Here at We Love Colors, we have a deep admiration for cosplayers who innovate the craft with unique techniques and alternative means of creation. Shinju the Cosplayer is a sister duo, Rita and Mariko, who crochet wigs, clothing, and just about anything you can imagine. We spoke with Rita to find out more.
Introduce yourselves! Who are you?
Shinju the Cosplayer: My name is Rita and my partner in crime is my sister Mariko. We both love all things nerdy, arts and crafts, and anything coffee related.
When and how did you begin crocheting?
STC: Our mom taught both of us and my brother how to crochet when we were very young. It was a fun pastime and both my sister and I ended up enjoying it and stuck with it, learning how to make scarves and stuffed animals.
At what point did you begin to merge crocheting with cosplay?
STC: Around 2016 my sister wanted to cosplay Rose Quartz who just has the biggest puff of hair. We’d seen regular wigs used to cosplay her but were never satisfied and wanted something bigger. My idea was to use yarn, to stuff pieces, crochet a hat, and attach huge ringlet curls so that we could make it as big and as pink as we wanted.
It was a success and when I decided to cosplay Bismuth about a year later we wanted to crochet her noodle hair to keep the cartoon look. After that it sort of just became our thing to crochet our wigs for costumes.
What’s the most challenging costume piece you’ve made?
STC: Bismuth’s wig was probably the most challenging thing so far. It was really difficult to sew her hair onto the wig cap and keep it from becoming too small to wear and caused us a few sleepless nights.
How long on average do your projects take from start to finish?
STC: I tend to procrastinate a lot so when there’s about 2-3 weeks until a con is when I start projects. But I think the pressure makes me work harder and a lot of my favorites have been made in about a week.
What character has been the most fun to bring to life?
STC: Rose Quartz has been my pride and joy since we first came up with the idea. It’s pretty big and always draws people to it and I’ve just loved seeing people’s reactions to it every time. It’s also the wig we’ve gone back and worked on again and again to fix it or tweak it or change it here and there as we get better.
7. How do you split up the work for a costume or do you focus on separate projects?
STC: We’ll often bounce ideas off each other even in the earliest stages and end up dividing things up by time and skill to get the work done. But we do always work on costumes together and help each other out.
What are your goals for the future?
STC: Even more crochet and cosplays.
What makes We Love Colors unique compared to other brands?
STC: I love how many colors the company offers. They’ve always had the colors I need for cosplays and the nice range of products offered means that I don’t have to worry about color matching, which is a huge plus for me.
In which costumes you’ve made can we see examples of We Love Colors products?
STC: Anything that requires body paint always has We Love Colors tights used. We make or buy armsocks and that saves on so much time, paint, and hassle. I’ve bought a few dancers bodysuits in the past. Recently, I bought one for a Star Wars cosplay that I’m really excited to upgrade to as well. My newest Steven Universe cosplay has tights and a long sleeve bodysuit that were just perfect for what I needed.
Blue T’wilek: Ryan MacKay
Sunstone: Lea Sanders
Interview by Amanda Johnson edited by Katherine Ceballos for We Love Colors.