Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners

Jolyne Kujo, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, costume is shot by Jason Felip last year at Magic CityEXPAND
Jolyne Kujo, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, costume is shot by Jason Felip last year at Magic City
Courtesy of Isabelle Scott

As comic conventions become increasingly more popular, Miami's local nerd- and pop-culture-loving communities have great options. From Animate! Miami to Florida Supercon and Magic City Comic Con, all are organized by the power that has taken human form in Mike Broder.

While Broder and his team prepare for Magic City Comic Con, which will take over the Miami Airport Convention Center this weekend, it's your humble responsibility to prepare what you'll wear. And, no, we're not talking regular human clothes. Now is your opportunity to transform your skin and become someone else. At least that's what these professional cosplayers are gearing up to do.

These gals — and guy — will be at MCCC in all their made-up glory for a chance to win part of the $3,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the best cosplayers. “The costume competition attracts the biggest audience at our events,” says Sandy Martin, cofounder of Magic City Comic Con. “It’s so much fun to cheer for the most creative, interesting, and spectacular costumes. The fans really get into the spirit at this event.”

So before you head to MCCC in that old, faded MTV tee, read up on some cosplaying tips from the pros. 

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (5)EXPAND
Courtesy of Sandy Tang

Sandy Tang (AKA Sandmuffin Makeup), Miami
Favorite fandom?

At this moment, it is One-Punch Man. My all time favorite is anything Ghibli, but Howl's Moving Castle is my number one.

Favorite character to dress up as?
I don't really have a favorite because I love them all. I would have to say Kitana from Mortal Kombat X would be the most worn.

Average time it takes you to make your costume?
If you count hours over 150. It really depends on how much time I spend each day and how complex the costume is. The costumes I've made so far are not complex. I want to start building armor and become better at props and that will take up a lot more than 150 hours.

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)?
I have been cosplaying for about two years.

Tips for beginner cosplayers?
Just go for it. When I started I just picked someone I wanted to cosplay and did tons of research online. It is a lot easier to find tutorials now, especially with YouTube. I would also Facebook message your favorite cosplayer or someone who has made something similar and ask them for advice.

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (8)
Courtesy of Jordan Rhine, photo by David Love Photography

Jordan Rhine (AKA Handsome Jordan), Newton Falls, Ohio, 29
Favorite fandom?

This is a tough one for me since I'm all over the place with my fandoms, but I would have to say Pokemon has been the love of my life since I was 10 years old. It seems no matter how old i get, I still end up getting the new games when they come out.

Favorite character to dress up as? 
My favorite cosplay will always be my Dragoon cosplay from Final Fantasy XIV. I spent over 500 hours crafting this suit of armor and another 70 airbrushing it. It's the actual armor set they have in the game and being able to bring it to life will always be special to me.

Average time it takes you to make your costume? 
This depends on the complexity of the cosplay. On average, I would say I put around 100 hours into most costumes I craft.

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)? 
I have been cosplaying for four years now.

Tips for beginner cosplayers? 
My best tip for beginners in cosplay, and really all artistic mediums in general, is to not let the fear of making mistakes keep you from pushing yourself to improve as an artist. Take risks, make impossible things, and, above all, have fun! 

Mira Jane She Devil, Fairy Tail, costume is shot by Timeshift Studios at Morikami Gardens.EXPAND
Mira Jane She Devil, Fairy Tail, costume is shot by Timeshift Studios at Morikami Gardens.
Courtesy of Isabelle Scott

Isabelle Scott (AKA Haute Cosplay), Miami, 32
Favorite fandom? 

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Most of my cosplays are anime inspired, but JoJo's is hands down my favorite anime and manga. [Nobuyoshi] Araki, creator and illustrator, is an artistic genius. He incorporates high fashion, Italian high renaissance, rock music, and classic shonen storytelling. 

Favorite character to dress up as? 
My favorite characters to dress up as are strong powerful women. I do a lot of fighting game cosplays such as Mileena from Mortal Kombat or Juri Han from Street Fighter, but my favorite character is Jolyne Cujoh. I debuted her last year at Magic City Comic Con, she's the lead female protagonist in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Average time it takes you to make your costume? 
I can take anywhere from a week to two months on a costume. I make all my costumes from scratch. I constantly challenge myself, learn new skills, and continue to one-up myself.

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)? 
I am a late bloomer! I have been cosplaying for a little over a year. I have no idea why I didn't find cosplay sooner. Cosplay helped me discover my voice as an artist and introduced me to some of the most amazingly talented passionate people that I've ever met. 

