Talent, charisma, beauty, and dedication – These are all qualities possessed by one of my absolute favorite cosplayers, @mistysknight . I have had the pleasure of following her on Twitter for quite a while and got to watch her cosplay journey play out for myself. For the past couple of years, I’ve fanboyed over her work and her dedication to always pushing forward and doing more. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her time after time advance with each cosplay, taking not just her skill as a cosplayer, but also her craftsmanship to the next level. I finally decided that it was time the Geeks of Color community got to know her and see the work of this amazingly talented young woman.
What are your social media platforms you’d like people to know about?
What or who are your biggest nerd inspirations?
Someone who is definitely one of my biggest nerd inspirations is @Cutiepiesensei on Instagram. I’m constantly motivated by her when it comes to cosplay! Scarlet Witch is also another one of my nerd inspirations as I grew up reading about her and watching her in cartoons.
If you could actually become any character, who would you choose?
This may not come as a shock but I would definitely become Ororo Munroe (Storm). I’ve always imagined myself as her from a young age, especially when I convinced myself as a kid that I could control the wind, so honestly why stop now?
What is your favourite superhero team?
Definitely the X-men, I grew up watching them on TV and the big screen. I also enjoyed playing the X-men games, the team is what got me into loving Marvel from childhood.
What are some of your favorite properties in gaming/comics?
Some of my favourite properties in gaming are the NieR games, InFAMOUS, Uncharted, Soulcalibur and The Witcher. In terms of comics, some of my favourite properties are X-men, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Silk, and Aquaman.
What property are you currently obsessed with?
I’m currently obsessed with The Witcher 3, a game developed by CD Projekt Red. I began playing it around January and didn’t finish it up until April but I’m so in love with the characters, story, dialogue and the combat!
Tell me about your cosplay journey and how it got started?
My cosplay journey has been fun yet bumpy simultaneously, I’ve had some bad times as well as the best positive experiences and I’m glad that the positive does outweigh the negative. Yes, there have been times where I have unfortunately lost all complete motivation to cosplay and it was tough because it was one of my main hobbies (the other hobby being dancing) and I found it tricky getting back into a positive mindset. However, seeing the huge progress I’ve made within 3 years, from doing a casual cosplay to making a Wonder Woman Armour build from scratch in just two weeks and knowing that I still get a huge amount of support from my friends and others on and off Twitter, that definitely outweighs all negative thoughts I’ve had.
What started your love for cosplay?
Though I’ve been into geek culture since childhood, I hadn’t noticed cosplaying until around mid 2015 when I saw a Marvel fan account post some cosplay photos and I was like ‘Hey that’s pretty cool, I want to do that.’ That’s when I decided I wanted to start cosplaying and I started with a casual wardrobe version of Scarlet Witch. At first it got around a few RTs and maybe about 20 likes, however, the next day it suddenly ‘blew up’ and I was getting hundreds of RTs and likes and strangers telling me how much they love my cosplay. I think at that point that’s when I got a huge surge of motivation to turn cosplaying into a big hobby of mine.
What characters have you cosplayed as?
I’ve cosplayed Scarlet Witch (my first ever cosplay), Black Widow, Harley Quinn, Riri Williams, Wonder Woman (two different outfits), X-23, fem Aquaman, Catwoman and Lara Croft. I definitely have the most love for my Lara Croft and 2018 Wonder Woman cosplays. They definitely turned out the best out of everything I’ve done.
What are some characters you’d be interested in cosplaying as?
Psylocke definitely, I’m actually going to start working on that cosplay around August for MCM London Comic Con October. I’m also interested in cosplaying Taki from SoulCalibur. I used to love playing the Soulcalibur games so cosplaying one of my favourite video game characters from childhood, who is also a tanto wielding badass, would be pretty cool. I also have some interest in an Elektra – whether it’s going to be her 616 or Netflix outfit, that is to be decided. If you haven’t noticed the pattern, I’m really keen on cosplaying badass women who wield some type of cool weapon and are martial artists.
What does cosplay mean to you as a Black woman?
For me, cosplay is a fun way I am able to express myself and express my love for geek culture and it brings together a community of people which I absolutely love, especially when I see other Black geek cosplayers.
What is it like when you see other Black woman cosplaying?
It’s encouraging and extremely important to me, cosplaying as a Black person (especially being dark skin) can be challenging in the cosplay community. We’re not as appreciated as others and it has at times demotivated me to think that my cosplay won’t be as appreciated because I’m a Black girl cosplaying a white character. Black cosplayers such as @cutiepiesensei and @kayyybear on Instagram really help me develop a better mindset towards myself in terms of cosplaying as a Black person.
Have there been times where you have felt limited in what everyone expects from you as a Black cosplayer?
Yes definitely, because I’m a Black cosplayer sometimes people do expect me to just stick to just cosplaying Black characters or that I cannot cosplay a non-Black character because my skin tone will make the cosplay inaccurate no matter how accurate the costume itself is.
What is it like finally seeing a cosplay come together? Like that initial feeling after it’s finished and you put it on and you’re standing in the mirror for the first time?
It’s definitely one of the best feelings ever, especially if it has been a big armour build that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Currently I now only cosplay for cons so when I complete a cosplay, it’s the biggest relief that I won’t really have to worry about my next cosplay until the next con is around the corner haha. Apart from that, it’s a great feeling to look into the mirror and see that you’ve created such an amazing costume with your own two hands.
What is it like when you show off a new cosplay and people react positively to it?
It definitely puts the biggest smile on my face. I’m really grateful that all the cosplays I’ve posted have gained hundreds sometimes thousands of likes and RTs and it’s so good to know that there are so many people out there that love the things I make. I honestly never get used to my cosplay posts ‘blowing up’.
What are some things you want other people interested in cosplaying to know?
There are definitely going to be cosplays that will be challenging from the beginning. The most difficult part for me is not giving up when I hit an obstacle. I was extremely close to scrapping my Wonder Woman cosplay I made this year because I was so critical of myself and things were going wrong. Some cosplays are going to be difficult and things will definitely go wrong if you’re testing new materials or if you’re new to a certain part of cosplaying, the best thing to do is to just continue and preserve.