With her Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay, General was selected to be a grand prize winner in the 2020 CosBond Creator Contest (as one half of GeneralNinjaCosplay). We caught up with General recently to learn more about her cosplay life.
What is your cosplay/account name? Is there a story behind it?
General: GeneralNinjaCosplay. The story behind the name is first that we’re a sister account and I’m the General and my sister is Ninja. I became the General for several reasons- one is that my supervisor and I were having fun at work and decided to bestow titles for everyone in our department and I decided to be the General. I am also the person that handles most of the communications with our account and the elder sister 😉
How long have you been cosplaying? How did you get started?
I started cosplaying in 2014 and started after attending my first con in 2013. I saw just how much fun and enthusiasm the cosplayers had and wanted to join in. It was also around the time that the reboots of the Tomb Raider games were being done and I knew that Lara was going to be perfect for my first cosplay.
What were some of your earliest cosplays like?
Out of closet and browsing through thrift stores. I was a student at the time so didn’t have much money and sewing machines were intimidating. I also had no idea about working with foam and worbla. Lara Croft was sorta easy in this way since it was mostly distressing some clothes, bundling some dried out branches from a bush in my backyard to create a bow and getting creative with makeup. It wasn’t until my second and third year of cosplaying where I really started expanding my skills.
How has your creative process changed over time?
I come from a design background so for the most part my creative process hasn’t really changed except that we’ve added a more digital component after creating our social media accounts and doing photoshoots. We’ve also started to organize and plan out our cosplays using Trello and are starting to get more into creating videos. But the many hours spent researching, finding reference photos, searching for the right fabrics and materials and sometimes just taking a break to let myself thing out the next steps of building the cosplay? That hasn’t changed.
What are your favorite parts of a cosplay build? What does your process look like?
My favorite parts are probably when I have to stop, take a break and just figure out how I’m going to proceed. I think that’s when I feel the most creative because sometimes you think of things that are totally left-field, why would you do that, it shouldn’t really work and then… it does. So a big part of my process is hot showers, staring into space and just mindlessly doing other things. Then, once the next steps are decided, getting over myself and my fears and actually doing the next steps. If I mess up, that’s fine because I have backup plans in place. That’s my process.
What are your favorite characters/types of characters to cosplay?
Strong women. I also like to look for characters I’ll feel good about crossplaying/genderbending.
How do you show off your cosplay? Do you attend cons, do photoshoots, etc.?
Oooff. Well, in the Before Times cons were the main way I liked to show off my cosplay. It wasn’t until mid 2019 that we started our cosplay account so cons were what I was most used to and I was learning about how to work a photoshoot. Now I’m learning to show them off with video.
What’s your dream cosplay?
Wonder Woman. I’ve tried to do a Wonder Woman I would be happy showing off for about 3 years now. I think I’m close to pulling it off.
Do you have any funny cosplay stories or memories?
I will only say Phoenix Fan Fusion of 2017 was a fun time. If you know you know.
What are some of your favorite things about the cosplay community?
The support and acceptance. I’ve grown a lot as a person by being a part of this community and I’m happier with my self and with what I do after joining and that’s because of the people here.
What are some cosplay goals you have going forward?
Start building foam armor, incorporating 3D prints and LEDs, doing more with videos… We also want to join a charity group and give back to our community.
What inspires you to keep making cosplay?
Putting a smile on someone’s face. Whether it’s a kid or adult, just seeing someone smile when you see you or post a comment on how happy our cosplay made them just makes my day. Cosplay is fun and sharing the fun of your cosplay with others is amazing.
Where can we find your cosplay online?
You can find us on Instagram and Facebook @GeneralNinjaCosplay, our photographer has a lot of photos on their website (shotbyartemis.com), and we might be building a Youtube and Patreon account soon!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
The only rule of cosplay is to be kind and respectful. You can cosplay at any level and still receive support from the community. The cosplay community is about fun and showing enthusiasm for the things you love and learning. Cosplay your way.