I chose Sombra for both her design and her attitude. She simply oozes confidence, and her concept is colorful and charismatic in a way I found challenging and incredibly appealing. I wanted to stretch my creativity as a crafter, so I chose her to be my first costume made from scratch. In retrospect, this was something of a huge leap from my existing skill set, but I was determined to see it through. I taught myself how to dye fabric, draft patterns, sculpt foam, style a complex wig, and work with electronics. I even practiced exuding her attitude, from how she walked to the little quirks of her mannerisms. It was a labor of love spanning six months.
The response I’ve had to this costume has been phenomenal. Everyone I have met has been incredibly kind and enthusiastic about how I presented the character and constructed the cosplay. It’s more than I ever imagined when I set out to make Sombra. When I debuted as her, people told me I brought their favorite character from a computer screen and into the real world, and that is all I could have ever wished for from this experience.
The con scene in Alaska is centrally different simply because of the layout of the state. Alaska is huge, with people spread thinly across it. It is time consuming and expensive to travel, shop for supplies, or even meet with other cosplayers. We have one large convention, SenshiCon, which serves as the primary time for members of our community to gather together, share what we have created in person and enjoy the company of one another. Our community is small, but tight-knit and supportive. We understand the struggles and rewards of being cosplayers in Alaska, and are united in our passion for creativity and expression.