Sci-fi and cosplay could genuinely be an endeavour for world peace; I say that as a joke, but there's some reality to it; Sci-fi and Cosplay transcend Generations, races, cultures and religions. The love for characters and movies transcends physical boundaries, and that's what makes it unique; it's a romantic take, of course, but one can always dream. You're wondering what this has to do with anything; the cosplayers I've met doing this series are of all works of life, cultures and creeds, but they all share one thing they love for characters and creating.
This week I spoke to Elizabeth Lau, officially known as Kittie Cosplay, on her love for cosplay and characters; I first came across her cosplay when I saw Wakanda forever as she embodied Namora in the elaborate costume she made from scratch. The name Kittie comes from her love for furry felines; it's been her nickname for a large part of her life as her name Elizabeth transitioned from Lizzie to Kittie. Born and raised in the Bay Area of San Francisco, California, Kittie has always loved playing dress up and making costumes; she made her first costume at 12, which is quite impressive. Even though she loved costumes and dressing up, she didn't realize there was a term for what she loved doing; Kittie discovered the term cosplay in 2013. "I didn't realize there was a name for this thing I loved doing since I was a child, so I consider my official start as a cosplayer in 2013," she said.
When it comes to cosplaying, Kittie tries to create most of her costumes from scratch, but in cases where the costume is more complex, she thrifts items and upcycles them to fit the look she's going for; she tries to do justice to the characters by making them as accurate as she can. When she talks about her creative process, you can see her dedication to these characters with the amount of research and sketching that goes into it. "When creating a cosplay, I first research the character's appearance in all its forms and take sample images I would use to create mine, like my Namora cosplay. I was making this when the first teaser came out for the movie and was working based on screenshots and the comic book descriptions," she said. "That's how I was able to create a design that seemed near identical to what was in the movie, and it was a gamble cause they could change a lot at the movie's final cut, " she continued.
Cosplaying has always been a creative outlet for kittie as she's a creative person and loves the arts, so it was a natural extension of her artistic prowess. There's an evolution in Kitties' love for cosplay; when she initially began, and till now, the best part of cosplaying is getting to be the characters, she loves so much. As she started going out and interacting with people at comic cons and other events, there became an added love of seeing the joy on people's faces as she cosplayed these characters that they also loved. "The best part of cosplaying was originally my creative outlet and the love for these characters, and it still is, but there's this added layer now of the joy of seeing people love these characters, which is a huge reward in itself", she explained.
Her support system is a huge part of her journey; her parents have always been supportive of her cosplay journey, and now she has a supportive husband who also joins her cosplaying sometimes. Her father is an artistic person as well, and that helped in her creative journey and being able to express her creativity through cosplay.
When asked how she keeps going even when it's difficult, she said, "Being in Cosplaying spaces and going to conventions, there's a feeling of being among like-minded souls that fuels me to keep going; the feeling of community is a significant part of the journey". Kittie also mentioned that she doesn't take cosplay too seriously; she enjoys the journey and where it takes her.
Kittie has an immense love for the Power Rangers, and this came through when I asked her about her favourite cosplay she's ever done. She mentioned the Yellow Power Ranger as the best cosplay she's done to date as it holds a significant tie to her childhood; "My favourite cosplay has to be the yellow power ranger, it's so dear to my heart even though I didn't make it myself. My love for the character is so significant I had to have it all commissioned to get the exact intricate details of the costume. The yellow power ranger is a comfort character as the Power Rangers was such a relatable show to my experience in high school, especially going through an environment where you're different and don't fit in; the characters empowered me," She explained. She continued talking about her experience and how the characters shaped and gave her the courage as a teenager to be a more confident person.
Kittie Cosplay is truly a force to be reckoned with; having been in the game for so many years, she's begun taking her daughter along in her cosplay adventures, potentially birthing the next generation of cosplayers; she's genuinely Unique.