In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we posed a few cosplay questions to the incredible Maggie from Lumin’s Workshop.
Here’s what she had to say!
What’s the biggest challenge for yourself (and women) in the cosplay community?
I think for me personally, being a maker, it was being taken seriously. As a female maker, I feel like you always had to prove yourself and your skills. In a way, cosplay is different to a lot of other “maker” communities in that I feel there’s equal amounts female and male cosplayers, and there’s quite a large number of female cosplay crafters on social media, yet a lot of the time we still need to prove to people that we crafted our own costumes etc.
What’s the most rewarding part of working in the cosplay community?
As someone who has kind of stepped back from the front line of cosplay, the most rewarding thing for me is watching new people discover the hobby. It’s fantastic to see people who don’t know much about cosplay get into it, then begin to explore each aspect of it, starting from something small and watching them create their first small piece to their first costumes/props and so on over the years! I kind of feel like the proud Aunt!
How do you think the cosplay community within Australia (and globally) is changing and has changed so far?
Cosplay as a whole is becoming more mainstream which is really good to see! I think with pop culture becoming more widely accepted and celebrated, we will continue to see a growth in the cosplay community. Also as the community grows, I think there has been more acceptance and less of a “this is the right way to cosplay” kind of mindset.
Are there any common misconceptions about the cosplay community that you’d like to clear up?
I think cosplay used to be seen as something you can only do if you are part of a certain fandom. But cosplay is for everyone, you don’t need to be an expert on a fandom or a character to cosplay as them, you can simply like the design or you want to learn more about the character or fandom!
What advice would you give to women wishing to persevere within male dominated spaces?
I think my best advice is “you do you”! You don’t need to prove yourself to anyone, which I think a lot of female makers feel the need to do. Continue to craft the way you enjoy and be proud of your craft, progress and achievements and show them off! Sometimes you will get negative people in your social media space who just want to make you feel inadequate and you can do your best to educate them, but in the end there is a block button and I think we should really use it more.
Who are some of your favourite female cosplayers in Australia/globally?
There’s so many fantastic female cosplayers out there! But locally I would say Lilla Bee Cosplay, Vamprea and Alt-f4 Cosplay, shout out to the Melbourne girls! Globally, Kamui Cosplay, Kinpatsu, Cowbuttcrunchies, Lightening… the list goes on!
Do you have any tips for newcomers who are just getting started in cosplay?
Getting started can always be intimidating! But I would say pick a character you love (even if you just love their design), and look up other people who have cosplayed that character and use that to draw inspiration for your own version of that character! And cosplay the way you want, whether it’s starting small with a simple costume that you bought or you want to dive head first into a huge armour build, there’s no right or wrong way and there’s no right starting point, the only wrong way is letting others dictate how you should or shouldn’t cosplay!