Cosplayer of the Week: Lissandela
Hi, my name is Alexandria, I’m 33 years old and a single mom. I’ve been doing cosplay for 5 years now and have been making my own cosplays for 3 years. I’ve done 5 cosplays so far, with two currently in progress. I’ve done 3 cosplays from Overwatch and 2 from FFXIV and my two current projects are from Heroes of the Storm and Monster Hunter World respectively. My favorite medium of choice to make cosplays out of is definitely Eva foam, though I’m trying to level up my sewing skills currently.
What is your cosplay origin story?
I’ve always had an interest in costuming and creative stuff but I didn’t really start getting into cosplay until 2015. I remember seeing pokemon cosplays, specifically eeveelution cosplays, and being fascinated with them. At the time there was a local con coming up so I decided I was gonna dress up as sylveon. I bought a dress from Darling Army (she makes these really cute dresses and kimonos), bought ears, tail, and a wig. So I thought I would put a twist on it and kinda make it like a sylveon ballerina so I put on a tutu underneath the dress, tights, and ballet shoes. I was super nervous about going to the con. At the time, I was super self-conscious about going to cosplay, as I was pretty overweight at the time. When I went to the con, it was magical. Sounds cliche but it actually was. Everyone was so nice and complimented me on my cosplay. People asked for my picture too. It was mind-blowing! I never thought it would happen ever at all, because I thought what I put together wasn’t very special at all. Later on in 2017, a friend of mine convinced me to cosplay as devil Mercy. I laughed at him because I was like how on earth am I going to make these wings. In the end, I made the wings, the staff, and pretty much everything by myself and went to momocon for the first time that year. And the rest was history.
Out of all the years you have done cosplay, what has been one of your more favorite/proudest memories?
My proudest memory is when I finally put my astrologian dress on for the first time after working on it for so many months. I remember looking at pictures of it on my phone afterward and crying at how awesome it looked. At the time I thought it was my biggest achievement and I was just so proud of everything I did with it. My second proudest memory was when I completed Feo Ul and the reactions everyone had to it.
Out of all the cosplays you have ever done which one was your personal favorite even if it was not super well received by fans?
Oh that’s a hard one, because my two favorite cosplays happen to be both FFXIV related: the astrologian and Feo Ul. I would say that my personal favorite has got to be the beautiful branch, Feo Ul. She and I have had a complicated relationship from the start as I went through a bad patch of my life creating her in the first place. So at the beginning, I didn’t like her very much, but as time passed, I grew to love her as she opened up so many doors for me.
You feature a lot of awesome geeky content, what is your absolute favorite geeky medium? (Video games, anime, comics, film, etc.)
Video games for sure. I grew up on Snowboard Kids, Legend of Dragoon, stuff like that. I’ve always been into it more than anime. All of my cosplays are actually from video games (Overwatch, FFXIV). I’ve preferred them as my medium since there are more opportunities to see details from different angles, plus some of the most elaborate cosplays I’ve seen are from video games.
Subbed or Dubbed Anime?
I actually don’t want anime that much, but I actually enjoy both. There are some anime series that are better in dub. (I’m sure someone’s gonna fight me for saying that, lol.)
It is apparent that you hustle to provide content for fans but when you actually have a day off, how do you spend it?
I usually just spend it playing video games or hanging out with my son. I’m always up to something usually, whether it’s at work, taking care of my family, video chatting with the boyfriend, or doing cosplay work.
You just radiate such confidence and the swagger of a champion. However, a lot of geeks often struggle with overwhelming self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. When you have those bad days and get down on yourself, what do you do to remind yourself that you are wonderful?
I actually struggle with this quite a bit. I have a mental disorder that revolves around depression and so I spend a lot of time being depressed and dealing with those feelings. I actually use cosplay as an outlet to channel those out. Each costume is an expression of myself and what I’m feeling at the time. Sometimes it’s just nice to pick up some foam and tinker around a bit and after a while you get so busy with it that you kinda forget what you’re upset about, at least for the meantime. Also, I have a copy of the magazine I made it into and when I feel really low, I look at the page I’m on and remind myself of how far I’ve come and how strong I was to get there.
What is one piece of advice you wish you received when you first got into modeling/cosplay?
Be kind to yourself. I personally struggle with a mental illness a lot. As I mentioned earlier, part of the way I deal with it is through cosplay, but even with my elaborate creations, I have found ways to be awful to myself. I’ve found myself going well, this person did this better, I’ll never get to that level or no one’s going to like my costume so why even try. I go through this with every single cosplay I’ve ever done. The thing that I’m learning now is that I have to be kind to myself. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. Cosplay is all about self-expression when you think about it, so even if it’s not 100% perfect or accurate, you are still expressing yourself and someone out there is gonna find it cute or awesome. Even if you don’t think it’s good, there’s someone out there that thinks you’re the bee’s knees. I have to keep reminding myself about this as I begin to start my journey into opening an online store and doing commissions. Everyone started out small, feeling unsure of themselves and hopeful for the future. Every big cosplayer has had doubts, maybe they’ve cried about cosplay or the lack of reach, but everyone has started out the same way. Your journey may not be like others, but it is your journey and no one can tell you how to travel it.
Where can we find you online?