Inside Cosplay: A Smile and a Song

This week we bring you a remarkably talented cosplayer with a passion for colorful costumes and impeccable detail, Riss aka A Smile and a Song.

WLC: How did you discover cosplay and what sparked your interest in becoming a cosplayer yourself?
Riss: I discovered cosplay when I was 15. A highschool friend of mine had been interested in cosplay and conventions and pulled me into the scene with them. My first cosplay was a $20 used Songstress Yuna cosplay bought off eBay that was the wrong size and I wore it with the wrong shoes, no wig, and had no accessories. I guess we all have to start somewhere! I went to my first convention and saw all of the amazing cosplays people had made themselves and decided I wanted to try to make my own cosplay too!

WLC: What is your favorite part of the cosplay process?
Riss: My favorite part of the cosplay progress is the detail work. I’ve always had a habit of getting too caught up in the details. I love adding the fun, decorative, sparkly bits to a cosplay once the base has been built. Made a little mistake somewhere? Put a little rhinestone over it!

WLC: What sort of challenges do you face as a cosplayer?
Riss: My biggest struggle, hands down, is balancing my work life, my social life, and cosplay. Cosplay is such a demanding hobby. It’s consumes so much time and money and it even takes a toll on your mental and emotional health. It’s not just pouring your heart and soul into an art piece, it’s also wearing that art piece, becoming part of it yourself, putting on a performance, and showing it off publicly. It’s easy to get caught up in cosplay and let other important parts of your life get pushed to the back burner which is why it’s important to find a good balance and make sure you keep up with it. Mental, emotional, and financial stability should ALWAYS come first before a hobby.

WLC: What is something you wish you would have known when you started cosplaying?

Riss: Something I definitely wish I had learned earlier is that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t finish a cosplay for a convention. It’s better to spend your con having fun in a cosplay that maybe you’ve already worn before, than to be in your hotel room on a sewing machine trying to finish your cosplay during the convention. It’s okay to recognize a few days before the con that your cosplay isn’t going to be finished and to set it aside for the next con. If you’ve invested the time off of work and the money for a hotel and a con badge to go to this big event and see people you don’t get to see on a regular basis, don’t let your con be ruined because of an unfinished cosplay. It’s not worth the stress and heartbreak.

WLC: Do you have a medium you prefer to work with when it comes to cosplay? What mediums would you like to improve on in future costumes?
Riss: Wigs and makeup are probably tied for my favorite part of cosplay! Making outfits and props are fun and all, but there’s something exciting about transforming myself and my face, not just putting on a garment. I’m still pretty inexperienced when it comes to building armor so that’s definitely an area of cosplay I would love to explore more in the future.

WLC: Do you have a favorite cosplay memory that you carry with you?
Riss: This past May at Momocon I cosplayed Princess Peach and I met so many little kids who were so excited to meet Princess Peach! In the dealer’s room, a little boy dressed up like an inkling from Splatoon came up to me with a book and asked me if he could have Princess Peach’s autograph, like how the Princesses in Disney World sign their autographs. It was so cute I almost cried. He gave me a big hug and told me I was his favorite Mario character. I think about it whenever I’m having a particularly difficult time with something cosplay related and have to ask myself why I even cosplay.

WLC: What is your favorite cosplay to wear and/or what has been your favorite cosplay to make?
Riss: My favorite cosplay to wear AND make was definitely Princess Zelda from Breath of the Wild. My friend Blue (@aobittybaby) and I crunched out matching Royal Guard Link and Royal Gown Zelda for Katsu con and I have never worked so hard on and been so proud of a cosplay. We worked our butts off and not only were we super happy with how they turned out, we have had A BLAST together every time we have worn them. Zelda has been a long time cosplay dream of mine so that cosplay meant a lot to me.

WLC: How did you discover We Love Colors?
Riss: I discovered We Love Colors through my very close friend Kelly Kirstein! I’ve always had problems with the tights that I have used for cosplay armsocks falling apart until Kelly told me about the Microfiber tights We Love Colors makes. Once I found the store I literally haven’t used anything else for armsocks, gloves, or colored tights. Click here for a step by step armsocks tutorial

WLC: What costumes have you used We Love Colors products in?
Riss: I used We Love Colors microfiber tights for the armsocks I made for Carnelian from Steven Universe and Mina Ashido from My Hero Academia, We Love Colors Shoulder Gloves for Princess Zelda and my original android design Wannacry Ransomware, and numerous solid color microfiber tights for numerous casual cosplay looks.

WLC: Why do you choose We Love Colors products over other brands?
Riss: I prefer We Love Colors because I have never once had a problem with the products getting runs or holes and they fit so comfortably and breathe so well. There’s also a massive color selection. I know I’ll get exactly what I want with We Love Colors so I don’t even bother with other brands.

Shop the We Love Colors’ Styles Featured on this Interview:
Style# 1053 – Microfiber Tights
Style# 3407 – Shoulder Gloves

If you have used We Love Colors for cosplay or any other creative projects feel free to email us all the details at social@welovecolors.com for a chance to be featured.
Connect with Riss here. Interview by Amanda Johnson for We Love Colors.
Photography Marc Overcash and Frank Nazario.