, and insincere Patreon/Ko-fi pages, it is a breath of fresh air to find a cosplayer with not only personality, but feeling and heart as well.
Always willing to pump up her fellow cosplayers when they need an ego boost, I am thrilled to introduce to you all: Cree Nicole!
I think that everyone gets into cosplay for their own reasons, but there some of us that start cosplaying because we need it more than others; it is like therapy. Would you mind telling us what cosplaying means to you?
It might sound a little melodramatic, but we all wear masks everyday. You have to really get to know someone to ever get past the practiced surface that they decide to show the world. Cosplay is a shortcut through all that. By choosing a favorite character to portray and wearing it to a convention you may be saying, “This is an aspect of who I *really* am.” Social anxiety is a pretty big deal for me, and sometimes it boils down to the fact that I’m not really being myself in the wider world. I can’t. I can’t be weird and neither can you. The more layers of social filters I pile on, the more anxious I get.. Somehow cosplay is an added layer that makes all the other layers acceptable to my anxious brain. Also… it’s really fun.
Before we get into your cosplay, I just wanted to tell you that you have one of the prettiest smiles I have ever seen. It does all of the things that a smile should do. It even portents more than happiness. It reveals experience and fortitude; a sort of toughness out of necessity, but not at the cost of heart. I know that that is not a question, but I really wanted to tell you that because I thought you still might have something to say about that.
Wow! Thank you! That makes me really happy. I’ve never had a knack for hiding my emotions. I did have a few rough years in my twenties, I lost both my parents, and I’m the only person left from my immediate family. Maybe what you described kinda comes from that experience? Things have been much better recently, I’m really on the mend and I’m very thankful for what I have now.
You have a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Masters in Art Education. What is the goal with those achievements? Does cosplay have a place in it?
I’ve always made costumes, and I did take a costuming class while getting my Bachelors, but I didn’t know what “cosplay” was then. While working on my Masters, I was getting heavy into cosplay, but at that point I was sure I was going to go straight into teaching. I didn’t, and dang! I graduated a few years ago, now. Things have never seemed to go the direction I think they will, but that’s life, eh?
Okay, I’m going to go out on a limb here: …You like Harley Quinn..? Why do you like Harley Quinn so much? While you’re at it, could you please try to shed some light on why so many women love that character?
It’s hard to describe what place Harley takes up in my brain. Mostly, she really sparks my creative streak. I would not even go so far as to describe her as my favorite fictional character, but here I am with 10 or so various costumes of her; the most I’ve done of any character. Who knows, man, she’s a phenomenon! She’s relatable for women because she turns her vulnerability into a strength because she suffers and survives. I think a lot of people who at some point have tried to “fix” someone also relate to Harley. To believe in someone and their potential just to have them break your heart? Most people can relate to that and it’s one of her biggest themes. Also there aren’t a preponderance of anti-heroines, and that’s a shame because so many people are crazy for them. Maleficent is an example and another character I see at every con!
I gotta admit: I hate Harley Quinn! ‘Not because of her character, but because every woman/girl/person with pigtails does Harley Quinn! However, I’m beginning to think that every man has a Harley Quinn that they could fall in love with, and I found one in your variants…’Your Klingon Harley. How the hell did you come up with her?
I think you can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite portrayal of Harley Quinn and whether or not they like her at all. You could really be into this character and be a terrible person, or vice versa. Love Harley or hate Harley for the right reasons, and you’re good in my book. But Klingon Harley, yeah!! I learned (and forgot) a lot of Klingon a few years ago. I just really wanted a shirt that said, “Daddy’s Little Monster,” but in Klingon. I translated it (poorly) and made the shirt. It all went from there. I already had the forehead prosthetic. It was a lot of fun.
It’s a costume! I did add a bit of Photoshop, mostly focused on the hammer. I tried to leave some without as much Photoshop, but here we are. If you had to ask I must have overdone it!
In one of your Harley Quinn cosplays, you pose with a hyena…Was that a REAL hyena? If not, how did you swing that shoot? ‘Got any “puddins'” in real life that you are a parent to?
