Cosplayer Of the Week: BearsRawr Cosplay
Wam! Bam! We have another dope cosplayer for you this week by the name of BearsRawr Cosplay! She hails from the North West corner of the US in Washington! I could not help but notice her charm and goofiness in all of her photos which drove me to ask her for an interview about her and her cosplay! Although her following may be small, I can already tell she’ll be a fun cosplayer to keep on eye on for all future shenanigans!
Also, be sure to check out her podcast!
I hope you enjoy!
The Geek Lyfe: There may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
BearsRawr Cosplay: I’m Bears, a Seattle cosplayer (BearsRawr Cosplay) who likes comic books, video games, and real-life adventures!
TGL: How long have you been into cosplay and what led you down this path?
BRC: I’m pretty new to cosplay, but I’m totally into it. I went to ECCC 2015 and was completely awestruck by the cosplayers there. At the same time, I was in the middle of reading some early Batman comics. I was seeing the characters coming to life before my eyes and decided right then that I had to get in on the action. My first cosplay was at Emerald City Comicon 2016.
TGL: What has been your favorite moment?
BRC: Anytime someone tells me I’m dressed as their favorite character it puts a huge smile on my face. Sometimes they just shout out the character name and high-five, which is also delightful. Seeing other people being happy makes me joyous!
TGL: What was the worst day for you in your cosplay career, what happened, and how did you deal with it?
BRC: My standards are really high, so if it’s not almost perfect I won’t be happy with it. For my first ever cosplay, I very badly wanted to do Huntress from DC comics for ECCC 2016. She doesn’t get a lot of love, but I connect with the comic book Helena Bertinelli; her values, struggles, and general outlook are very relatable. I specifically wanted to do the Birds of Prey outfit with the exposed belly. At this point I had never done any sewing, foam craft, costume work, prop making, or patterning AT ALL, EVER. I had no idea how technically difficult this outfit was going to be for someone at my skill level. I planned everything out for months, but when it got down to it absolutely nothing was making that belly window work the way I wanted it to. I didn’t know anyone in the cosplay community who I could tap for advice and I wasn’t able to find any videos or tutorials that approximated what I was looking for. I studied pictures of people who had cosplayed her before, but I didn’t have enough experience to correctly identify what their methods were. When I say I tried twenty different things, I’m not exaggerating. Finally, it was the Sunday before the convention, I was still very firmly on square one, and I had to admit that this just wasn’t going to happen. I completely broke down – panicking, sobbing, and racking my brain for a backup plan. Then suddenly a Black Canary-shaped lightbulb went on in my head. I rallied. I went to every store within 20 miles finding the perfect shoes, fishnets, jacket, everything. I was on a mission. I got it done in one really long, hectic afternoon.
TGL: When you aren’t doing this, what do you do in your spare time?
BRC: I plan elaborate parties! I had a Fallout themed party when Fallout 4 was announced. It was set right before the nuke fell. I broke up the attendees into 3 different factions with different end goals, gave them Nerf guns, health meters, and side quests, and had them fight for their place in the Vault. Almost everyone died. It was intense and really fun. That was my favorite one. I’ve also hosted a spooky Halloween a while back and an Alice in Wonderland murder mystery. I go all out and try to give people that total immersion experience.
I also like to West Coast Swing dance. It’s really fun and intuitive, and it gives both dancers a sense of ownership as long as both are communicating well. I would recommend that anyone and everyone at least try it out. I took one lesson a few years back and was completely hooked.
TGL: What geek medium (Video Games, Comic Books, Novels, Movies, etc.) made the biggest impact on your life and why?
BRC: Comic books got me into cosplay, but regular books have played the biggest role in my life overall. I tend towards fantasy and nonfiction, and never the same book twice until very recently. I grew up reading constantly. I dove into other worlds with gusto, putting myself in the characters’ shoes and experiencing their journeys with them. I love the unique sense of adventure you get from building a world in your own head. There is an exhilaration of discovery, especially if you get a precious uninterrupted few hours to spend immersed in that world. I really think that suspension of disbelief has carried over into my own real life. Life is like a really neat story. I am constantly amazed by how awesome the world can be.
TGL: If you could live in any geeky universe, which one would it be and why? (Naruto, Harry Potter, Pokemon, Lord of the Rings, etc.)
BRC: I would like to go to the world of Eli Monpress. Everything has a spirit there, from the doors to the oceans. Wizards can recruit some spirits and carry them around in rings to call on if they ever need assistance. I love that their powers are derived from a mutual contract with the spirits themselves, instead of just innate ability. It would be fun to be friends with Eli in this kind of place, so we could go on adventures with help from the world itself!
TGL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
BRC: I dove headfirst into cosplay, I have so many projects slated and scheduled! I’ve found that the number one way to make sure I finish a project and do it well is to schedule a release, whether that be a photoshoot or a convention. My next cosplays will be Hannah from Rat Queens and X-Men Legacy Rogue. I’m pretty excited about both. Rat Queens is beautifully drawn and such a sassy story. I can’t wait to bring Hannah to life. And this will be my first Marvel character; I’m making my own patterns for Rogue’s outfit so it’s a whole new adventure!
TGL: What advice do you have for any aspiring cosplayers out there?
BRC: Make some friends in the cosplay community! There are some truly amazing individuals out there who love this crazy hobby. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Everyone has their different strengths and experience levels. I like to have costume-making nights with my fellow crafters, We work on our own projects, blast some sing-along tunes, and if anyone gets stuck there is someone to brainstorm with who might have faced that issue before. Never be embarrassed to ask for help. Answering your question is NOT an inconvenience! I know I’m not the only one who is super flattered when someone asks for advice. Working through someone else’s problems can almost always help me solve one of my own. Seriously, ask for help if you get stuck.
TGL: Out of the costumes you have done in the past, which one has been the most difficult and why?
BRC: Snowstorm Sivir from League of Legends was the most difficult so far. It has a lot of bells and whistles, and I had to learn a lot of new techniques. It was my first armored piece. It was my first time doing resin casting for the gems and then adhering them to the cloth and fur. It was my first time sewing something that couldn’t be directly ironed. The snowflake prop is massive and I had to carry it around all day, so deciding on logistics for that piece opened new doors as well. I’m extremely happy with how it came out; the challenge was completely worth it.
I want to give a huge shout out to BearsRawr Cosplay for taking the time to answer a few of our humble questions. Be sure to check her out on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BearsRawr/! Also be sure to check out her podcast: http://handcannononline.com/blog/2016/11/18/episode-04-cosing-problem-geek-girl-con/!