Cosplayer of the Month: Angi Viper
I have been a huge fan of Angi Viper since last year when I actually saw her in a video with a You Tuber I follow. In the video Angi seemed like this bright, bubbly force of awesome nature, the video got even better when I found out she was also a cosplayer! I immediately flocked to her work on her Facebook and fell in love with her work. Being in Arizona, I thought I wouldn’t really ever get the chance to meet her and accepted the fact that I’d just follow from afar.
Fast forward to WonderCon 2016 and I found out that not only was she at WonderCon but she also won the Cosplay Masquerade for her super dope Hawk Girl cosplay. When Anime Expo came
around and found out she was on the ticket, I freaked out and made it my mission to find her! Sure enough, I did and it was such a satisfying feeling to know that the person you idolize online is even more amazing in person! She was so kind and took the time to talk with fans and pose for photos. I have so much love and respect for Angi Viper even more than I had before!
Let’s get on with the interview!
The Geek Lyfe: Although I have been a fan of yours for quite some time, there may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Angi Viper: My name is Angi Viper and I am a cosplayer in Southern California. I have been cosplaying sing 2000, making my own costumes since 2011 and am now a full-time costume commissioner. I make all my own costumes, style my own wigs and make my own props (for the most part) and have cosplayed everything from Disney princesses to magical girls to comic book villains and everything in between.
TGL: How long have you been into cosplay and what led you down this path?
AV: I have been cosplaying for 16 years. I was introduced to cosplay in 2000 when I was in high school. I was heavily into anime, manga and Japanese culture and when I was searching the World Wide Web for photos of my favorite characters, I came across pictures of cosplayers and became obsessed. I went to my mom and asked her to help me make a costume of my favorite character (Sakura from Cardcaptor Sakura) and I haven’t looked back since.
TGL: What has been your favorite moment?
AV: I honestly don’t think I could pick just one. Every new costume, new event, a new friend is a new highlight in my life. I love cosplaying because it brings so many people together from all over and allows me the opportunity to bring my favorite characters to life and make my dreams reality. Every moment spent in cosplay is my new favorite moment.
TGL: What was the worst day for you in your cosplay career, what happened, and how did you deal with it?
AV: HAHAHA I honestly feel like every con I have a new worst moment of my life. I think this past weekend may have taken the cake though. I had a cosplay group I was planning on for Anime Expo and it seemed like everything was going wrong and it was doomed from the start. I was already stressed by trying to finish everything in time and then discovering integral pieces of one of the costumes weren’t going to arrive. We spent the morning getting ready – exhausted and stressed, left the house, go to the corner and all of a sudden a sound like a gunshot goes off and my passenger window falls inside the door. I pulled into the nearest parking lot to figure out what happened. As panic set in and stress took over, I burst into tears. My friends comforted me and offered suggestions and as we stood there trying to calm down and figure out what happened, a piece of my costume fell off and shattered on the ground. In these moments, all hope seems lost and the world is spinning around you. I felt close to giving up. Ready to go home, take off my costume and go back to sleep. Thankfully, I had amazing friends by my side who stood by me, patiently let me release my emotions and offered an understanding ear as I weighed the pros and cons of pushing on. Once I’d let my emotions calm themselves down, it was much easier to handle the situation, move forward and turn the day around. Having supportive friends and allowing yourself to be upset when you need to are powerful tools in overcoming any situation.
TGL: When you aren’t doing this, what do you do in your spare time?
AV: Um…. work on cosplay lol. As a full-time costume commissioner and active cosplayer, pretty much every spare moment I have is spent thinking about planning, designing, shopping, sewing, crafting, painting or researching costumes.
TGL: What geek medium(Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies, etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
AV: I’d have to say either Disney movies or anime. Both came to me in a time of need and self-discovery and greatly affected the person I became. Anime nation has always been a huge inspiration for me. The artistry and storytelling capabilities are endless and watching them makes my spirit soar and reminds me that anything is possible.
TGL: A zombie apocalypse has occurred and you are in the first week of the outbreak, what is your plan and what is your weapon of choice?
AV: Stay in a high space, bar the doors, make sure I’m near supplies and wait it out. Zombies are slow-moving and low-functioning. They are easily avoidable if you know to do so and should starve out quickly. I would make sure to remove the head of anyone I come in contact with who gets bit and avoid strangers. My weapon of choice would be a crossbow because they are extremely powerful, easy to aim and you can make new ammo if you run out.
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
AV: I have a number of projects I’ll be working on the rest of the year, but I don’t like to get hopes too high so I’m keeping them a secret 😉 I do reveal my cosplay plans to my patrons of Patreon.
TGL: You recently won WonderCon’s cosplay masquerade with your incredible Hawkgirl cosplay. How was that experience, would you be able to tell us a bit on the costume, and your performance?
AV: Winning the DC award in the WonderCon masquerade was an incredible and unexpected honor. It was my first time competing in a big masquerade and I didn’t expect to win anything, but I was so proud of my Hawkgirl costume I had to show it of. I made the whole costume myself from scratch. The helmet, mace and boot armor were my first time working with worbla and it was my first time making wings. Having never competed in a big masquerade before, I was not prepared for a performance. I found an audio track to play with the help of the audio engineer and figured I’d just walk across the stage and that’d be it. However, when I walked on stage and the lights hit me, I let loose a Thanagarian battle cry. The crowd went wild and adrenaline kicked in and all of a sudden I was having the time of my life.
TGL: What advice do you have for any aspiring cosplayers out there?
AV: My advice is always to start with a character you love and just go for it. If you aren’t confident sewing, there’s nothing wrong with buying a costume or putting one together by altering found items. You can even start with a casual cosplay – something put together using items from your own closet. Just make sure it’s something YOU want to do. Don’t let peer pressure or popularity blind you from what inspires you. Stick to what you love and you will love cosplay and get more out of the hobby and the community then you ever dreamed possible.
Please please please follow and love Angi Viper because she puts her heart and soul in all of her projects and she is such a fantastic person! Check out her Facebook for more incredible photos! A huuuuuuuge thank you to her for taking the time to answer a few of our questions!
Cover Photo by: https://www.facebook.com/tuffleyphoto/
Elsa Photo by: Nerdycruz
Sailor Moon Photo by: Eurobeat Kasumi