Recently I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to a handful of cosplayers of different fandoms and backgrounds about cosplaying in Arizona. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like the cosplay community in Arizona grows bigger each year. Thanks to recent pop up events over the past several months put together by organizations such as Street Senpais, there are more opportunities for cosplayers to dip their toes into the community. I asked a series of questions to the following cosplayers about cosplaying in Arizona:

For more on each cosplayer, click the links below for their social media.

How long you have been cosplaying?
TRXPWXIFU – 6 years of cosplaying

dorky_duck -I’ve been cosplaying since 2018.

bunnyflopcosplay – I started officially cosplaying in 2013. But I always was the person who was a little extra during Halloween time!

Sara Sundae – 8 years

AshlaOkami – Technically since 2015 but my first full cosplay was in 2019

What’s something you enjoy most about the cosplay community in Arizona?
TRXPWXIFU – What I like about our cosplaying community is how close we are.

dorky_duck – My favorite part of the AZ cosplay community is the support. People online can be nasty but the community at cons is insanely uplifting.

bunnyflopcosplay – I love how fun and accepting the cosplay community is here in AZ. I’ve made some really great friends through it.

Sara Sundae – There is an endless supply of events and cosplay opportunities year round.

AshlaOkami – Oh my god, how nice they all are!! Everyone is so sweet!!!

When a convention is a week away and your cosplay isn’t finished, what keeps you going to finish it?
TRXPWXIFU – During con crunch what keeps me motivated to finish a cosplay is watching anime with my character and listening to anime music and envisioning the end product.

dorky_duck – When I’m con crunching, I like to listen to podcasts and watch the source material for my cosplay. It helps keep me motivated and it’s something fun to do.

bunnyflopcosplay – Oh the dreaded con crunch! The thing that keeps me going is the want to complete something that will make me happy! I choose cosplays of the characters I really like and getting to wear them to a con is just so much fun. Also caffeine, lots of caffeine.

Sara Sundae – Adrenaline and serotonin thinking about wearing it and all the fun you will have in the costume.

AshlaOkami – Music and Coffee; way too much of both

What is something you’d like to see local conventions do better when it comes to cosplay?
TRXPWXIFU – *skipped

dorky_duck – Local cons all have their problems. The main thing to fix would be branching out and exploring more ways to keep attendees entertained. Maybe some food trucks, or more engaging panels, even like a scavenger hunt. Small cons have a lot of vendors but not much else to do once you’re there.

bunnyflopcosplay – I’d love for local cons to be more cosplay friendly. Have open spaces designed for cosplayers to be in for photos. Create areas of sets (like a school room, an outside garden). Anime Expo has a whole area of these and it’s a blast to take photos in. I feel like local cons don’t create any space for cosplayers.

Sara Sundae – I’d love to see an area for eating with signage telling people they cannot take photos or ask for photos while in that space. Eating is one of those times people really should not ask for photos or take them without permission and it’s hard to find a place to eat comfortably.

AshlaOkami – Their organization levels and thinking things through. I’ve only been in AZ a short time and I’ve already figured out how quickly cons can go wrong when the organizers don’t plan them carefully. Also PROTECTING COSPLAYERS FROM ABUSE WITH CORRECT SECURITY PROTOCOLS (💖)

What’s something convention attendees who don’t cosplay should know about cosplaying?
TRXPWXIFU – Anyone and everyone can cosplay; doesn’t matter your race, age, gender, tall, short, skinny, wider; cosplay is for anyone and everyone period.

dorky_duck – Cosplay is not consent! That doesn’t just mean don’t harass cosplayers. It means don’t touch or photograph cosplayers without asking and when people say no, that means no.

bunnyflopcosplay – I would love people to really understand that cosplay is a hobby. We do this for fun and because we love it. Also please don’t touch a cosplayers costume or prop without asking. Don’t be afraid to ask for a photo! I know I love getting my photo taken and it shows me that my time and effort was worth it!

Sara Sundae – Always ask first! Never touch a cosplayer without permission, not even to put your arm around them. Parents really need to hold their own babies for pictures. There is way too much liability involved in holding a stranger’s baby.

AshlaOkami -We don’t cosplay in an effort to be *Anti-* social! Come up to us! Say hi! Ask questions! We love it!!