written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Finally! A spotlight on a cosplayer, hopefully we will have more coming the next few weeks. I do have a few interviews scheduled. But anyway, I came across this talented cosplayer by means of her Facebook page, I reached out to her and wanted to interview her for all my lovely lovely g33ks out there! I gotta say she is just delightful, a fantastic chat with a cool and down to earth girl! Cosplay is a commitment to the craft, you put as much of yourself into it, more so than the average "costume-in-a-bag" buyer during Halloween, in many ways it's a sort of performance art. Ya can't help but love it! Anyway! Let's get on with it and have ourselves a nice little chat!
Justin Prince: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Miss Marquin: Well, I’m a gamer first and foremost, I mean I do love anime but I grew up on video games. I taught myself to read playing video games. I live in the swamp so I guess I’m a swamp person.
JP: What was the first video game you beat as a kid?
MM: I don’t know honestly, I just played video games for fun. I didn’t really play them to beat them but I guess [Legend of Zelda] Ocarina of Time
JP: Right on a Zelda fan, first game I beat was the original
Legend of Zelda
MM: I did play that as a kid
JP: So how long have you been cosplaying and what turned you on to cosplay?
MM: I’ve been cosplaying for about 5 years now (2008) but if you told me 5 years ago I’d be this into it I might have laughed in your face, because I used to think it was really weird.
JP: Oh really? Why did you think it was weird?
MM: I went to my first convention when I was 12, so I’ve been going to conventions since I was a kid, I always thought all the cosplayers were really cool but I never imagined myself doing it… spending time to make the costumes, it just felt too nerdy for me…
JP: There’s never anything too nerdy…
MM: …and then my senior year of high school my best friend wanted to go to a convention with me and she said “I’m not going unless you dress up too”. So I dressed up for her and it was then I realized how much fun it is, we made costumes in two nights and hot glued it all together. But even then I wasn’t THAT into it yet, not until I moved to Louisiana because the cosplay community here was just so friendly.
JP: You think that may be because the community is more
close knit as opposed to the bigger cities?
MM: Not necessarily, I just feel like the people here are friendlier and less competitive.
JP: So it’s a southern hospitality thing huh?
MM: Yeah! I’ve only been seriously doing it for like 3 years.
JP: So do you think it was your friend or being in Louisiana
that turned you on to cosplay?
MM: I can’t really pick, I found out I enjoyed it from my friend but when I moved to Louisiana and joined the Louisiana Cosplayers I just loved how friendly everyone was and before I knew it I just wanted to do it all the time.
JP: So I understand you make most of your costumes, which
project in particular are you most proud of?
MM: Oh I hate this question, I am so proud of all of them. I learn something new from each one and face a different challenge with each one. I do know my sewing got better with the third Seung Mina I did, the Seung Mina from Soul Caliber 3, I started patterning my costumes and I started becoming more confident in my sewing. I started doing more difficult things, but I don’t feel I have one I was more proud of, I look back and say to myself “I can’t believe I did that!”
JP: So was your training more formal? Or self taught?
MM: I learned from YOUTUBE videos, I taught myself from watching numerous videos and asking my friends who knew how to sew. Lots of trial and error.
JP: Very impressive, especially since you pattern your
costumes. That isn’t something that is easy to self teach.
MM: I never really had that hard of a time, though most likely I don’t do it the way it’s meant to be done. There’s a lot of laying fabric on me and on my dress form. Trial and error…
JP: So ultimate dream costume? If money and skill and
gravity wasn’t an issue.
MM: It changes alot actually, last year my dream costume was Medusa from Kid Icarus but I did that one recently. Currently if I had all the money in the world to do it, it would probably be Ultemecia from Final Fantasy VIII.
JP: That’s very ambitious!
MM: Yeah! A lot of engineering will have to go into that. It’ll most likely happen this year.
JP: So the cosplay community has grown expontentially in
recent years, but one thing I wanted to ask you was, what is your favorite
thing about that gives you the “warm and fuzzy” feels?
MM: I don’t know… but to be honestly I’m starting to not like cosplaying at conventions as much anymore. Especially with that whole Cosplay ≠ Consent topic going on, and it’s not just about harassment but also because I’ve come across some people who just don’t care if they break my costumes or props. I think that the cosplay culture is really starting to mix with the convention culture, more people are becoming cosplayers and I’ve come across some who don’t show proper etiquette at conventions. But my FAVORITE thing has to be making my costume, I love photo shoots and cosplaying with friends and being in contests, being on stage. I like making it then feeling that accomplishment of finishing. I prefer photo shoots in a more gentle/casual sort of atmosphere as opposed to like Anime Matsuri where I just was. It was kind of a mess for cosplayers.
MM: Yeah I need the casual one.
JP: So everyone has the normal people in their lives, how do your “normals” react to your cosplay?
MM: (HaHa) My family isn’t really normal to begin with and most of my friends are part of this culture. But they all took it surprisingly well, in my old job my boss was always really impressed with the pictures. I think the people that were the hardest to explain it to were my grandparents, but they took it surprisingly well. My grandmother loves to take my pictures to church. They keep trying to persuade me to follow a career in costuming but I don’t know...
JP: OK, so a LIFTED GEEK is someone who uplifts nerd culture
and geek culture. You are the quintessential geek but you also contribute. How
do you feel you do that?
MM: I feel as a cosplayer I contribute a lot already. We do a lot of public photo shoots where people come up to us and ask us “what are you doing” it’s cool. I feel when we make our costumes we are contributing. My fiancé actually works in the video game field so I feel like when he bounces ideas off of me I contribute. If I can get back into drawing I would love to do a comic, I do fan fiction as I mentioned to you before and I guess that’s how I contribute.
JP: So for all the folks who want to follow you/find you, where
can they go?
MM: Facebook is the best, I update it more and post all my progress on there. I love to show my progress. I have a deviant art as well and a tumblr but I don’t update it as much.
JP: Right on Right on. Thanks so much for taking the time out to
chat with me today.
MM: Thank you! I can’t wait to see more from Lifted Geek!
Thanks for reading geeks! Remember to check out her Facebook and and like/follow her! It's folks like her that make this beloved subculture of ours feel a little bit like home! I always say it, we geeks gotta stick together, ya dig?