Tips for beginner cosplayers? 
Have fun and do something you love. Cosplay is whatever you want it to be. There's a misconception that only real cosplayers make their cosplays — I don't believe that, because cosplay encompasses so many artistic expressions from performance art to costuming. I encourage anyone whose considered cosplaying, to start small and experience your first con. You'll love it.

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (3)
Courtesy of Olyvia Limonte, Photo by FFFUUUtography

Olyvia Limonte (AKA Cameo Carousel), Cuba, 22
Favorite fandom? 
Mass Effect.

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Favorite character to dress up as? 
Jack from Mass Effect.

Average time it takes you to make your costume? 
It all depends on what I'm making. I have a costume that so far has been in the works for six months, and others that I complete in hours. The time it takes me depends on the level of difficulty, and also how fast shipping is!

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)? 
I have been cosplaying for about four years now. It's definitely a fun hobby.

Tips for beginner cosplayers? 
Just do it. Start small and build up from there. Don't bite more than you can chew and enjoy the little things. 

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (7)
Courtesy of Alexia Jean

Alexia Jean (AKA Alexia Jean Grey), Delray Beach, 24
Favorite fandom?

It's hard to pick a fandom. When I was younger what really brought me into nerd culture was definitely anime and gaming. However, as I got older I grew more fond of Western comics as well. If I had to pick a handful of things, it would probably be Sailor Moon, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, and a plethora of fighting games. 

Favorite character to dress up as?
It's hard to just pick one character. I would say to date, my favorite one right now is my Warrior Princess Peach costume. My all-time favorite fighting game is Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Princess Peach is my main character.

Average time it takes you to make your costume?
It really all depends. I have made costumes in two weeks as well as two months, generally speaking, though. The longest project I have is the one I am working on currently, which is a huge armor set from World of Warcraft. I started in early Novemeber and definitely won't be finshed for a few months. 

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)?
I started cosplaying back in 2009 when I moved from Wisconsin to South Florida. I met a group of cosplayers, and they took me to my first convention, and the rest is history! 

Tips for beginner cosplayers?
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, and never be afraid to be yourself. I get a lot of messages from people who want to start cosplaying but are afraid to because they feel they need to be perfect or the best. Like anything in life, you just need to try, and in time with hard work and passion you will see yourself grow as an artist.

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (4)
Courtesy of Jennifer Hung

Jennifer Hung (AKA Mei Lee), South Florida, 28
Favorite fandom?

Doctor Who, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Studio Ghibli, Once Upon a Time, The Walking Dead, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and anything DC and Marvel.

Favorite character to dress up as?
Any female heroin, but as of right now, Mulan. It was an honor being asked to cosplay as Mulan and represent Ming-Na Wen for MCCC.

Average time it takes you to make your costume?
I consider myself a passionate perfectionist when it comes to building costumes and props. To avoid rushing, I will give myself at least three to six months in advance before the month of the convention.

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)?
It started back in 2004, when I cosplayed as Rinoa from Final Fantasy. I'll never forget how quickly my mother jumped on the bandwagon to help me design Rinoa's blue outfit from scratch! I started cosplaying professionally back in 2014. 

Tips for beginner cosplayers?
When it comes to cosplay, there really isn't a set rule on how accurate your costume needs to be. If you want to add a twist to yours, go for it. There will always be people who believe the costume should be 100 percent accurate, but when you add your own artistic interpretation to the costume, the character becomes yours and makes it more fun.

Local Cosplayers Appearing at Magic City Comic Con Offer Tips for Beginners (9)
Courtesy of Doris Torres

Doris Torres (AKA Harley's Love Shack), Florida, 24
Favorite fandom?

I am a very big Batman and Steven Universe fan.

Favorite character to dress up as? 
I really love cosplaying as Harley Quinn just because she is so sweet and ridiculously funny. I'm very attached to the character and loved her since I was kid. 

Average time it takes you to make your costume? 
Depending how detailed or difficult a costume is, it could take me a week or a month. I like to take my time and make it look good.

How long have you been cosplaying (professionally and for fun)?
I started cosplay at 16, so it has been a long time now and I still have so much to learn. I really don't think I am ever going to stop cosplaying.

Tips for beginner cosplayers?
For anyone getting to cosplay, YouTube is your best friend. Be sure to do a lot of research and don't be scared to mess up.

Magic City Comic Con
January 15 through 17 at the Miami Airport Convention Center, 711 NW 72nd Ave., Miami. The signature Magic City Comic Con Costume Competition takes place on Saturday night, January, at 7:45pm on the Main Stage. Visit magiccitycomiccon.com

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miles
Miami Airport Convention Center

777 NW 72nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33126

305-260-8941

www.macc.com


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