In the weeks before Facts, one of the largest game, comic book, cosplay and fantasy conventions in Ghent, Belgium, I have had the chance to talk with cosplayer Annelies, also known as Fellight Cosplay, about the influence of games on cosplay and her own personal interest for the massive multiplayer role-playing game World of Warcraft.

Fellight Cosplay is a cosplayer from Antwerp, Belgium, who has been taking cosplay serious since the age of eighteen with a wide variety of different characters. As a student, she dedicates her time creating great costumes inspired by games. One of her latest cosplays, her Brigitte Lindholm costume is inspired by both World of Warcraft and Overwatch.

What is the favourite cosplay that you have done already?

To be honest, as a cosplayer, I do not have one preferred costume that I enjoy most. For the time being, my favourite cosplay may be my latest Brigitte Lindholm costume and the Draenei cosplay from last year.

Do you make all these detailed costumes yourself?

The more recent cosplays are handcrafted and created myself. In the very beginning, I decided to buy some costumes in a store and my grandfather helped me adjust them. Later, I followed a sewing class to become better at making costumes.

How many costumes do you create in a year?

The number of costumes completed in one year depends on the amount of time I have besides schoolwork. As mentioned before, I have more experience than I had before and as a result, I can work a little bit faster. On average, I create two or three costumes every year.

What has been the hardest project you executed so far?

The hardest cosplay so far is definitely Brigitte Lindholm. The entire project itself is larger than any previous cosplay. In this costume, I decided to make the shield transparent and that made it even more difficult to glue all the individual pieces together. I even implemented electronic components.

Why did you implement electronic components in a costume?

The weapon of the Brigitte Lindholm costume consists of a center that has been printed with a 3D printer and there are four side wings located at the top of the club. These side wings are able to move up or down with the help of an electronic motor inside the core of the weapon. To be honest, incorporating these electronic components required some help.

What kind of fabrics do you use to create these colourful costumes?

Most of the costumes are created with foam because of the lower weight compared to more heavier materials. For cosplayers who want to wear their costumes an entire day, it is simply too heavy to use stronger and heavier materials to create the entire armour. The largest downside to this lighter material is that it is not as durable as you want it to be and you notice errors and mistakes.

Do you often have to restart with a piece of the costume due to a mistake?

Yes, when creating more complex costumes it happens. As a cosplayer, you need to be patient and often have to restart with a smaller piece of the costume if it does not work out as expected. Sometimes you may need to try a second or third time, maybe even a fourth time.

How much does a decent cosplay cost?

To be honest, do I really have to answer this question? The estimated cost of the Brigitte Lindholm costume is a little over five hundred euros. Every design mistake adds to the total cost of the cosplay. In this project, you have to include the electronic components in the weapons that made the entire costume even more expensive. To me, the exact cost of the project detracts a some of the magic of the costume.

How much of a time commitment is this?

This is also a hard question to answer. As an estimated time commitment, I would say that you need one month of work to complete an entire cosplay, but this also depends on the proportions of the project. The last weeks before an event are the most time consuming if you still need to finish some pieces of the costume.

What makes you choose to cosplay a certain character?

This is a good question and there are a few criteria that need to be met before I will cosplay a certain character. I need to be interested in the background story of the character, I have to be able to recreate the costume without losing the identity of the character and need to want to show my respect for the character.

Fellight cosplay

Where do you get your inspiration for an entire different costume?

As an example, the Brigitte Lindholm costume is based on a game character. Brigitte is a character from Overwatch, but her gameplay mechanics resembles the gameplay style from the Paladin from World of Warcraft, so I decided to design my own unique Brigitte costume based on both World of Warcraft and Overwatch by implementing the judgement armour set from the World or Warcraft game as a source of inspiration.

Are most of your costumes based on game characters?

The cosplays I wear to events and conventions are all based on game characters and I plan to keep it that way in the near future. Most of my recent costumes are inspired by World of Warcraft and other games from the same developer. You see the designs of the characters in those games and imagine yourself wearing those outfits in real-life.

Is there a strong connection between cosplay and games? If so, can you explain this further?

Yes, there is a rather strong connection between cosplay and games. Like-minded game cosplayers tend to consider games as the key source of inspiration for their costumes and cosplay designs, but there are other cosplayers who turn to other media such as comic books.

What is your favourite game or genre?

The fantasy world of World of Warcraft has had a large and positive impact on my personal life and, for the same reason, the game has also had a serious influence on my career as a cosplayer.

What is your next game-inspired cosplay going to be?

Taelia Fordragon is a character that has been a part of the universe of World of Warcraft for a long time and she received an impressive redesign in the latest update. The background of the character is interesting and the new design is great, so I decided to create a costume based on her.

All characters mentioned before are non-playable characters in the games, but do you also create costumes based on your own game characters?

Draenei, one of my previous cosplays, is based on my perosnal game character in World of Warcraft. Too bad, my skills at the time were not good enough to recreate the exact armour and I was forced to search a more simplified armour design that looks equally as good. In the end, it is the same character with a different armour.

What is the best convention you went to so far?

Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, is the largest game convention I went to so far. As a Belgian cosplayer, you feel part of the larger game community and have the chance to meet foreign gamers and cosplayers in an international context. Gamescom is the perfect event for game cosplayers to show their latest costumes.

Do you feel more confident when wearing a cosplay costume?

To be honest, I feel a lot more confident when wearing one of my latest cosplays. As a rather introvert person, it is often difficult to talk and interact with other people. A decent costume offers me the chance to become the character itself. I feel stronger and cooler as the Brigitte Lindholm character.

Do you have a specific piece of advice for new cosplayers?

Just do it. There are a lot of people who tell me that they want to start and doubt is holding them back. Choose a character and create a costume. There are enough tutorials and cosplayer to ask for help. Just see what happens.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Where can readers find you online?

Thank you for the invitation for the interview. Your readers can find me on both Instagram and Facebook where I am known as Fellight Cosplay.

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