Just one! My doggo, Dingo, is real wild looking, 12 year old mutt with a heart of gold. She posed with me and made it really pretty easy for me to photoshop this. I changed the shape of her muzzle and tail, added spots and darker colors. Voila!
You really look like you have fun in your cosplay portfolio. Do you get into your characters at conventions as much as you seem to in your cosplay shoots?
I depends a whole lot on the character. When dressed as a Klingon, I go all out. It’s too much fun not to. Video game characters have a lot of lines and inside jokes that are fun. With characters children recognize, you have to get into them or you might disappoint them, and that’s no fun.
Actually, there seems to be a theme of fun and humour with your cosplay shoots. Would you say that also goes with your characters that you pick for cosplay? Harley Quinn alone is a character based on humour, crime, and insanity (cute insanity, but still insane!). Have you every done a more serious cosplay?
I have a Scarlet Witch that feels more serious when I wear it. She’s a fairly sad character across all her incarnations. Oh, and Rogue, she is one of my absolute favorite characters, and she’s no touchy, all punchy, all sass, and quiet smiles. Daenerys is super serious. She almost never smiles, and it can really break character to smile while cosplaying as her. Besides that, I think you’ve hit on something there, though I just don’t cosplay a lot of serious characters!
How much time out of serious living do you get to indulge in cosplay? Do you get to travel a lot for cons?
I was traveling out of state a lot for cons for a few years, I can’t afford to right now. But I get to set aside a couple hours a day to work on cosplay stuff, I’m a lucky ducky!!
There’s a theory that sometimes it is bad for two people with the same passion to be together, kind of like two intense and competitive gamers living together and fighting over games and bragging rights. Could you ever see yourself dating another cosplayer? Have you, or would you need a more serious person to compliment your passion? How much does “cosplay dating” happen, in your opinion?
Oh I see it work a lot! ‘Depends on the personalities involved, I’m sure. I can’t imagine living in a small apartment or house (like I do) with someone else who takes cosplay as seriously as I do. There just wouldn’t be enough storage. lol!
Secret Super Power: I’m really good at filling two glasses with the exact same amount of liquid. It’s mostly only impressive if you’re pouring wine or something alcoholic, cause that’s the only time people pay attention?
(Originally Published July 5, 2019)
It’s in July, so the pictorial for the Up and Coming Cosplayer kicking it off should be, too!If you like what you see, please considering following Miniilay, and even support her on Ko-fi.
How about a few modeling pics?
‘Seeya in two weeks for the next Up and Coming Cosplayer!
I get to meet a lot of interesting and talented people doing what I do. ‘Many talented men and women that devote a good portion of their time and effort to an art that does not profit them, for a person to truly profit in the cosplay world, it takes more than dedication, talent, looks, or charisma. It takes a sense of business savvy and the ability to deliver what people want. All of these things I think are present in this Up and Coming Cosplayer.
All Cool Things™ is extremely proud to introduce to you, Miniilay.
In this business I’m in, I come across some unique cosplayers with unique cosplay names. How did you come up with yours?
It’s nothing special. I was just making a YouTube account when I was young, and couldn’t think of anything related to me but “small” and my last name… Someone took “Minilay,” and I just added an extra “i,” so I’ve had “Miniilay” stuck with me since then.
I can tell that you are building a brand. If I had to compare your brand to anyone else’s that has become a big success, I’d compare you to Jessica Nigri. You are both very sensually beautiful women whom’s looks probably cause people to discount your costuming and crafting abilities. Do you find any conflict in the tempering of your brand? Do you ever want to concentrate on one thing, but feel compelled to pander to “fan service?”
I don’t find any conflict in tempering my work. I don’t care what others have to say or think. I just do whatever I want to do. I usually try to have an open mind for myself and check off my bucket list of things to create. I don’t think of “fan service” or what’s trending everyday. I just do anything that comes to mind on days I feel more inspired.
How do you feel about the more “fan service” aspect of your brand? Is it as much a part of you as your artistically creative side? Is there a melding of both that appears in each aspect of your brand?
