CosPlay Corner: Sha-Nyan CosPlay
Canadian cosplayer Sha-Nyan recalls the experience of the first convention she attended when she was 15. ”I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I realized it was possible to become a fictional character on a day that wasn’t October 31.” She added, “I was mesmerized with how life-like everything looked.”
Within a few years of that first convention, Sha-Nyan began bringing characters to life herself. She does this as a solo artist and with friends at various conventions and cosplay events.
While enjoying the social aspect, Sha-Nyan also observes things to consider for group cosplay. “A lot of times you have to step back when being in a group and look at yourself critically; who do I resemble the most?” she said. “Whereas if I were just cosplaying solo I would pick my favorite character, but as a group I have to make sure I don’t overlap anyone.”
Currently drawing most of her cosplays from anime, Sha-Nyan has plans to add comic and video game characters to her line up. “I’m itching to start on some cosplays with more intricate detail.” She states “I’ve been looking at game characters, particularly from Vindictus, Blade and Soul and Bioshock, but still haven’t decided which one I will be doing yet.” Also included in her plans for future cosplays are, as yet unnamed, Marvel and DC characters
“I have a soft spot for meek little girls with huge ass weapons.” She confesses and adds that she also wishes to portray male characters wearing intensive armor, such as those found in the Halo franchise.
As a first step towards these future cosplays, Sha-Nyan and her friends have begun creating fully functioning props, (such as a launcher) which she says they plan to keep ‘Convention Safe’.
In the making of her cosplays, Sha-Nyan displays an eye for detail in the costumes she has fashioned. “From start to finish, from the initial pattern draft to the completed ready-to-wear product (including wig styling, makeup tests and shoe hunting) I’d say it probably takes about 20 hours for a simple sailor uniform to 40 hours for cosplays with a prop and lots of accessories.”
Her love of cosplay extends beyond her own personal characters. Besides creating props, Sha-Nyan also makes and sells accessories for cosplay and is currently booking other cosplayers for photography sessions. Her online store features extra items that Sha-Nyan has created but will not be using in her own cosplays. In addition, she has recently added ‘Doodle Commissions’ to her items for sale.
These Doodle Commissions are a way of saying thank you to fans for their support. Sha-Nyan offers one of her pencil drawings for $1 or an inked version for $3. Both versions are mailed to fans with a personalized thank you from Sha-Nyan.
Scrolling through her Facebook page, one can see a fun loving, energetic person who genuinely enjoys all aspects of cosplay. Sha-Nyan’s natural energy, attention to detail and dedication to improvement are evident, making this up and coming cosplayer an artist to watch.