Happy Friday heroes! We have a new cosplay cafe for you this Friday featuring the wonderful ThorneChan cosplay. It’s a really in depth interview so check it out and I’ll see you below.
1. What were you like growing up? What were some of the things you were into as a child/teenager?
Growing up I was a huge tomboy. I was bullied alot for many reasons and one of the biggest reasons was because I liked “boy” things like Dragon Ball, Power Rangers, X-Men, etc. I had pretty traumatic early-teen years so when I was in highschool I got back into nerdy things and even was the president of the Fandom club at my school haha. It pretty much changed me and I’ve been obsessed with nerd culture since haha.
2. Who or what got you into cosplaying?
I’d say its a combination of alot of things. Growing up I always liked playing dress up and loved Halloween. I still played dress up even as a pre-teen because my niece would want me to. When I “grew out of” playing dress up I still did costumey things because I started doing makeup tutorials, minor SFX makeup and even character makeup. And it just eventually evolved into me wanting to cosplay, following cosplayers, and then cosplaying to my first convention.
3. Let’s talk recent stuff, on twitter you have a poll pertaining to doing a passion project. That being whether to cosplay your original character or do an original idea for an existing character. What is one thing you hope to accomplish by doing a cosplay passion project? As I’m sure they’re cosplayers who have them but haven’t had the chance to pursue them.
For years I’ve wanted to do short fan films, or CMVs (Cosplay Music Videos), but have never had the time or resources. Before being a cosplayer, I was a theater actress and eventually a theater director! I don’t even necessarily want to star in all of them, but I have so many ideas that I want to bring to life, even if its only for me to enjoy. I have so many fan stories and concepts or even parodies I want to do. My main passion project is to make a Poison Ivy mini-series of CMVs because I know I’m not a good enough write or artist to just make it a fan comic haha. Basically I just hope to bring these visuals and stories to life. Maybe my ideas and concepts could inspire other people to pursue their ideas and goals. I hope others go even further with it than I do!
4. What are some of the struggles you have to go through as a plus size cosplayer?
Honestly, there are a lot. Buying, making, and commissioning cosplays is harder for us. Most companies that sell cosplays don’t even offer our sizes, if they do, the proportions are so specific that most people wouldn’t even be able to fit the costume anyways. Making cosplays is a little harder because we usually have to buy more supplies, its hard to find mannequins or dress forms let alone affordable ones, etc. Overall its just much harder for us to find what we need and its much more expensive. Also lots of plus size cosplayers get left out of groups, photoshoots, meetups, etc. Either because of an “image” issue, or they want to typecast the plus size person for a group cosplay, or they don’t want them to “ruin a photo” or whatever.
And besides the obvious constant fat-shaming, I feel that as a plus size cosplayer I lose a lot of my own identity. That sounds weird but a good portion of people you see online don’t care about the person underneath the “plus size cosplayer” title, they just care that they exist. Plus size cosplayers get compared to each other a lot for seemingly no other reason beyond “you two are the same cuz you’re both plus size”. I’ve literally been called a “knock-off” of someone else solely because I have a vaguely similar body as them. To some people, they just see plus size cosplayers as a quota to fill for diversity. To others, they see them as some sort of specific fetish. I feel like a lot of us get lumped together as interchangeable plus size cosplayers to “look up to” and the rest of the plus size cosplayers get completely overlooked because they don’t fit the mold or whatever. This problem is the same with every marginalized group in the cosplay community. We’re just people, we are not other people, we are not interchangeable or replaceable or whatever, we just exist and do our own thing.
5. Any advice for newcomers to cosplay that don’t feel confident in their body?
Always accommodate your comfort level! Cosplay characters that you feel comfortable as, or alter designs to make yourself more comfortable. Confidence doesn’t just show up overnight so ease yourself into it and just focus on having fun! Maybe its just because I have an infinite list of characters I want to cosplay, but you can always postpone the more revealing cosplays or uncomfortable ones until you’re ready! There is no rush or pressure! You don’t have to limit yourself to modest costumes or limit the characters you want to cosplay. Be who you love in a way that you’ll love.
6. Off topic question, favorite food?
Seafood! I can’t pick a specific meal but if I had to list a few favorites I’d say sushi, thai curry, and seafood pasta.
