Happy Tuesday! New Cosplay Cafe because I feel like spoiling you guys. Anyway, making their return to the cafe is Cinnabunny. I had the honor of working with her before and she’s amazing. So it was a privilege to be able to work with her again. Enough of me talking though, get to know Cinnabunny.
1. What were you like growing up? What were some of the things you were into as a child/teenager?
I was kind of a weirdo who didn’t really fit in anywhere. I was—and still am—SUPER into music. I took piano and violin lessons, picked up guitar and upright bass in high school, hit up record stores every week, went to concerts, bought over 400 tapes and CDs, hung out with fellow audiophiles trading music, fell in love with synths and MIDI sequencers and spent hours creating my own mixes. I was also very into gaming, my main console was the NES starting in 1987, also arcades of course, and the PC boom of the 90s, as well as the SNES, PS1, etc. I also watched as much anime as I could get my hands on, but it wasn’t as readily available then as it is now, as it was before the age of the internet—Akira, Robotech, Ranma, Fist of the North Star, Ninja Scroll, Lupin the Third. Back then it was just what we could find at Suncoast and it was all terrible English dubs, hence why I have a soft spot for dubs even to this day hahaha.
2.Did those things influence who you’re today?
Oh, most definitely. I don’t know a single person whose primary interests in their formative years hasn’t carried over into adulthood in some way. In school I obtained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance, and if ludomusicology (the study of video game music) was an available academic subject back then as it is now I most certainly would have pursued that avenue as well. Music is an integral part of who I am, if I’m not doing something music related at any point in my life I feel something is off. Likewise, playing video games are my favorite way of relaxing by myself or playing with family and friends. It’s amazing to see how far gaming has come, but at its core it’s just a super fun social activity or fantastic way of immersing yourself in a meticulously crafted, interactive story world.
3.Just saw your recent Maya and Mia Fey photos. Well done first off, what is it like collaborating with other cosplayers?
Thank you!! Though I feel funny being complimented on Mia, as I really did NOTHING for that cosplay except alter a store bought suit. AHAHAHA! May (Firecloak) did all the heavy lifting on making her Maya, and it was spot on. I absolutely LOVE cosplaying with others, just as I absolutely love playing with other musicians. It’s so fulfilling to work towards a goal together to make something greater than the sum of its parts, encouraging and helping each other out during the process. And to finally see it all come to fruition on the day of the con, or recital, is amazing—you’re with people you love being around, everybody looks so great, you’re just so proud of what you’ve made together, and you’re celebrating your shared fandom together. It’s a tremendous experience.
4. Any advice for someone starting to cosplay?
Don’t be afraid to just dive in and make stuff! There’s a TON of valuable information, resources, and tutorials on the web to get you started! And don’t be discouraged by failure, everyone at some point makes something that falls short of their expectations, it’s all a part of the learning process. One of the most encouraging things I was told in conservatory was that it can only get better the more you do it. Or, as Jake the Dog put it, the first step in becoming good at something is sucking at it.
5. Funniest memory you had while cosplaying?
Oh gosh, there are tons of funny little moments that I can’t possibly choose, especially when you cosplay in a group. Probably the one the stands out the most is this past Katsucon during my Bravely Default group shoot when Laura (Gynx Cosplay) and I tried to hold up Francois (Sir Franku) for an Edea-princess-carrying-Ringabel pose and I had to get under him and push his butt up as hard as I could, and he was agonizingly heavy. Made for hilarious behind the scenes pics, I guess, Ringabel and Edea laughing and a genuinely suffering Agnes underneath. Looking at them, Laura was DEFINITELY not holding up her side lol.
6. Off topic question, favorite food?
I LOVE all food omg and it depends on my mood!! Right now since it’s summer, I have to say I’ve been really into poke!
7. For those who don’t know, Cinnabunny does some amazing video game covers. What got you into music?
AHAHAHA thank you! See questions 1 and 2 haha. I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember, though I didn’t start doing video game covers proper until 2005, when, thanks to the internet, I discovered there was a whole niche of people just like me, combining our passion for music and gaming. I was active on the gamingforce.org forums back then, and some of us, crazy kids that we were, tried putting together a Chrono Cross Piano Collections. Unfortunately nothing came of it, though I tried to realize that dream as much as I could in 2015 by including some of those arrangements on my Mitsuda Reimagined album. We found each other online ten years later through Youtube and the Materia Collective, still heavily invested in our shared vision of making video game music covers, and it was great reconnecting.
8. Off topic question, how has NieR: Automata as a game been so far? I have no clue what the game is about but seeing so many of my friends play it, I’m curious.
As a newcomer to the NieR and Drakengard series, I enjoyed it a lot. The story is gripping—it’s half gut-wrenching android tragedy, half weird offbeat humor. In other words, exactly what you’d expect from a strange bird like Yoko Taro. I’m also a big fan of Platinum’s sleek signature style, so the melee combat and the open world exploration was a joy to play. Except the bullet hell segments, which I am terrible at in general and died a lot lol. And of course, Keiichi Okabe’s beautiful, haunting score was second to none, very reminiscent of Ghost in the Shell.
9. Last time we talked, you said the community needed to be better people when it comes to interacting with one another. Do you feel as though that has happened over the past few years?
Haha, I feel like that’s something we can never stop working on in general, not just in the cosplay community. Especially in this day and age. Do I feel as though it’s gotten better? That’s tough to say. I only see a very, very small slice of what goes on, and I am an even smaller part of a community that is growing by leaps and bounds every year. Veteran cosplayers are familiar with the ongoing dialogue regarding blackfacing, Patreon, sexy cosplay, making vs buying your costume; but I have seen new cosplayers (and old) unwittingly create controversy because they’re not aware of the unresolved cultural/socio-economic polemics regarding these issues. So realistically, I hate to say, I think it’s the same as it ever was. Having said that though, seeing amazing movements like 29 Days of Black Cosplay take off in the past few years gives me hope that we are moving towards some sort of equilibrium, and I do all I can to help push us in that direction, for what it’s worth. Also seeing retailers with high visibility like Arda Wigs, regularly feature cosplayers of all shapes, sizes, color, and non-binary genders wearing their products makes me incredibly happy. We need more of anything and everything that empowers frequently disenfranchised groups in the community. The pursuit of beauty, artistic expression, and general geekiness should not be bounded by race, age, size, country, sexuality, economic background, or the status quo.
10. What cosplay projects are you currently working on? I know Sharrkan (Magi) is in the works but anything else we should be on the lookout for?
Sharrkan and the Magi group for A-kon turned out so well, I was so happy with him and the group was so fun! Right now I’m making Lord Sumeragi from Fire Emblem: Fates for Danny (Gold Lion Cosplay), for a shoot in the fall. I’ve been brainstorming Gentiana from Final Fantasy XV as well.
11. What other conventions can people find you at this year?
Hmmmm….that’s an interesting question. I’m kind of at crossroads right now as to what I want out of conventions. For now, I’m not sure. Even Katsucon is up in the air.
12. Final question, anything you want to say to your fans?
You guys are NOT fans; you’re followers, readers, and friends. Thank you for keeping up with me and my various and sundry exploits as long as you have. I’m pretty sure I derive more enjoyment out of your comments as you somehow do out of my posts—your encouragement, advice, and humor really keep me going. Thank you all so much, truly.
Social Media Links
As always its an honor working with Cinnabunny. Hopefully I can meet her in real life one of these days. Links to her social media are above. So be sure to support her on Facebook.
Coming into the cafe next…..