Has it already been a week????!!!! Ahhhhh! Ok fiends and heroines, let’s get on to this weeks feature: NyuNyu Cosplay! NyuNyu (aka Maia) is a seamstress, prop maker, wig stylist and all around cosplay bada$$! I admired her work from afar for almost a year before running into her at Mesa CMX in 2015 during pre-judging. Her cosplay was lovely (she was a character from DokiDoki! Precure I believe) and I was floored by her incredible craftsmanship. Not one to shy away from a chat, I asked her to be this week’s feature wouldn’t you know she was thrilled to accept!
Hello Maia! Why don’t you take a moment to tell us about yourself…
My name is Maia, I’m 29 [years old] and I am a special education teacher in central Arizona. Star Wars was my first geeky love and Sailor Moon my first introduction to anime! Some of my other favorite anime series are: Love Live, Show By Rock, Madoka Magica, Utena, Evangelion and anything CLAMP. I read a handful of Marvel series (Runaways, Ms. Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy…), love the MCU and most of the current Marvel/DC shows. Right now, I’m really into cosplaying magical girls and idols! The more frills and sparkles the better!
YAY FOR CLAMP! I ADORE Magic Knight Rayearth. As a matter of fact, that is how I discovered you (your Fuu is awesome-sauce). So how did the world of cosplay suck you into its fierce grip?
I have always liked dressing up cute or as someone else. I loved Halloween, wore really over-the-top clothes for awhile there, and dressed up for school spirit day every chance I got. I don’t remember the exact moment I discovered cosplay (probably through the internet or Animerica magazine or something), but I did put together some simple costumes for my first convention: Anime Expo 2003 (From Digimon and Love Hina, actually)! I then discovered I really love sewing and making accessories that I can wear.
I sort of feel like Anime is the path to cosplay. So many cosplayers started out with an anime character they loved then, without warning, costuming enthralled them. I think that’s why more and more cosplayers are turning their passion into a business. Has cosplay metamorphosed into a business for you?
Cosplay is not a business for me, just a hobby! I really enjoy it as an escape from my day job, purely for fun. I think making it a business would take the fun out of it for me. I am impressed with people who do make costume-making their business! It’s hard work.
I agree! Costuming as stress relief and a creative outlet seems far more appealing than turning it into a business however; I, too, admire those who can maintain balance between work and play with cosplay. Have any large sponsors approached you?
Not a sponsor per say, but I have worked two years promoting Sailor Moon with Viz Media and it was a blast! What fun to dress up as Sailor Mercury, promote my all time favorite series that got me into anime in the first place, with other fans, while meeting other fans!
That is SO cool! Sailor Moon was my introduction to anime and I really like that it is making a come back. Are there any dream cosplays you still aspire to create?
I dream of doing some Star Wars costumes! Film costumes are just so challenging to recreate because the exact material exists instead of having more room for interpretation. Star Wars designs are so intricate and amazing. Bespin Leia is first on my list.
Oooo, that’s a challenge. Star Wars is on my dream cosplay list as well (I have made one cosplay but I need a more “desert” friendly outfit for it oddly enough). With all of our experience you must have some great advice for current cosplayers: what would you like to tell them?
Don’t let all the negativity get you down. I see this a lot – cosplay has become about popularity, competition, made vs. bought, etc. Find what you enjoy most about cosplay and stick with that. I enjoy the construction process. If you don’t, buying costumes is totally fine! I enjoy competing in masquerades. Some people don’t and that’s fine too! Sometimes groups and deadlines can be stressful. If cosplay isn’t fun for you, refocus and do what makes you happy! Lastly, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t cosplay; don’t be afraid to put cosplay on hold for other things in life.
That is very sound advice. Do you have any insight for aspiring cosplayers?
The same advice as above, but also don’t be shy to meet new people! Go to a gathering and introduce yourself to someone. Meet someone cool? Invite them to do a cosplay group with you. Admiring your senpai? Don’t be shy to ask them for advice on the next costume you’re making! Find some cosplayers in your area and get together to shop, sew, or craft! You’ll meet so many great people in this community, and never know who could become your new best friend.
I have met some incredible people at meetups and I have made lasting friendships by approaching cosplayers whose characters I recognize or admire. I like big props primarily…so, if you have a big gun/sword you better believe I am going to chase you down and ask how the heck you built that thing 😉 Speaking of props: are there any props or costumes you are proud of?
One of my favorite costumes is my Asuka plugsuit. Eva was one of my first anime series and still has a big influence, and the plugsuits are so iconic. It was a really fun project to recreate with the different fabrics, and I love the look of the glossy form fitting suit! I had fun doing all the little details, like the plugs and the foam padding and buttons on the gloves.
One of my more recent favorites is my Madoka. She is a character I wanted to make for a long time, as I love this series. I think the designs from the show are very detailed, oddly proportioned, and difficult to recreate, so I’m very pleased with how it all came out. I had to experiment with some strange zipper placement, it has a lovely gradient painted petal skirt, invisibly stitched handmade bias tape, and a petticoat with yards and yards of ruffled ribbon, making a sea of ruffles under the skirt!
Plugsuits are intense. I commend your build – it’s amazing. As with all of my interviews I like to spice up the end by offering cosplayers a chance to share who their cosplay heroes/heroines are. Who do you admire in the community?
I have so many! I admire cosplayers who have great craftsmanship and attention to detail, especially when they are nice and helpful, sharing their knowledge through tutorials and books! I also love those who bring positivity to the community. To name a few I have admired for a long time are Sparkle Pipsi, WindoftheStars, Yaya Han, Angelic Threads, GarnetRunestar, Lynleigh, QuantumDestiny, Jessie Pridemore, God Save the Queen…but I follow A LOT of cosplayers!
Thank you for sharing! To find our more and/or follow NyuNyu visit her on/at…
- Cospix: http://cospix.net/nyunyu
- AC Paradise: http://www.acparadise.com/loves/nyunyu
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nyunyucosplay/
- Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/nyunyucosplay/
- Website: http://www.nyunyucosplay.com
Here are a few AWESOME shots of NyuNyu’s cosplays…