Share My Cosplay Interview: Monika Lee

Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

SMC: Why did you start cosplaying, and when did you start?
Monika Lee: I started cosplaying in 2006. I was really big into anime during the time and I stumbled upon the cosplay community through my many nights of downloading anime episodes. I don’t really know what my impulse was to dress up as these characters, but at the time it just seemed really cool and the idea of becoming these people I loved watching in my shows enticed me.

SMC: What was the first convention where you cosplayed?
Monika Lee: My first convention was Dragon*Con 2005, but at the time I wasn’t aware of cosplay as an actual hobby. So I didn’t really start cosplaying until Dragon*Con the following year.

SMC: What has been your most memorable convention moment?
Monika Lee: I have many memorable memories at conventions and to narrow them down to just one is impossible! But really any moment that I get to cosplay and hang out with all my friends and goof off is the happiest time for me.

SMC: What is the favorite thing about cosplaying at a convention?
Monika Lee: As I said previously, I love hanging out with friends at conventions. That being said, I also love meeting new people and getting to chat with others within the community. As for cosplaying, I love the act of dressing up in itself (it’s like my version of nerd prom) and doing photoshoots with my buddies!

SMC: Related to conventions, where can fans expect to see you next in? (Any schedule in particular?)
Monika Lee: I make announcements for conventions as soon as I’m announced as a guest (though it’s expected that I’ll always be going to Dragon*Con and E3). If you want to see where I’ll be at next, I keep a folder on Facebook of my upcoming conventions.

SMC: What other cosplayers inspire you?
Monika Lee: I’m really inspired by fellow Atlanta prop-maker Volpin Props, my friend Kamui, and pretty much all my friends. There is no one person that knows how to make everything so I draw inspiration from all around me.

SMC: Which is your favorite Cosplay‘s you’ve created?
Monika Lee: I always tell people I hate this question because it’s like choosing which is your favorite child, haha

SMC: What cosplay are you best known for?
Monika Lee: I don’t know, you tell me! haha

SMC: If money was no object what would be your dream costume to cosplay?Monika Lee: Every time I get asked this question, I say that money isn’t the issue, but more skill and technique. Even if I had all the money in the world, it isn’t to say I would even know how to make my dream costume. That being said, I would love to make Fran from Final Fantasy XII or Kerrigan from Starcraft 2.

SMC: What part of “geekdom” is you favorite avenue of entertainment (i.e. comics, movies, video games, anime, etc?)
Monika Lee: Video games! Though I started with the anime culture, video games are a normal part of my daily life. I do appreciate comics though and I watch a tooooon (an unhealthy ton) of tv shows.

SMC: What Comic Books are you currently addicted to?
Monika Lee: As I said previously, I don’t read comics often, but my favorite series is the Teen Titans series.

SMC: Any favorite TV shows, movies or cartoons?
Monika Lee: Tons of favorite tv shows! I can’t list them all because it’s well over 20 shows. Right now, though, I’m watching Teen Titans Go, Walking Dead, and rewatching Battlestar Galactica.

SMC: Do you have any new cosplays currently in the works?
Monika Lee: Right now, I’m working on a costume for an upcoming MMORPG called Wildstar! It’ll debut at PAX East April 11-13!

Monika Lee as Esper Aurin from WildStar

Monika Lee as Esper Aurin from WildStar

SMC: Any tips for people thinking of cosplaying out there or are scared to try?
Monika Lee: Biggest tip is just go for it! These days there are so many resources and tutorials out there to start cosplaying that you can really hit it out of the park even on your first costume. Don’t be afraid that you’ll look dumb or you don’t know how to do something because everyone starts somewhere. Just have confidence and be smart about what you can achieve given your limitations.

Photography Credits:  Ada Wong Benny Lee Photography,  Bioshock Little Sister by Ljinto, Demon Hunter, Wildstar & Blackbeard by Martin Wong, Poison Ivy by Mineralblu Photography, Rogue by Anna Cosplay Photography &  Judy Stephens