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Andy Rae

80s Nintendo t-shirts

Andy Rae Cosplay (15)In this edition of The Rookie Review, we meet Andy Rae (AR), a 27-year-old cosplayer out of British Columbia, Canada that is anything but a rookie as far as magnitude of work. Only in the cosplay community for a year, AR’s quality rivals and in most cases surpasses the work of seasoned veterans. Not that it’s a competition, AR would be the first to tell you that she’s not the best, but in the broad scope of costume building, her work is magnificent, and it serves as a benchmark for other cosplayers in the field.

Her detail is to be marveled, as she strives on pushing the envelope with her builds. But even more importantly than her work, her personality is rock-solid. She’s in this thing for the love of it all. Serving as somewhat of a senpai, she participates in various crafting tutorial groups in order to grow the hobby of cosplay in a productive way.

In a short time, she’s become one of the go-to cosplayers for information and advice. She’s not afraid to share, but that’s why she’s here, to inspire. And inspire she shall.

A gamer, A nerd, A bright light. Enjoy our interview with the lovely Andy Rae.

Where Are You Andy Rae?

Earth Name
Andrea Bridger
Cosplay Name
Andy Rae
Age
27
Location
British Columbia, Canada
How Long Have You Been Cosplaying?
For roughly a year now
Social Media Sites
Facebook
Deviant Art
Booking Email: andyrae10@gmail.com

Explain your journey into cosplay?
I have always made my own costumes for Halloween but I never knew there was a community that allowed you to dress up as your favourite characters more than once a year. Cosplay was an amazing outlet for my creative side and it gave me the ability to do what I love all year-long.

How would you describe your style of cosplay? I would say that I tend to stick to large, complicated builds. I love to challenge myself and push my skills further with every cosplay I make.Andy Rae Cosplay (2)

What do you love most about the cosplay industry?
I love the people! I have made so many amazing friends because of cosplay and the community is just so wonderful. Everyone is really supportive and fun and it is just a great group to be apart of!

The best cosplay you’ve ever seen?
There are many amazing cosplays out there and I don’t ever rank them as “best” or “worst”. However one of my FAVORITE cosplays I have ever seen is by Enayla Cosplay and that is her Masquerade Armor from Guild Wars 2. That armour blows my mind every time I see it!

What are your Other Nerdy interests?
I am a huge gamer! I have been playing World of Warcraft for 10 years now.

Newbie cosplayers, what should they know?
Don’t be afraid to push yourself and go big with your first cosplay! The learning experience is half the fun of cosplay and so often I have people tell me that they really want to attempt a certain build, yet they are afraid it will be too hard. I say go for it, jump right in and don’t worry about how it turns out because no matter what you will be so proud of yourself for trying something new!

What does cosplay mean from a creative standpoint?
It is my ultimate creative outlet and my passion for crafting runs so deep. When I sit and craft the world just melts away and no matter how my day has been, crafting just puts me at ease. It is very therapeutic!

What are your thoughts on fake nerds? 
I am definitely not the person who would ever go up to someone and challenge the validity of their passion or interests. I think that when we, as a community, began calling people out or questioning people’s motives, we begin to take away some of the amazing community vibes cosplayers and nerd fandom has worked so hard to build.

Do you think it’s wrong for people to criticize cosplay as being overtly sexual when the comic book characters you’re portraying are just as sexy?
I think people are always going to find flaws with hobbies and interests and deeming some cosplays far too sexual is just people looking for an excuse to criticize other individuals.

I feel like if you respect yourself and are good and kind towards people, then it shouldn’t mater how you dress. I firmly believe in never judging people based on what they wear and that everyone is entitled to dress however makes them feel the best.

Andy Rae Cosplay (13)How does cosplay in the US compare to cosplay in other countries? Are we ahead or behind the curve?
Well since I am from Canada, yet I attend many US cons in a year, I think I have a great perspective on North American cosplay. For US cosplay in general I think that the community is quite ahead of the curve, particularly in comparison to Cosplay in Canada.

