Your Full Name
Tell us about you.
My name is Meagan Marie. In some circles I’m known for being a cosplayer, and in others for being Crystal Dynamics’ Community and Communications Manager, working on the new Tomb Raider title. I’d like to think I’m a pretty laid back lady who’s addicted to games, comics, shoes, cats, and DeviantArt. That about covers it.
What started you on the cosplay path?
I was introduced to cosplay through a short stint in commercial modeling back in college. I never intended to pursue modeling as a career. Rather, I participated in hair shows and handbag shoots for some spare cash to help with tuition expenses. Eventually, I started to indulge in creative projects with no monetary stake for anyone involved. Essentially, we’d all collaborate as a creative outlet.
I enjoyed taking on the role of creative director, and would work with photographers and makeup artists on increasingly thematic and fantastical shoots. At some point I pitched the idea of dressing up in costume. I secretly longed to be like Wonder Woman or Lara Croft, and so it was a natural next step. The costume attempts were rather sad in hindsight, but helped introduced me to the world of “cosplay.” After attending some small local conventions, I discovered the costuming community and I was hooked. I started dressing up for every convention I could, and haven’t stopped since.
When not cosplaying, what do you do?
Working, mostly! My day job keeps me pretty busy. When I’m not at my desk, I like to play games and read comics. I also really enjoy customizing vinyl toys, and hope to find more time to do it in the future.
What kind of cosplayer do you consider yourself?
I actually make a point to never try to label myself in regards to my costume work, as I don’t really subscribe to that sort of thinking. If we’re looking at source material, though, I most often pull from video games and comics. That being said, after moving out to Northern California, I’ve been more fully immersed in the world of anime and manga. I’m looking to expand into that territory much more significantly in upcoming projects.
Do you have a current cosplay favorite?
I think so! I’d say the costume I’m most proud of is my Anya Stroud getup from Gears of War 3. It was by far the most complex build I’ve worked on to date, and I made a point do create everything on my own. I had a friend teach me corset making and other skills for this specific project. It took over a year from conceptualization to completion, so you can understand how big of a payoff it was to wear it for the first time.
If you have a long range goals in your life. What is it?
That’s a lofty question. To be happy and to be successful by the standards I’ve set for myself. Those are my overarching goals that I try to apply to everything I do.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to get into the cosplay scene?
Yes! I have a few tips I share with new cosplayers regularly:
- Start with something reasonable. Don’t try to build a working mech your first go. Pick a costume that accentuates something you’ll excel at, and then move up in difficulty from there. If you discourage yourself early on, it’s hard to find motivation to finish a costume, so being realistic in size and scope is important.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Join forums and costume communities and search out helpful tutorials! Don’t build a costume in a bubble. Trust me, it’s not worth it!
- Try a cosplay group! Everyone has a vested interest in the success of the group, and therefore will help & teach each other new skills. It’s a great learning opportunity.
- Don’t let anyone stop you from cosplaying what you want to, and don’t let Internet negativity get you down. We all get it, even those that are considered “pros.” Keep doing what makes you happy, for as long as it does so.
There is a lot of debate if Western/Asians should cosplay. Your thoughts?
I think it’s all silly, to be honest. Cosplay should be fulfilling to yourself most of all. If you want to cosplay as a character of a different race or gender, or change the original design to your liking, nothing should stop you. You’re the one to invest the time, money, and passion into the project. Again, if it makes you happy, keep on keeping on.
How far into the character are you willing to go while in cosplay? At the end of the day, are you “YOU” or are you your “CHARACTER”?
To be totally honest, I don’t act the part of a character while in costume. It’s never appealed to me personally, but I can understand the draw of cackling like The Joker while dressed in his flamboyant attire. I can imagine it’s a fun way to step outside of your skin for a bit.
Do you have any experience of taking a cosplay event in a foreign country?
I do! I was invited to the official Gears of War 3 launch in Paris by Microsoft. I can’t even describe my excitement when I read the invitation. After a year of working on the costume, it was wonderful to feel like my work was recognized on a professional level. At that point, I’d never attended a game launch either, so it was doubly exciting.
Name 3 of your favorite (art/anime) books/ magazines.
Hmm. How about my three favorite comics? I’d say Preacher, Fables, The Walking Dead, and Sandman top my list. All are stellar stories with equally impressive art.
What is your life motto?
My life motto is never to become complacent. The idea of settling, of becoming comfortable, of giving up on becoming more, terrifies me. I never want to stop learning and growing and striving to be better. I try to live by that on a day-to-day basis.
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