This week we’re doing two interviews with those in the industry. This week we are talking with our friends over at Kricket Costumes! Hailing from Napa,California; Amitie, Joanne and Janet make up the group whose mission is to share their knowledge and wisdom of cosplay to the masses. Giving cosplayers the knowledge to create their own works the old-fashioned way. As I interviewed the three of them, it was fun to share not only thoughts and ideas, but also to learn more about them..
How long have you been in business together?
Janet: We’ve actually been friends since we were in 3rd grade, Joanne and I lived around the corner from Amitie.
Joanne: With Kricket Costumes, it’s been brewing for about 10 years, and we’ve been in official operations for the last two years.
Amitie: We’ve been cosplaying for 10 years if not more at this point.
What’s your current backgrounds and what do you each do in Kricket Costumes?
Janet: I currently have a B.A and is currently working on my M.A in Communication Studies. I am currently the business liaison of the company, along with the main editor of the blog.
Joanne: I have a B.A. in Theater Arts with a focus in Costuming/Make Up Design. I am the lead writer of the our blog, along with heading up most of the makeup and technical designs of our cosplays.
Amitie: I am currently at UC Davis getting my B.A in Philosophy-Graduating soon! I am currently the senior model of our group, and I like being the “troubleshooter” of our group. I have a column called “Ask Amitie” where if you have a specific issue with a work you are designing, then my mission is to help you the best I can in solving that problem.
What is Kricket Costume’s main mission?
Janet: Our formal explanation is on our website! — Our mission is to improve the quality of cosplay outfits by teaching the basic skills of costume construction. We provide tutorials, resources, and products that empower cosplayers to create their own costumes or alter manufactured clothing to resemble their favorite characters.
Joanne: We firmly believe that, regardless of skill level, you can make their own pieces and do a good job at them. Instead of taking that chance on ordering a cosplay that may or may not fit them when they order it from China or Japan.
Amitie: We understand that there are going to be some pieces, that will be just better to find than make yourself, but it’s important to understand that you can make it yourself for much cheaper than ordering online.
What is your advice for those who are cash-strapped but want to cosplay?
Janet: If you have a costume and you would like to resell it, be sure to give the proper dimensions, and make sure you give as much detail as possible. And understand, that some people may not be willing to alter as well.
Joanne: Also definitely look into Thrift Stores, as well as coupon hunting when you are buying fabrics from stores.
Amitie: SHOP AROUND! Especially if you do not plan on making it your own. Also be sure to do you research and get the proper body measurements!
There has been a recent trend with conventions giving away cash prizes for those who win Best In Show at cosplay masquerades, how do you guys feel about that?
Joanne: Let me just say that everyone loves cash.
Amitie: I’m more concerned however, that some people who do not want to do skits, will be penalized and not win the cash which is a little unfair. I think there should be two categories, one for walk ons, and one for those who do the whole show. I know a lot of conventions have this in place already, but I hope that the love of the cosplay is not lost in the cash.
Tell us about Anime Con of The Dead
Joanne: Well it was created by Patricia of Ratgirl Productions, and it’s based on the anime series called “High School of The Dead” which is a show about a high school overrun by zombies and a group of kids trying to fight their way through.
Amitie: It’s an event where she wanted to have a special event at FanimeCon where people cosplayed as zombies and have a “zombie takeover!”
Joanne: We will be offering tutorials leading up to the event and giving free “makeovers” and training on how to be a zombie. You can sign up on our website if you are interested in getting involved.
Janet: It’s going to be Saturday night at FanimeCon 2011 from 6 to 11pm. Again, peeps can visit our website to sign up and get more information.
So besides the blog, what else do you guys do to promote your cause?
Joanne: We give panels at assorted anime conventions concerning topic about building cosplays as well as about trends we see.
Amitie: A lot of trends have reemerged as well as be redefined, so we like to keep cosplayers best educated about these ideas.
What kind of trends are growing in Cosplay today that you see?
Joanne: I see a lot of casual cosplayers especially those who are fans of Pokemon, and just want to cosplay as their favorite trainer. I’ve also seen a lot of people do cat ears and tails just for fun.
Amitie: I’ve seen a reemergence in Lolita. Although it never really went away, I like how now, a lot of cosplay groups and companies are investing in it for all sizes, as well as Aristocratic lolita as well.
Janet: We have also seen trends in Moe Anthropomorphism (It’s personifying animals in a moe’ style) which has been a great new trend.
What is in the works for Kricket Costumes now?
Janet: I think the biggest thing we are pushing for is an online store. We are planning to sell patterns, sewing kits, and other cosplay supplies. We are here to help and empower cosplayers.
Joanne: Along with the store, we are working on adding more tutorials, and patterns to the blog. Along with making them available for all. This also includes our panels as well, as we wish to continue to share our tutorials and designs. Also, we have plans of building more of our fan-base online and at conventions to help get the words out about our cause.
Amitie: I feel like we should also consider going into “Cosplay Fashions” which talks more about wearing cosplay in your everyday life. Along with product testings, reviews and even going into video blogging as well. Because there is only so much you can do with writing, and we like to have the option for people to watch how to make what they want to make as well.
Joanne: As well as cosplay as much as possible, because we do it because we love it, and we want to continue.
How can fans reach you?