words: Ellen Gurley
photos: Michael Scozzari
Cosplay is a thing. Whether or not you choose to accept that adults dress up for fun and for sport doesn’t mean they are not doing it. The fact is that it is not as underground as some might think. Usually born out of a love of graphic novels, some folks cosplay because they can’t NOT cosplay. It is just a part of who they are. Kona Kyoto is one of those people.. so much so that she doesn’t even use her real name anymore. It all began with a fascination for special effects makeup and costume design became a by product of this hobby. Just like other hobbies, cosplay is a very expensive one. Making her own costumes has afforded Kona the opportunity to apply her skill and meticulous detail to this livelihood of hers while cutting the costs by sourcing all of her own materials. Most hobbies don’t support themselves, but being able to wear her award-winning suits and then later sell them is making this venture self-sustaining.
Traveling all over the country to upwards of ten 3 and 4 day conventions annually can be very time consuming and has become a wonderful way to network with other cosplayers. Cashing in at competitions is a goal, but being in the community she loves is what keeps her at it. She definitely worked under a mentor to get started and now she isn’t stingy with her knowledge. You can ask her anything. She is frequently interviewed on pod casts, in magazines, and on TV shows, as she is now respected as a trusted expert. We want to make sure that you know that Kona is available to discuss any commission that you may require and, as mentioned earlier, most of her own outfits are up for grabs, too. My City Magazine thinks that Kona is fascinating and we promise to keep up with her. Rumour has it that she is even making her own wedding dress. Stay tuned.
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