Leo Nocedo : How did you discover cosplaying?
Avera Cosplay : I have been a long-time con goer and nerd. I used to work for Geek magazine and was able to attend cons like San Diego Comic Con, so I was aware of cosplay and admired it from afar. I never really had the guts to do it until about 5 years ago.
Leo Nocedo : What was your first cosplay?
Avera Cosplay : A Rocco/Lolita Cinderella. All purchased items.
Leo Nocedo : What are your next 3 cosplay plans?
Avera Cosplay : I am currently working on an Armored Hydreigon from Pokémon, Then I have some cosplays that I have had artwork commissioned for next year: a Cheetara by Zach Fischer and Samurai She-Ra by GladzyKei
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever been in a cosplay contest?
Avera Cosplay : A lot of them, lol. I have won awards at Dragon Con, Megacon, SuperCon, and was a top 5 finalist in armor for Blizzconline. Most recently I won 1st place in the Crown Championships of Cosplay Southern Qualifier at Supercon. I will be representing the South at C2E2 for the US- National Finals. The winner of that will go on to the global championships at MCM London.
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer sewing, armor making, or wig working?
Avera Cosplay : I do a lot of wig commissions, and most of my content that has gone viral revolves around my wig work. However, I get the most enjoyment out of making armor. Most of my competition pieces are highly detailed armor with a great wig 😛
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to do photoshoots at cons or at specific locations?
Avera Cosplay : I have really moved away from doing photoshoots at cons. The only exception is when I really want to work with a photographer, or I am doing a group cosplay. I am usually competing, so it becomes too stressful to manage 100 shoots, prejudging and trying to enjoy myself.
Leo Nocedo : Is there a type of character you cosplay frequently?
Avera Cosplay : I guess my “type” would be stoic? I am older, I am not perky, so I tend to gravitate twords more mature, regal characters, Maleficent, Mercy, ect.
Leo Nocedo : Do you have any favorite cosplayers?
Avera Cosplay : Too many to list. There are some people that no matter what they do I love, Egg Sisters, Cowbutt Crunchies, Plexi Cosplay, Alt F4, Ginoza Costuming, Erza Cosplay.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most detailed cosplay you’ve ever done?
Avera Cosplay : I think the most detailed might be Zach Fischer’s Ysera, between 50 yards of thibra vines, 1000 scales, textures, gems and over 400 leaves and flowers. She was a ton of details.
Leo Nocedo : What are your top 3 craftsmanship tips?
Avera Cosplay :
- Don’t be afraid to fail. I fail every day, every day. That is how we grow, you can’t be afraid to try.
- You can’t compare yourself to others, everyone started somewhere, and NO ONE is where there want to be yet. This journey, it’s ok to be at a different point than someone else.
- Talk to other craftsmen, talk to them, ask SPECIFIC questions, start to make friends and forge relationships with people that like to do the same things you do. People will usually help and share ideas. If you do ask a question, be specific. “Which glue should I use on 6mm foam” not “how do you make armor”
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay you’ve done?
Avera Cosplay : Plaguebringer from Project Ebon Blade, (Zach Fischer’s reimaging of Warcraft Characters as Death Knights) He just came out exactly as I wanted him to be.
Leo Nocedo : What is your worst cosplay “horror” story?
Avera Cosplay : Well I had a medical emergency on stage during a contest and left in an ambulance, that pretty horrific haha.
Leo Nocedo : What’s your funniest cosplay story?
Avera Cosplay : I never considered having to go to the bathroom when I built my first armor build. I was backstage and had to strip off my whole costume to go to the bathroom. Just the comical look on my Husband’s face when I ran to the bathroom in my bloomers and corset.
Leo Nocedo : What’s the best in-character interaction you’ve ever had?
Avera Cosplay : I volunteered for Night of Stars for kids with Downs Syndrome. I was Rapunzel and it was an amazing experience to help the young ladies pick out prom gowns for the gala.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever cosplayed with a family member?
Avera Cosplay : Yep, I have my son, daughter and Husband, even my brother and sister. Most of my cosplays are duos with me and my husband.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite cosplay photo of yourself?
Avera Cosplay : There is a one of Maleficent that I just love
Leo Nocedo : What are your go-to stores for cosplay materials/full cosplays?
Avera Cosplay : Redmoon cosplay, tnt cosplay
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy pre-styled wigs or style your own?
Avera Cosplay : I style my own, I usually by a base wig from arda, and then add wefts.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever had someone mistake you for a different character?
Avera Cosplay : She-Ra, people called my Wonder Woman
Leo Nocedo : List all the cosplays you’ve done.
Avera Cosplay :Boy, here are some of my most notable: Rogue, Cinderella, Maleficent, She-Ra, Mercy: Dragoon, Classic Skin, Warhammer, Dr. Zeigler Skin, Sugar Plum Fair, Bunny. Lumiere, Bowsette, Ysera, Plaguebringer, Belle Mando, Belle Bunny, Mei Hatsume, Poison Ivy, Tracer, Polkadot Man
Leo Nocedo : What’s the biggest con you’ve cosplayed at?
Avera Cosplay : Dragon Con or MegaCon I would assume
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer cosplaying characters with props, or characters that you don’t need to carry a prop around all day?
Avera Cosplay : Most of my characters have a staff or sword, so I do what needs to be done. Props always are good for photos, so I don’t mind carrying one around.
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever lost a cosplay piece at a con?
Avera Cosplay : no
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever bought a cosplay piece at a con?
Avera Cosplay : no
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to cosplay solo or in a group?
Avera Cosplay :Groups are always more fun
Leo Nocedo : If you had a chance to meet your all-time favorite cosplayer, what would you say to them?
Avera Cosplay : “Can I buy you a beer?”
Leo Nocedo : Have you ever done a cosplay panel?
Avera Cosplay : Yes, a ton. lol
Leo Nocedo : Do you prefer to buy or make cosplays?
Avera Cosplay : Make
Leo Nocedo : If you could tell your past self-anything about cosplay, what would you say?
Avera Cosplay : Don’t be afraid dumbass
Leo Nocedo : What is your ultimate dream cosplay?
Avera Cosplay :Lady Vashj… Every cosplay I have been choosing lately is to add a skill to my arsenal to tackle that costume. I will likely start her after the Crown Championships next year. But she won’t be ready till 2023
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult cosplay you’ve ever done? (Craftsmanship, wearing of, ect)
Avera Cosplay : Warhammer Mercy will be. I tackled a lot of new skills with that one, sewing, tooling leather, casting molds. She will have upgraded moving wings for March, she is also a beast to wear. lol
Leo Nocedo : What’s the most difficult character makeup you’ve done?
Avera Cosplay : Les Grossman, being a dude.
Leo Nocedo : What, in your opinion, makes a cosplayer a “pro” cosplayer?
Avera Cosplay :Making a living at it? Getting paid to attend cons. I think when you get to the point where you are the judge and not the contestant, you can call yourself a pro.
Leo Nocedo : What is your favorite part of cosplaying?
Avera Cosplay : I love the art, the creativity, of making a costume. I also really love preforming, so it’s really the perfect hobby for me!