Cottonball Cosplay interview

Who are you?
My name is Shawni Cotton but most call me Cotton or Cottonball. I respond to all three of them.

Cottonball Cosplay as Natsu Dragneel, photo by JND Photography
Cottonball Cosplay as Natsu Dragneel, photo by JND Photography

What was the first cosplay?
My very first cosplay was before I even knew what it was and it was Padmé Amidalain her red gown when I was 7 years old. Star Wars was my absolute favorite when I was a child and I would watch 3,4, and 5 back to back constantly. But my first official cosplay was Lolita Bat Girl.

How did you get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay by needing an outlet to let out my frustration of not being able to fit in anywhere back in high school and early college. I never really fit in in the small town I grew up in because I loved anime, manga, sewing and putting together outfits. I tried to keep myself busy with keeping my grades up and being in roughly 6 clubs at one time but it just wasn’t enough to curb the loneliness that I often felt. It made me really start to hate myself because I was different, so I thought if I am someone else then maybe that will help my confidence in myself and just let me escape myself for a while.

How long have you been cosplaying?
I officially started cosplaying in 2010. So I guess that makes this my 8th year.

Favourite cosplay you’ve done so far?
My favorite cosplay so far. Now that is honestly a hard one. I think it would be a tie between my gender-bent Lolita Natsu Dragneel and the Lolita Tardis.

Which cosplayer would youa love to work with?
I know this sounds strange but I actually do not have just one cosplayer. I have a husband/wife duo that I admire very much from Australia. KuroShiba Cosplay and Mikomin Cosplay.

Any group cosplays you’d want to do (eg Mystery Inc, Sailor Scouts, Avengers, X-Men, etc)?
Group wise I would love to cosplay the Brotherhood of the Tofu from Wakfu or the group from Akame ga Kill!

Any advice for beginner or wannabe cosplayers?
Get into cosplay for yourself. I see a lot of people today getting in it to compete against others and that just takes the fun out of it. Also don’t listen to people who say you cannot cosplay certain characters do to size, shape, or skin color. You can be who you want just be tasteful. Its COS PLAY. You don’t have to change your size, shape or skin color to dress up as who you want. If that was the case NONE of us could cosplay because we are not orcs, wizards, princesses, or any other fictional character.

Your Instagram and Facebook mention you working with Akioboy. How did you get involved with them?
I have been with Akioboy since 2011, back before it was Artfelt Appeal. It was the Halloween of my freshmen year in college and I was participating in the Halloween costume contest and I was Chi from Chobtis. After I finished participating and was walking around I saw this crazy guy swinging a huge buster sword. I walked up and was like hey I love your buster sword and he just stopped because I knew what it was and we started talking and he mentioned his company and showed me some of his work and we became good friends after that. Ive been by his side ever since helping in any way I could. He recently bumped me up from brand ambassador to Marketing Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

Congratulations on graduating from university! Do you have any plans to continue your education further?
Thank you very much. I believe that learning is essential to life. However, at the moment there are no specific plans to go back to college at the moment. However my new job as a support specialist has me learning many new things and will be a constant learning curve as the business world constantly changes.

Can you tell us more about that wolf that pops up in your instagram occasionally?
Now that is a dangerous question because I can go on for hours about her. Her name is Tundra Louise and she will be 7 years old on October 20th 2018. She is my pride and joy even though she is well, the nicest way to put is a crotchety old woman. Wolves actually age differently than normal dogs, so their puppy stage actually stretches for 5 years. She loves to spend her days lying on her loveseat on my front porch watching over her domain. She is very territorial and loves long walks in the morning and evenings before and after I get off work.

Cottonball Cosplay with Tundra Louise, photo by JND Photography
Cottonball Cosplay with Tundra Louise, photo by JND Photography

If you could have a single superpower, what would it be and why?
If I could have a single superpower it would be to talk to animals because I love animals and would love to be able to actually converse with them. But so I could also talk to my Tundra Lou, because she is my best friend and baby girl.

Have you binge-watched any shows recently? If so, what have they been?
I actually have the most recent one would be Wakfu, although the voice acting in the first season is a little rough the characters, storyline, and art captivated me. I am now in the middle of season 2 and there are three seasons and a fourth season that is an extra series that LITERALLY just came out. I also recently binged How to Train a Mummy, and Yuri on Ice.

If you could live in one franchise, what would it be and why?
Chik-fil-a because I love their lemonaid haha no seriously I would live in Yu-Gi-Oh because that series has always been very close to my heart and I would love to work at Kaiba Corp and try to win the heart of Seto Kaiba.

Who’s the strongest character you could beat in a fight?
Loki the God of Mischief
Who is the strongest character I could beat in a fight well that would have to be.

Are there any cosplayers you think deserve more attention/coverage?
Absolutely I believe aayhan_mercy_cosplay should get more credit. She in-my-opinion is a strong woman who makes almost, if not all, of her cosplays. She always inspires me to do better and is very supportive. I have to name one more because I couldn’t just choose one, illyriacosplay is not only incredibly sweet, supportive, and talented.
And I wanted to add one more if possible. These one is probably the closest too my heart she has always helped me when needed on my cosplays and is currently helping me on a cosplay is australiaishere. She has always supported me and teaching me things I didnt know.

Where can we find you online (social media etc)?
You can mainly find me on Instagram under cottonball cosplay. I have a facebook page under the exact same name I just sometimes forget to update it because I run the Kazha-Alabama fan page and a few more pages so it can sometimes fall in between the cracks.