About Melfina . . .
Birthday: March 31
Astrological Sign: Aries
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Auburn/red
Occupation: Design/The Arts
Residency: Dallas, TX
Interests: Art, art history, fashion, theatre, sewing, crafting, anime & manga
Thank you for visiting Melfina’s cosplay portfolio. Melfina has been making her own costumes and attending Anime, comic and video game conventions since 2004.
What is Cosplay?
Cosplay is short for Costume Play, and is the art of dressing up as fictional characters from all kinds of media, spanning movies, literature, comics, anime, manga, etc… Stage performances and photoshoots are common occurances for cosplayers, as are various fandom conventions.
To me, cosplay is my biggest hobby and creative outlet. As a creative person, I enjoy making my own costumes from the ground up, modifying existing sewing patterns or often drafting up my own, finding the perfect fabric, researching and utlizing sewing techniques … and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sewing is just one part of creating a costume – there is also accessory making, armor, props, wig-styling, modeling, photography, and so much more involved.
My Cosplay Story:
The interest in cosplay had been present since I started watching Anime in the late 90s, but it wasn’t until 2004 that I attended my first Anime convention, Anime Festival Orlando, and had my first real taste of costuming and cosplay culture. I made my first few costumes with the help of my mother, and learned more about sewing, and cosplay, from there! Cosplaying has given me a lot of confidence, and introduced me to so many creative, talented people, and some of my best friends. It has also expanded my knowledge of sewing and attention to detail more than I could have imagined.
When I first started cosplaying, I didn’t have any friends who shared my nerdy interests like anime, manga, and costuming. I went to my first convention alone, but walked away from it with so many new friends I could hardly believe it. As far as conventions went, I had to travel clear across the state of Florida to get to any, often to Orlando or Tampa, which would be a 8-9 hour drive from my home in the Florida panhandle. There were no conventions local to me back then, so traveling to get to cons was my only option, and thus, this limited the amount of conventions I could attend at first.
However, cosplay has gotten a lot more popular over the years since I first started, and conventions have sprung up all over the place, even in remote areas like where I used to live (near Fort Walton Beach). Seeing the emerging convention and cosplay scene in the Florida panhandle made me ecstatic, and through contacting a budding local Anime/Sci-fi/Comic convention, Pensacola’s very own FAN:dom Con, I was able to help the convention as a judge and cosplay panelist! From there, I started going to more conventions within my local area as they popped up, SukoshiCon being another. As my grasp of sewing and cosplay improved, I was realizing more opportunities than I had before. It was through these conventions that I was able to contribute more than just being a regular attendee.
At first, I entered costume contests for the heck of it, not expecting anything of it (which is good, since I didn’t start winning awards for a long time!). It was something to do during the convention, a good way to meet fellow cosplayers while standing in line, and walking on stage gradually helped me with stage fright and thus, made me feel good about myself. I won my first award with my Birdwatching Chii costume in 2007 (a good 3 years after I had started cosplaying!), and I really feel that costume was the turning point in my costume construction. Ever since working on that costume, I’ve been motivated to do the very best job to my ability on craftsmanship and making sure the costume is a clean, finished product both inside and out.