Cosplayer Lutavia is here with words of wisdom for future cosplayers, served up with a side of creepy Bela Dimitrescu cosplay!
We’ve been covering Houston’s cosplays comicpalooza for years, and this year we’re back again. The show is always tough for cosplay, with a wide range of genres and fandoms represented. Their cosplay competition is fierce and this year we had the opportunity to interview some of the judges and winners of the competition. Today we are sitting with Lutavia cosplay!
Hi, I’m Lu, a non-binary Texan cosplayer who not only does but educates. My cosplay career has spanned from small-scale workshops of under 20 to performances for over 100. I’ve curated and created photo shoots for custom products and taught cosplayers from all over the world how to use cool tools to make their creation look amazing. be much easier. And I’ve done a wide variety of projects ranging from complex, distressed armor to beautiful draped fabrics. If you need a cosplayer for your event who does a bit of everything, check out my press kit!
How did you get started in cosplay? How long have you been creating your projects? What inspires you to work in the world of cosplay?
I started cosplaying after college but got a lot of inspiration from the internet when I was a pre-teen and discovered cosplay.com. I went to my first convention when I was around 13 and instantly fell in love with costumes, but I really wanted to learn how to make my own. I’ve only been making my own stuff for about six years (a lot of my friends have been doing it for much longer, I think 10-15+), but the constant challenge and innovative ways to incorporate new techniques keep me going.
What are your favorite or most popular full cosplays?
I think my favorite full cosplay is the most recent one, a male Viera from Final Fantasy XIV. That one has been pretty popular because of some of the techniques I’ve used and it’s a bit more rare. But my Shieldmaiden Brigitte cosplay from Supervisionis by far my most popular.
What conventions do you attend? Have you been invited/spoken on panels/competed in contests?
I’ve primarily been a guest on the Texas circuit (Comicpalooza, Oni-Con, Delta H, Anime Frontier), but I’ve been to other conventions like Fan Expo Dallas and PAX South and PAX West. I do panels A LOT – cosplay education is the most important thing to me, so that’s what I try to do at every convention I visit!
What criteria do you use to judge cosplay competitions?
So first, I strictly use whatever judging criteria from the convention – everyone judges costumes in different ways. But in my personal judgments and how I add points to scores, I look for cleanliness of work, thoughtful and logical decision-making (from material choice to assembly), and someone’s personal opinion of the costume and why it was worn. stands out. I also really appreciate exploring new techniques, but it will never outweigh clean work!
What is the most important thing to consider as a judge?
As a judge, I need to consider every little part of the costume, but I also need to see the big picture: what story is the cosplayer trying to tell? Is he counting it effectively? I think that, as a judge, he should be considered in that sense.
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What advice do you have for cosplay judges?
I really think that as a judge, you absolutely have to be complete. Maybe you haven’t made a dress yourself, but follow the people who do; the same goes for the seamstresses who follow the armor makers. Expose yourself to a wide range of mediums and techniques and become familiar with as much as you can, because you never know what someone will bring to the exam room.
If you’re the only person in the room who understands how difficult it is to model organic shapes in 3D, for example, or who understands the work that goes into making multiple petticoats, even if you haven’t, you’ll be able to judge someone on those things, and sometimes, you will be the only judge who really KNOWS those things, and can educate your fellow judges. You could literally be the difference between a job that goes unnoticed and a big award for someone.
Which category/division do you like to judge the most?
In fact, I LOVE judging beginners/beginners. It is by far my favorite category because you never know what they will bring to the table. I’ve been completely blown away, and I feel like every year, the bar is raised even higher for people’s “first costume.”
What has been the most exciting cosplay you have seen/judged in competition?
Oooh this is really hard actually I feel like every scam has some disguises that I think of. But I tend to think of the judge’s choice awards that I give the most, actually! The first was a group of Shugo Chara, all pre-teens, who made accessories out of Amazon boxes and plastic bottles and looked like foam, since they had no money, that was very impressive.
