“don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t cosplay a character because of your looks. You go rock whatever dang costume you want.”
It was 2015 and I was dropping Kiogenic at the local Christmas parade- where she was set to march with the fabulous Springfield Cosplay Group.
As per usual, she ditched me pretty quickly, and I ended up chatting with the stunning Daenerys cosplayer (who was mildly peeved that she kept getting identified as Elsa). I didn’t blame her. Daenerys is WAY cooler. She has DRAGONS!
This was Daniela, and we became Facebook friends after. That meant that I got to see ALL her amazing make-up tutorials and the odysseys of the Raven and Muffet cosplays.
(She was also super nice to Kiogenic and I when we went to the fabric store where she worked!)
Daniela has amazing style and class everyday, and she’s an exceptional cosplayer. Originally from Ecuador, she’s also our first International cosplayer, so a special welcome to Daniratoe here!
Name: Daniela Perdue (Daniratoe)
Day job?: Currently moving out of state, but I was Fabric Store Sales Associate in Springfield, Mo
Age-ish?:23 years old
Home base? Moving to Ft. Sill, OK (Lawton)
Why do you cosplay?
I’ve always thought of myself as a very creative person and cosplay gives me a way to create and play with my artistic abilities. I love sewing and other different types of crafting, and cosplay involves a lot of craftsmanship and handwork. It is a very fulfilling hobby and it makes it even better when the things I am creating are based in the fictional characters that I resonate the most with in many different levels. It is a lot of fun to go through the process of constructing these costumes and props and its even better when I see the reaction of people when I am finished with my projects. It is worth every moment, from start to finish, and it has helped with my self esteem a lot throughout the years.
How long have you been cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in 2012 back in my country, Ecuador. Back then, the resources were very limited: high quality wigs, for example, were not easily available and needed to be imported from overseas, as well as other small accessories. We have a wide variety of fabrics (A whole area of the city I lived in was nothing but fabric stores that covered 2 or 3 blocks of downtown) and other utensils and materials, like craft foam, fiberglass, EVA foam, etc. At the same time, the hobby was a growing giant, so events were scarce at first, and not very many people were aware or participating in the craft.
I came into the hobby when it was starting to gain more attention from local media and more events were being held and were open to the public. I am not fully familiar of how the Geek movement really started, but the people who did cosplay were few when I started. Back then, as well, many cosplayers relied on seamstresses (and from what I am aware of to this date, still do) to make most of the costumes, and other craftspeople who knew how to fabricate proper props, but today, the community has become larger and things have become easier to obtain, so the quality and quantity of costumes has improved a lot.
How do you choose your character(s)?
I personally don’t have a strict set of rules. A lot of the costumes I’ve done have been chosen either because I felt compelled and related to the character, or because I was included in cosplay groups, or simply, because their character design was absolutely perfect in my eyes. I do admit that a big influence for me to choose my next projects has a lot to do with the character’s popularity overtime and mainly stay away from Anime characters, not because I dislike the genre, but because I prefer western animation, designs and entertainment (for the most part).
I’ve cosplayed many famous characters from different shows and video games for these reasons, such as April O’Neil (TMNT), Betty Boop (1930), Daenerys Targaryen (Game of Thrones), Raven (Teen Titans), Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice Tv Show from 1989) and more.
I feel like I’ve evolved as a cosplayer since I started. Back in the first couple of years, my approach to designing the cosplays was to stick to the original designs. I am still fond of keeping the costume accurate, but I like to make them look more realistic and less cartoon-ey.
Do you have a signature, or favorite cosplay?
Raven has definitely become my signature cosplay, and she’s always been my favorite, just because I love Teen Titans and I love Raven herself. I’ve remade her costume recently and I am super happy with the result. The difference is stark, too.
Another staple and big favorite is my Muffet cosplay from Undertale, mainly because it was my very first time making big props (2 sets of extra arms)
and the first time a makeup test was the definer for me to make Muffet my project, haha.
Do you make, or buy your cosplays?
Most of my Cosplays were made by a seamstress back when I lived in Ecuador. When I moved to the States, costume making became much more expensive for me, and I didn’t know how to sew, so I no longer come up with 2 or 3 new costumes a year like I used to. The benefit of it though is it pushed me to actually learn how to make the costumes myself and to problem-solve a lot of the crafting process.
What advice do you have to other cosplayers?
To the new victims of this fun addiction: Don’t get intimidated by cosplay and the crafting process or by those who have been doing this longer than you. That doesn’t matter. You’re here to have fun and to use your imagination to create great things. If you commit yourself into making it happen, no matter what the result is, own it. We all learn new things and hey, lucky you, a lot of more experienced craftsmen and women have many good pointers and tutorials all over the internet. Also, don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t cosplay a character because of your looks. You go rock whatever dang costume you want.
To us more seasoned Cosplayers: be nice to those who are learning to do this new craft. You were there not too long ago, and you struggled. You also have awful projects that maybe didn’t come out as planned, and you also put hours, days, and weeks on them, and wore them proudly. This is not a contest of “who did it better.” Share your knowledge and help others improve. Cosplay is way more fun when you can stand beside someone else who has done the same character without finding their flaws.
What’s the best thing that someone has said to you about your cosplay?
People comment a lot for my choice of fabrics, and for my makeup. I appreciate it a lot when people notice these details, because they are usually the ones I’ve worked my hardest on.
What’s the worst thing that someone has said to you about your cosplay?
That I am either not the right skin tone for the character I am representing, or that I have the wrong body type for it. Just go away and be the miserable person you are somewhere else. I’m having fun over here.
Do you attend conventions? Which is your favorite?
I’ve attended to a couple in the US. I really wished I could attend more, but traveling costs can make or break you!
My first con in the US was Naka-Kon in Overland Park, KS thanks to the clubs I was part of during college. I attended for 3 years in a row until I graduated from school.
My favorite one though has to be A-kon in Fort Worth, TX. Much bigger and many many more talented people attend, and I had a blast getting to know so many of them.
I spoke to Daniela via Facebook Messenger.