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Today's interview, we have a feature interview with the lovely and curvy Jessica Faye. Read her full interview below!
Hello! My name is Jess but on the internet I got by Jessica Faye Cosplay! I have been cosplaying for a few years now and attending conventions since 2013. Cosplay is a huge part of my life and I love it! I cannot imagine my life without cosplay! Outside of cosplay I live a fun and pretty normal life! I am based in Denver, Colorado. 

How and when did you get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay in 2013! I always loved Halloween and making my own costumes, then I was introduced into this entire world of cosplay and conventions! I went to my first convention as Saya Takagi from HighSchool of the Dead and I was hooked! I just used my first and middle name! I couldn’t think of anything cool lol! 

What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I am a bartender, and I love it! I have a really great schedule and I don’t have to work long hours! I received my bachelors degree in 2016 and worked in my field briefly, but it wasn’t for me! I love hiking and exploring in the mountains, I draw, paint, and read a lot too! 

What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
Hmm this is hard! I would have to say my star butterfly wand (newest version). I spent so much time on it and I think it is the best prop I’ve ever made! I’m super proud of it! 

What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
I am currently finishing up an original design of princess peach. I have ordered a few things for Lara Croft. I am also having Vampirella commissioned currently (just the suit)! 

Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
Nicole Marie Jean??! She is beautiful and super sweet! Her cosplays are always on point and I adore her confidence! 

With all the negativity in the cosplay community these days, what's a positive message you would like to enforce and encourage others with?
I would have to go with my instagram headline “do what makes you happy”. It is so tuff within this community sometimes and I get a lot of hate! People on the internet are mean, and it is so easy to let them get to you! I find it best to ignore them, because in my mind if you reply to them you are only giving them the satisfaction!

​However, I will always stand up or give a nice shout out to someone who is being bullied! As long as you aren’t hurting anyone just keep doing what makes you happy!! Also, a like or a nice comment goes along way, so if you see something you like tell that person good job!!!????
​What is your dream cosplay?
A human version of the Pokémon ninetales is high on my dream list! It has more to it than that, but it’s a secret??! 

What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
Denver Comic Con! It’s my home con and it’s very special to me! 

Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
I’m pretty laid back, but I get very uncomfortable when people touch me without asking. Cosplay is not consent! 

Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Hmm I’ve made SO many mistakes throughout cosplaying??! I think the biggest problem I’ve ever had is while traveling to Otakon in 2014 one of my pigtails for my saya takagi wig came off! Lesson: don’t pack your wig when the glue isn’t dry lol! So I was short a cosplay for the weekend! 

Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
I say just keep doing what makes you feel happy and confident!! Don’t let mean people on the internet bring you down and HAVE FUN!!!! Another thing give yourself a break! If hate or losing sleep for con crunch is stressing you out step back and relax! You deserve it!! 

Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
If you ever see me at a convention please come up and say hello! I get RBF sometimes but I’m super friendly I promise!! And I would love to meet you!??

Where can we find you on all things social?
I am just on Insta for now! @jessicafayecosplay 
Not only is this gal crazy talented and beautiful, but she's incredibly sweet and a lovely friend. I strongly suggest you follow this gem and tell her I sent you!

If you would like a feature on the blog, send me an email! Everyone deserves a moment in the spotlight!
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Vistaprint is quite versatile with their products they offer business owners. With the subscription box trend, it was no surprise they had something in the works. In the post below, I will review my first promobox. Please note, this was not a sponsored product or review and all thoughts are my own. This product was purchased of my own free will.
​A little about the Vistaprint Promobox​; the first thing that drew me in was the first box was only $5. Every box after that is $24.99. Each box contains up to four items, ranging from pens and notepads, to t-shirts and mugs. The items all feature your logo or brand as specified by the info you provide.

