Katy Ann, better known as Katy Bear Cosplay (KBC) is a 28-year-old adventurer from the land of Arizona. She started cosplaying in 2011 and has seen the industry and her popularity grow leaps and bounds over the past 3 years.
Cosplaying is in Katy Bear’s genes, literally. She was born on Halloween, making dressing up her birthright. She loves to sew, and gets a kick out of being able to create functional outfits.
KBC said, “I love sewing and dressing up. It’s very rewarding to wear something you worked hard on and have people compliment you.”
As for nerdy activities, KBC enjoys reading, video and computer games. She actually made it a point to differentiate between computer and video games during our interview, which pretty much cements her legacy as a true nerd.
Her unique styling reigns true to the originality of each character she cosplays, but also highlights some of her originality and creativity through each design. For Supergirl, she utilized an armor-like material that added another level of quality and craftsmanship. She also went minimalist with dark gold accents around her boots, top, and cape. All complemented by the belt around her pleated skirt.
Her efforts have not gone unnoticed, KBC has placed for the past three years in Otaku House’s Cosplay Idol. 4th place in 2011, 8th in 2012 and2nd in 2013. She also won Nightmare on Main (at Monsterland) in 2012.
And as KBC has become an extremely popular cosplayer, she remains a fan of the industry, as I find that most cosplayers are. She’s a huge fan of Enji Night, a cosplayer out of Budapest, Hungary and is quite admirable of the Kamui Cosplay’s overall ability. Not a bad top two if I can say so.
But even with all of the art form and creativity, a subculture within the subculture, The “nerd industry” has become somewhat mainstream over the past 3-5 years. While KBC thinks that the rising popularity is a good thing within the community, because it’s cool to be a nerd nowadays, some negatives can come with that.
There are cosplayers just reaching for likes. For what reason I have no idea, cosplaying isn’t a windfall career choice. Perhaps it feeds our perseverant need to be admired and adored.
Here’s KBC’s take on the matter.
“If they put on that shirt and they are not a fan of the character and just wear it to pretend I think it’s somewhat negative. Especially girls, because a stigma has come from it. Everyone is constantly questioning your “nerd cred” and it shouldn’t be that way. I just brush it off. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.”
She also mentioned about how she encountered a lot of negativity throughout her cosplay career.
“At first I really let the haters get to me, now I just try to brush off their negativity. I have had people who I thought were my friends that I found out were talking being my back. This has caused me to become somewhat withdrawn, and be a lot more careful about who my friends are.”
As for other aspects of the culture, the sexualization of comic book characters has come under fire because you now have a real-life comic book character walking down the aisle next to a 10-year-old kid and his soccer mom. It’s a touchy subject because comic book characters are hyper-sexualized, but can some women take it too far? probably. If I can get Lou Ferrigno to smile at a Con, then anything is possible.
KBC has done some risqué outfits in her time, her cosplay of Cammy from Streetfighter definitely raised some eyebrows, but her stance on the subject is that she’s not going to change her outfits to appease anyone (also a general consensus from cosplayers). If women want to be sexy, let them. If people don’t want to look, then don’t. Simple enough, KBC.
At the end of it all, KBC truly does this for fun. At this stage in her cosplay career, she says it’s turned into more of a side business than a hobby. With print sales, photo shoots and con-bookings, it’s enough to keep her busy throughout the year, but she’s very quick to say that if cosplay becomes a job, she will walk away.
” I still want to make sure I have fun though, the second it doesn’t become fun I am done.”
Well said, KBC. What fun is fun when it’s not fun anymore? No fun at all.
Here’s a few fun facts about KBC.
Favorite Junk Food? Oreo Cookies
Favorite Meal? Anything with Salmon
Favorite activity outside of cos? Reading and Video Games
Best Place You’ve ever traveled? I unfortunately have not traveled that much in my life, but probably Ouray, Colorado, it was a cute little town in the mountains with a hot spring!
If I wrote a book about your life, what would be the title? Katybear: Apainting Not Yet Finished
What’s the weirdest thing someone has said to you on social media or at a con? Hmm, I would have to say when someone asked me to marry them at a convention, I’m sure they were joking, but it caught me off guard.
Favorite superhero? Deadpool
Favorite character to cosplay? Cammy from Street Fighter
And that’s it folks, Katybear Cosplay has spoken. Check out her social media outlets for more information