Cosplaying as art goes beyond the clothes you wear; as with our favourite movies and series, the characters come to life with make-up and expressions. Make-up cosplay is an aspect of cosplaying that we don't get to see done often and when we do see it done, it's usually done in conjunction with a full costume. It is refreshing to see when people do their own thing and put an amazing on the things we already know, which is what Nichelle does as a make-up cosplayer. I've seen very few cosplayers do cosplay make-up in general and even fewer do it the way she does.
Nichelle is popularly known by her cosplay name Xravenmadx after the famous character Raven from Teen Titans. She chose her cosplay name cause she loves the character, and it has been an essential part of her childhood; she couldn't think of a better name that encompasses her.
Nichelle started her journey in August 2017 when she first started learning professional make-up artistry; she has always been a cosplay lover but only began to take that journey seriously when she started learning to do make-up. "I've always loved make-up, and it's my form of art; that's why I chose it as my form of cosplaying these characters love," she said, "I've always wanted to cosplay in some way and to watch people do it and go for comic cons really inspired me and made me start to take my journey seriously" she continued.
The choice to cosplay using make-up was her way of making the most of what she had; she was already learning to do make-up, so Nichelle decided to use what was available to create what she loves; in a way, it's a form of closet cosplay. A significant factor in Nichelle taking the initiative to start cosplaying seriously was her wanting to be more serious about her creativity. She also saw other black creators in the cosplay space doing such amazing things, and that gave her the leap she needed to dive right into her version of cosplaying.
One of the best parts of cosplaying for her is that she gets to be these characters she loves. She also said, "Besides being these characters I love so much, I get to be someone that others can look to also, representing people like me in these spaces". She believes representation is important; seeing these characters, you love come to life and look like you is a profound feeling.
The 29-year-old cosplayer is big on making the most of what you have, and this goes into her process of picking a character to cosplay, taking stock of what she has and what she can create with that. She also recreates characters based on inspiration from things she sees and wants to try. A character favourite of hers that she has cosplayed is Lola from Dragon Ball; she loved it so much cause it took her back to her childhood and memories with her and her family.
Nichelle is a full-time content creator and gets terrific support from her partner and family to pursue what she loves doing; they are her fundamental support system on her journey. When asked what keeps her going on the days she feels like giving up, she mentioned her family, but she also said, "When I think of my journey so far, I realize how far I've come, and I've come too far to give up on myself now" which is a very profound statement cause it's human to forget how far we've come when we're not yet where we want to be. Nichelle also credited her community, from the other creators to the people who love what she does, as one of the other reasons for her to keep going as they encourage her to continue on her unique path.
Cosplaying is a personal art form that takes on various forms when done by various people, and Nichelle is a prime example of that. As she continues this form of art, it'll be amazing to see what more she creates going forward; truly one-of-a-kind in her art form.
About the Author: 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.
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