So, we promised surprises to you. And here we go! Under the cut you’ll find the first ever interview in Cosplay Blog. Crystal Graziano answered our questions about herself, about cosplay and about Firefall.
P.S. I really love this photo. <3
Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you like to do when you’re not cosplaying?
My name is Crystal Graziano, and I’m from Southern California. When I’m not cosplaying I’m usually playing video games or messing with my ornery Shiba Inu, Ginger.
What do you like to do in your crafting-free time? Games? Comics? Movies?
Mostly games, but I also will watch anime, read comics, or put on Netflix.
Crystal as Female Sephiroth
Great! So, let’s talk about your cosplays. First of all, I must say that one of your last cosplays, Sephiroth from FF7 is just brilliant.
Thank you so much! It was fun to revisit one of my favorite series.
But let’s go back in time. When and how did you begin to cosplay?
I started at San Diego Comic Con in 2005. I’d gone to Comic Con in previous years in regular clothes, and the experience changed my opinion of cosplayers from being strange to being really cool. After seeing cosplayers from video games and not just comics (which I didn’t care for back then), I decided to try it myself.
Was it hard to begin? Have you faced any obstacles, like misunderstanding of surrounding people or lack of necessary skills or materials?
I didn’t have a bad reaction from anyone when I started, either from family and friends or from other congoers. However, when I started, I had no idea on how to sew or create props, so it was a very slow learning process. I didn’t take classes, so all my skills are either self taught or came from advice on the internet.
Crystal as Black Rock Shooter (left) and Poison (right)
What was your very first cosplay? Was it difficult to make it?
My very first cosplay was an awful Aerith from FF7. It was essentially a closet cosplay, which means that it was just pre-existing clothing assembled to resemble the character. Still, a lot of people were happy just to see someone cosplay her, and it was really a fun experience. However, it’s so bad that I’ve tried to erase any evidence of it from the internet! Haha!
What is your most favourite costume, the costume that makes you proud of it?
Currently my favorite costume is my Commander Shepard from Mass Effect 3. It was my first time doing doing full armor, and I’m happy that it turned out as well as it did. I felt like a badass wearing it!
Crystal as Commander Shepard
And what was the most difficult to craft?
Ivy from Soul Calibur V was the most difficult. The design is pretty ridiculous from a structural point of view, so getting it to work in real life was a challenge.
Do you have a character you’d like to cosplay?
There are a LOT I’d like to cosplay. I’m currently starting on Ken Marinaris from Zone of the Enders the 2nd Runner, and later this year I’m planning on doing a battlefram from Firefall and finishing my MGS4 Raiden cosplay. Next year I’ll probably start with Mass Effect 3 EDI…and the list goes on!
What is the most difficult thing in cosplaying in your opinion?
For me, the most difficult thing is to figure out how to make unrealistic designs work in real life. There’s a lot of problem solving involved, but it keeps it interesting.
Crystal as Sweet Raiden
A common question: what does the word “cosplay” mean to you?
Cosplay to me is just someone who wears a costume from a fandom they like. There are a lot of cosplayers who don’t make their own costumes, and that’s fine!
As far as I know, your husband is a cosplayer, too. Did you “infect” him with a “cosplay virus”?
Actually we met at a con, and we were both in Hellsing cosplay! It’s fun to share this hobby with him, and I like being able to cosplay with him from time to time.
Does he help you in crafting?
Sometimes! We help each other out on costumes if the other one needs it or is under a deadline. It’s always nice to have an extra pair of hands.
Crystal as Mourningstar
Last year you have “leveled up” and gone pro. Now you’re working with Red 5 Studios. How did you feel when you achieved that?
I feel very grateful to have this opportunity. It really is a dream come true to do what I love and get paid!
So, can you tell us more about this project?
Firefall is an upcoming online free to play MMO shooter. As part of their promotion, they’ve created costumes, displays, and even a mobile gaming unit to appear right out of the game.
What’s your part in it?
I play the character Mourningstar at events alongside Lee Reherman as Typhon. It’s really cool to wear a costume made by Steve Wang and his team, he’s very talented! On top of that, Firefall sponsors my own costumes, whatever I want!
And what about your character? Who is she?
Mourningstar is a member of the team Hellhounds. She’s the Engineer class and fights alongside Typhon to save the Earth!
Just… Join the Hellhounds, ok?
Do you plan to visit any conventions this year? Which ones?
I’ll be heading to Gamescom in Germany and PAX Prime for Firefall. For pleasure, I’m thinking about going to Yaoi Con, PMX, and Anime Los Angeles.
At last, can you wish our followers something?
I hope you enjoy my cosplay and are open to trying it yourself! It’s a lot of fun!
Thank you for the interview, Crystal!
And thank you our dear followers for reading this. I hope you liked our first interview. Have a nice day! =)
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