- Ali Raphael: How and why did you get started in cosplaying?
- Corrie Lynn: I’ve been making costumes for the NYC Village Halloween Parade since 2000. I always wanted to get into cosplay but I was too intimidated. In 2019 I was laid off from work and finally had time to pursue my dream cosplay, Viserion the Ice Dragon from Game of Thrones.
- I had been obsessed with making him since he opened his blue eye at the end of Season 7. It took me over half a year to make him. It was a lot of trial and error because I just started learning how to work with EVA foam. I think I remade his head 4 times before getting it right. During that time I found out about the Western Championships of Cosplay (now called Crown) at ECCC and I entered it just to see if I could get in. I took home 2nd place best in show and jumped up and down like a beauty contestant winner. I thought competing would be a one time thing, but hanging out backstage with all the other cosmakers made me feel like I had finally found my people. After that I was hooked.
- AR: Do you have any plans for more cosplay in the future?
- CL: I’ve started a Meleys from The House of the Dragon but she might take a couple years, so I’m toying with a few other ideas for 2024 like a glam version of a clicker from The Last of Us. I find decay really beautiful.
- AR: Do you ever compete in cosplay contests? If not, would you ever want to? If you already do, what is that like? Do you have any tips for people wanting to get into competing?
- CL: I love competing, all the competitors are so supportive. It’s the best way to make new cosplay friends because you spend a lot of time waiting backstage. For people wanting to compete, my best advice is to choose a character you’re really passionate about because competition pieces are a lot of work and you will make mistakes and have set backs but that passion will carry you through. For the competition itself, bring a handler, someone who can hold your stuff, keep you fed and hydrated, make sure your cosplay isn’t falling apart and your wig or helmet is straight. You will only have 5 minutes in prejudging to explain your cosplay so start from head to toe to keep yourself on track. It helps to practice and time yourself beforehand. For the stage walk, go slowly, come up with 3 hero poses for centerstage and hold each pose long enough to be photographed. Also get in the habit of documenting your process, because you will probably be asked for a build book showing your progress. I didn’t even know what a build book was when I started competing. Also don’t be discouraged if you don’t win anything, it’s a big deal just to be accepted and the judges are often choosing between several great cosplays for each category.
- AR: What are some tips and tricks you can share with new cosplayers?
- CL: 1.Use old cosplays to create mashups, this will save money and storage space.
- 2. Flicker flame LED’s are a great cheap and easy lighting effect. They flicker in and out slowly like a candle or glowing ember. They come in all colors, you can get them by the 100 on Amazon for $10. All you have to do is wire them to some coin batteries. Coin battery holders with switches are also very cheap on Amazon. If you need multiples you can wire them together with a cheap switch and multiple battery packs. Polyester fiberfill works great as a light diffuser.
- 3. Save your old shoes to use as your base for creature feet or cosplay boots, they are already broken in so they won’t hurt your feet and it’s easier to build directly on them than make boot covers.
- AR: Is there anything you wished you knew when you first started cosplaying?
- CL: Comfort is key. When I first started none of my cosplays were wearable without a handler.
- AR: What would you say is your most fan favorite cosplay?
- CL: Evil-Lyn from MOTU
- AR: What is your own favorite cosplay to wear?
- CL: It’s between Evil-Lyn and The Creature from The Black Lagoon, I can slip into character very easily with both of them. More serious characters don’t feel as natural.
AR: Any ideas on conventions for next year?
CL: Definitely Brooklyn Comic Con, NYCC and ECCC and I’m hoping I can finally make it to Dragon Con.
AR: Do you have any special techniques that you have made/figured out that create a desired look that you like to use in your cosplay now? (when we met at SDCC, we talked about the webbing on your cosplay and how you got it to look the way it did (which I’m still blown away by).
CL: I use cheesecloth or lace dipped in flexbond for almost every cosplay I make. It is a great technique for making translucent dragon wings. You can also drape it over a frame to create a look of decay like I did on all my bone frame accessories for Evil Lyn. Soaking lace scraps in flexbond is another technique I use to make filigree or webbing because after the flexbond dries it can be trimmed without fraying and shaped over forms.
AR: What would you say the most difficult thing about cosplay is for yourself?
CL: The lack of understanding of what cosplay is outside of the community. There’s a lot of weird misconceptions like it’s a sex thing or you’re only supposed to do pretty or sexy cosplays if you’re a woman. Cosplay is a large part of my life but I don’t always share that because I’m not sure how people will react. I feel like cosplayers are more body positive and less ageist than the normies. When I told non cosplayers about making Evil-Lyn, they gave me that look like “aren’t you a little old to parade around in a leotard?”
AR: How did you learn/ and start incorporating lighting into your cosplays?
CL: I started with one time use LEDs that are used in floral arrangements until I needed more than a few lights. I bought the Make book Wearable electronics, then I realized how easy it is to connect batteries and switches. For more complicated lighting I use the tutorials on adafruit.com.
- AR: What does cosplay mean to you?
CL: So Many things! Cosplay is a creative and fun way to share and express love for a fandom. It’s also an accepting, supportive, and vibrant community. Cosmaking for me is my only creative outlet that is just mine. It feels so freeing to pay tribute to a character however I want to and make them look however I want them to look.
Thank you so much to Corrie Lynn for letting me take some of your time!
If you want to follow along with Corrie Lynn online here are all her socials!
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