As outlined in the image below, you can see my answers for the survey I filled out. They give you a wide range of options and the ability to control the information that goes on your promo material.
You can upload multiple images and let the designer choose. You can pick colors to compliment your brand, and you have the option to provide instructions. For example, while on the site they offer product previews using recently uploaded images and my face was constantly cut off, or white edging had to be added to fill in space. So it was important for them to not do that here.
​When it arrived (earlier than estimated), the box itself was fairly small, but it was well packaged. Right on top was a few brochures and promo cards along with a handwritten note from my designer. The back of the card showed the products I received, mostly for clarification, I'd assume.
The first item I saw was my face on a postcard size paper with some envelopes wrapped in a ribbon. Apparently, it's pretty standard for postcards to come with envelopes. The front of the card had a grey border with my cosplay name and the back had the same border with my website. I didn't really like the paper texture as it created a weird shadow and ripple across the photo.
The second thing in the box was two sheets of round stickers. They added a grey line border around the edge of the sticker and a grey line with my name across the centre. It just came across as way too busy and the name line cut through my chin, which is a design and aesthetic no-no.
​The last thing in the box was a t-shirt, which I literally prayed I wouldn't get because I knew it would not look good. And I was not wrong. Rather than taking my image which is visual and adding it to a shirt.... they just wrote my name. The print was really poor, the shirt is basic, rough cotton, and really? Just words in small print on a t-shirt? Come on.
​Only three things? I thought it was kind of a bust even for $5. So I started piling everything back in and realized I pulled out a pen without even noticing. I looked at it, and it was pretty bad, but in the opposite way of the shirt. They took everything possible and tried to wrap it around this pen. It looks ridiculous.
​Overall, for $5 I will get my use out of the postcards and stickers, but the shirt is basically a paint shirt now, and the pen is just a pen. The purpose of the box - "promo" doesn't really come across as it's more for personal use rather than distribution and really promoting my brand.

Luckily, Vistaprint is very dedicated to getting this box right and working with users to get it right. In the reviews they're very interested in feedback and I can only assume they're willing to credit or work with the customers to perfect the box.

I will be submitting a review and my honest feedback. If they label themselves as designers, they really should know better or try harder with a few of their efforts. Logos and images are not drag and drop and don't work on all products. So it will take a bit more effort to curate these boxes and make sure that customers are happy. 

BUT! For $5, it's basically a steal for your first box. If you're looking for cheap giveaway items, or just want to see what they offer, it's worth a try! Let me know if you get one! I'm curious if they have basic items and premium items that they try to limit with each purchase.
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Today we have an excellent interview with a talented male cosplayer! I always love highlighting talent of all genders and I'm excited to welcome Josh to the blog. Read his full interview below!
My name is Josh Kruse. I'm a single father of 2 boys and have been in the communications industry for the last 12 years.  When I'm not busy adulting you can find me in my garage making magic or hanging out with my boys. 
​How and when did you get into cosplay?
I've always been a big fan of going all out for Halloween and making sure the costumes I wore were as good as I could make them.  But as far as cosplay goes, it was about 4 years ago when I started getting into the hobby.  Being a child of the 80's there was a high probability that you went to school with a dozen other boys named, "Josh.". There were no less than a handful in the school I grew up in, so going by Kruse or Kruser has been a staple for as long as I can remember. It was only natural. 

What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
I work in the communications industry for commercial clients.  Kinda vague, I know, but it has to be.  Outside of Cosplay, I collect retro games.  My Nintendo Entertainment System library is my favorite and largest single system game collection.  It just surpassed 450 games!  I know I'll never be able to collect the entire library of games due to rarity and price, but I hope to be able to make it close.  I also dabble in making furniture and goodies out of wood in my shop.  I've made my son's a pair of bed frames, shelves, computer desks, entertainment centers, workbenches, etc. 

What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
Competing in the Wester Regional Championships of Cosplay at Emerald City Comic Con was definitely a highlight, but my proudest accomplishment is being a part of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club.  The ability to dress in plastic spaceman armor, make people smile, raise money for children's charities, and make a difference in someone's life is a feeling that is indescribable.

What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
Repairs and upgrades for my Mandalorian are always on the table, but Skurge from Thor: Ragnarok has started to take shape.

Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
So many to choose from.  5 years ago Steven K Smith inspired me to make my Isaac Clarke from Dead Space.  We met a year later and have remained friends since.  He's been a good friend and mentor.

With all the negativity in the cosplay community these days, what's a positive message you would like to enforce and encourage others with?
When it comes to costuming or cosplay, don't compete against anyone but yourself.  If you constantly compare your work to someone else's you'll never be proud or satisfied with what you've made, how much you've learned, or how much you've improved.  There is ALWAYS someone out there that is better and if you constantly compare yourself to others, you'll never be satisfied.  I'm not saying don't enter competitions, but go into each one with the mindset that you are competing against yourself.  You're pushing yourself and sharing what you've made.
​What is your dream cosplay?
Oh man... Thats tough.  I always joked that it would be anything without a helmet or wig since everything but my jedi has had one or the other.  My dream cosplay is definately one that includes my boys.  It will be all three of us as Gears of War characters.  I will be old man Marcus from Gears 4, my oldest boy will be Baird, and my youngest boy will be J.D.  We are planning this for Rose City Comic Con in 2019

What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
Rose City Comic Con is my favorite semi-local con.  Its big enough to have a draw and great vendors, yet small enough to be able to hang out with friends without a hundred thousand people in the crowd.  Its where I met most of my friends in the costuming community.

Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Poor personal hygiene and strangers who don't respect your personal space.  Worse yet, strangers who don't respect your personal space with poor personal hygiene!  

Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Cut away from your body and always keep your fingers, thumbs, and palms away from extremely sharp blades.  Cutting yourself with razor knives is never fun.

Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Have fun and make what makes you happy.  Do it for yourself first. Chances are that it will make others happy as well.

Where can we find you on all things social?
Facebook
Instagram: @krusercreations

Photos for this interview by: Huntress Creations, David Ngo, and Bill Meyenberg Photography.
What an amazing interview! If you know an awesome male cosplayer who deserves his chance in the spotlight, reach out and submit him as a feature! Thanks for reading!
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It's been a long while since I went so hard creating content, let alone in a single weekend. From Friday straight through Sunday I hustled to get together great new content for all my feeds. Read below to see everything I got through, and some sneak peaks of what to look forward to in the coming months.
​Friday was black Friday and we took the opportunity to score some great deals on lingerie and cosplay accessories. Canadian Comic Cutie and I raided our local LaSenza, La Vie En Rose, and Ardene armed with Starbucks coffee. We walked away with matching undies for upcoming shoots together, over the knee socks, and other misc accessories. I may have splurged and got myself a hoody as well. ;) For the rest of the afternoon we worked hard on our "costumes" for upcoming shoots. Don't worry, you'll be seeing them soon!
​When I got home in the evening my mission was to decorate my kitchen as the set for a Christmas shoot! I went through my entire collection of Christmas decorations and tried to make the kitchen as extra as possible specifically for this shoot. I timelapsed it just for fun, too! I may have been watching too much RuPaul Drag Race + had too much wine and it resulted in a Garland runway show. #NoRegrets #Fabulous Since I had all the decorations out, I also decorated the rest of the house and set up the tree!
Saturday was a big day so I didn't let myself sleep in *too* late with an alarm set for 9:30. I did some arts and crafts that made my spidey senses crawl...
​... and after some minor prep, and applying my FAVORITE freckles, I did a cute and cozy Mary Jane photo set! This makes my second MJ outfit and it might be my favorite.

After a quick bite to eat and a costume change I found myself rearranging some furniture and shooting a Velma cosplay, courtesy of Canadian Comic Cutie! You won't be seeing this shoot again for a long while so enjoy this super exclusive sneak peak!
​Two outfits down and halfway through the day, I ran out for some supplies and showed off my cute freckles to the world. I always feel powerful going out in public with my cosplay makeup - the contacts, long lashes, smooth skin - it's intense.

By this point my feet, legs, and butt are getting deathly sore, but I push through. Too much to do, not enough time. As the sun goes down, I retreat to the basement which I so affectionately refer to as my hovel. I went into my third costume change of the day and begrudgingly removed my freckles. This was for my #MonCloCosCha look for November which will be revealed Friday on Instagram.