So many US cons seem to be involving cosplay more and more in the itinerary of the conventions (masquerades, contests, dances etc.) and the amount of cosplayers at US conventions is staggering.

Canada is beginning to get involved in the world cosplay scene and the number of cosplayers attending conventions is growing every year, yet we are still young in the grand scheme of things and have a ways to go in regards to catching up with the volume of US cosplayers.

Is there a struggle with body image in cosplay?
I think that body image struggles are just a thing that happens regardless of cosplay or not. I think everyone has days of high confidence and days of low and it is no different being in cosplay or not.

There are days when I am in cosplay and not feeling my best and I can get self-conscious at times, and then there are other days when I am feeling fabulous and am just loving rocking out my cosplay! I think it is just a people thing as opposed to a cosplay thing.

Do you think there’s a career in your cosplay?
I am just taking things as they come. For me it is something that is so much fun and a huge passion in my life and if I make a side-career out of it great! If not then I am still doing something I love so much and just having a blast every convention I go to!

How do you balance the real-life aspects of your life versus the fantasy world of social media and comic conventions?
I think you just need to keep everything in perspective. Sometimes cosplay can take over your life and you always must remember to keep things in check. Always value the importance of school, work, family and friends as well as cosplay.

What’s the one thing you want to accomplish with your cosplay?
I want to inspire others to push themselves and try things in cosplay they never thought they could attempt!Andy Rae Cosplay (3)

What’s your take on fan interaction?
I always try to answer everyone I can. If they took the time to write me I feel like they deserve a thoughtful response back!

Are fans typically understanding that you’re pretty busy or do they take it personally?
Fans are usually really understanding, they know how many messages I get a day and that I get particularly busy around con weekends. People understand that I am just a girl and not a robot.

What’s the biggest struggle you’ve come across doing cosplay?
Time management, I always seem to leave some things to the last-minute and the days before the con I am usually pulling all nighters to get everything done.

How do your non-cosplay friends and family support your journey?
My family and non-cosplay friends are super supportive of my cosplay life! My mom actually creeps my Facebook page on the regular to make sure people are liking my stuff and being nice…oh mom’s, always so protective haha.

What’s next for your career?
I have had a lot of commission requests lately so I am thinking of taking commissions on full-time during the winter season.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Pizza or poutine!

Favorite meal?
Steak and mashed potatoes.

Favorite activity outside of cosplay?
Snowboarding!

Andy Rae Cosplay (25)

Best place you’ve ever traveled?
Probably either Florence Italy, or London England

If someone were to write a book about your life up to this point, what would it be called?
Canuck Cosplay: Crafting North of the Wall

What’s the weirdest thing someone has said to you either on social media or at a con?
Haha that’s a tough one, someone once asked me to promote their cat’s page, and the page was from the cat’s perspective.

Favorite superhero?
Wolverine, because he is Canada’s greatest superhero!

Favorite character to cosplay?
Anything Blizzard related.

Favorite Superpower?
Shapeshifting

What’s the one thing you want to accomplish with your cosplay?
I want to inspire others to push themselves and try things in cosplay they never thought they could attempt!

What’s your take on fan interaction?
I always try to answer everyone I can. If they took the time to write me I feel like they deserve a thoughtful response back!

Are fans typically understanding that you’re pretty busy or do they take it personally?
Fans are usually really understanding, they know how many messages I get a day and that I get particularly busy around con weekends. People understand that I am just a girl and not a robot.

The RoOkiE RaNt!

What’s one misconception about cosplay that you would like to put to rest?
That girls cosplay just for attention. So many of my friends are exactly like me and do it for the love of the craft. We wouldn’t spend hours, sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears unless we were absolutely in love with what we were making! Cosplay is about the craft, not about the likes!

Photo credits: Eurobeat Kasumi, Benjamin Sim, Aka Maple, Brian J Matis, Martin Wong, Addie Davies, Vivid Vision, WeNeals,ZRB, Tomas Lepka

 

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