SMC Interview: 1337Mando Cosplay

1337Mando Cosplay

Ready for another hard hitting #SMCInterview? Next up is one of our favorite new cosplayers to feature: 1337Mando Cosplay. This young cosplayer has been burning up our Instagram feed and happy to have her featured in our latest SMCInterview. Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments section below. Maybe sugguest some of your own questions you’d like us ask your favorite cosplayers. We hope you’re enjoying this interviews as we have a new entry in this series, ready to be published to the site each week.

Cosplayer: 1337Mando Cosplay
Location: The Greater Seattle area
Links: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook |

SMC: Why did you start cosplaying?
I have been in love with costuming ever since I saw the Titanic in theaters. I even made my own version of one of Rose’s dresses for a high school History project. But I didn’t discover that cosplay was even a thing until much later. As soon as I did, I decided to learn to sew just so I could make my favorite characters come to life.

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Black Cat from Spider-Man Photog: Hudson Michaels Photography

SMC: What was the first convention you attended in cosplay?
My best friend introduced me to Emerald City Comic Con in 2016. I worked for about a month beforehand to make my own Blake Belladonna cosplay and I was so nervous and excited to share my craft with other nerds. I took a couple hall shots with people, bought some art that I still need to frame, and I have been addicted to cons and cosplay ever since!

SMC: What has been your most memorable convention moment?
Last PAX Prime, I was approached by someone who had been following me online. He really wanted a photo and I was just blown away by this! It’s still so new for me to experience this sort of thing. I completely understand people recognizing a character and wanting to get a pictures with the ones they feel connected to. But to have someone know me as a cosplayer, that just feels like such a huge honor to me!

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Blake Belladonna from RWBY Photog: Elite Cosplay Photography

SMC: What is your favorite thing about cosplaying at a convention?
It will never get old to run into people who share the same love for characters as you, and just have that instant connection with each other! I just met a Roxas and Axel while cosplaying Xion. We didn’t even know each other, but the moment we saw each other, every one of us was overly excited. We shared the biggest group hugs and it was so emotional and lovely for me. I will always treasure those moments!

SMC: Where can fans expect to see you next? (2019/20 Schedule?)
You can always find me at ECCC and PAX. This year, I am also traveling to Alaska for Arctic Comic Con! My updated convention schedule can be found on my Facebook!

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Jubilee from X-Men Photog: Soul Studios

SMC: What cosplayers inspire you?
There are so many! Ridd1e and Kamui Cosplay are probably the best known. I just love that they’re both so open to sharing tricks and tips to help others grow. Locally, I really look up to Rebecca Rose and Alchemic Rose. They’re both amazing cosplayers whose craft is absolutely on fire!

SMC: Which is your favorite cosplay you’ve created?
Each project has taught me different things throughout the process. But I think my Team Skull grunt might be one of my favorites since it’s comfortable and took me only a couple of hours to make.

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Black Cat Symbiote from Spider-Man Photog: BRB Adventuring

SMC: What cosplay are you best known for?
I think Black Cat is what I’m becoming well-known for now. Whether that’s because of me cosplaying her at events, or because I’ve been cast in a fan film, I’m not sure. Either way, I love being Felicia Hardy, and I’m so happy other people are enjoying it as well!

SMC: If money was no object what would be your dream cosplay creation?
Yrel from World of Warcraft! I would still love to build her armor and mace some day, but it will definitely need to take time to slowly gather the materials and skills needed to build her right!

SMC: Do you have any new cosplays currently in the works?
For 2019, I plan on finishing Aqua from Kingdom Hearts, building Carmilla from Castlevania, and starting Ōkami Amaterasu armor. At this moment in time, the artist is working on the design and once he’s done, I will be sharing my entire build.

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Vaporeon Mage from Pokémon Photog: Cnidarium Photography

SMC: What are your cosplay strengths? (Tailoring, fabric painting, worbla armor, in-character performance etc.)
I am not the greatest seamstress and I am not the greatest crafter around. But what I do have that sets me apart is that I’m not afraid to learn new things. And I see each experience as a chance to improve, even if I fail. So I guess you could say my strength is not holding myself back and trying every possible angle to make sure my project is a success.

SMC: What’s one thing you wish you knew about cosplaying before you got started?   
That you don’t have to build everything yourself to be a successful cosplayer. There’s no shame in commissioning other artists for pieces or even the whole thing. All that matters about cosplay is enjoying yourself while portraying your favorite characters. That’s at least what I consider success!

SMC: Any advice for people interested in cosplaying for the first time?
Be ready for it to cost a lot. A lot of crafty people are able to find cost cutting methods, like building cosplays out of duct tape or cardboard, but the truth is, a lot of us will spend a lot on wigs, makeup, colored contacts, outfits, props, and weapons. So pace yourself! If at any time cosplay becomes super stressful, unless it’s your day job, allow yourself to take a break! This is meant to be a fun hobby and even a 15 minute break from a project can help. (Though, I’ll admit that I will drop a cosplan from a con lineup if it ends up stressing me out too much!)

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: Katrielle Layton from Layton’s Mystery Journey Photog: Josh Shot Photography

SMC: What do you do in the real world for a job? (Be specific as you like)
I’ve been a graphic designer now for 12 years. I’m very lucky to be in a creative field and at a place where I feel inspired daily!

SMC: What is something your fans may not know about you? Other hobbies?
Some people might not be aware that I am a single-mom. My kids are my top priority in life and they absolutely love that I cosplay! As far as they’re concerned, I’m a real life supe hero!

SMC: What part of “geekdom” is you favorite avenue of entertainment (i.e. comics, movies, video games, anime, etc?).
I might not get the chance to see things in theaters, but I absolutely love nerdy movies. I really look forward to the time where my kids are old enough to go see things, like Avengers: Infinity War, with me, so I don’t have to wait a couple months before I’m able to watch them!

1337Mando Cosplay
Character: 13th Doctor from Doctor Who Photog: Magical Girl Studios

SMC: Any favorite TV shows, movies or cartoons?
Netflix has absolutely been killing the series game lately! Russian Doll and The Umbrella Academy have been so amazing. I don’t have a lot of time for comics, so any time a great comic is adapted into a series, and done well, it helps me feel like I’m missing out on things a little less.

SMC: What are you currently playing / upcoming video game releases?
Kingdom Hearts 3!! I’ve finished the storyline, but I’m not ready for it to be over yet. So I’m getting all of the achievements so I can stay in that universe a little longer!

1337Mando Cosplay
Xion from Kingdom Hearts Photog: Charlie Liu Photography

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