I get to meet a lot of interesting and talented people doing what I do. ‘Many talented men and women that devote a good portion of their time and effort to an art that does not profit them, for a person to truly profit in the cosplay world, it takes more than dedication, talent, looks, or charisma. It takes a sense of business savvy and the ability to deliver what people want. All of these things I think are present in this Up and Coming Cosplayer.
All Cool Things™ is extremely proud to introduce to you, Miniilay.
In this business I’m in, I come across some unique cosplayers with unique cosplay names. How did you come up with yours?
It’s nothing special. I was just making a YouTube account when I was young, and couldn’t think of anything related to me but “small” and my last name… Someone took “Minilay,” and I just added an extra “i,” so I’ve had “Miniilay” stuck with me since then.
I can tell that you are building a brand. If I had to compare your brand to anyone else’s that has become a big success, I’d compare you to Jessica Nigri. You are both very sensually beautiful women whom’s looks probably cause people to discount your costuming and crafting abilities. Do you find any conflict in the tempering of your brand? Do you ever want to concentrate on one thing, but feel compelled to pander to “fan service?”
I don’t find any conflict in tempering my work. I don’t care what others have to say or think. I just do whatever I want to do. I usually try to have an open mind for myself and check off my bucket list of things to create. I don’t think of “fan service” or what’s trending everyday. I just do anything that comes to mind on days I feel more inspired.
How do you feel about the more “fan service” aspect of your brand? Is it as much a part of you as your artistically creative side? Is there a melding of both that appears in each aspect of your brand?
I think the “fan service” side of my brand is fun; it’s still me. It can be anything, and I’ll bandwagon along too if I actually enjoy what I see is trending. These “fan services” can range from casual cosplay, boudoir shoots, fashion, character(s) that are hyped, etc. Of course there is a mix of both of my brand! Even if I do or don’t intentionally do these “fan services,” I do what I do because I want to do it for my enjoyment. If I don’t feel like I want to do a certain “fan service” trend that is going on, then I will not.
Cosplay is a great way to introduce a person into modeling, and vice versa. I can tell that you love the camera and the camera loves you. Was modeling ever a plan for you? Is it a plan, now? Is that yet another aspect of your brand?
Modelling was always on my mind ever since I was young. My mom, was and still is in the fashion business, and I was always her little model! Even today, I help with her business everyday and she still needs me to model her designs. I’ve never thought of modelling as a serious job. It’s just something for fun on my free time. It’s not just “strike a pose” with clothes on. You can be anything when it comes to modelling, and that’s where my range of creativity comes into play; such as cosplay, fashion, makeup, boudoir etc… The list goes on, and will grow on!
When it comes to costuming, you started with sewing and tailoring. How did you get into armour crafting?
I knew how to sew my whole life, but im not perfect, and continuing to learning new tips and tricks. I loved playing video games ever since I was young, and admire how badass characters are created. At the time I first started cosplaying, I would only choose characters that have clothing, but I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could also bring more to life. I was obsessed with League of Legends, and loved crafting in art class in school, so I gave crafting armour a try because I wanted to be my favourite character from that game at the time.
I have to say that I am very impressed with your armour work. How long have you been working and crafting armour?
What materials do you like to work with? Do you find them difficult? Are they the same that you started out working with? Do you see any promising materials for the future?
Almost all of my materials come from Dollarama; mainly EVA foam and contact cement glue. Those two work so beautifully! At first it was hard to work with EVA foam; I didn’t understand how to work with it, but once I did my research, it was so easy to cut, mold, stretch etc. EVA foam surprisingly can do a lot! When I first started, I thought hot glue was good enough because I used it my whole life in school. Its super easy to use and fast to dry.
The only down side was it’s just hot. Theres annoying glue web strings left behind, and if you don’t hold your pieces together long enough it leaves lots of gunk, and you have to redo it again. Most of the time there will always be hot glue sticking out on the outside surface. Even if you wipe it clean while it’s still hot, you will still see it in the end of your project.
