1) What are your own origins, Heather? Plus what path did you take in life prior to getting to where you are today? I grew up in a military family, so I got to live in a lot of different places growing-up. We moved about every two years.
At the age of 7 we moved to the Pacific islands and I was introduced to Japanese animation, and immediately I became fascinated by it! Along with my interest in fantasy and science fiction, my love of anime helped to shape my art style and career.
2) What are the most persistent comments you've received from your followers? People say a lot of nice things about my gijinka designs, which I really appreciate.
3) What is your ‘regular’ job? And does it in any way shape or form aide you as a Cosplayer? I am a freelance artist, and I suppose I might get inspired cosplay-wise while working on one project or another. But nothing specific comes to mind.
4) How did your friends, family, and work-colleagues first react to the news that you like to cosplay? I've always enjoyed being creative and dressing-up, so it came as no big surprise. In fact my siblings decided to join me, although they aren't as active about doing it nowadays. Also, I started attending conventions and cosplaying in 1996. Back then the cosplay community was still pretty small, and not a lot of people were familiar with the term.
5) How do you decide what Cosplay costume to wear for a convention? And who makes them? I do a lot of project-hopping when it comes to cosplay, so I've always got plenty of costumes in the works. A big part of my decision depends on what I can finish in time. However, I do try to consider the convention when making my final choices: i.e., videogame costumes for gaming cons, sci-fi costumes for sci-fi cons, etc.
Typically I like to make my own costumes. Yet, I will admit to taking shortcuts in order to save time and money. For example, when I cosplayed as Eva from 'Metal Gear Solid' I decided to purchase and alter a pre-made jumpsuit. I also purchased the majority of the accessories for that costume (belt, goggles, etc.). I wouldn't do that for every costume, but when what you need is readily available at a good price I think it's only logical to take advantage and consider yourself lucky!
6) What have you learnt about yourself whilst Cosplaying? And were their any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with? I consider myself to be naturally more of an introverted person, and I enjoy my books and alone time. Cosplaying helped me to break out of my shell and connect with like-minded creative people (those who enjoy a lot of the same fandoms I do).
As for "unforeseen obstacles", the biggest one for me was accepting the idea that people find me attractive. I was one of those girls whose Mom told her she was pretty, but I wasn't accustomed to hearing it from anyone else. It has been really healthy for me to learn how to accept compliments (though sometimes my self-effacing nature still gets in the way).
7) What was the best / worst convention you ever attended? My most life-changing convention was at DragonCon 2000, because that's where I met my husband. So of course that rates as a personal "best" for me. I also love Nan Desu Kan! They always treat their guests wonderfully, and put on a great show. I can't pick a "worst", because I don't think I've ever been to a bad con.
8) What would be your dream Cosplay gig and outfit? I would love to promote the Pokemon games! I would wear whatever outfit Nintendo wanted me to wear if I got the opportunity to do that.
9) Has their ever been an outfit you just did not like wearing? And if so, why? There have been some outfits that have been uncomfortable for one reason or another (usually it's the shoes), but none that I disliked.
10) Do you have a credo you live by? Do your best and leave the rest. It will all come right some day or night.
And on that poetic note, dear reader, I'd like to thank Heather for telling us about her life as a cosplayer, before directing you towards her wares located on her facebook, deviantart, and artplaymix pages.