June 2, 2015
Hey! I’m Jen, one of the new Ponies. I design at Fast Horse as an intern by day, play video games at night, and run around in costumes on the weekend. I’m going to spend my next 313 words talking to you about that last part.
I’m a cosplayer. When I started out in 2003, that word wasn’t nearly as common as it is today. That’s twelve solid years of letting my freak flag fly at the Bloomington Doubletree, the local convention hotspot. Now that cosplay has become a readily recognized part of pop culture, I’ve noticed a real change in attitudes about my biggest hobby. The most surprising change is that I honestly think it has helped me win job offers. In several of my post-college job hunt interviews, one of the first things my interviewer brought up is that I cosplay – as visible on my social media profiles. People are genuinely excited and curious about the process and the craft of it, and I am more than happy to enthusiastically indulge them. Or maybe it’s just that having unusual interests makes you a more interesting. After all, interesting people are interested.
My most recent project was the Motorized Patriot, one of the classes of villains from the game “Bioshock: Infinite.” Months of blood, sweat, and tears went into making this my largest and most impressive creation to date. I typically cosplay just for the fun and art of it, not for the competition, but a close friend and fellow cosplayer convinced me to enter my Patriot into the cosplay competition (or “masquerade”) at a convention in April. With only generic music and an improvised walk-on for my performance, I managed to take home “Best In Show,” the highest honor awarded at a masquerade. Needless to say, April was a great month for me.
Several of my past costumes include Daenerys from “Game of Thrones,” Commander Shepard from “Mass Effect,” a vault dweller from the Fallout series, Seras Victoria from “Hellsing,” and Morrigan from “Dragon Age: Origins.” I’m still searching for my next big inspiration. Have a great idea of a character you’d like to see me make? Get at me!