I think the “fan service” side of my brand is fun; it’s still me. It can be anything, and I’ll bandwagon along too if I actually enjoy what I see is trending. These “fan services” can range from casual cosplay, boudoir shoots, fashion, character(s) that are hyped, etc. Of course there is a mix of both of my brand! Even if I do or don’t intentionally do these “fan services,” I do what I do because I want to do it for my enjoyment. If I don’t feel like I want to do a certain “fan service” trend that is going on, then I will not.
Cosplay is a great way to introduce a person into modeling, and vice versa. I can tell that you love the camera and the camera loves you. Was modeling ever a plan for you? Is it a plan, now? Is that yet another aspect of your brand?
Modelling was always on my mind ever since I was young. My mom, was and still is in the fashion business, and I was always her little model! Even today, I help with her business everyday and she still needs me to model her designs. I’ve never thought of modelling as a serious job. It’s just something for fun on my free time. It’s not just “strike a pose” with clothes on. You can be anything when it comes to modelling, and that’s where my range of creativity comes into play; such as cosplay, fashion, makeup, boudoir etc… The list goes on, and will grow on!
When it comes to costuming, you started with sewing and tailoring. How did you get into armour crafting?
I knew how to sew my whole life, but im not perfect, and continuing to learning new tips and tricks. I loved playing video games ever since I was young, and admire how badass characters are created. At the time I first started cosplaying, I would only choose characters that have clothing, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could also bring more to life. I was obsessed with League of Legends, and loved crafting in art class in school, so I gave crafting armour a try because I wanted to be my favourite character from that game at the time.
I have to say that I am very impressed with your armour work. How long have you been working and crafting armour?
What materials do you like to work with? Do you find them difficult? Are they the same that you started out working with? Do you see any promising materials for the future?
Almost all of my materials come from Dollarama; mainly EVA foam and contact cement glue. Those two work so beautifully! At first it was hard to work with EVA foam; I didn’t understand how to work with it, but once I did my research, it was so easy to cut, mold, stretch etc. EVA foam surprisingly can do a lot! When I first started, I thought hot glue was good enough because I used it my whole life in school. Its super easy to use and fast to dry.
The only down side was it’s just hot. Theres annoying glue web strings left behind, and if you don’t hold your pieces together long enough it leaves lots of gunk, and you have to redo it again. Most of the time there will always be hot glue sticking out on the outside surface. Even if you wipe it clean while it’s still hot, you will still see it in the end of your project.
When I swtiched to contact cement glue, my work had never been so clean! The only down side would be the smell.
After I did my research, things are just a lot easier to understand why things are, or aren’t working out. I think EVA foam will always be worked with. I can’t think of any other material that could replace EVA foam. You will always need it. From a base structure to a full finished build, it’s always used.
There is a cosplay of you with these huge gun arms attached to you. How did you swing that? What were they made of? How much did they weigh?
That was Gun GoddessMiss Fortune from League of Legends. It was pretty heavy for me, even though it was made out of EVA foam and pink insulation foam. When everything added up in the end, it weighed me down. I’m not exactly sure why, but I also rushed it in the end. I just wanted to get it done with, and never think of it again! It had handlebars, but it was still heavy to keep it up and swing around.
I’ve only been to Youmacon in Detroit, Michigan. I’ve been going there for 5 years now, but compared to Candian conventions they’re basically the same. The only difference would be money: CAD to USD is so expensive, so that is really my only problem with US conventions. People from both sides are very friendly, energetic, and helpful! I’ve never dealt with any negativity at any cons so far.
What are the top five things you love about cons?
I absolutely love the cosplay part, looking at people’s cosplay, whether bought or handmade. It brings everyone together because we all freak out on our favourite characters! It gives them, and yourself, a great feeling.
That leads into meeting new people. I’ve met new con friends through cosplay by asking for pics, or just simply complimenting them. Even if we don’t become friends, its still a positive energy between the two of us, and the enjoyment keeps going on!
With many people brought together, we also try to help each other. If someone sees that I’m having a difficult time with my cosplay they will help me. It’s honestly such a blessing when someone offers a helping hand, and of course I do that to others too. Surprisingly walking in ANY cosplay can get frustrating!
