My name is Michaela de Bruce. I am a costume maker and a cosplayer.
I do both. At heart I am a fan of making over and above any other kind of fandom, and this can be hard to explain in short form on social media or in fandom based communities.
When you admit to wanting to make things because you find them interesting it can be seen as frivolous, of not being serious or even using a fandom as a means to an end.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In order to make I need to learn how to make, and I need to understand the character and the world they live in. In order to learn how to learn how to make I have to learn different languages and jargon and understand tham.
Costume making is not a single journey, each skill takes me on a new path, a new way of thinking and a new way of connecting with my peers or artists or makers across the ages. I have an appreciation for the people who make things I use and wear every day.
When I start making I have already spent many hundreds of hours understanding what to expect and how to make use of materials and techniques for a variety of outcomes. I have learnt what kind of processes enhance and what simply do not work together. Chemical reactions in dyes or glues or resins can be a safety issue, and they can be a way to bypass what is readily available if imperfect.
I will look for any and all options I can, so that even if I don’t use them I have them when opportunity arises at another time.
I do have only a few rules: I want the things I make to last, they need to be able to be worn and they need to survive being worn and stored.
I have this desire to make things the way I do also because there is going to be a time when I won’t be able to make them. There are limits we all face, respecting that does not mean limiting yourself further. I know what it is to not have the tools I want, I know what it is to have the desire but knowing the cost is something I cannot or do not want to pay.
I make because I am inspired, and that inspiration may be aesthetic or it may be character. Usually it will be a matter of reaching a point where I am so enthralled with the world, as well as intrigued by how I could make part of it physical that I actually decide to make it.
Making is something I cannot not do. It has been part of my life since I was a child, I had no clue what I really wanted to be was an engineer. I wound up instead focusing my curiosity of how things work in to Biochemistry, I focused my curiosity about human minds in to acting. I did not have the chance to study what I was most passionate about formally.