When I swtiched to contact cement glue, my work had never been so clean! The only down side would be the smell.
After I did my research, things are just a lot easier to understand why things are, or aren’t working out. I think EVA foam will always be worked with. I can’t think of any other material that could replace EVA foam. You will always need it. From a base structure to a full finished build, it’s always used.
There is a cosplay of you with these huge gun arms attached to you. How did you swing that? What were they made of? How much did they weigh?
That was Gun Goddess Miss Fortune from League of Legends. It was pretty heavy for me, even though it was made out of EVA foam and pink insulation foam. When everything added up in the end, it weighed me down. I’m not exactly sure why, but I also rushed it in the end. I just wanted to get it done with, and never think of it again! It had handlebars, but it was still heavy to keep it up and swing around.
I’ve only been to Youmacon in Detroit, Michigan. I’ve been going there for 5 years now, but compared to Candian conventions they’re basically the same. The only difference would be money: CAD to USD is so expensive, so that is really my only problem with US conventions. People from both sides are very friendly, energetic, and helpful! I’ve never dealt with any negativity at any cons so far.
What are the top five things you love about cons?
I absolutely love the cosplay part, looking at people’s cosplay, whether bought or handmade. It brings everyone together because we all freak out on our favourite characters! It gives them, and yourself, a great feeling.
That leads into meeting new people. I’ve met new con friends through cosplay by asking for pics, or just simply complimenting them. Even if we don’t become friends, its still a positive energy between the two of us, and the enjoyment keeps going on!
With many people brought together, we also try to help each other. If someone sees that im having a difficult time with my cosplay they will help me. It’s honestly such a blessing when someone offers a helping hand, and of course I do that to others too. Surprisingly walking in ANY cosplay can get frustrating!
It is worth all the struggling because people love your character and ask for a photo! Even a simple selfie together illuminates me. It’s memories to keep, and remembering those moments gives me a smile on my face to look back. Meeting new photographers, to casual con goers; looking back at silly photos to beautiful shots just takes you back to the moment, and you have this thought, “Wow, that’s what I really looked like?” and you can see and remember how happy you truly look.
Even though it’s a long and frustrating process, planning and building cosplays is absolutely my favourite part. I’m not sure why, because I do get tired the more I build, and once I wear it at a con I’m so exhausted; However, when the con is over I reflect back, and overall, I have this relief of accomplishment and think, “I cant believe I pulled it off,” and do it all over again!
Who are the top three people you have met at cons that you were excited to see? Are there any more people you hope to see?
The first and only person that I’ve met is, Jessica Nigiri. I havent been able to meet a lot of people at cons, but I was able to make many friends, and it feels like home when I see them again every year, at the same con. I honestly hope to keep seeing Jessica Nigiri! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met! She was very patient with me and accepted all of these requests that I wanted her to do for me when I met her. It was very silly but she loved every bit of it and her boyfriend, off to the side, was laughed and kept everybody else company.
Are there any cons that our readers or your followers can count on seeing you at in 2019?
Are there any parting thoughts for our readers and your followers?
Cosplaying is a hobby; no matter how you start, it will always be fun. To full armour builds to lewd looks, it’s your character to cosplay; do whatever YOU want to do because YOU LOVE it, and YOU WANT to do it.
People will have their own opinion about everything. Whether it’s negative or positive, the only thing that matters is what you think about yourself. Don’t compare or put yourself down. You will always be you, and in the end results, someone/people are going to love it.
Are you excited to do that look? THEN GO START! ��
So what do you think? Does she have what it takes? Were you impressed by her work and work ethic? Well, in case you aren’t quite there, yet, in a couple of days you get to see the pictorial.
As you’re reading these articles, we at All Cool Things™ hopes you’re sharing them. We also hope that you’re following or featured cosplayers on their social media and supporting them on their support sites.
Hell, do the same for us! ‘Wanna donate to us? There’s a link on the front page…Oh, all right. Just click >>>HERE<<<.
As always, thanks for reading about our Up and Coming Cosplayers. ‘See you next time.