Kamidogu: Tell us a bit about yourself: your name, age and location
Kristen Hughey: Hi there! I’m Kristen, but you can dub me any appropriate and supremely awesome nickname that you desire. I’m 24 and reside in the US. More specifically: South Carolina.
Kamidogu: How did you get into cosplay? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do, or did it just come to you?
KH: My brothers attended Blizzcon in 2009 and came back with pictures of these majestic creatures, which they referred to as “cosplayers.” I had never heard of such a thing, but I knew I had to be a part of it. My mum taught me how to sew when I was young, I had been obsessed with crafting my entire life and my life already included round-the-clock nerdery. It was just meant to be. When I finally attended my first convention in 2012 (yes, that recently), I cosplayed as Black Cat, Jessica Rabbit and Jade. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Kamidogu: Out of all the characters you’ve had the pleasure of portraying, who was your all time favourite and why?
KH: So far, my favourite character to cosplay as is Poison Ivy because she is a science loving, super nerd turned seductress. I can relate to her as Dr. Pamela Isley and I feel like her sexy alter-ego when I dress as Poison Ivy.
Kamidogu: If you were to compare your every day personality to any superhero, who would you most closely resemble and why?
KH: I don’t know any superheroes who go to school all day, game all night and dress up as other superheroes on the weekend, so I honestly have no clue.
Kamidogu: From where do you draw your inspiration?
KH: Because I am surrounded by gaming, comics, sci-fi and all things nerdy on a daily basis, I would have to say that my inspiration comes from my everyday life. I think that’s why my “potential cosplay” folder has over 90 character ideas and is continually growing.
Kamidogu: How much of your costumes are made by you, by others, or simply purchased?
KH: I make everything that is within my skill set or ability to learn. I do repurpose and modify items if I have them around the house and I have purchased things, such as my katana and gun for an upcoming Babydoll cosplay. I will be doing the modifications to the gun myself (creating charms and applying decals). The katana is a limited edition movie replica, so I wanted that as a collector anyways. Jade was actually a commission; probably my one and only because I am stubborn and enjoy a good challenge. The costume was made by Dawn Herrera (Hikari Kat Cosplay). I found her online while looking for art renders to create the costume myself. Realistically, I didn’t have the time before Dragon*Con and her creation was too perfect to pass up!
Kamidogu: What does the term ‘cosplay’ mean to you?
KH: Cosplay is a fun way to pay homage to great characters and the people who created them. It opens doors for meeting likeminded individuals; some of whom have become my closest friends in a very short period of time. I can’t imagine my life without it now.
Kamidogu: For someone looking to get into cosplay, what are some of the positives and negatives that go along with the hobby?
KH: Positives include the supportive and talented people you meet, the ability to share interests with your peers and great feelings of accomplishment when you finally finish a costume that your blood, sweat and tears went into. If you only give attention to the positives, then the negatives will never matter. The more obvious negatives include cost and the inability to attend all of the cons around the world.
Kamidogu: Do you have any future projects in the pipeline?
KH: I have so much planned for 2013 and beyond! I will be debuting between 3-6 costumes for three conventions that I will be attending in March. I am working on getting my home page up and running at www.kristenhughey.com, which will feature photos, my convention schedule, works in progress, giveaways, tutorials, videos and anything else I deem nerd-worthy. I will be launching a print store in the near future, which I am both nervous and excited about!
One final project I have in the works is a non-profit organisation: Heroic. I am starting it very small via sales of wristbands and some other products in my upcoming store. All proceeds will be donated to a chosen charity. If you would like to learn more about this great endeavour, you can read about it at www.kristenhughey.com/Heroic.
Kamidogu: Your recent portrayal of characters such as Jade from Mortal Kombat and Poison Ivy from the Batman franchise prove that you are a fan of both franchises. With NetherRealm Studios set to release Injustice: Gods Among Us in April 2013, are you excited to do battle with some of pop culture’s most iconic faces?
KH: Not even a question. There aren’t many games that provoke me to game on my consoles instead of my PC, but I wouldn’t have it any other way for a fighting game like this. The arenas look amazing and the fact that you can interact with them and change your play style based on each is very cool. I think NetherRealm and Warner Bros. did a great job with this one. It’s a classic style game with a very modern, innovative and sometimes hilarious twists. Dibs on Batman!
Kamidogu: Which console(s) do you game on? What are some of your favourite titles?
KH: I’m mainly a PC gamer nowadays. I own a PS3 and 360, but I prefer using a keyboard and mouse, especially for FPS games. However, I have no problem going back to my N64 to play Ocarina of Time or SNES to Back, Back, B my opponents as Scorpion on Mortal Kombat. There are some games that will forever be favourites of mine. My favourite current PC games are League of Legends, Torchlight 2, Guild Wars 2, the Arkham games and Chivalry. I’m mentioning those because they are what I have been juggling between lately. I’m a huge Valve and Blizzard fan as well. Diablo II will always hold a special place in my heart.
Kamidogu: What are some hobbies you enjoy outside of cosplay?
KH: I am a student for the mere reason that I enjoy learning...talk about expensive hobbies. I also love belly dance, photography, cooking, traveling, Reiki and many other forms of natural healing and health.
Kamidogu: What are some of your favourite TV shows and movies?
KH: I enjoy/enjoyed watching The Walking Dead, Dexter, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Arrested Development, Big Bang Theory, Family Guy, American Dad and The Office. For movies: my favourite single movie of all time is Braveheart. My favourite trilogy is Lord of the Rings. My favourite saga is Star Wars. Obviously.
Kamidogu: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
KH: I can’t answer that. My parents read these things!
Kamidogu: What is something most people don’t know about you?
KH: I am kind of obsessed with the Zelda games. This realisation finally dawned on me when I bought a Wii for the sole purpose of playing Skyward Sword. I bought the limited edition game with the gold controller and I do not allow anyone to use said controller. I call it “my precious.”
Kamidogu: Do you have any famous last words?
KH: Do or do not. There is no try.