Name and Social Info?
Do you run a business you'd like to promote or do you have one in mind you'd like to lift up? Tell us about it!
In addition to cosplaying I voice act! You can find my reel at jtaylorvo.com. Aside from that, I'd love to lift up the It Gets Better Project! It’s a nonprofit that helps uplift and empower LGBTQ+ youth.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Honestly? Any profession I’ve wanted to attempt I’ve attempted at some point in my life. Once my brain latches onto an idea, it doesn't let go until I’ve tried it. I've done cosplay commissions, freelance graphic design, portrait photography, voice acting, artist alleys, vlogging, Twitch streaming, vtubing... The one profession I'd love to focus on pursuing more regularly though is voiceover.
What made you start creating/cosplaying?
I was a big dork in middle school who saw one too many Kingdom Hearts cosplay skits on YouTube. Soon enough baby Jupi found out about Anime Expo in Los Angeles and went "Wooooow!! There's entire conventions near me where people do this?! How do I do that too?!"
My first cosplay ended up being Chezem from an old dating sim called "Shall We Date: My Sweet Prince". It was fraying absolutely everywhere and my dollar store eyeliner was dripping in the 100° LA heat, but I was THRIVING. I've been doing this since 2010 and haven't stopped loving it.
What is your favorite tool you use daily?
Adobe Illustrator! I feel like knowing how to make vector artwork and clean graphics in general has really helped me in nearly every creative endeavor. Cosplay wise I’ve used it to make cut files for my Cricut machine, trace over references to make patterns for props, and designed cosplay cards to give out at conventions. It's really useful.
What is your favorite Arda Wig? Why?
It's a tossup between Magnum and Matilda for sure. Magnums are always my go to base wig for short styles because of how easy it is to do a million different things to it like curling or spiking. I love that I can reuse them for other cosplays too! Matilda on the other hand is such a comfortable lace front to work with. I used them for both my Alucard and my Fearne cosplays because of how lovely the curls hold their shape and fall.
What advice do you have for creators just starting out?
You’re not going to be good at everything right away! Don’t be afraid of messing something up as you learn how to do it correctly. I negatively compared myself to more experienced creatives way too often while I was adding all these different skills to my toolbox. It can be hard to get out of your own head in the moment, but just know that trial and error is all a part of the creative process that you’ll fondly look back at in the future.
What do you love most about cosplay/creating? What issues in the community do you wish you could change or bring awareness?
I love the transformational and artistic aspects of cosplay. Cosplay gives you the opportunity to explore your own identity through the lens of a fictional character, and it even allows you to temporarily take on an entirely new appearance. I love cosplaying characters that have traits I wish I could embody more in my everyday life, so the joy I feel from capturing their essence in my costume is unmatched! It feels great to walk around in something that I spent months pouring love into creating and meeting other people with similar interests as me.
There’s unfortunately quite a few issues prevalent in this community though. Colorism and fatphobia run rampant in the scene now more than ever with cosplay becoming a part of mainstream culture. There are many ridiculously creative people who are actively looked over because they have dark skin or a bigger body type, and that’s seriously not okay. The amount of times I’ve had friends newer to cosplaying message me saying “I want to cosplay this character so badly but I’m not muscular enough/tall enough/thin enough/hot enough.” makes me want to shake them around like a dog with a chew toy. It drives me wild. You CAN cosplay those characters! If you love them, do it!
I really need the people who are considering starting to cosplay, especially those who are part of marginalized communities, to know that cosplay doesn’t always mean you are a 1:1 replica of a character. Some people enjoy doing that! But that’s not the only way of engaging with cosplay. This hobby has so many different aspects to it, so as long as you find something you enjoy about it you’re doing it right. Do this for yourself, not for others.
What does Juneteenth mean to you?
Juneteenth holds immense significance as a day of celebration symbolizing resilience, strength, and unity within the Black community. It reminds me that my entire existence is rooted in the tireless efforts of those who fought for my ancestors' right to live a life of freedom and dignity. What I really love about this day is how it fosters a sense of togetherness and support! It's really cool to see businesses, creatives, and the entire community coming together to uplift and empower one another. We still have a long way to go towards true equity, but there’s hope for a better future where all of us are equally represented and valued!
If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?
I know there’s probably the practical answer of a tent and something comfy to sleep on, but I would bring my laptop stocked full of games and a Furby to talk to if I start hallucinating while waiting to be rescued.