The second was a Sakura (from naruto) who made historically inspired samurai armor and knitted his own shoes. More recently, he was actually a Mipha of The legend of Zelda, which had all these beautiful story-appropriate details that weren’t in the original design, very well thought out. I think it’s always the people who are a little bit unorthodox, or creative, or who really think about what their character’s clothes tell a story, visually, that catch my eye.
What are your favorite fandoms? Favorite characters?
In fact, I really like video games, comics, anime and manga. Some of my favorite things are the darker mediums – Berserk, Monster, etc – but I really love JRPGs like Final Fantasy and tactical games, such as tactical ogre. I think if the characters are strong, I’m naturally quite inclined to get involved! Some of my favorite characters are definitely the ones I cosplay haha. I made Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion for example, as well as Dimitri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
What kind of games do you play? Video game? Table? War games?
I love video games (RPG, JRPG, action/adventure) but I also played a lot of board games and still do sometimes. Tabletop also holds a special place in my heart, especially TTRPGs – I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons since 3.5e, and I’ve also played shadow race, Pioneerand some indie games like monster hearts.
Who are your cosplay inspirations? Whose work do you admire or aspire to?
Wow, this is hard! So my own close friends are my inspiration, honestly, but I have a few that I look up to, all of which I’m lucky enough to know: Crispy Butt is great, his work has influenced mine in many ways, but I also love BambiLashes, DecemberWynn, Sarcasm-Hime, spooky spots, all from a craft-inspired perspective. I think his costumes are very “exuberant” and influence my choices a lot!
But I think from an educational point of view, people like Cosplay Kinpatsu, LightningCosplayY pretzel costume they inspire me even more, as they also focus a lot on cosplay education, which I am very passionate about!
What message do you have for people who want to get into cosplay? What have you learned in your time working in Cosplay?
I really just recommend that you don’t ask the question, “who should I cosplay as? Who do I look like? Because that doesn’t matter! I’m a 5’3″ blob who dresses up as giant men, 6’2” emo – Don’t let that stop you at all! Cosplay whatever you’re comfortable learning to make (or buy!), based on your lifestyle, schedule, and budget. I think that’s the biggest thing I learned: there will be other cons, so take your time, be purposeful in the costumes you choose, relax and be kind to yourself!
Anything important we left out that you want to share?
For me, this hobby has been a huge part of my life in friendships, personal growth, discovering who I am, even really amazing job opportunities, so I really encourage you guys to give it a try and have fun your way no matter what. be. ! Buy, make, modify and be proud of it – wear something and have fun, because cosplay literally means “dress up game”, and that’s what it’s all about!
What are your social media/website links? Where can we find you?
am @LutaviaCosplay mostly on Twitter (build threads! WIPs! random thoughts!) and very weakly on Instagrambut i also have my website, LutaviaCosplaywhere I also have my press kit and guides and build panels and all that fun stuff.
~Join us next week for more cosplay coverage~
Have a cosplay question you’d like Mayhem’s Muse to answer? Know a cosplayer you’d like to see featured? Send an email here!
Jennifer, also known as “Mayhem’s Muse”, is BoLS’s cosplay editor and manages ad sales and communications. Her cosplay awards include the RTX Judge’s Choice Award and Dragon’s Lair Austin’s Cosplay Symposium. Jennifer has been a guest cosplay judge at RTX, Tacticon, and Genghis Con in Colorado. She regularly attends conventions to cover BoLS cosplay. Her cosplay work has been featured in such publications as Girls Who Love Monsters, Geek Fuel, and Renaissance Magazine. Jennifer has modeled in the Her Universe fashion show, Precision Camera’s annual Precision Camera college, and has taught several workshops for photographers on partnering with cosplayers and creative muses/models. Jennifer is a lifelong enthusiast of retro video games and she loves Dungeons & Dragons, urban fantasy, tabletop games, VR technology, and historical archery. She has set national records through USA Archery’s traditional division for Asian bows and placed fourth at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan in 2018 for Korean women’s archery. Jennifer is currently studying for her Masters in Organizational Leadership.