This week’s community spotlight showcases Anna He and her incredible Diablo III Wizard cosplay. Anna He was nice enough to answer a few questions regarding her experience with cosplay and the hard work that goes into pulling off a great costume and props. Read on for the full interview, and check out a sampling of photographs of her cosplay process and the final results below!
Q. How long have you been cosplaying?
I have been cosplaying for about 3 years.
Q. What made you decide to cosplay the female Wizard from Diablo III?
I was very unsure when I wanted to create a special cosplay for Pax Prime last year. I love video games, especially those with strong female characters, and had a few options to pick from. But when I saw the wizard concept art, I think I had an epiphany. Being fan of Diablo series, of course I would be the kick ass caster!! Why would I be anything else?!
I also found the background story of the Wizard Li Ming intriguing -- her character, her arrogance, her power, and her beginning are just amazingly developed! It is with this state of mind that I pour my heart into creating every aspect of the costume.
Q. How long did it take you to complete your cosplay?
This cosplay took about 250 hours.
Q. What was the most challenging part of designing and creating your costume and props?
The most challenging part of my cosplay is also the most fun part. The whole back of the costume is nonexistent and totally open for interpretation. So I did research on historical Chinese costumes from the Tang Dynasty, keeping in mind that the front needs to match the back and how does it connect on the side seams, etc.
Q. We know that a lot of time and love goes into creating epic costumes, so what’s your favorite detail of your cosplay?
I LOVE LOVE the collar detail on the garment. I spend a few muslin drafts and mock up to get the right shape and fit. I also made two full collars in case I mess one up!
Q. What materials did you use?
I used a bright red crêpe de Chine, a white crepe de Chine with white on white print, a red dragon and phoenix brocade, a black on black chrysanthemum brocade, vinyl leatherettes, 20 yards of handmade gold bias bindings and miles of rayon chainette yarns. :) I also used foam and jewelry components to make the crown and charms.
Q. How long does it take you to get ready for a photo shoot? What aspect takes the longest?
It takes about 90 minutes. The makeup takes the longest. Even though I already had a few practice runs before the shoot, it still takes great care to execute. And when you know that the photographer also gets down and dirty on his knees and elbows to get the best angle, you also have to give 200%!
Q. What tips and advice do you have for aspiring cosplayers out there, particularly those that are just getting started?
Plan ahead, ask for help, and set achievable goals in short stages! For example, I work full time as a project manager, so it is only in my spare time that I get to work on cosplay projects. I plan way ahead to make sure I have enough time to execute. I started the project planning, gather reference, resources, and how-tos in June to make sure I can finish it by September’s Pax Prime convention. After that I set up smaller bi-weekly goals to make sure I am not running behind too much. It is no fun to get burn out on your cosplay, and it is definitely not awesome if everything falls apart at the end. I also ask for help from my friends who undoubtedly are more talented than I am. :) Their help and assistance also contributes to my cosplay completion.
Thank you so much again for this opportunity to share my cosplay!
You can see more of Anna He's fantastic work on her blog, and you can find out more about her latest updates on her Twitter. You can also check out Bill Hinsee’s photography over on DeviantArt, Facebook, and his official website.