By Andrea "Yunie" McFall
Joining with Cosplay Blog with a Brain, this is our next cosplayer interview, featuring Katie Fleming! She's a talented gal from Virginia, who is newer to the hobby, but has lots of big projects planned!
Andrea McFall: What's your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Katie Fleming: I just went with my name, Katie Fleming Cosplay. But some refer to me as "Flemingo," simply because my last name is Fleming and adding "o," makes Flemingo. That has been my alias my entire life!
AM: How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
KF: I am new to the hobby as of 2012. Long story short, I attended New York Comic Con in 2012, and was blown away by all the amazing costumes I saw there! I just had to try it for myself. That very month after NYCC, I put together my first cosplay (The Mad Hatter). Ever since, I was hooked! I do owe a lot of my love for this craft to Darkwood Manor Haunted House. I have been acting with them for the past 7 years. Their passion and talents for crafting costumes, sets, and anything Special FX related will blow your mind! Being in such a creative atmosphere for so many years fuels you to want to get more involved with the arts and cosplay is just that!
AM: What have been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
KF: I love figuring out a way to incorporate a prop! Prop-making is my favorite aspect of cosplay. I think they can really make a cosplay stand out! As far as materials, my favorite to work with is a thermoplastic called Worbla. It has so many uses and goes a long way!
AM: What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
KF: I am so excited to get more involved in armor making using Worbla. This will actually be the focus of my next project! The armor that I have seen from other cosplayers is super impressive! I really want to attempt it myself and learn more techniques!
AM: What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
KF: Honestly, the work that goes into all cosplay is impressive to me. It takes a lot of time and effort! But, I love the level of detail that cosplayers put into their work. They really pay attention to who the character is! Like, when someone adds wear and tear to an armor piece to show the character has been in battle. That takes a lot of time and truly tells a story. One cosplayer that I admire for her level of detail is Kamui Cosplay. She makes epic armor pieces and she will add everything right down to a spot of blood on a sword or a scratch on a pauldron. I really admire that!
In addition to detail, I admire showmanship. It is really amazing to see someone get into character and act the part! It makes the cosplay believable, especially to children! Mad Love Cosplay, are fantastic at this! They make sure they have ways to interact with people in character and truly put on a show!
AM: What is your view of the "cosplay scene"?
KF: It is an amazing community to be a part of. There is no other group of people more supportive and helpful than the cosplay community! Even though it is becoming more mainstream, I think it will always maintain itself as being a fun and exciting hobby to be a part of!
AM: What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
KF: I hope that we can avoid making cosplay a way to get famous and less about competition. There are cosplay celebrities and that is fantastic for those people that they have turned something they love into their everyday life/job! But I do feel like we focus too much on how popular someone is or how many likes someone has. It needs to be more about the fun and the hard work that cosplayers put into their costumes!
AM: What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
KF: My advice is to go out there and have fun! Don't make it a competition between you and another cosplayer. Do not make it a way to get famous. Do not stress yourself out over the number of "likes" on your cosplay page. Just have fun. Otherwise it becomes more of a job or chore rather than a fun creative hobby!
AM: What are some of your favorite conventions you've attended and why?
KF: New York Comic Con will always be one of my favorites. It was my first comic con and what inspired me. There are so many amazing people you can meet and there always something to do!
But smaller, local cons will always be near and dear to me. Cons like Awesome Con, DC and Baltimore Comic Con may be lesser known but still amazing! They are cool because you don't have the stresses of massive crowds and are a bit more relaxing. You can mingle with people easier and just hang out! Where at larger cons, it feels like you are consistently on the move!
AM: Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you're proud of!
KF: On my Mad Hatter cosplay, I wore a thimble on my pointer finger. Not a single person noticed it (that I know of) but it was that tiny detail that made the cosplay feel more complete! I am proud that I never lost the thing!
Thanks for the interview, Katie Fleming! You can check out more of her work on her Facebook page!
Andrea "Yunie" McFall is an avid comic collector who occasionally lends her weird humor to podcasts. She also works with Anime Jam Session and Cosplay Blog with a Brain, spreading as much geekiness around as possible. You can find her on Twitter as @Koiengi and on Facebook under Yunie/Koi.