"I never thought I'd be doing cosplay full time; it's something I always loved but only discovered I could do it all year round," Destany Brown said as we talked over zoom.
On a random Wednesday; Afternoon for me, morning for her, we sat down and had a call over zoom where we talked about all things cosplay and being the Sunflow3r Samurai.
Destany Brown is a Cosplayer Based in San Diego, California. Massage therapist by day and any character she wants at night, okay, I'm making it sound like an alter ego, but Yes, she cosplays anytime she wants.
From being a little child dressing up for Halloween with so much enthusiasm, Destany has always been a lover of cosplay, and dressing up with her family being so supportive of her cosplay from a young age, drove her always to outdo herself every Halloween.
The discovery of Comic Cons made her realize she didn't have to wait for Halloween to dress up and that this was something she could do anytime. With the shutdowns Covid brought, it was more than just an idea. She decided to start cosplaying on TikTok for fun one day, which became her covid adventure. Dressing up every day creating cosplay TikTok's while learning the intricacies of the app, she never really thought it would be such a massive thing as it was till she got her first semi-viral video and then realized it could be a big deal, "I started doing cosplay on TikTok for fun, didn't realize it would actually be this popular till I got my first semi-viral video" she said.
The name Sunflow3r Samurai was inspired by her all-time favorite Anime, Samurai Champloo, which has the character Seizo Kasumi, the Sunflower Samurai in the series. She loves the series and has cosplayed her favorite characters from it. Her second favorite Anime is Afro Samurai, as it's one of the first Anime to showcase a Black character and because it contains a Samurai, something we noticed as a trend with her which we laughed about.
Although a lot of her clothing items are bought and up-cycled from vintage stores, all her props are handmade by her for each character; she said, "I won't lie to you, I hate sewing, so most of my costumes are made from thrift clothing materials, but I make all my props by hand." This is a testament to her skill as a cosplayer, as all her props are beautifully crafted.
When asked about her favorite cosplay she's done, she referenced Beast Boy, which is one of the first cosplays she started by saying, "My favorite cosplay is beast boy, not necessarily cause of the level of skill of the cosplay, but cause I go back to it cause it's one of my first and it shows how much I've grown as a cosplayer that's what makes it my favorite." She graciously talked about her favorite cosplayer Cutiepie Sensei who is a fantastic cosplayer who makes everything by hand, from costume to props, and how she inspires her as a cosplayer.
Seeing that she never thought her cosplay journey would take a turn the way it did, she reiterated how vital her community Is to her, she's very transparent with them about her struggles, and they're very supportive of her. They keep her going on the days she feels like quitting and remind her how good she is.
One of the biggest struggles she faces as a cosplay creator is the execution in the sense that when she's about to embark on a big project and psychs herself out. She sometimes battles with Impostor Syndrome but realizes that it's not as tasking as she thought once she begins to do it. "I feel the most difficult thing for me is sometimes self-doubt, but once I start small, I realize it's coming together that encourages me to keep going and get into the flow," were her words.
Looking to the future, we talked about her upcoming projects, including a Cyborg Cosplay to go with the previous Beast boy cosplay because there aren't many female Cyborgs. She's also considering something to do with the Multiverse of Madness that Marvel released with the new Dr. Strange.
Overall a great experience talking to Destany Brown about her cosplay journey, and I can't wait to see all the fantastic things she's going to do.
Her IG & Tik Tok: Sunflow3rSamurai
Author’s Bio: Oluwatobi Omotoso is a writer, content creator, Social Media Manager, and marketing strategist. She's an avid treehugger and lover of all things sci-fi. She has been compared to the Joker in personality tests, and her friends lovingly call her a Megalomaniac.