Wonder Woman Katie George, cosplayer from Atlanta – both competitor and judge. Katie has competed in competitions around the world including America and Japan, she was even part of the World Cosplay Summit in 2012.
You have made over 80 cosplays, what has been your favourite?
I have to say my love for Sleeping Beauty makes Briar Rose my all-time favourite with a side of Wonder Woman for her awesome popular appeal.
What inspires you to choose your next cosplay?
It’s usually a combination of things- passion for a series new or old, love for a design, and sometimes, just because I love cosplaying with friends! I try to keep a healthy mix of all three because if you don’t have at least one, making costumes becomes tedious and a chore rather than exciting and fun.
What future cosplay have you got in store for us?
I’ve started gathering supplies to make the catsuit from The Dark Knight Rises (gotta use my slight resemblance to Anne Hathaway while it’s still relevant!) and I have a few other comic costumes planned. Only time will tell how many I get to before SDCC and D*C this year! 🙂
When you’re not cosplaying or at a convention what can we find you doing?
EATING. Hahaha, I really love food. I also love hanging out with my friends in Atlanta and doing fun, non-con-related things together. It’s about time for another sewing party, though, now that I think about it….
I haven’t, but oh man, I want to go SO badly. We joke that at the World Cosplay Summit 2012, Team USA and Team UK were like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair- total biffles. We were INSEPARABLE. I would love the chance to visit them again… If I didn’t already have so much debt from college and need a new car, I would take out a loan just to visit the UK. *A*
What is your perception of the difference between cosplay culture in the UK and America?
It’s hard to speak to that, based on the fact that I’ve never been there, but Lex and Laura set the bar HIGH, so based on WCS Team UK 2012, there seems to be a strong emphasis on craftsmanship and beautiful, artistic skits! *_*
You travelled to Japan to compete in a cosplay competition, what was that like? What is cosplay like over there?
Cosplay in Japan is extremely different because it’s so much more a part of mainstream culture there. If you live in a big enough town, you can walk into any anime shop and buy a costume. I think that probably really hurts them from a craftsmanship perspective, but it’s gotta be great for growing the cosplay community at large and the idea that “everyone can cosplay!”- a message which can sometimes be lost in the competitive environment of the US.
Judging is GREAT fun. I always walk away with some new technique to try when I judge! It’s also nice to be on the other side of the table, that’s for sure. Competing is fun, and let’s be honest, winning is even better, but the stress of getting a costume ready for competition is much greater than the stress of selecting who will win what award.
What changes have you seen in the cosplay community over the years you have been participating?
Craftsmanship is mind-blowing these days. It’s hilarious to look back on the costumes I once was proud of that now cause me shame for ever thinking they were “awesome~.” The community has really improved, and it’s been a joy to watch. Less of a joy is the recent “race for numbers” on social media like Facebook, DeviantArt, etc, and I constantly have to remind myself that if I get too caught up in numbers, cosplay will STOP. BEING. FUN. So I do my best to continue to cosplay for ME and worry more about how the hell I’m going to make my next costume rather than what I should offer as a giveaway to try and reach XYZ number of likes.
Hahaha, if I’m a professional cosplayer, then I am a TERRIBLE one, because I doubt I’ve even made enough money to cover the cost of a full weekend stay at a convention yet! My old costumes sell for a FRACTION of what the materials cost me, and I mostly sell them to make closet space for more, not turn a profit. My print sales weren’t high enough to justify the amount of HOURS that went into retouching, marketing, processing, and shipping them out. If I had to bet, I’d call myself lucky if I made more than $2/hr when all is said and done. I know that might seem pessimistic, and I think selling prints is an EXCELLENT way to fund new costumes, but ultimately, it was not successful for ME. I might try again in the future, but for now, I’m kinda burnt out.
What advice would you give a first time con-goer at a convention?
I’ll give two sets of advice… For anyone attending their first con SOLO: Before the con, post on a few forums, join a Facebook group, write on a Gathering event wall- make connections! Cons are an amazing place to forge new friendships (and maybe even find love!), but in my personal experience, going to a con and having a set person or group to hang out with makes it way less intimidating and more fun.
For anyone attending their first con with a group of friends: AVOID BIG COSPLAY GROUPS UNLESS YOU DON’T CARE IF THE GROUP FALLS APART. Every young new cosplayer falls victim to this scenario: they scrape together their FIRST costume for a big group… but then Suzy says “sorry, I can’t afford to make mine…” Jill says “Uhhh, I have all the materials, but I don’t have time to finish mine.” Paul says “I made mine, but it fell apart when I got to the con…” and so on and so forth. Unless you don’t care if you’re wearing the costume by yourself, don’t get your hopes dashed by this all too common tale as old as CON… NOW GO HAVE FUN!
Thank you Katie, thats some great pieces of advice!
Check out all of Katie’s cosplays via https://www.facebook.com/katiecosplay?fref=ts
Photo credits: Wonder Woman – Bryan Humphrey, Black Cat – Paul Tien, Sleeping Beauty – Guy behind the camera, Briar Ros – Dim Horizon Studio, Faye Valentine – Ljinto.