Cosplaying is a hobby that can be done on many levels. From those who buy their costumes online to beginners making their own, all the way up to professional level Cosplayers who travel the world competing in competitions. While some people enjoy this hobby by themselves, others form groups with their friends to work on costumes, skits and masquerade performances together. One of the more well known Cosplay groups online is Fighting Dreamers Productions, who have tried their hand at a whole host of different skills, and attended conventions the world over. I was recently able to interview Courtney Lyn, also known as Valdrein, one of the founding members of the group. We were able to chat about her upcoming costumes and skits, advice for those looking to get into cosplay and more.
Laura Kate: Hi, so could you start by introducing yourself for those who don’t know you?
Courtney Lyn: For sure, my name is Courtney, and I’m currently a Fashion design and Technology student living in Canada, BC. Online I go by Valdrein and have been part of the Cosplay seen since 2005. I’m also a member of the Cosplay group Fighting Dreamers Pro.
Laura Kate: Can you tell us a bit about Fighting Dreamers Pro and how you first got involved with the group?
Courtney Lyn: Back in May of 2006 a trio of Cosplayers held a little picnic and Cosplay photoshoot at a local beach. They were new to the Vancouver community so I thought I would check it out. They were actually Lucas (Twinfools), kenshio & Kolibri and after spending a few hours with Lucas we formed some kind of shanty friendship and decided that we needed to spend our birthdays together…forever.
And this meet Lucas had an idea to start a Cosplay group so he e-mailed 7 people asking if that wanted to join. I haven’t even talked to half of the people he invited but I thought it was just a silly idea so I agreed. Now, we are approaching 7 years which is insane to me. We were strangers to each other for the most part, but thru this little group we have become a major part of each others lives.
Laura Kate: What made you first get into cosplay and how has cosplaying effected your life?
Courtney Lyn: Jessica (Mavi) did. She found out I liked video games and Anime and asked me if I wanted to join her at a convention. I always loved Halloween, haha. Once I got there I was so over whelmed, and I really just wanted ‘more’. So during that first day we planned out at three years of projects together.
Cosplay played a big role in my life. It’s what gave me the amazing friends I have now. It’s what gave me the kick in the butt to start traveling around the world at a young age. Taught me responsibility for myself and others. How to interact with people of all age groups and backgrounds. And it taught me how to make thing. How to build and sew which lead me into going to Fashion.
Courtney Lyn: Not that much, I usually don’t start working on my cosplays til a week before the con… which is killer. And maybe 5 cons a year. Though when you count the hours spent on cosplay sites and social sites then it’s actually a bit obscene.
Laura Kate: You often take part in Cosplay making tutorials at conventions, where did you learn the skills you use when making Cosplays?
Courtney Lyn: Trial and error. I took one sewing class in jr. high and failed, haha. But failing is a good lesson. Now, I have a legit sewing background with my university education so I’m more comfortable giving sewing advice asked for it.
Laura Kate: What advice do you have for newbies looking to get into cosplay for the first time?
Courtney Lyn: TAKE YOUR MONEY AND RUN AWAY!
But if your gung-ho about it, do it with friends. If your current friends are not into Cosplay, go to local meets, conventions, Anime shops, etc. It’s a wonderful hobby and can be very rewarding. But it can also be a pain, so you need someone you can call at 3am asking if they have any extra yellow bias tape.
Laura Kate: What’s your favourite costume you’ve made and why?
Courtney Lyn: It keeps changing, but right now I would have to say Lulu from FFX. It was the one of the first cosplays I’ve ever made that when you put on all the pieces, the jewelry, the wig, contacts, make-up, it feels complete. I also don’t have to try to fight with hiding my chest, haha.
Laura Kate: Do you have any costumes you’d love to make, but haven’t? If so, for what reasons?
Courtney Lyn: Oh yes, Yatilla, Lucifer, and Cecil to name just a few. One reason is time factor, I just don’t have the time or the space to store a work in progress for 9 months. And the other is the group factor. I love cosplaying with other people, so unless there is someone else wanting to do it with me I usually just push it to the back of my list.
Laura Kate: Do you have any cosplays or skits in the works at the moment you can tell us about?
Courtney Lyn: Currently I’m working on Merida from Brave, and a few version of Thor. And you will see the Avengers sneaking into other works as well as a more western comics,l including our favorite DC hero’s ^^
Laura Kate: Lastly, do you have anything else to add?
Courtney Lyn: Do what makes you happy. Don’t get to wrapped up in what others do, or others exceptions of what you should be doing, or wearing, or what you have to look like. If you do what makes you happy, you’re doing it right.