Sponsoring & Support

Art doesn't exist in a vacuum, particularly the art of cosplay. Every person who chooses their cosplay has a reason for doing so, and when I began creating cosplay more seriously in 2014, I knew what I wanted to share with the world.

My first character was Presa from Tales of Xillia, pictured below in the first photograph set I had taken at Otakon while wearing her. She's a side character and antagonist in the video game but has a background that only the ancillary materials described. A former spy, Presa used her body to gain intelligence and was later betrayed and graphically tortured. The game only shows her after she has escaped and has been working with the main antagonist for a few years.

2014 was the year I was sexually assaulted. I experienced a great deal of denial and avoided getting help for nearly a year. The physical act of crafting Presa from scratch gave me something positive to focus on, something that I could do to feel safe in my thoughts. At the time, I didn't equate Presa's experience with what I went through. When I began my journey of recovery, I realized that she had been a healing figure for me. She went through personal hell and emerged not only alive, but emboldened to join a cause. Her act of wearing revealing clothing was the radical action of taking her body back; that idea inspired my work and my desire to share that message.

When I cosplay, I'm taking my body back. I'm also taking back the bodies of the characters themselves and telling their untold stories. The saying, "if you want to understand someone, walk a mile in their shoes" has never been clearer to me than when I craft a costume or wig, put on the makeup, and walk (or hobble - hey, some of those shoes aren't the most comfortable!) onto the con floor for hours. People who know the character often react. Perhaps the character was their favorite, or perhaps their least favorite, or perhaps they've never seen someone cosplay it in person before. This personal connection allows me to speak both for myself and my character. If my character is less liked, less understood, and more criticized for existing or acting the way they do in their narrative, I strive to find a meaningful connection. I study their movements, their words, their poses. Through wearing their clothing, I organically discover how comfortable or uncomfortable the outfit is and how the character might be restricted by it. I think about what went into the design and why it was important for this character; whether it was a practical choice or a visual cue for its audience. Each character teaches me about their world.

[Credit: Morning Addict Photography | To read more about what Presa means to me, follow this link to my archived personal essay.]

Of course, like any other kid raised on dance and theater, I simply like dressing up and wearing makeup, and not being myself for a while.

As anyone who cosplays can tell you, getting all those details right takes time, effort, and funding. Even with bought costumes, I like to modify them to fit my body and pay special attention to the styling of the wig, makeup, and poses I apply. Cosplay is a hobby that I would do regardless of support from others, but I'm grateful for everyone who does support me.

Without cosplay, I wouldn't have made as many strides in my recovery nor would I have understood the value of the perspective and control different outfits give me. My goal is to represent very kind of character—from the silly to the beloved to the scantily-clad antagonists—with grace and intent. I take my position in the community with responsibility, knowing that everyone who sees my cosplay has their own story, struggles, and viewpoint as the art's beholder. I can't change everyone's negative or narrow-minded views of a character, but I can present the character in a way that honors them, which might start conversations on how real people (other cosplayers) are viewed and treated. I'm always conscious of the effect cosplay has on the community and world at large and I want my legacy to reflect that.

For more information on why I cosplay the characters that I do, follow the links here and here for personal essays about Presa and Velvet Crowe.

If you're able to make a one-time gift, please consider visiting my Ko-Fi. You'll be able to contribute towards a particular cosplay goal; currently it's Seres! If you would like to sponsor another costume from my To-Do List, feel free to email me at contact@trickssi.com.

If you're able to become a recurring monthly sponsor, check out my Patreon. Your sponsorship will not only assist me in my artistry and advocacy, but unlocks unique rewards, including limited-edition postcards, exclusive closet cosplay content, and the opportunity to schedule dance lessons or commission some basic wig work, proofreading panel descriptions, or something else within my skill set, and other exclusive content!

You can also help me out by following these links if you're planning to purchase anything from Arda Wigs or Moo.com. Every little bit matters!

Thank you so much for your time and contribution! I can't wait to continue to share my art with you.