CIA What inspired the Nyan cat?
MEGAN I have loved Nyan cat ever since I first watched the video in April 2011. Nyan cat has always brought me joy in the times when I needed it most. So, for years I have wanted to create a Nyan cat cosplay, but none of my previous ideas truly encapsulated the absurdity and joy that Nyan cat brings. During the pandemic my husband and I started making yard inflatables to connect with our neighborhood, then costume inflatables to feel safer at cons coming out of a global pandemic. Once we gained the skills to make inflatables I realized that all my Nyan cat dreams could come true!
CIA: Can you talk about the construction of it, were there some big challenges?
MEAN: Nyan Cat is made from over a dozen yards of custom-printed fabric using a pattern we created based on the original sprites. The pattern isn’t complicated, but we had to make a lot of judgment calls when working with a multi-frame animation, and translating something from a pixelated sprite to a rounded inflatable. We also made a miniature scale version as a backpack to hold the costume when it is not being worn.
We’ve faced many challenges as we learned how to make inflatables, such as determining suitable fabrics, sourcing them in the right colors, and adding HEPA filtration to the fans, but this particular costume was a fairly straightforward (though larger-scale) application of things we had already learned. After we had already completed the costume, we realized the necessity of rear-facing windows for visibility and communication after nearly falling off the stage at Dragon Con. We have since added them!
CIA: How as the response at Emerald City Comic Con?
TAYLOR: As the rainbow holder I love watching people as we approach, and I get to see people quickly cycle from oblivious to baffled to delighted as they realize what is happening.
MEGAN: As the head of Nyan Cat, I often only see people’s confused expressions as we approach, but enjoy the laughter and other exclamations of delight that happen as we pass.
We’ve heard from multiple people that our costume brought them the same joy they felt when they first saw Nyan Cat, which is exactly what we were going for!The creator of Nyan Cat saw our creation on Twitter and declared it “So good!” – which really meant a lot to us!
CIA : What did you learn about yourselves through cosplay?
Through our cosplay and our yard inflatables we have enjoyed many positive reactions and experiences with people. We love bringing joy to others and with cosplay, that ability has been greatly enhanced! We’ve also learned just how tiring hopping instead of walking, or even running can be!
If anyone else has made inflatables, we want to hear from you! We haven’t been able to connect with anyone else using these techniques, so nearly everything is left to individual trial and error, and we’d love to be able to collaborate with others in the community!