Name and Social Info?
Name: TealTeacup. You can find me on most social platforms: InstagramTwitterPatreonTikTok, and Facebook

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!  
I run an enamel pin and sticker shop called TealTeacup! While I was working as a UI/UX designer in the gaming industry, I started to make stickers with my silly doodles. One thing led to another and now I am a small business owner full-time! I make cute, chonky, and relatable designs through enamel pins and stickers. I create things from anime, cartoons, video games and really anything that I'm obsessed with! 

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
I'm always struggling because I want to do more creative things! I think working with throwing clay for ceramics or working on 3d Modeling would be my "best life" creative goals! But, outside of artistic and crafting skills, I really enjoy language learning! I've studied Japanese and Spanish in the past years, but currently, I'm self-studying Korean. If I could, I would attempt to get an education and job in linguistics, because I really enjoy all aspects of language studies!

What made you start creating/cosplaying?
Cosplay to me is an amazing creative medium (like acrylic or digital painting) that has always felt like such an incredible accomplishment every time the ideas come to life. Years ago, I felt like I had no creative outlets that were "just for me" outside of my career and client work. I've always loved the representation of black and brown women in my favorite stories, so I started my first cosplay adventure with my classic love for Alice in Wonderland in my first cosplay project. This project was designed to capture me and my closest friends as the storybook characters they related to the most! Recently, I've been able to explore more with cosplay as Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle, and Nezuko from Demon Slayer. 

What is your favorite tool you use daily?
Illustrator and Procreate are my tools of choice. Since I create enamel pins and accessories for a living, I'm always sketching in Procreate and then finalizing designs in Illustrator. I even designed my first cosplay in illustrator years ago!

What is your favorite Arda Wig? Why?  
The Eden Classic wig blew me away! I had been searching for a cosplay wig for my Nezuko Cosplay, and when comparing the quality between the Eden Classic wig and others I had purchased, It reminded me exactly why I love Arda wigs so much! Sooo smooth, such high quality, and the color was fantastic! Its really easy to work with, as well, for re-curling between wears.

What advice do you have for creators just starting out?
Just create what makes you happy! Every new piece you put on paper is one step closer to coming to life, and everything you finish is a dream come true. Know that everything you can dream up is possible, so never hold back on your creativity! 

What do you love most about cosplay/creating? What issues in the community do you wish you could change or bring awareness?
The storytelling element! We are the greatest part of everything we create because, our work embodies our own personal experiences, histories, unique imagination, translation of the idea, dreams, and expertise. Knowing that helps me stand out as a creator, and enjoy telling my own story through my work. As a community, I wish to encourage support and uplifting of the personal representations behind each cosplay and design. Know that we do this, create these, and put our hearts into our work for ourselves. Self-representation in any cosplay/creation is meant to celebrate what makes us who we are. So, let's celebrate the broad spectrum of cosplayers and creators by showing love and support for how they tell their unique stories through their work!

What does Juneteenth mean to you?
To me, Juneteenth is about reflecting on the history of the country: where we've been, where we are, and where we can grow for the better regarding the significant systemic changes necessary for a future of racial equality. It is a chance to highlight the stories and spread love and positivity for people, businesses, and creators of color, and celebrate the progress made over generations. 

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?
A pen/pencil + unlimited paper for writing, drawing, note-taking etc (that counts as 1 thing, right?), and a camera with as much power/energy to last until I was rescued to visually capture everything I experienced there. It would help a lot with my mental health to have something to write with, and my life is "pix or it didn't happen" so I would want a camera for sure!

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