“Cosplay is My Life” An Interview with Kristen HugheySeptember 2, 2015
Kristen Hughey is big on PC gaming, and it was because of gaming that she discovered the world of cosplay. What started out as a hobby turned into something even more special; an opportunity to visit different conventions all over, meeting fans that have begun to follow her cosplay builds. She will be a guest at the upcoming Fan Expo convention in Toronto that runs from September 3 through 6 where fans can meet Kristen and get an autograph or photo taken. We recently had the chance to chat with Kristen about cosplay, upcoming costumes and more.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kristen Hughey, I’ve been cosplaying for three years and I got into it because I love gaming. That was a bridge into cosplaying. I didn’t know that cosplay really existed until five years ago. When I found out it did I wanted to do it because I thought it was a really neat way to meet people outside of my virtual world. As a kid it was really hard for me to make friends so to be able to join together at conventions with like minded people keeps me doing this.
What was the first character you ever cosplayed?
I did three costumes the first time I ever cosplayed because I went to Dragon*Con. The first costume I ever wore was Black Cat, but I also wore Jade from Mortal Kombat and Jessica Rabbit.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is my life. Its been an amazing experience for me because I get to meet like minded people. I’ve met some of my best friends through cosplaying; we usually meet online and we will talk or maybe we will be making the same costume and it is easy to know what people are into when they are making a costume from a certain video game or comic book. You get a deep connection with people; it is really about the friends for me and having fun.
Do you have any upcoming cosplays you are building or want to build that can tell us about?
I have a huge list of costumes I want to do. I collect material for cosplays I know I’ll eventually make. I want to make to make a Barbarian from Diablo III, I would love to make a World of Warcraft costume… I’ve done a couple League of Legends cosplays already, too. I’m sure I’ll do so many more [from League of Legends] too because the character designs are just so beautiful.
Are we going to see some new costumes at the upcoming conventions you are attending?
This is a crazy con season, so I’m sticking to some easier ones. I’m working on Alice from Alice: Madness Returns, Kitty Katarina from League of Legends – I’m going to do a Sonya Blade that I may bring to Fan Expo but I haven’t decided yet. Just super simple costumes right now. But I’m going to be working on Red Sonja if all goes well, too.
What’s the hardest thing about designing or building your costumes?
I don’t live in an area where I have anyone that can help me. And sewing, too. Its hard to know what to do sometimes and I do make mistakes. A lot of my cosplay is trial and error and learning what works for me. I guess financially it is tough too because you have to budget for the extra when you do make mistakes.
Which character have you cosplayed that you find you can most relate to?
That’s a good question. I always go back to Poison Ivy not because I’m evil [laughs] but because she’s so nerdy and I love science. Then when she changes from Pamela Isley to Poison Ivy she’s this sexy, strong woman and I feel like for me I am the nerdy science loving girl every day and when I put on her costume I feel like a sexier, stronger version of myself. More confident.
If you could change one thing in the cosplay community what would it be?
All the hate. The online hate. It isn’t so bad in person but online it can be very dramatic and catty. I tend to stay out of it because I don’t have time for that. It does happen a lot and I just wish that at the end of the day we are just a bunch of geeks in costumes and you need to treat one another with respect. I love the golden rule of ‘treat yourself the way you wish to be treated’ and being kind. I believe in karma too so I always try to be kind. I wish everyone could do that.
Do you have a favorite experience or memory from a convention you would like to share?
I always love to see kids dressing up. I do have a quick story about one little girl. She was dressed up as Princess Leia and she had her little Leia buns and everything. She was spinning and dancing in the middle of the show floor and R2-D2 came to spin with her and make noise. It was just the cutest thing in the world. I teared up watching it!
You can meet Kristen Hughey all weekend as she joins the roster of cosplayers that will be on site at Fan Expo in Toronto from September 3 through 6th.