If you have ever wanted to learn more about the costumed participants that over-run events like Phoenix Comicon, then local event coordinator Anabel Martinez hopes to inform, and maybe even recruit, with her latest calendar project Women vs. Cosplay.
After gathering a number of talented lady cosplay enthusiasts, many of whom showed support for the 2013 Men vs. Cosplay calendar, Martinez responded to her communities desire to participate in a similar project celebrating the talents of female costumers.
One such costumer, also a Phoenix local, was Amanda Heady, of Vestri Productions, who has already completed her calendar photo-shoot featuring her portrayal of Lara Croft from the 2013 title Tomb Raider. Heady was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about her involvement with the project as well as her interest in this unique hobby.
Jesse Tannous: How did you get involved with the Women vs. Cosplay project?
Amanda Heady: I’ve known Anabel and Allen since my husband and I met them in 2010 at the Phoenix Comic-Con when we were cosplaying as Jensaarai (A blend of Jedi and Sith from the “Star Wars” universe). When Men vs Cosplay came about, we were huge supporters of what Anabel and Allen were trying to accomplish in the cosplay community. When I heard about the Women vs Cosplay calendar, I discussed it with Anabel and got involved. The cosplay community is filled with outstanding, talented people, and the calendar projects are a great way to showcase various cosplayers’ hard work.
JT: Tell me a bit about what you enjoy from cosplaying? Why should people try it?
AH: Cosplaying is bringing your favorite characters to life! I enjoy trying to recreate costumes and props as accurately as possible and gaining the satisfaction of seeing a job through to completion. It’s fun running around pretending you’re that character. It’s make-believe for grown-ups! People should try it because it’s so much more than just buying a costume in a store. You gain the satisfaction from knowing how much time and effort you put into something and are proud to show it off and geek out with other fans.
JT: What kind of stuff do you do for fun outside of creating costumes?
AH: I love to cosplay the rustic and the adventurous because it is a direct correlation to what I love to do outside of costume creation! You can find me horseback riding, scuba diving, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, sword fighting, practicing archery, and exploring! I love to travel and so my full time job is as a Tour Guide, taking people all around Arizona, and my part time job is as a horse trainer! I also love to play video games, watch epic TV shows, and geek out over sweet movies.
JT: Who would you like to cosplay as next?
AH: It’s so hard! Lots of favorites! I’ll leave this open as a surprise.
JT: What advice do you have for people just starting out in their cosplay attempts?
AH: There is a huge community of people just waiting to help you out online! The cosplay community is huge, and it is very tightly knit. If someone doesn’t know how to do something, I’m sure they know someone else who can point you in the right direction. Just remember, there will always be someone out there with a better cosplay than you. It is a humbling experience, but it is a community where you can continue to grow in your craft and there are plenty of people to help you. Any criticism is good criticism because you can always take that and become better! Check online for different blogs or communities surrounded around a certain cosplay you’d like to do. Best of luck and have a BLAST!
If testing out your own costuming skills isn’t your cup of tea, then at the very least Women vs. Cosplay lets you admire some pictures of cosplayers showing off their talents, in recognition of many gamers’ favorite characters and franchises.