Interview and photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Mae-Gwyn Cosplay loves everything sparkly, colourful, and fantastical. She is a Master level cosplayer from Greater Montreal and has been cosplaying since 2012. She typically cosplays idols and magical girls, though she has occasionally branched out to video games and live-action films. Last summer Mae and her friend Anniechie Designs won the Canadian World Cosplay Summit Preliminaries. They will represent Team Canada in Nagoya, Japan, this summer.
Cosplay fans can meet Mae-Gwyn Cosplay, Anniechie Designs, and more at the 2023 edition of the Cornwall and Area Pop Event (CAPE) on Saturday, April 22nd, and Sunday, April 23rd, at the Benson Centre in Cornwall.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – Tell us the process of getting ready to cosplay. Do you do your own makeup/style your wigs? Do you get help from others?
“I usually start with getting dressed in the base layers, doing my makeup, then putting on the rest. My wigs are usually the last thing I put on, though if I have any cumbersome parts like armour or constraining clothing, I will put the wig on before that. Most of the time I’m able to get ready by myself, though, for bigger costumes, I usually need help from my partner or friends.”
2 – How have you evolved as a cosplayer compared to when you first started?
“It’s amazing what you can do in the span of ten years. I started off making really simple garments, not knowing how to work with patterns and following tutorials online word for word. Now I am able to come up with my own solutions for making more complex garments, styling wigs and even making large and complex props. I still have a lot to learn; I’m always improving my skills and trying new things!”
3 – Do you collaborate and cosplay with others? Tell us about it.
“I do collaborate with others; that is part of the fun! I normally do group cosplays with close friends though recently, I’ve done group photoshoots at conventions where I’ve never met the others before. It’s a great way to meet new people in the fandoms that you like. My most notable collaborations have been for cosplay competitions like with AnnieChie Designs for WCS or idol dance groups like Sunrise Montreal.”
4 – Briefly tell us about your creative process from start to finish when making a cosplay.
“I usually start out with a spreadsheet detailing all the materials I will need, all the pieces I will need to make, as well as the potential costs. I typically start building from the base layers out so that everything fits like I want it to. For example, to build the hoopskirt before the skirt. Sometimes if I’m at a block, I will move onto something small like accessories just to get my creative juices flowing again.”
5 – What advice do you have for people just starting in cosplay?
“Start simple, even if it just means taking things from your closet and styling your own hair a certain way to emulate a beloved character! You don’t have to start cosplaying with incredible sewing skills or impressive armour builds. You don’t even need to have a whole lot of money to start. Find a character that you really enjoy and build from there, even if it’s an original outfit!”
Learn more about Mae-Gwyn Cosplay on Facebook.