Our Rookie Review this week is Yelaina May (YM), a cosplayer based out of Canada that started her journey into the cosarena of madness in April of this year. YM shows a true dedication to cos and has been diligently working on perfecting her craft and keep pushing her builds to the next level of awesome.
YM was inspired to start cosplaying when she attended a convention a little while back.
“I went to my very first convention last year and saw all the amazing people dressed up in their stunning costumes and thought “We need to dress up next year!” So in the next few months following that I started to pick, and create my costumes.”
After that, she needed to pick a name. In the spirit of simplicity, YM went with a name that she’s pretty familiar with.
“I have a pretty unique name and I love it. Haha! So I sort of just went with that. It’s different, and pretty, but still easy to remember and spell. Even my video game characters are named Yelaina”.
Even though YM is a newbie, she’s somewhat of a cosplay purist, only cosplaying characters that she has some attachment to.
“Mostly I do characters I LOVE or feel strongly about. Maybe not the individual character, but the game or movie that they are from. I firmly believe in cosplaying things you actually know about.”
And while she is a purist, she’s not overly neurotic in regards to getting every detail into her costumes. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s ok to be a detailed cosplayer, but keeping it as an expression and not an obsession is key to living a somewhat stress-free cosplay existence.
“I try to get them fairly accurate to the source, unless I am gender swapping the character or something like that. But I am not so uptight about it. Something people always forget is that these characters are not real people most of the time, and some of the stuff the wear and do is not physically possible. So if I get a few straps or something out-of-place, that is just fine with me. Trying to make everything 110% source accurate will cause you so much unneeded stress.”
And as most cosplayers find about the cos community, it’s very supportive and welcoming. One of the things YM treasures about being in cosplay is the support she gets from other cosplayers. A self-admitted shy girl, cosplay has opened up a level playing field for her to meet people with common interests.
As far as people TM looks up to, she pegs Jessica Nigri because of her personality and talent, as well as her ability to make a living at cosplay. Her other cos role model is Kamui (Svetlana Quindt), the German cosplayer with some sick worbla skills. Not a bad top two.
YM’s inspirations have led to some great costumes. Her first cosplay clearly showcases her natural talents for costuming, as she produced a fantastic rendition of a Nightingale, The Elder Scrolls’ secret society of protectors for the Shrines of Nocturnal.
And while were on the topic of costumes, we’ll jump into YM’s thoughts on sexy cosplayers, body image, and all of that fun stuff. As you all know by now, the sexual nature of cosplay and criticism of it is a hot button issue for us here at Glomp. You’re up, YM.
“There will always be hate from people who don’t understand. I am very, “live and let live” about it all. I have nothing against the “sexy” cosplayers as long as they are as dedicated to what they make as the “accurate” cosplayers. Why hate on each other? And especially when the characters are already over sexualized. Why give the poor girl cosplaying this character a hard time, for making an outfit the same as it is in the game/movie/etc. People should just stop being so rude and mean. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but just be nice about it.”
And the answer to the question, do female cosplayers struggle with body image,
“You can remove the word “cosplayer” from that sentence and it still applies. As a girl, there will always be a struggle for me. I am actually very insecure about how I look. And people will always be mean and say hurtful things to you on the internet, you just have to try to ignore it, which is obviously hard.
But I have actually found that cosplaying has made me WAY more confident than I was before. Doesn’t mean I don’t still worry and get nervous though. One of my costumes is basically a fur bikini. Doesn’t leave a lot up to the imagination. Haha.”
And for her future in cosplay, YM clearly wants Glomp to be around for long haul, at least that’s what we got out of it.
“Cosplay career? Well just keep making costumes and attending conventions I guess! I love to see my followers grow and getting to meet amazing people from all over the world is so awesome, so I really hope things keep growing.
I am hoping to attend more conventions in the USA next year, depending on how much money I can save, haha. Hopefully get some more interviews like this. *wink wink*
I would also love to do some group cosplays with a bunch of people. And my dreams for my cosplay career would be to get invited to a convention as a guest. Oh, I would die of excitement!”
And that’s it nerds, Yelaina May Cosplay, coming to convention near you.
Here are some other fun facts about YM.
What’s your favorite junk food?
Does beer and pizza count? If not, I have the biggest sweet tooth, so any sort of candy or chocolate would work too.
Does beer and pizza count? Haha. I am vegetarian and have been all my life, but I love to eat interesting ethnic foods! Thai food or Japanese, or curry or Mexican.
Favorite activity outside of cosplay?
Reading/Playing video games is the obvious answer. But I actually grew up on a farm with Horses and have shown horses all my life rather competitively. That would have to be my very favorite thing to do other than cosplay, even if it doesn’t happen often anymore.
Best place you’ve ever traveled?
I went to Mexico with my fiancé a couple of years ago? That’s probably the most interesting place. I would LOVE to go to New Zealand some day though.
If someone were to write a book about your life up to this point, what would it be called?
“How to walk into obvious things like walls, door frames and tables”
What’s the weirdest thing someone has said to you either on social media or at a con?
Haha uhm…said? Not sure. But someone posted a dick pick on one of my pictures once… that was weird.
My favorite show right now is Arrow, so I will have to go with Green Arrow…Because, Stephen Amell. Haha.
Favorite character to cosplay?
I just love my Nightingale. It was my first cosplay ever, and I love the reactions I get from people when they recognize it. Plus I feel bad ass. 🙂
What’s the biggest struggle you’ve come across doing cosplay?
Money… always money. And then second would be finding the time.
THE RoOkiE RANT!
What’s one misconception about cosplay that you would like to put to rest?
There are so many… and this isn’t necessarily a misconception… but it bugs me the most, because I mostly do game characters:
We are real people, not a bunch of pretty pictures on your TV/computer. We actually have to be able to breathe and walk and sit and move in these costumes.
I am sorry that my skin doesn’t stick to random objects and hold them in place without straps like your game character’s does. I am sorry that the mask on that character is impossible to wear because I would suffocate.
Yes I know these things are not exactly accurate, you don’t have to tell me. I have probably studied this character more than you ever have or will. Deal with it.
We do this for fun and we love doing it, so your negative comments and criticism is not appreciated. Wow that sounded a little cranky…Haha oops!