A few months ago at Pheonix Comic-Con 2015 photos emerged in various cosplay groups stating Jessica Nigri had a twin. Being a supporter of the Arizona native cosplay powerhouse that Jessica Nigri is, I browsed the photos and was shocked by how similar this cosplayer looked to her. Later I discovered her name was Natalie Arvizu, she cosplayed and while she does love JNig, she was tired of being called her twin and yearned to be respected as her own person.
I could definitely support that and began following her work at different conventions. I’ve even passed by her time and again at cons that we both attended but was always far too shy to interact with her. I know that cosplayers are often hounded day in and day out for photos, questions, and praise that I never believe them answering my humble questions would be a good use of their precious time to take a break and collect themselves. Sure enough, after a few months, I gathered my courage and shot her an interview request only to receive an almost immediate response that was both personable and filled with kindness! It was a great surprise.
Without further ado, here is my interview with Natalie Arvizu Cosplay:
The Geek Lyfe: Although I am a fan of yours, there may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Natalie Arvizu Cosplay: My name is Natalie Arvizu and I am from Phoenix, Arizona.
TGL: I’ve followed you for some time yet never learned the origin story! Could you tell us how you got into cosplay and what led you to where you are now?
NAC: About 2 years ago now I saw my cousin do a Lara Croft costume for Halloween and thought that was a cool idea. So I decided to do Chell from Portal and wore as a Halloween costume and later on found out about Comic Con and how people dress up. So eventually I went to Amazing Arizona Comic Con and didn’t wear anything because I was too shy and nervous then later decided to wear Chell and also Cailtyn from League of Legends to Phoenix Comic-Con and then it just sorta went on from there!
TGL: What has been your favorite moment so far Cosplaying?
NAC: Since I’m still so new to the cosplay community my favorite part has been when someone stops me because they recognize me from my Facebook page or Instagram or something. Also seeing any comments where they really want to meet me or anything along the lines of that. It’s so heartwarming and makes me all blushy and stuff haha.
TGL: What is the most frustrating part?
NAC: Mainly making the costume. When I say that I mean how there are moments where things aren’t working out how they planned or something broke or not enough time. Cause usually I end up getting really stressed from making a costume just because of those things happens. But I always push myself to get it done because in the end I’m always happy once I’m wearing it and getting to show it off!
TGL: Is there one situation in your Cosplay career that makes you laugh when you look back on it? If so, what is it?
NAC: HA! What cosplay career?! Hahah but seriously I’m still such a baby to this awesome community I really wouldn’t say I can call this my cosplay career. I’m just here to have fun and meet all the awesome people I know are here.
TGL: When you aren’t doing making costumes or making videos, what do you do in your spare time?
NAC: I’m actually a college student and part-time server. I also love playing video games and eating sushi!!
TGL: What geek medium(Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies, etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
NAC: Video games for sure!! My boyfriend and I actually have a collection starting from the Atari to the next-gen consoles! It’s like having a gaming museum in my house! I love video games because I’m a very competitive person so any time I played any multiplayer game I wanted to be the best. I later fell in love with the stories of the games. I’ve also been lucky enough to have all these different generations of gaming consoles to be able to appreciate the work that goes into games so much more because I’ve seen where games started and what they’ve become. It’s amazing!
TGL: I’ve seen and loved your Gentlemen Gnar cosplay! Are you a fan of League of Legends?
NAC: OH MY GOD YES I AM! I love league. I love the character designs so much and just how competitive the game is. It’s taken over my life haha.
TGL: In a series of unfortunate events, you end up with super powers. While this is awesome, you soon discover that aliens are invading earth. What superpowers would you want to have to protect our planet? Bonus: What is your superhero name using the street name you grew up on and the name of your favorite pet.
NAC: This is such a hard decision cause telekinesis would be super rad but I’m not sure that’d be super helpful in an alien invasion haha. But it’s cool maybe the aliens and I could just have a cup
of coffee, talk it out, then they’d understand and leave. My super hero name would then have to be Canehill Kiki !
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
NAC: My plans for costumes seem to always be so up in the air mainly because of work and school so I’m always changing my mind! Recently I was thinking of maybe doing either Rei from High School of the Dead, Sailor Mars, or possibly Hatsune Miku? But we will see what happens
TGL: What advice do you have for any aspiring cosplayers out there?
NAC: My advice is that if it makes you happy then do it. Don’t let people tell you what cosplay you can and can’t do. Don’t let people tell you it’s not accurate enough or anything. Have fun, be yourself, but most importantly BE WEIRD!
A huge thank you to Natalie Arvizu Cosplay for answering a few of our questions! She is an amazing person that is wonderful in every way and is definitely going to be a cosplayer worth paying attention to as she grows more and more popular with each convention! Be sure to give her Facebook page some well deserved love!