I took the opportunity to use my made-up face to complete a few custom photo sets as well. I love having the freedom to bring ideas to life for others while still having time to pursue my own passions. Thank you for allowing me the freedom to do what I want!
​I hunkered down for the night finishing Canadian Comic Cutie's and my costume for Sunday's shoot. Unfortunately I got a tummy ache and went to bed earlier than anticipated. BUT, there's no rest for the wicked and I was up again at 9:30 to finish where I left off. I finished the "costumes" and they looked adorable!

Cutie texted me to let me know the photographer had to reschedule, so we adapted our time to do some prep work and create extra content for YOU! Who doesn't love a Sunday afternoon baking and decorating cookies? We had a blast filming videos, challenging each other, and killing beloved characters.
​I had full intentions of taking the evening easy to recover before work Monday, but Bree don't know no chill so I filmed a very special Christmas Music Video instead. #YoureWelcome #ComingSoon

With that, I took the opportunity to wind down with some snacks and cleaning my hovel. Nothing feels better than a fresh and clean work space and a plan! Needless to say, I'll sleep well tonight with SIX shoots to come throughout this week. Keep your eyes peeled for sneak peaks, but only if you're good! ;)

How did you spend your weekend? How will you spend the rest of your week?
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​More and more I open up Instagram and see women apologizing on thier feed. Apologizing for not posting, apologizing for lack of makeup. Honestly, It upsets me and here's why.
One thing I learned early on was to stop apologizing for things you didn't do wrong. Sure, if you are flail-talking with your hands and whack a passerby in the face, please do apologize. I'm talking about not posting on social media.

You see it a lot; "sorry for lack of updates..." or "sorry I haven't posted much..." on content creator profiles. We often feel obligated to keep up appearances, but our profile is ours alone. How often, or when we post is our choice. If I take a week off, I shouldn't need to explain myself or apologize, so I never will. I will say thank you if I get concerned messages, but it's really unnecessary.
Think about the current algorithms on most social sites. Your content is getting seen by less than 10 percent of your audience already. Apologizing is just making them aware that you've been gone. You are setting standards for them by letting them expect consistency! Always place a positive spin on the way you perceive your own content. Positivity is always well received, and it feels better too.
It hurts my feelings the most when I see women apologize for their lack of makeup, for posting a bare faced photo. STOP IT!! Do not EVER apologize for your natural beauty. Never apologize for letting your guard down and relaxing. You're an absolute babe! Trust me!
​Don't accept the standards the media has set for women. If you have a full glam look on, rock it. If you have a messy bun and no makeup, rock it!! Why do women feel the need to apologize? You're so dang pretty! Be strong and confident and own every decision you make.

The next time you feel the need to apologize for something you created, or your natural self, think twice - what did you do wrong? Instead of apologizing for your social absence, bless us with your re-emergence. Instead of apologizing for your naked face, wear it with pride.
HOMEWORK: Take some time and think about some of the ridiculous things you've apologized for in the past. I understand it's a natural reflex for most, but look at how you think, and see how you can change it to be a confidence boost.
While this article is heavily aimed at women, I'm sure any male readers can take something from this article as well. To everyone, it's super important to always be building each other up, and sharing in accomplishments. Abandon jealousy and shame. Especially while the world becomes more competitive, tell someone they look great, or their latest costume turned out amazing, or that they're doing really well on a work in progress.

Stop apologizing, and start appreciating yourself, and those around you.
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Today's interview is with the lovely Yanniplum. Both her talent and cuteness knows no bounds. Read her full interview below.
My nickname is Yanniplum, I'm an artist (Illustrator & Cosplayer). I live in Barcelona, and I have an adorable doge called Midna! You can see a lot of cool pictures of her in all my Social Media! I love rabbits!
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I started cosplaying with the age of 16 as a good freak that I am. Back in the days there was not social media, and it was seen really bad. My first cosplay was Hinata / Naruto Shippuden. And, my "cosplay name" is my artist name! I came up with the name when I was little, so I kept it as my nickname forever. It is quite funny, because at the beginning it was "llany" and then I decided it needed more "style" so I played with it until I got Yanni, but apparently there is a Pianist called Yanni, so added the plum, coz plums are cool. 

