Hey, gay geeks and gaymers! We’re here with Au from Canada! He’s cosplayed characters from Assassin’s Creed, League of Legends, and Overwatch. You may have seen him at Calgary Expo, Otafest, PAX, or Katsucon. We’re here to chat with him and find a bit more about him and his cosplay.
How old were you when you started doing cosplay?
I was 17 when I started. Soon to be four years, soooooo not too long actually. When I went to my first convention which as Calgary Expo of 2013, I was just awestruck by all the amazing cosplayers there and I thought to myself, “Huh, I’d like to do that too.” But then, actually meeting them and talking to them made me want to do it all the more. I used to be a part of a team for an Assassin’s Creed cosplay, but I ended up dropping out to go do my own thing.
What’s your most memorable experience while cosplaying (the more funny, awkward, weird, the better)?
That’s a really hard one to answer because I seem to find bigger and better highlights to every con experience as I go along. But if I had to narrow it down, it would probably be when I actually got to represent Riot Games with my Garen cosplay during the League of Legends Spring Finals. Now, that was awesome. I got to watch some of my favorite players go at it on stage from a private suite in the stadium, posed and took pictures with people that love the game and the overall hospitality from Riot was amazing.
What is it about cosplay that you like the most?
I like wearing the costumes more than anything. The building is fun, but it can be testing (especially with me being more and more attracted to even bigger elaborate designs). However, putting it all on and seeing how great it feels and fits you, there’s nothing quite like it.
My favorite memory would be in Katsucon this year, where I got to meet Darin de Paul, who voices Reinhardt and it was a surreal moment for me because that was one of my favorite characters in the flesh right in front of me. Listening to him in-game has never been the same for me since.
How do you define cosplay?
I would define cosplay to be an extension of myself, in a crafted form and openly displayed for everyone to see. Much of what I love is represented through the characters I cosplay, whether it’s from a specific series down to just a declaration of my appreciation of the aesthetics.
How has cosplay impacted your own life?
Before cosplay, I was actually an incredibly quiet person. I almost never talked unless I was pretty much forced into it because much of my community experiences (whether it be school/familial connections/etc) were pretty hostile. But, cosplaying actually broke me out of my shell because of how welcoming it was, and I’d never experienced that before. Just the mentality of “come as you are” really stuck with me, because there are people with the same interests and passions as you, and willing to give you a chance and listen. Now, even if you WANTED to get me to shut up, it’d be near impossible.
What are your views of being body positive when doing cosplay?
I think it’s an important aspect of cosplay that people seem to forget. You don’t need to have the perfect figure or the biggest muscles that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime jealous. Just come celebrate what you love and just wear something.
What was your most expensive/hardest cosplay you did and why?
The project I’m working on right now, Blackwatch Genji, is probably the hardest one because I’ve never done anything with such extensive detailing and it’s a bodysuit as well.
If money weren’t an issue, what would be your dream cosplay?
I would probably invest in making Azir from League of Legends or Reinhardt from Overwatch.
Do you have any cosplay pet peeves?
I really wish people wouldn’t take themselves so seriously when they cosplay. You’re all nerds in costumes… There’s literally nothing I can take seriously in that statement alone, just have some fun.
Do you make your costumes or have them made/commissioned?
I make most of my own costumes, but I’ve commissioned one or two things because I don’t have the time or skill to do so.
Who is your favorite cosplayer?
Everyone on the con floor, regardless of skill level and social standing, is an inspiration to me. Cosplay is not an easy hobby, nor is it a forgiving one to a certain degree.
What was your first cosplay? And do you feel like you have improved?
My first cosplay was Connor Kenway from Assassin’s Creed 3. I think I’ve definitely improved since then, especially given how much armor work I do now. I’ve stopped sewing for the most part because it’s been testing my patience these days.
What would you say to a first time cosplayer?
HOT GLUE IS LIFE. AND DRINK WATER. Don’t panic. Everything is going to be okay. You’re gonna make amazing friends, people are gonna love you.
Where can fans get more of you (social media, websites, etc.)?
My handle is @auzziejlee for pretty much everything except Facebook, where it’s Auzzie L.
Anything you would like to say to your fans?
I’d encourage you to embrace a more non-serious side to cosplay. Be silly. Make memes and crack jokes. Hell, do a joke cosplay. Follow whatever trends you feel like. It’s not about making yourself look dumb, but rather to be able to poke fun at yourself lest you start taking yourself too seriously. Love you.