While creating their amazing Thorin Oakenshield cosplay, Toxiekat was chosen as one of the grand prize winners of our 2020 CosBond Creator Contest. We caught up with Toxiekat for a Q&A after the content ended to learn more about their cosplay.
What is your cosplay/account name? Is there a story behind it?
On all of my cosplay social media, my handle is ToxieKat (toxiekatt on a couple of them). There isn’t much of a story behind it. ToxieKat has been my gamer tag since I was probably 8 or 9, then transferred to my Cosplay Handle when I started cosplaying.
How long have you been cosplaying? How did you get started?
I have been cosplaying since 2012, so nearly 9 years now! I have always had a passion for costumes, ever since I was a small child. I didn’t have the courage to buy my first cosplay costume until I was 14 however, even though I discovered the hobby years prior.
What were some of your earliest cosplays like?
Oh gosh, my earliest cosplays were store bought. Len Kagamine from Vocaloid and North Italy from Hetalia being the first two. Afterwards I started making my costumes–various Homestuck characters (Davesprite, Dave, Nepeta, Kankri) and Prince Gumball from Adventure Time. They certainly weren’t the best and I cringe looking back at them, but we have to start somewhere!
How has your creative process changed over time?
My creative process has certainly matured as I’ve gotten older. Originally I was quite scattered in my approach to making costumes. But after receiving my BFA in Costume Design, my process is similar to that of a designer working on a Theater/Opera/Dance or Film production.
What are your favorite parts of a cosplay build? What does your process look like?
My process usually starts with gathering research, reference images/inspiration, concept sketch, then gathering supplies, and finally building the garment and props and whatever else is needed.
My favourite parts of building a cosplay are always gathering research, concept sketching, distressing if the costume calls for it, and prop building. Working on wigs/ventilating and applying the facepaint/makeup is also a favourite.
What are your favorite characters/types of characters to cosplay?
This is a difficult question! I’m quite often drawn to characters I relate strongly to and see myself in, or characters that are the complete opposite of me- both in appearance and personality. For example, I cosplay as Mollymauk (Critical Role), El Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth), and Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit) because the process to get into them completely transforms my appearance, and their personalities are nothing like mine. However I also cosplay as Nightcrawler (X-Men), Tauriel (The Hobbit), and Ladybug (Miraculous Ladybug) – and they are all characters that I see myself in.
How do you show off your cosplay? Do you attend cons, do photoshoots, etc.?
I attend conventions, and do photoshoots! I have numerous social media pages I post on (some more than others), and most recently I’ve been getting into competing in competitions.
What’s your dream cosplay?
Thorin Oakenshield was my dream cosplay since I started cosplaying in 2012. Now that I created that costume, I’m not sure I really have one! I have characters I would like to cosplay one day- such as Rapunzel (Tangled), Rufio (Hook), Carlos De Vil (Descendants) — but I wouldn’t consider those “dream cosplays”.
Do you have any funny cosplay stories or memories?
One year during Castle Point Anime Convention in New Jersey (I believe it was 2016 maybe?), I was cosplaying as Azazel from X-Men. That character pretty much looks like Satan: Red skin, yellow eyes, tail, goatee–the works. As I was driving to the convention with my mother and a few friends, we stopped at a red light. This red light just so happened to be right in front of a church. Right as we stopped, a priest came walking out.
I began to panic, of course- and right before we drove away when the light turned green- the priest and I made eye contact. I swear you could see that man’s soul leave his body.
The entire situation was incredibly hilarious and I hope that priest wasn’t absolutely mortified!
What are some of your favorite things about the cosplay community?
The sense of community was always something I connected with. Of course there are toxic pockets, but I’ve managed to find safe spaces with people I never would have had the opportunity to meet and become close to if it weren’t for cosplay.
What are some cosplay goals you have going forward?
My main goal is to just keep improve my abilities, keep expanding my network and social media platforms, and keep entering in competitions!
What inspires you to keep making cosplay?
Seeing other creative individuals and the work they produce! As well as my absolute need to build and craft and become these characters I love. Cosplay is therapeutic for me, and it helps me have a creative outlet and escape.
Where can we find your cosplay online?
Once my Website is up it will be under the url ToxieKat.com!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Feel free to reach out to me for anything! Questions? Advice? Commission work? Don’t hesitate to shoot me a message!