What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
Play videogames, lelelel. Well, I wish I could do that, but I work in the marketing department for an international company and I do English babysitting as a second job. Yep, I have two jobs, so that doesn't give a lot of room to play videogames TnT... But I try. 

What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
As for today, my Princess Mononoke. It was a cosplay I wanted to do for ages, and never found the time. A friend of mine gave me a very beautiful fur that made it stand out, a the whole costume is my props and her fur. She is also a great cosplayer! (@YuneValentine). I did put a lot of effor in the prop making (I love making props), and it came out pretty amazing!

What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
Right now I'm working on Redeemed Riven (League of Legends) that I want to contest with in the Games World Barcelona 18.

Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
There is a lot of beautiful cosplayers out there. (You included :P), but if I had to pickpoint one would be SeeU, she is so adorable!

With all the negativity in the cosplay community these days, what's a positive message you would like to enforce and encourage others with?
Do something you are proud of. Pick your line and follow it and avoid being greedy. I have seen a lot of skilled cosplayers lose their fanbase (or even hate themselves) for doing stuff for others and not themselves. Remember that this is something you do because you like it. It is okay to take a professional step, but avoid selling what you shouldn't.
What is your dream cosplay?
I always had a "MUST DO" cosplays in my list. Mononoke, Chun Li, Riven and Midna (human form) is my main list for now. After accomplishing Princess Mononoke I felt such a boom, that I wanted to get as soon as possible with Riven.

I'm already slowly working on Chun Li at the same time (she is the ultimate wifu, and I have "strong" legs, so I always thought it would look good on me). It doesn't have a lot of details, so it is not really "a dream". The real dream, as I mentioned before as today date, is Redeemed Riven. It's not one of her best skins. It's not even the coolest, you have Arcade Riven, even Rabbit!! (Did I mention I love rabbits?) but, it has to be Redeemed... Years and Years ago... I used to play a lot more of League of Legends, and I met a great guy who always played Riven (with that skin, the others were not out yet), and he became my boyfriend! I have an special love-emotion connection with that skin, so I told myself I wanted to do it! and I WILL DO IT!

What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
I have been hating cons lately. People are rude, is quite annoying to go to the big events here. The level as gone down. There is a lot of young generations (not really good ones... sorry if I offend anyone, but really, stop going around with the "free hugs" around... As a cosplayer, it is hot in there! and make up! and delicate props! Stop it, really), and fake merchandising lately, but I love meeting with my friends. The one I enjoyed most was the Japan Weekend. It was smaller than other events and people was more mature and familiar.

Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
I can't bring my Doge to conventiooons TnT. Oh, you mean human pets? I have some!! We usually do group "meetings" there, and go together. Sometimes as grupals and sometimes we go with our own individual cosplays.

Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Yes, never, and I mean NEVER wear a bodysuit with loose wires inside. I made this D.Va cosplay on 2016, with leds and cool stuff... But, the wires were not so well placed, and I was so scared to destroy it (and no girl helper), that I couldn't pee during the whole convention! If you see the pictures you see my belly growing out slowly...

Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Just do it! and do it with friends! My favourite thing is meet with my friends before an event, get ready together, pose together, go to photshoots together... It is really fun!

Where can we find you on all things social?
You can find me in all social media under the name "Yanniplum".
I normally update my instagram and facebook. And for my art, on deviantArt.

