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Contest Winner: Pastel-Colored Cosplay!!

Pastel-Colored Cosplay, or Sam, was the winner of my first ever contest and it was so fun to see her smiling face at Fantasy Con. Sam is a very talented costumer who always has a sweet smile and knack for helping others grin and relax. She has a ton of fun creating costumes and hanging out with friends, whether it be at conventions, photo shoots, or just chilling.

Pastel as Alice Liddel (original Design) from the
series Heart no Kuni no Alice
Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography

"I love learning new things and expressing myself creatively. But most all, I love having fun!"
- Sam

Sam may appear quiet when you first meet her but she is a passionate and lively girl. She puts her heart and soul into her work. Sam creates characters from video games and anime shows that she can relate with and that she holds dear to herself.

Where to find Pastel-Colored Cosplay

Pastel as summoner Yuna with Cid the Stampede as Tidus from Final Fantasy X
Photo by Emily Goodin

Interview with Pastel-Colored Cosplay

How long have you been cosplaying and how did you start?

I first officially started to cosplay back in 2006, for the second year of Anime Banzai. I'd tried to poorly imitate character costumes before that, but...yeahhh... Let's just say there's a reason why no pictures of those attempts exist, haha. Before that, I'd watched coverage of Anime Expo on Comcast On Demand and the whole convention scene absolutely intrigued me. I started looking up the event every year online, following Lionel Lum's photo galleries and marveling at all the amazing costumes that people made. Once I found out that Utah had a convention of its own, I jumped at the chance to try it myself.

Pastel as Historia Reiss from Attack on Titan
Photo by Shannon Deonier

What is the most important thing to you in choosing a character to recreate?

Usually, I cosplay characters that I really love or connect with, that hold a lot of meaning to me. There are a lot of costumes out there that I would do simply for the design or to complete a group for a friend, but even then, I really try to familiarize myself with the franchise and the character I picked before jumping in.

Pastel cosplaying as Chitose Tachibana from Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly
Photo by Melissa Spencer

Which character have you connected with the most? Which one has the most meaning to you and why?

This is a really tough question! Different characters have different qualities that I relate to, so picking just one isn't easy. My first cosplay was Hinata from Naruto (hence the nickname I still go by!) I remember being drawn to her because I was a completely awkward wallflower when I was in school. It made it much easier to take on the persona of a character that was very similar to me and funny enough, cosplay is what brought me out of my shell and changed that! I could list others, but Hinata is the main character that comes to mind in terms of connection.

Pastel-Colored Cosplay as Summoner Yuna from Final Fantasy X
Photo by Eurobeat Kasumi Photography

As far as meaning goes, it's a tie between Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura and Yuna. Sakura because of the nostalgia and meaning it holds to my childhood and Yuna because it was the first character design that I ever saw and thought, "Wow, I would LOVE to recreate that!" Getting to cosplay both of those characters was, and still is, a great experience.

What materials have been the easiest for you to use in creating a costume or prop?

Polymer clay. I have a very strange addiction to sculpting, even though like, 9 times out of 10, there is a much better material that I could be using. I find sculpting to be super relaxing and when you're stressing out over a costume, that is a huge plus.

Polymer clay is a type of modeling clay based on PVC. You can typically find it in craft stores with brands such as Sculpey or Fimo. While it holds no clay minerals, it shares many of the same properties. I have used polymer clay for everything from prop pieces (the mouth and hilt on my Ragnarok sword for Crona from Soul Eater) to jewelry, like Yuna's earring and necklace from Final Fantasy X, to even armor (the pauldrons for Rosa from Final Fantasy IV). Making accessories are actually my favorite part about cosplay because it gives me a chance to sculpt!

Pastel as Princess Zelda and VFire as Link from
the game The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time
Photo by Sadee Hansen

Fun Fact: During this shoot Sam was elegantly moving about while
being filmed as Zelda... and VFire biffed it in the background
while trying to get out of a shot... VFire is not as graceful as
Sam is for sure, but we both were probably in character the whole time!

Let's say you are given a challenge. You can only pick one material to make an entire cosplay out of. What material would you pick and what character would you make? Why?

I have always wanted to work with worbla. There are tons of armor costumes out there that I've got on my bucket list, particularly from Skyrim. I'd love to try and attempt that with worbla.

Worbla is a type of thermoplastic that can be molded with heat. It comes in big sheets and can be shaped with hot air, water or even steam. I've seen some incredible props, armor and accessories made with it!

The Coon/Cartman from Southpark with Orca as Mysterion/Kenny.
Photo by Marcus Reyes

What advice do you have for new cosplayers or those who may be interested in learning more about it?

Remember that everyone starts somewhere. Do not compare your first attempts to those who have more experience; they have been doing it for longer and long ago, they were just like you. It takes time to develop a skill or a craft, so do everything you can to learn and never stop trying to improve.

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