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Cosplay Confessions is yet another monthly feature I’m adding to my blog. Every month, I plan on featuring a different cosplayer and my interview with them, along with photos featuring their cosplays. This will not only be beneficial to the cosplayers themselves – because any publicity is good publicity when it comes to updating your fans on which conventions you’ll be at, and what you’re working on – but it will also be beneficial to those who are interested in cosplay as a hobby.
Since this is a new feature, I have asked some cosplayers I know to fill out my questions and it’s my great pleasure to introduce a local cosplayer who has become a friend and who is very talented – Lauren Treidel….AKA Solveig Bjorndottr. On to the interview!
QUESTION: Hello! Many people reading this may not know much about you. Please tell us a little bit about yourself. How long have you been cosplaying?
Well, hello there world. *cough cough* is this uhh *taps the mic* is this thing on? Oh! Hai! My name is Lauren and I run under the handle/stagename of Solveig Bjorndottr. The question of cosplaying and how long I have been doing it is measured in two ways. You can look at it one way as I was always an active child when it came to playing dress-up. Everything was about the costumes for me. You can even say it pushed me onto the proverbial bus that is a career path. I had studied opera performance with big dreams of having custom-made gowns and makeup artists daily at my disposal. Years later it’s not quite what I’m doing but has always stuck with me. If you want to look at what the more document-able picture is, I made my debut in 2010 when I cosplayed as Lucy from Elfen Lied. The terminology is more of a closet costume. I started more seriously in 2011-ish when I met my partner is crime, Kitteninstrings Cosplay. Other than that you can also look at the fact that I do make a lot of historically accurate clothing so you can sorta call that cosplay too.
QUESTION: Do you attend many conventions? Which ones are your favorite to attend?
Conventions, conventions, conventions. I can average anywhere from 4-12 cons a year. It would be more but I have probably too many side hobbies. Regarding which ones are my favorite, I would probably have to say Pax East as not only am I an attendee, I work it as well and have met tons of fabulous cosplayers and geeks all around. PortCon is our local convention where again I work it as well as attend and my other most-favoritest is Granite State Comicon. Really, all of these places have a good solid community of supportive geeks, cosplayers, gamers, and all-around awesome people.
QUESTION: Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to cosplaying?
You know what really grinds my gears? I think for me because it’s such a personal subject is people who give plus size cosplayers a bad name. I mean, you see people picking on individuals of all shapes and sizes, but some people who like to think they are “elite” cosplayers or fans saying that you have a few extra to a million extra pounds you are a disgrace to cosplaying. The reality to it is if you feel confident in your product, if you feel the quality is something you are proud of, and if you are not inappropriate in public, size should not matter. Not only am I a plus-sized cosplayer, I don’t have normal plus-size proportions. I’m not busty, I don’t have a behind. I try to make these things work for me. I’m proud of my product. Don’t judge my size, judge my work!
QUESTION: What’s one cosplay project you’d like to do in the future?
I keep a running wishlist on my fan page. I really want to be more proficient in building armor. Right now I tend to do a lot of spandex and pieces combined with corsets but at heart I’m really a battle maiden. My first real armor set is coming out for its first appearance at Pax East. There are no pictures posted of it anywhere as it’s my biggest project yet. So – short answer is more armor! More specifically I’d like to do Eir from Guild Wars II. However, with the project comes a life goal I am working on; Although as I stated above I am a plus-sized cosplayer, I’d rather be more of an amazon so I’m trimming up before I do it.
QUESTION: Are there any cosplayers (professional or otherwise) who inspire you? If so, why?
I certainly follow a lot of big cosplayers and locals. I definitely love following Kamui Cosplay, Yaya Han, Nicole Marie Jean and Destiny Nickelsen. The above “cosfamous” ladies create masterful works of art, create tutorials, provide giveaways to help their fans grow. All of these things are really great. On a more local scale I do really love and admire Kitteninstrings cosplay. She’s superbly creative and makes time to assist anyone with their cosplays. I think, for me, that in the world of cosplay as it can be a time dump and emotionally draining, so support from other cosplays whether directly or indirectly is what’s most important. I in no way consider myself “cosfamous” but I do try to help anyone in the community I can from beginning to master. We all have new solutions for how to make and create.
QUESTION: What do you think sets you apart from other cosplayers?
That’s a really tough question. I guess it’s the fact that I’m not one-dimensional. For me, a cosplay is not just about the craftsmanship and looking the part – I really try to capture the character as well. For example, I am finishing up a Blind Mag cosplay from Repo! The Genetic Opera and I plan on singing “Chromaggia”, the signature aria Blind Mag performs in competition. I’m not talking about lip-syncing – I mean actually memorizing the Italian and singing it live in cosplay.
QUESTION: Any advice for someone wishing to begin cosplaying?
Cosplay takes time. You will not be a masterful cosplayer overnight. I am still growing. Harness your strengths, learn from others, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Keep asking. In the end, don’t forget to have fun!
QUESTION: Last but not least – do you have a website or Facebook page where people can check out your cosplay endeavors?
Like me? Love? All the things! CLICK HERE to check me out!
Graduated from Saint Joseph's College Of Maine with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts - Creative Writing as well as Stonecoast, a low-residency MFA program through University of Southern Maine. Has several screenplays, a novel, graphic novel and a memoir all in development.