OhHeyABear - Sarah

About OhHeyABear - Sarah

Introduction - What is it like being a Cosplayer?

Hi! I'm Sarah of OhHeyABear Cosplay! I've been interested in cosplay for a long time, from the first time I ever heard about it when I was twelve. Who doesn't want to be their favorite character? My grandmother would humor me, and make me simple costumes when I was little, and inspired me to learn how to sew. I've only been cosplaying for about a year, and I've already learned so much. Being a cosplayer is freeing! You get to take a moment to be who or whatever you want to be!

What are your next goals?

Oh gosh! I'm really not sure yet. There are a ton of things I'd like to make, but I'm not really sure what I'll be tackling next. I think I'd really like to make something from CLAMP, who have produced some of my favorite mangas. I'd also like to give working with Worbla a shot, because it looks WAY too fun, and a store is now selling it in my hometown! I guess in the short-term, I'd like to get a proper photoshoot set up for San. I didn't have a chance to get some good pictures of her, and would love to go out in nature and be the Wolf Princess!

Cosplay Characters

In order since 2013, I've made: Sailor Jupiter (Sailor Moon, first version) Sylveon (Pokemon, Gijinka) Orihime Inoue (Bleach, Hueco Mundo Arc) Petal the Faerie (Original Character) Sailor Jupiter (Updated, Sailor Moon, manga version) Princess Serenity (Sailor Moon, Manga Version) San (Princess Mononoke)

What does Cosplay mean to you?

For me, cosplay is a wonderful collage of so many things! It's more than just dressing up, it's research, problem solving, constructing, failing, persevering, succeeding and celebrating! There's nothing more satisfying than putting on your whole costume for the first time after so much hard work, dedication and love. While it's frustrating during the process, I love looking back and seeing how I overcame various obstacles during a costume's construction. I feel that those struggles make the costume even more rewarding to wear when you're finished. Cosplay has not only given me a hobby, but a source of practical skills, as well. Guess who doesn't worry when a button falls off! Cosplay has also become a huge source of confidence and happiness for me. I feel like a new person when I'm in costume. In everyday life I can be somewhat shy, but being in costume helps me to overcome that. I love talking with other people about how things were made, favorite characters, discussing plots, or just chatting in general. Having less inhibitions has helped me make so many friends in the cosplay world, and meet so many interesting people I might not ever have had the chance to meet. It's so much fun to meet people who share the same interests as you, and to see someone's face light up when you're portraying their favorite character. One of my favorite costumes to wear has been Princess Serenity, because all of the kids at the con get so excited to meet a "real princess."

Who have been your biggest influences/role models/mentors?

There are been many people who have inspired me to cosplay from many parts of my life. My grandmother was the most influential person on my path to cosplaying. She taught me how to sew when I was younger, and I wish I would have had the chance to learn more from her while I still had the time. Even though she's passed away, I still look to her for encouragement and inspiration. I know that if she could see my progress, she'd be so proud. I went from not being able to sit still at the sewing machine to hand-sewing over 1,500 beads on a single bodice! I also remember when cosplay was still relatively small, and cosplayers like Yaya Han and Lillyxandra (of Firefly Path) were just getting started! It was fun to see people like me who were using their creativity and artisticness to create my favorite characters, I just knew I wanted to be a part of it. Now I have cosplayers that I'm happy to call personal friends that help influence me! The lovely ladies Effy and Aly of Kirakira Cosplay were so helpful and encouraging while making my last few cosplays! Of course Naoko Takeuchi, creator of Sailor Moon was probably on of the biggest driving forces of me wanting to cosplay. Sailor Moon has been my biggest love since childhood, and I always wanted to be a Senshi!

Do you have any advice or suggestions for upcoming Cosplayers?

Don't give up!! Keep going!! Every single cosplayer started as a beginner. Every. Single. One. No one woke up one morning and cranked out a perfectly constructed, professional-level cosplay without prior experience. I can promise that every single cosplayer started where you are now. You'll keep getting better and better the more you work at it! Try to learn something from everything you make, even if that something is "I'm never doing ________ that way again." Pick something you love, have fun, and be proud that you are representing something that makes you happy. There are so many ways to approach cosplay, so learn what you're best at or enjoy the most, and go at it! Don't be afraid to try new things either! Armor cosplays are intimidating, but there are tons of cool materials and tutorials! Make up might not be your thing, but it adds a lot to the cosplay, and can be super expressive! Props are complex, but can be super fun to pose with, and can really be a huge asset in representing your character. Just go for it!

What is the most negative experience you've dealt with while cosplaying, and how did you handle it?

The thing that first came to mind was being sexually harassed. We had a small Bleach group (my boyfriend as Grimmjow, my best friend as Nel and myself as Orihime), and were approached by a guy on the street, who pointed out who my boyfriend and friend were cosplaIying as. He then pointed to me and said "I have no idea who you could be." I joked that he must not have been paying attention seems how my character had been involved from the series' beginning, and he replies that he would have never have guessed it because my "boobs are far too small to be Orihime," and that my costume was awful because of it. While I probably shouldn't have responded at all and given him attention, I managed to come back really quickly that "I'll work on my pair when you work on yours," and kept walking down the street with my head held high, and my friends' mouths agape. Going back to that "cosplay give me confidence" thing, I wasn't going to let some random jerk's unwanted opinion get to me. I worked hard, loved my costume and character, and wasn't going to give some creep the satisfaction of me sticking around and arguing. Don't give jerks the time of day, and don't be afraid to report them to the con staff or proper authorities if you're feeling harassed or unsafe.

Any final remarks or shout-outs?

I may or may not have super-geeked-out when I got approached to talk about cosplay! A big thanks to my boyfriend Jeff and best friend Jonna for cosplaying with me! HI MOM!!