It is worth all the struggling because people love your character and ask for a photo! Even a simple selfie together illuminates me. It’s memories to keep, and remembering those moments gives me a smile on my face to look back. Meeting new photographers, to casual con goers; looking back at silly photos to beautiful shots just takes you back to the moment, and you have this thought, “Wow, that’s what I really looked like?” and you can see and remember how happy you truly look.
Even though it’s a long and frustrating process, planning and building cosplays is absolutely my favourite part. I’m not sure why, because I do get tired the more I build, and once I wear it at a con I’m so exhausted; However, when the con is over I reflect back, and overall, I have this relief of accomplishment and think, “I cant believe I pulled it off,” and do it all over again!
Who are the top three people you have met at cons that you were excited to see? Are there any more people you hope to see?
The first and only person that I’ve met is, Jessica Nigiri. I havent been able to meet a lot of people at cons, but I was able to make many friends, and it feels like home when I see them again every year, at the same con. I honestly hope to keep seeing Jessica Nigiri! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met! She was very patient with me and accepted all of these requests that I wanted her to do for me when I met her. It was very silly but she loved every bit of it and her boyfriend, off to the side, was laughed and kept everybody else company.
Are there any parting thoughts for our readers and your followers?
Cosplaying is a hobby; no matter how you start, it will always be fun. To full armour builds to lewd looks, it’s your character to cosplay; do whatever YOU want to do because YOU LOVE it, and YOU WANT to do it.
People will have their own opinion about everything. Whether it’s negative or positive, the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself. Don’t compare or put yourself down. You will always be you, and in the end results, someone/people are going to love it.
Are you excited to do that look? THEN GO START! ��
So what do you think? Does she have what it takes? Were you impressed by her work and work ethic? Well, in case you aren’t quite there, yet, in a couple of days you get to see the pictorial.
As you’re reading these articles, we at All Cool Things™ hopes you’re sharing them. We also hope that you’re following or featured cosplayers on their social media and supporting them on their support sites.
Hell, do the same for us! ‘Wanna donate to us? There’s a link on the front page…Oh, all right. Just click >>>HERE<<<.
As always, thanks for reading about our Up and Coming Cosplayers. ‘See you next time.
First off, we’d like to thank MirCosplay for all of her help doing her feature. She was a sweetheart when it came to sending us lots of hi-res images when we needed them, for her interview and her pictorial, and guess what: You get to reap the benefits!
After reading her interview, I know you’ve been waiting for this. Please enjoy our Friday pictorial of MirCosplay!
…Is it me, or does she love Star Wars..?
How about some body paints?
How are we doing? We hope you liked meeting MirCosplay.
Remember MirCosplay, just like all of our talented cosplayers featured work hard at their craft, and want nothing more than to share it with you! Even if you can’t afford to help out with their Patreon, Ko-fi, Etsy, or any other page they may have, you can help by Liking and Sharing their work and our articles that feature them. Drop a comment or two. You can also Follow, Subscribe, or Like their pages. These gestures can mean so much for them, and it’s FREE. Don’t they deserve that for all they share with us?
Well, thanks again for stopping by. Until next time…
I know we’ve all heard that saying: “You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover,” but how well do we listen? I can tell you with all honesty that ever since we started this Up and Coming Cosplayer series, I have had my mind changed about Patreon some, and the cosplayers that rely on it for helping their craft.
I used to think that most of the cosplayers were bascially budding and reluctant softcore porn stars that exploited cosplay and its fans to further their own goals. I’d be lying if I said that I still think that a lot of them do this, but not nearly as many or as much as I thought.
This week’s feature cosplayer is from Spain, but you’d be surprised at how much of our geek and pop culture she knows. Her learning of English is a testament to her geekpeen and her intellect that is also massive.
MirCosplay, How did you get your name? Does it mean anything?
It’s a pretty simple rationale. My name is Miriam, but a few of my close friends call me “Mir.” MirCosplay was an obvious place to go, but it was only supposed to be temporary until I could think of something better, but you know what they say: “There is nothing so permanent as that which is temporary.”
