BiographyCosplayer: Heather "Hee-Hee" Smith Age: 24 Gender: Swanky Female Started Cosplay: 2006 Favorite Character: Captain Hook [ Peter Pan ] & Jason "Beck" Gold [ The Big O ] Hometown: Texas, USA
A Little About MeHee-Hee here! I wanted to thank you for having a look at my Finalist entry! I've been cosplaying for close to seven years now, and not only have I met some fantastic friends, but I've also learned a lot about myself and this hobby. The longer you're a cosplayer, the more you learn to relax. The "cosplay is SERIOUS BIZZNESS" joke is pretty popular, but there really is something to it that's worth inspecting.
If you're going to get stressed out, you learn to stress about your own costumes; making sure you just do your best instead of worrying about how you stack up to someone else. You realize that you have much more fun cosplaying characters you love instead of merely picking what's popular, and you also learn to brush off those evil drama-llamas and just have a good time.
It probably took me the entirety of these seven years to get to where I'm at "mentally" with cosplay, but I can honestly say that at this point in my life I just have a friggen amazing time, and I couldn't be happier.
So cosplay for happiness, and above all else, "Stay swanky".
Character: Sora Series: Kingdom Hearts
Description: There's just something about Kingdom Hearts. For me it's nostalgic, it's heartwarming, it's fun, and it's special. I played a lot of games growing up, but Kingdom Hearts really stuck with me. I've continued loving the series as it has progressed with all of its sequels (and prequels!), but you just can't beat the original. I really wanted to make sure that I was able to give a proper nod to Sora when I decided to cosplay him, so I spent hours upon hours just studying the various reference art and renders and turning my action figure around in my hands. Sora is a hybrid baby of the Disney and Square franchise, and as such he's all about proportions! The shoes and the wig became my prime objectives, and with the help of foam and foam and foam (and, in the case of my wig, extra wefts and wefts and wefts), I was able to create enough volume to make me happy. My Sora cosplay is always going to undergo adjustments and changes, and I'm currently planning a full 2.0 revamp- but I think that's why he'll always be one of my favorite characters to cosplay. I'm always trying to make it better and to relive those moving and warm fuzzies that fill my chest every time I hear absolutely any rendition of 'Simple and Clean'. --And I guess that's the perfect way to describe what I was going for with this costume: simple and clean. Photo Credit: Aperture Ashley (Ashley Johnson) Prop Credit: Keyblade made by our Goofy Cosplayer
Character: The Red Queen/ Queen of Hearts Series: Alice: Madness Returns
Description: I think this Queen of Hearts costume was the first time that I really pushed myself to get better with my cosplay skills. I had to learn new techniques with sewing, airbrushing, makeup… not to mention I got to make my first set of giant monster hands! This was also the first real dress I'd ever made, as I'd never even considered making a ball gown before I saw the eerie, childlike awesomeness that was the Queen. I altered a hoop skirt, created the petticoat from scratch, drafted all of the skirt patterns, ruffled what felt like miles of fabric, created my first airbrushing stencils… really, I could just go on and on with this one! There are parts of the costume that I can't wait to remake, like the bodice and the collar, but I was so happy and- corny as it may be to say- proud with how the costume turned out. I think it's probably my most complex project to-date. Photo Credit: CK december
Character: Linebeck Series: Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
Description: Okay, let's just be serious here. Linebeck is an amazing character. He's an obnoxious jerk, he's arrogant, he's delusional, he's cowardly, and his design! It's ridiculous… so why wouldn't I want to cosplay him?! Even though the costume was fairly simple to make, I'd say without a doubt that Linebeck is my favorite cosplay-transformation! Having friends not recognize me is a blast, and having Kotaku swear up and down that I was male was icing on the cake! The Phantom Hourglass (and other Toon!Link-era Zelda games) world just has these beautiful and zany cartoony designs. Recreating them is SO much fun! And, truth be told, it's actually sort of profound. You slide on your pineapple-shaped, swamp-colored wig, sketch on your mustache and ever-confused eyebrows, and you can actually feel a change. You find yourself walking differently, gesturing differently-- you just gain this swagger that you'd feel awkward and frankly stupid not having. I think finding cosplays that evoke that kind of thing out of you is incredibly fun! And when you flare your nostrils and give a crowd of folks with cameras the most offended and disgusted frown you can, then see them smile and laugh? You can say that you've done your job, friend. To me, it's one of the best feelings in the cosplay-world! Photo Credit: Hopie