I recently had the opportunity to interview Panadonia, who’s Tamatoa inspired armour went somewhat viral after being retweeted by Tamatoa’s voice actor Jemaine Clement.
Hey Panadonia, thanks for taking the time to do this interview!
For my readers who might not know who you are, can you tell us who you are?
My name is Panadonia, a cosplayer from the Birmingham, Alabama area, also Assistant Executive Director of AKIOBOY
How you got into cosplay?
I’ve been into wanting to cosplay for a while, but in 2016 I felt I like earned enough outside of bills from working so much to at least start with the hobby.
Your Tamatoa inspired armour, which I think is amazing, recently got some attention after being retweeted by Tamatoa’s voice actor Jemaine Clement. How did you feel when that happened?
I was ecstatic, best start of the new year
Did you ever think one of your cosplays would get attention from one of their creators or portrayers?
No I didn’t! I was very surprised when we replied
Can you tell us more about the creation of the armour, such as how you were inspired to do it and the creation process?
As soon as I saw Moana back in theaters and saw Tamatoa come on the screen I was like “I’m going to cosplay him, I don’t know how but I will” Then I drew up the designs for it
Back in September, you were featured in Akioboy’s DragonCon video, with the same cosplay armour. How did that happen?
My boyfriend is the owner of AKIOBOY and I’m the Assistant Executive Director 😉
Would you ever do something like that again?
Yes I would!
What was the first cosplay you ever did?
First cosplay I did was Missandei from Game of Thrones back in 2016. I don’t have any pictures cause I went by myself until my friends joined much later that day T_T
Favourite cosplay you’ve done so far?
Still Tamatoa lol
If time/money/materials were no issue, what’s the number one cosplay you’d do?
Not sure, something with lots of LED lights
Which cosplayers would you love to work with?
Pixel Pantz Cosplay, Nova Kyra and Alliecat Cosplay
Any group cosplays you’d want to do (eg Mystery Inc, Sailor Scouts, Avengers, X-Men, etc)?
Not really sure on that
Any advice for beginner or wannabe cosplayers?
Don’t wait like I did, I almost didn’t want to cosplay because I didn’t think there were a lot of black cosplayers like me
What do you like doing when not cosplaying content?
SLEEPING lol, and oil painting
What shows are you currently binging, or have just binged?
What movies/shows are you looking forward to?
Are there any cosplays you’d love to see more people do?
I would love to see more POC women in cosplay armor
If you could live in one franchise, what would it be and why?
Marvel Universe, theres a high chance I’d have some type of superpower lol
Are there any small cosplayers you think deserve more attention/coverage?
Where can we find you online (social media etc)?