How is the cosplay community in Spain? Are there a lot of people cosplaying in Spain, or Europe as a whole?
I don’t know that I can speak for Europe as a whole, but Spain has a pretty healthy community. I think we have a reputation for being a bit, shall we say, a bit over passionate about our work, :3 and honestly I’ve found most people to be incredibly supportive and friendly.
Have you ever been to the USA and experienced our cosplay community?
Not yet, it’s on my short list of goals though for sure. And of course, I interact with cosplayers from America all the time.
I see that you like to do a lot of sexy cosplay. Do you prefer cosplay with that kind of edge? Do you consider yourself a sensual person?
I think people would be surprised if they knew me that way. People tend to reflect their desires onto girls who are comfortable with themselves that way, and would probably find me to be a lot less sensual than the version of me they conjure up. That being said, I do enjoy sexy cosplay, but my approach is to immerse myself in the character and try to bring out something I find sexy about them. It started as simple question of what would a character wear under their clothes to complete the costume, and of course you have to show that off. But my character driven approach to boudoir seems to connect with my fans, so it’s become an increasingly large part of what I do. Now when I think of a character, I also try to think of something special for the boudoir.
In the USA, we cosplay as a bunch of things, but probably as anime, video game, and comic book characters the most. What does the Spanish cosplay community like to cosplay as the most?
A lot of my first experiences were with the Star Wars community here, which is quite strongly represented. Game of Thrones has a Spanish connection, and shows up often in cosplay, as well. But I think in the end we have representatives for all the same major categories as in the USA.
What are some of the big conventions in Spain that some of my readers might not know about?
I’m mostly in the Madrid area, where we have quite a few. I enjoyed both Comicon Madrid and Japan Weekend this year. Metropoli in the north is like a 2 week convention and music festival. I’ve always wanted to go to, but there are several regions here with big events and their own communities that I have yet to explore.
Are there any cons here in The States that you would like to go to?
I’ve always wanted to go to SDCC, Dragon Con, or any of the legendarily huge cons, and just get lost in a sea of fandom.
Are there any types of costuming or crafting that you would like to learn more about, or plan to tackle in the future?
Ummm, all of them I guess. Cosplay is funny that way; no matter how much you know, you can still feel lost at times. I try to let inspiration strike me for a character, and then scour the internet for the skills to make it happen. My cosplay would not be possible without all the creative people out there sharing their secrets. That being said, I’m excited to play around with armor building more.
How do you like to spend your time when you are not cosplaying?
I still roleplay every chance I get. It’s more of an addiction at this point. ‘And of course gaming on my PlayStation
Do you have anything that you would like to say to our reader or your followers?
Cosplay is this amazing mix of pop culture and art, and when I think of the community at large, I’ve found it to be overwhelmingly supportive, creative, and helpful, but mixed in with all that good there is this occasionally toxic underbelly that I’ve seen discourage a lot of people with great talent from reaching their potential. Just remember that harsh words hurt, and if you see someone bullying a cosplayer, or objectifying a girl for trying to portray a character, don’t let that be ok. Be the voice of your community. Don’t be the one that makes people want to leave. Stand up for cosplayers of every level, even if they are different; even if you don’t connect with it, a lot of work goes into it, and perfection is unreachable. One negative comment can drown out a thousand positive ones, so in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln “Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes!“
(Originally Published April 5, 2019)
We sure do hope you liked her interview, but now it’s that time! Please enjoy our pictorial of Yuna Kairi featuring exclusive pictures.
Was it everything that you hoped for? Well, we hope it was!
By now we have gotten into the full swing of things and we are really happy with the response we have gotten from this series!
We hope that you are sharinig this with your friends and letting people know about us and the cosplayers featured here. They deserve all of the exposure they can get, and the more we know you like this, the more we will help introduce great cosplayers that don’t get shared as much as they deserve.
In any case, we bid farewell to Yuna Kairi and look with wonder towards the future with who the next Up and Coming Cosplayer may be!