Photos for this interview by: AOJ Foto, and ASolanaPhotography.
What an awesome read. She's amazing! If you want a shot in the spotlight, simply send me an ! Cosplay is for all and I aim to capture that in these blogs.
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Finally back with some #FeatureFriday posts, and kicking stuff off with Megan! Check out her full interview below!
My name is Megan, aka burdenedwithgloriouscosplay. I am a cosplayer of many fandoms, but mainly Star Wars and Marvel. I'm a self-taught seamstress and just making it up as I go along with just about everything else.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I always was super into dressing up for Halloween and went all out. I learned about cosplay when I was in college and in 2014 I started putting together the first costumes I would officially call cosplays. My cosplay name is a play on the Loki quote from The Avengers, "I am burdened with glorious purpose". The first cosplay I really wanted to do was Loki, so it felt fitting, plus I like being clever ;)

What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
Honestly, most of the things I do are pretty geeky. I read comics, I watch shows and movies, I write. Even my day job is geeky (I work at a store that sells a bunch of nerdy licensed stuff). 

What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
Probably a tie between Resistance Rey and Ragnarok Loki. I did a lot of the patterning myself for both of those. They've both got a ton of detailing that I'm super proud of. Loki was my first venture into foamsmithing and putting together 3D print kits, not to mention I finally got to do a version of my dream cosplay.

What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
I’ve always got so many projects going on, but right now I’m starting to get into my Emerald City Comicon builds. My main WIPs currently are Poe Dameron (his Last Jedi outfit), Qi’ra from Solo, and DC Bombshells Harper Row/Bluebird.

Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
I honestly don't know that I've got just one. I'm so inspired by all the people I follow and am friends with in the community. They've all got such talent and skill in so many areas and their passion for our craft is inspiring. Just scrolling through my feed and seeing their posts gets me excited about cosplay.

With all the negativity in the cosplay community these days, what's a positive message you would like to enforce and encourage others with?
We are all doing this for love of the same stories and characters. We're doing this for fun, because we want to and we enjoy it, because we want to build these costumes and transform into our favorite characters. Hold onto that. There's always gonna be assholes who want to tear people down for no reason, or who think their opinion on your hard work is so valuable they can dump it on you unsolicited. Yeah it'll hurt for a bit, but those people are few and far between. Those of us who love what you do are far more prevalent. And remember that most of all, you're doing this for YOU. Because YOU enjoy it. And if those haters get you down, there's always a block button.

What is your dream cosplay?
My biggest dream cosplay has always been Avengers Loki. I am a huge Loki fan and that costume is just magnificent. I've still got a ways to go before I feel ready to tackle it, but someday.
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
Emerald City Comicon. It's a huge exhausting con, but it was my first con and is my "main" con so to speak. There's just so much to see, both in the exhibitor and artist halls and in the cosplay scene. I love just sitting on the Atrium steps and people watching at ECCC, it's such a perfect place to relax from all the crazy convention stuff while still being right in the center of things.

Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
People who get overly competitive, especially when seeing other people cosplaying the same character. This goes both directions too, not just the "I'm better than they are", but also "they're better than I will ever be, I should stop cosplaying this character". Take inspiration from your cosplay twins, because that's what they are. Your cosplay siblings, not evil doppelgangers. 

Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
Always check the measurement of your waistband pieces when making pants. Don't trust the pattern piece to be magically the right size, even if you cut out the size supposedly matching your measurements. Test the piece around your waist. I've had to struggle with two separate waistbands after making the entire pants and discovering they were way too big for me. Even with all the fixing, both pants are still a little too big. Maybe I'm just bad at making pants. But yeah, check your waistband pieces before building the pants.

Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
If you want to cosplay a character but don't think you could pull it off/build it with your current skill set/etc, ignore those doubts. If you don't think your skills are enough, hone those skills until you're ready. If you don't think you can pull it off for whatever reason, you absolutely can. You don't have to look one iota like the character you want to cosplay. You like a character, a costume, whatever? You can cosplay them.

Where can we find you on all things social?
Instagram: @burdenedwithgloriouscosplay
Facebook
Twitter: @burdenedwithcos

Photos for this interview provided by @charlieuphotography, @luciferiphotography, @captain.m.photography.
What a great way to kick this off again! We will be back to weekly (or bi-weekly) features starting today! Get your reading glasses ready, and if you know anyone who deserves to be spotlighted on the blog, head to my contact page to recommend them!
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