Welcome to Crystal Lake

Confessions of a Cosplayer: Shiani Barnett

Welcome to another installment of “Confessions of a Cosplayer”. Each week I will feature a cosplayer in the Friday franchise who I either know personally or through social media. As time moves on, I will also be focusing on other iconic horror characters from other franchises then I will have horror inspired cosplayers.
If you are a horror cosplayer or know someone who is a horror cosplayer and would like to be featured on a weekly spotlight please reach out to me on Facebook, Instagram or send me an email at SouthJerseyJason@gmail.com

This week’s featured Cosplayer comes to you all the way from Australia!

What is your first memory of watching a horror movie?  What movie was it?
I was 9 at a sleep over at a friend’s who lived on a farm with surrounding bushland. My friends and I hired out The Mummy and The Blair Witch Project. We watched it and then we played dares like you had to go into the bush alone and see how long you can last without getting scared. Let’s just say most of us didn’t last longer than a few minutes.

You have a love for cosplaying all things horror.  What inspired you to do original characters rather than a character from a horror franchise?
There are so many great horror movies that I love with some awesome characters so I didn’t want to just stick with one. I also want to mesh a few non-horror characters with horror, which I have started to do with horror Harley mixing Harley Quinn into some great horror franchise characters.

What made you get into the art of cosplaying (how old were you? Where did you first show off your cosplay, do you design your own clothing, hood, hockey mask, etc.?  If not, who do you use to help with your costume?)
I am 30 and a total beginner! I started cosplaying this year at my first Comic Con in March where I cosplayed Pennywise/Harley Quinn. I have no idea how to sew so I bought my costume pre made off Ebay and did my own makeup/hair and added some extras. I absolutely fell in love with the idea of cosplaying after that! I have been playing around with makeup and special FX trying to build up some skills and will be looking into how to sew as I have a lot of ideas that I want to try.

Can you describe some of your original creations and were you came up with the concept.
A lot of my creations come from my favorite horror films. I also get a lot of inspiration from places I have been too that looked creepy and then I’ll start putting ideas down to what I think would look cool in that setting. I definitely like to throw my own interpretation onto things, mixing horror with non-horror characters or creating something original is in the works for me.

Do you attend conventions?  If so which ones do you attend?  Are there any you recommend for someone who has never attended?  What advice would you give to someone who has never attended a convention as a cosplayer?
I have only attended one so far, Supanova Comic Con and Gaming but I will be attending as many as I can here in Australia in the future. I only received my costume 2 days before the convention (aghh stressful) so definitely plan your cosplay outfit as far in advance as you can and do a test run in your costume before the convention. 

What advice would you give to a first time cosplayer?
Take a deep breath! If you’re like me and are starting completely from scratch pick one area to focus on first so you don’t overwhelm yourself. I chose makeup as a starting point to learn. Have fun with it and enjoy the learning process. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Who are some of your favorite cosplayers that you follow on social media or personally know? I follow a few cosplayers and horror pages on Instagram some of my favorites are @Twisted_pennywise, @thefauxchanel, @13_gallows_lane, @horrifymeuk and of course @southjerseyjason

Do you have any social media accounts for your cosplay that you would like to promote?
So far I’m building up my cosplays on Instagram @shiani01.

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