7. What went into your Umbreon cosplay? I thought everything from the setting, wardrobe choices, and photos really set the mood of mystery.
So, originally I was making a full fantasy Eevee group where every eeveelution would be a different class or RPG stereotype that I felt matched their type. Eevee would be a viking, Vaporeon was a water nymph, Leafeon was a dryad, Espeon was a boho inspired mage, Umbreon was a dark mage, etc. I designed my Umbreon using tons of reference images to other dark mages and then while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race my favorite contestant pulled out a gold and black strapped outfit that I just loved. It inspired me to incorporate that design into my own. The setting was just a set at Photo Bang Bang in Las Vegas! No changes were made besides removing the bathtub from the room. While my initial RPG concept had evolved, the photos still gave off the overall idea that I wanted.
8. Patreon! For those who don’t know ThorneChan has a Patreon. What can people expect to find on that platform that’s different from your other social media platforms?
My cosplay tier on Patreon (only $5 a month) features all my cosplay content. Every photoshoot, including unedited photos or photos that didn’t make it into the final photoshoot. Step by step progress I make on my cosplays
including detailed descriptions on how I personally made it, and links to tutorials or recommendations on better/ alternative ways to do what I just did. I post previews of upcoming projects, concept art for original designs, commissioned concept art, polls on which cosplays my Patrons would prefer, etc. If its anything cosplay related, it gets posted on my patreon. Its pretty in depth and has alot of content if I do say so myself.
9. What is one thing you think is underappreciated about a cosplay you’ve made? Whether it’s a wig that you styled or how many hours went into sewing that costume.
Definitely my entire Poison Ivy cosplay. Its probably my most popular cosplay besides Camie and Velma but I don’t think people truly understand everything that went into it, or they don’t really realize the work that cosplayers in general go through to make costumes.
So first thing, the design alone is not just a random Ivy design, its basically an amalgam of multiple canon Ivy costumes. The tiara, necklace and earrings were taken directly from older Ivy, the silhouette of it and a bit of the color was inspired from Bruce Tim Ivy, the rest was just generic Ivy. The design is not really important in terms of “underappreciated” but Ivy is popular to cosplay and a lot of people just cosplay her or design her however they want so I guess my purposeful design choices are a little unnoticed.
So much work went into making this and there are underappreciated details that I adore. The heels of the shoes were hot glued to look like vines and plant veins but nobody can see. For the vines/veins on the gloves, I literally wore the gloves and hot glued onto them and burned myself to get the effect I wanted. It was stupid and I’d never do it again but it looked great. I hot glued the vines, painted them, then completely hand sewed all around the glue to keep it secure. It took ages and was so stressful and painful but I’m happy with the outcome. I didn’t have a headband so I made one myself by wrapping wire until it was thick enough to keep shape, then I sewed fabric over, added the wires to hold the leaves, then cut, sewed, and glued the details together. And the majority of the leaves on the top and bottoms were hand sewn on, which take forever. This cosplay was a work in progress for 2 years since I kept taking long breaks from working on it.
10. Can you hint at any projects you’re currently working on?
The secret project I’ve been working on is a genderbend! Its almost done so it will be revealed soon if you can’t guess it from this hint. In genderbent terms, her titles are Dark Lady, Demon Queen, and Great Queen of Evil. My next big project for winter is a Overwatch and World of Warcraft crossover!
11. What conventions can people find you at later this year or next year?
Next year I’ll be going to ALA, Fanime, and the rest is TBA! I would love to go to Sabakon or Shinecon next year in Las Vegas and I’ll try to attend more but so far those 2 are the only confirmed ones!
12. Final question, anything you want to say to your fans?
Words cannot describe how grateful I am! Honestly, I’m really just a nervous gross hermit but it means alot to me that so many people appreciate my passions, and enjoy seeing what I do. Its shocking to think I have “fans” but I’m happy you’re in my life regardless! Thank you all so much and do your best to live your best life!
As always the links above are ThorneChan social media links where you can follow her. I have to say I’m looking forward to her next projects. I don’t have much else to say except follow her if you haven’t already. We’re on the road to 50 by the end of this year and just wanted to thank everyone for reading. I’m still XBen3000 and I’ll catch you later.