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Published on August 1st, 2014 | by Andew Dupe

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Cosplay Corner #8 Interview: Joanna Mari Cosplay

Sorry guys, this cosplay corner was supposed to go up automatically and I never checked, but it’s up now so you get to have a peak into the crazy personality and what makes the extremely talented Joanna Mari tick.   She is one of the best cosplay makeup artists I have ever seen!

Thanks for doing this interview, how are you?

-Thank you for having me! I’m doing well, had a crazy summer full of cosplay crafting, cons, and little vacations! I finally get a chance to relax, but not for too long, NYCC is just around the corner!

What kind of a geek niche do you think you fit into? ie. Comics, movies, games, etc.

– I have always been big on movies! Even as a young kid movies always appealed to me, whether it was horror, sci-fi, comedy, or any of the early “comic book” movies like Tim Burton’s Batman series, I was all for it! However, I recently began fitting in to it all. I picked up on reading comics about 3 years ago, falling in love with Allen Moor’s graphic novels, and reading The Walking Dead monthly.

I also have always been into playing games here and there, but I’ve fully accepted that I’m just not that good (button mashers FTW!)

What are your top 5 movies, games, and tv shows?

-I could watch Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 all day, every day. It is easily my favorite series. I also enjoy The Dark Knight, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and of course Jurassic Park.

I’m Patiently waiting for the 12th doctor to grace my screen, only a few more days! But I’m pretty big on Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Attack on Titan and Orphan Black (the new show The Strain is pretty damn good too guys! OH and Penny Dreadful…. I watch far too much TV)

I’m a BIG fan of the Portal games, same with the Batman Arkham series (NO SPOILERS – I still haven’t finished Origins!!) . Animal crossing was a big part of my childhood, and of course MARIO CART AND SUPER SMASH BROS!!

When you cast a patronus spell what shape does it take?

-My patronus spell proudly takes the shape of a majestic sloth. No explanation needed. Keep scrolling.

Your page seems fairly new, but your makeup skills are amazing! How long ago did you start cosplaying?

-It was September, right before NYCC 2012 when my boyfriend and I decided to cosplay for it! It was then where I started learning my sewing, crafting, and SFX makeup skills. Needless to say with 1 month before the con it was crunch time!

How did you learn your mad makeup skills?

-I learned how almost anyone learns how to do anything these days – YOUTUBE! I’ve always been into makeup, but once my boyfriend decided to cosplay as Superboy Prime from Infinite Crisis, I decided to teach myself how to do some basic stuff to make it look like he carved an S in his chest like in the comic. It was after he ROCKED that latex appliance that I decided to continue to teach myself more techniques!

Why did you start cosplaying and what was your first?

-Cosplay for me started off as something quick and last minute, which is actually VERY noticeable in my first cosplay, which was a Gender Bender Black Adam. I even made my own pointed ears! After having a total blast at NYCC 2012, and actually enjoying building both mine cosplays, I wanted more! I now consider it part of my art. I’m constantly pushing myself to try crazier things and to improve my skills!

Do you take commissions to make some for others and where can they contact you if they are interested?

-I am just beginning to take commissions for con/Halloween makeup, but am completely open to costume/prop building, as I am beginning to widen my abilities! For commissions you can reach me at my email: Joannamaricosplay@gmail.com, or shoot me a message on my facebook (facebook.com/joannamaricosplay) or instagram (@peacel0vej0anna)!

What’s you favourite cosplay that you’ve made and why?

-That’s a tough one, but i guess right now its my freshly finished Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy. I started making that one early January 2014, and finished it only a few weeks ago, so a lot of time and hard work went into it. I’m very proud of it because much of what i built was new to me. It was the first time i made my own body suit, which was a project in itself, working with Worbla, and building a prop sword. I have never made armor before so i was teaching myself as i went. The first time i wore is was at Connecticon, which had me nervous because i had finished it the morning of, and wearing it there was the first time i had it all together! To my surprise, it held up the entire con without a single fault, which is UNHEARD OF.

What costumes do you have in the works right now?

-Right now i have a few concepts in the drawing book, but am currently not working on anything at the moment (not for long!).  I have all my supplies ready for one cosplay, but have yet to release the concept on ANY form of social media… sooo i guess I’m gunna keep is a surprise until its done for NYCC! I’ll leave a small hint though… it includes not 1, not 2, BUT 3 PROPS!

What Cosplayers inspire you?

