Cosplayer Kelly Danger: Searching For The Next Best Cosplay!
Cosplay artist Kelly Danger has been involved in the scene since 2009. That’s a long time to build talented and skill, and that Kelly is both. The Nebraska native likes to diversify her cosplay options by gender bending characters, and taking ideas from pop-culture for cosplay ideas. She has created over 36 cosplay costumes throughout her time in the scene, and has no plans on stopping. We got the chance to interview about her cosplay history, and what events she plans to attend this year.
Please list ALL of the characters you cosplay often.
Typically, when I cosplay, I’ll wear a costume once and then move onto a new cosplay. But, there are a few costumes/characters I’ve cosplayed multiple times. Those would be my gender-bent Makoto Tachibana (Free!), my gender-bent Scotty (Star Trek), and Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon). However these are a just a few of the 36+ costumes that I have made for myself, and several for friends and commission clients.
Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
Ever since I was little I always wanted to dress like anime, fantasy, and sci-fi characters, but it wasn’t until 2008 that I discovered that it was actually a thing, that lots of people dressed up as fictional characters as well. I had originally planned to cosplay that same year, but those plans fell through and I wasn’t able to make my first cosplay until I started college a year later.
What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I’m typically working. I’m an e-learning instructional designer on weekdays. It’s a fun job because I get a lot of creative freedom and get to learn about new things all the time.
Which character is your favorite to cosplay?
That’s like trying to choose a favorite child… I have several favorites for various reasons. I love cosplaying Makoto because the outfits are comfy and make me feel kind of cute. I also love Usagi Tsukino/Princess Serenity, because I’ve ALWAYS wanted that hair. The wig is a pain, though.
What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
The biggest challenges have been Serenity and Cia (Hyrule Warriors). Serenity’s bodice is completely hand-beaded. The white spaces are covered in crystal seed beads. The bodice portion of the cosplay alone took 5 months of hand beading. For Cia, the sheer amount of detail in her outfit was a challenge. I made every single part of that outfit. The armor and belts are hand-quilted vinyl, and the gold stripes on the body suit are all hand-made gold satin bias tape. I also resin cast all of the gems for the costume. I could go on and on about Cia, honestly!
What do you think of the state of cosplay fandom right now? How do you think it can be better?
The fandom is in a very interesting spot right now. It’s getting to become a mainstream hobby, and it seems to be upsetting a lot of people. Personally, I’m beyond excited that the community is growing. More cosplayers means that resources will become more readily available. In the past year, McCall’s has started a line of cosplay patterns and other companies are following suit. I think it’s a great development, especially for people that are just getting into the hobby and might have a lot to learn about crafting.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Take your time and work your way up. Every new skill that you learn will take time to master, and trying to dive in with a complicated armor build or master-level ballgown might give you a bit of trouble. Working your way up by selecting progressively more difficult costumes will keep the learning curve more manageable and help you keep some sanity.
Do you get to travel the country to different conventions? What con can fans expect to see you at next?
I mostly attend local cons. When I started cosplaying, I was a poor college student and couldn’t really afford more than one a year. Now that I’m out of school I’m starting to go to more events, though. There are already a surprising amount of cons in my area, but I’ll be venturing further out of state soon, as I’ll be attending Anime Central 2016 for the first time ever. I’m super excited, and can’t wait to see some new faces!