I had the pleasure of interviewing Candy of Sweets4aSweet Cosplay, whom I have long admired for not only her awesome cosplay work, but also her message of acceptance and self-confidence in the cosplay community. Bonus: she's super nice to talk to!
Out of all of the cosplays you've done, which is your favorite to play in?
Fiona from Shrek Forever After, the warrior version, she's my favorite, because she's super sassy, independent, and I get to carry a big ax. And I feel oddly pretty as a green girl.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations and influences for cosplay?
Probably, right now, my favorite cosplayer is Allison Tabitha. I'm pretty sure she's a shapeshifter, or a wizard of some kind. She does a spot-on Jack Sparrow, it's ridiculous, just the power of makeup and the power of cosplay. I really, really love her. Yaya Han is a big inspiration for me as well, because she's been in the industry for so long and has been so successful. I've had a lot of positive interactions with her [...] and a lot of encouragement from her. And my mom, she does all my sewing, so without her, I couldn't cosplay at all!
So you're more of a crafter?
Yeah! Crafting and wig styling.
I'll break a sewing machine but I can make a suit of armor.
Exactly! I love making armor and props and weapons, and I've really been trying to amp up my wig game.
If money and physics and abilities were not a factor, what would be your dream cosplay?
Right now, my dream cosplay is a giant mech build, the Angel of Verdun, also known as the Full Metal Bitch from the Edge of Tomorrow. Emily Blunt has this giant mech suit and this huge helicopter blade sword, and if I could build a giant mech suit, I would.
Do you have any funny or nightmare stories about cosplay?
I'm scared to death of wigs, petrified of them. If you cut the wrong thing, it's not going to grow back, and it's a lot of money. I have to take it in very slow steps, and it's a process, and that's probably the scariest part for me, just trying to figure it out. It's always fun to work with prosthetics as well, those always cause quite the fun. I actually had some problems this weekend with my pig nose and not being able to breathe. It was lifting off my face before I even left the hotel room, so it's like "I was supposed to be there twenty minutes ago and my nose is falling off, this is fun!"
What is your one piece of advice for cosplayers?
Cosplay whoever you want. Don't let your perception that they have the be a certain size or shape, or money constraints or anything like that stop you from doing a cosplay that you really, really love. I've seen amazing cosplays made out of duct tape and trashbags and cardboard and it's just as good as the person who spent thousands of dollars having custom armor built. If you love it, you should do it.