-I’ve recently made a few lovely friends within the community, and it is them who honestly inspire me. They’re all hard working girls who, like me, are in it for the craft, love of all things nerd, and support a community that many consider taboo.

What is your absolute favourite thing about cosplay?

-What ISNT my favorite thing about cosplaying?! Haha ok, I guess there’s a few things. Firstly I genuinely love costume and prop making. I love pushing myself to improve my craft and learning new things. Secondly, putting yourself in the mindset of that character is just so refreshing. You could have a really rough week, but throwing on that costume, going out for a con or a shoot and putting on your best character face is like wiping the slate clean. For a few hours you’re whoever you want to be, and if that isn’t a form of relaxation I don’t know what is! Also, who doesn’t love acting like your favorite villain?! Cosplaying as Harley and letting my inner psycho out was the most fun I’ve ever had! Thirdly – the confidence boost you get when everyone at the convention really admires and appreciates all your hard work! I’ve learned to truly love myself, my art, and my body after I started cosplaying. It helped kick me out of my comfort zone just a bit, which is where I believe the magic happens.

Do you have any cool hobbies other than cosplaying?

-I guess it’s not a hobbie JUST YET, but I’m in the process of making a ghost hunting kit, and hoping to take it out this summer at some super creepy abandon asylums in my area! Wait ghost hunting is a hobby RIGHT?!

What do you do with your life in the real world when you’re not cosplaying?

-Oy, here comes the snooze fest! Haha well I’m still a student in college, hoping and praying to finish up soon! I also work part time to help support my family and my cosplay. I enjoy going out for wings and beer and occasionally hitting up the dance floor with some wicked awkward moves. Like any other 22 year old I’m looking to enjoy myself while still figuring out what I exactly plan to do with the rest of my life!

I know lots of girls (and even guys) are often given a hard time for cosplaying or expressing their geekdom because people will say they aren’t “true geeks.” I think this is stupid but it happens. Does this happen to you and how do you deal with it?

-Damn those “true Geeks”!! I guess I’ve experienced this on the internet, where some trolls (I call them cheetofingers, since I picture all trolls typing their hate with cheese crusted fingers after enjoying those magnificent cheesey puffs) point out that an aspect in my cosplay isn’t PERFECT to the character, or that I’m probably not a true fan. I normally just ignore those comments because, I mean, I DID MY BEST (I apologize in advance to my perfect-cheetofinger-haters, I’ll try harder next time!!) I also don’t think there is anything wrong with say, being a fan of the new Marvel movies but not necessarily a reader of the comics.

There’s a reason there are so many forms of pop-culture, and I will respect you if you’ve seen that first Ironman movie that one time, and had that nod at SHIELD fly over your head (…guilty). Keep calm and cosplay on.

Anything you want to say to the folks at home reading this post?

-Firstly THANK YOU THANK YOU 100 TIMES THANK YOU to all of my followers for always being so supportive through all my ups and downs. It’s nice to have a community to fall back on whenever things are getting tough.

Also, as a message to any cosplayers who are feeling judged, or are given a hard time for their passion, PLEASE don’t let any of that get to you!! I’ve personally dealt with adversity from those who, as family members, should love and support me but instead had harshly invaded my passion and insulted my craft. Because of that I must thank my Mother for being the fiercest mama bear, having my back then and continuing to fully support me!

NEVER let anyone tell you to stop doing something you love because it makes them feel uncomfortable or because you’re WEIRD. Let your freak flag fly and hey, why not, show it off!

Where can we find you on the internet?

-I’m primarily on my Facebook (Joanna Mari Cosplay : www.facebook.com/joannamarisfx) and Instagram (@peacel0vej0anna) where i post updates of my work, as well as random daily feelings and things i find interesting or weird hahahaha

For those new and old to cosplay, I just launched my own website www.howtocosplay.info, where I’ll be posting weekly tutorials on costume/prop building, makeup techniques, and cosplay features . It’s the least i can do to give back to a community that lovingly opened its doors to me.

I also just opened my store www.Joannamaricosplay.storenvy.com where you can buy some of my prints, and soon, props that I will be selling.


About the Author

Andrew is a web developer and general geek. He likes drawing, programming, table top gaming, video gaming, other general geek things, and of course long walks on the beach. Follow him on twitter @dup3 Favourite Movie: Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi Favourite Game: Halo 2 Favourite Book: Name of the Wind



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