Giraffe Cosplay interview

Who are you?
Hi! I’m Alex, but I go by Giraffe Cosplay or Giraffechan online, and I’ve been cosplaying for 8 (almost 9!! woah) years.

Photo of Giraffe Cosplay as Princess Sapphire from Ribon no KishiPrincess Knight photo taken by Sam_Saturn
Giraffe Cosplay as Princess Sapphire from Ribon no KishiPrincess Knight photo taken by Sam Saturn

How did you come up with your cosplay name Giraffe Cosplay?
Giraffes have always been my favorite animal! They’re super tall, not terribly elegant, and their preferred meal comes from a tree covered in thorns but they’ve evolved in the most stubborn and bizzare way possible to overcome that. Being a tall, clumsy, stubborn weirdo myself, I could relate to them.

What was yout first cosplay?
My technically first cosplay was in the 6th grade, where I cobbled together a Light Yagami costume for Halloween from thrift stores and my dad’s closet. The first costume I wore to a convention was of Haruhi Suzumiya though! I had bought it online with savings from my birthday, and my parents couldn’t understand why I wanted a weird $60 outfit from the internet.

How did you get into cosplay, and how long have you been doing it?
I can’t remember why I started cosplaying! I think around this time I was on GaiaOnline a lot, and they had a cosplay section in their anime forums. I must’ve gone in wondering what it was, and like a lot of other people learning about cosplay I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Cut to me looking on Yahoo search for characters with the same haircut as me.

Favourite cosplay you’ve done so far?
Mmmm, I like a lot of my costumes for a lot of different reasons! If I had to pick, I really like my Princess Sapphire. It’s not too cumbersome or uncomfy, but it still has a lot of techniques and hard work put into it. I also love Callie because being a squid is so much fun, and Tingle for just the insanity the green suit imbues into me.

Any advice for beginner cosplayers, or people wanting to get into cosplaying?
For people starting out in cosplay, my first and best piece of advice is: have fun! I won’t lie, my gut instinct was to recommend research on wigs and sewing and learning techniques needed to create, and I think it’s because the way cosplay has developed over the past decade has turned it into not only a fun hobby, but a road to a career option as well. Social media has kind of warped the real reason why a lot of people cosplay, and it’s not to be the best or make money, but because it’s fun to dress up as your favorite character and find people who like the same things you do.

How do you go about choosing which cosplays to make and wear?
A lot of characters I choose to cosplay are ones that I either relate to, admire from whatever series I’m enjoying at the time, or something I know I’ll have a blast wearing. More often than not for big group cosplays, I’ll let other people pick who they want to be before me and pick from the remainder, or I’ll be casted as a character because they know I’ll enjoy it/it suits me. I do have a soft spot for blonde hair and pink garments though!

Are there any projects you’re working on that you want to share with us?
I’m working on a lot of stuff for Katsucon right now! Almost everything is new, and I can’t wait to finally clean up my workspace and start getting into the meat of it. My big builds are going to be Sleeping Beauty from Sakizou Arts, and Holy Mami from Madoka Magica: Magia Record, but I have several big groups I’m in as well!

OK, there’s one cosplay I’m dying to ask about: Tingle. What inspired you to make that cosplay?
Tingle I originally did for a Legend of Zelda: the Wind Waker group! I think this was one of the times where I was picking from what wasn’t taken, and once someone said Tingle it was set in stone. I had so much fun putting all the parts together, I couldn’t not laugh when I looked at myself. I could only be in him for a few hours and had to leave our shoot early, but it was a good thing because I was WILD. I was having too much fun and everyone was laughing and we got nothing done for like a half hour except take photos of me rolling on the ground vogueing. It’s been a staple in my con lineups since.

How is it usually recieved when people see it?
It’s a super mixed bag; some people are delighted, some people are viscerally upset. It’s bizarre because I get recognized for him outside of him too, like in a full face of makeup and a long wig and dress. You can take the green suit off your body but never out of your heart, I guess.

Back in 2017 you debuted your Lifeguard Mecy cosplay. What drew you to doing that cosplay?
I was super into Overwatch in 2017, and I liked Mercy because I played as her more often than not. During the summer I was prepping for Colossalcon, a big waterpark-based convention, and wanted to do a swimsuit version of her. After some concept sketches, I decided it would be easier and more fun to do her as a lifeguard rather than a swimsuit version of her default skin.

Have you considered doing cosplays of Mercy’s other skins, or other Overwatch characters?
While I do love my lifeguard Mercy, I’ve grown away from Overwatch since she got her rework and I kept ending up on the receiving end of the toxicity from the playerbase. I do like a lot of the new skins and characters, but I’m not interested in cosplaying from Overwatch again. I’m in squiddier, kiddier pastures.

You also make custom patches. How did you get into making those?
I actually got interested in patch making because of a person I follow on Twitter, @clammyheart! I had an embroidery attachment for my machine, but I never used it because I wasn’t really sure how to. She did a great tutorial on Twitter for the software I started out on, and I realized having embroidery in my repertoire is something I was super interested in. So I started making little patches for me, then friends, and then for a small con I vended at. It kinda took off from there.

One of your group cosplays you’ve done is of the Heathers from the Heaters musical. How did you get involved in that?
My friends had gotten me into Heathers the Musical during a big time where it was hot on Tumblr and Instagram, and I was obsessed with the soundtrack. It turned out a lot of people in our cosplay friend group were also into it when I brought it up one day, and we decided to do a group at Dragoncon 2017. I had plans on filming a CMV with the soundtrack as well, but I never followed through since my video camera was fairly low quality.

If someone wanted to do a cosplay collaboration with you, what would be the best way for them to reach out?
Reach out to me on social media! Preferably on Instagram or Twitter (I’m not super active on my Facebook page), and we can see what cons we both attend. I love collabing with people, and it makes me feel super fuzzy when people reach out to me and ask :’)

Any group cosplays you’d want to do (eg Mystery Inc, Sailor Scouts, Avengers, X-Men, etc)?
My dream is to have a big Splatoon or Precure group, and learn some of the dances from the series. Precure is such a pipe dream though, since it’s not super popular in the West, but I can dream!

Which cosplayer would you love to work with?
Hmm, I’m not sure! I’m blessed to be friends with so many talented people I get to cosplay with on the regular. I think I’d love to get the opportunity to cosplay with creators from Europe, like Kamui Cosplay, Speckles Cosplay, and Anastasia Lion.

Are there any cosplayers you think deserve more attention/coverage?
There’s a LOT of talent in the cosplay community that doesn’t get the insane attention it deserves, for some reason? Some that come to mind immediately are Ivorivet, Ribosecosplay, Kidbunni, Polyploidycosplay, and I love their construction and creativity, and the works they produce inspire me to continue growing as a crafter and cosplayer!

Where can we find you online (social media etc)?
Catch me on Instagram @giraffe_cos, on Twitter @giraffewiz, and if you want to support my work and learn some stuff my Patreon is Giraffe Cosplay! Or alternatively, here’s my Linktree which will send you to all those pages and more.