Canadian cosplayer Sha-Nyan recalls the experience of the first convention she attended at the age of 15 ”I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I realized it was possible to become a fictional character on a day that wasn’t October 31.” She said, “I was mesmerized with how life-like everything looked.”
Within a few years of that convention Sha-Nyan began bringing characters to life herself, both as a solo artist and with friends at various conventions and cosplay events.
Although she enjoys the social aspect, Sha-Nyan observes things to consider for group cosplay, “A lot of times you have to step back when being ion a group and look at yourself critically; who do I resemble the most?” she said, “Whereas if I were just cosplaying solo I would pick my favorite character, but as a group I have to make sure I don’t overlap anyone.”
For now she draws most of her cosplays from anime, but Sha-Nyan does plan to add comic and video game characters to her line up. “I’m itching to start on some cosplays with more intricate detail! I’ve been looking at game characters, particularly from Vindictus, Blade and Soul and Bioshock, but still haven’t decided which one I will be doing yet.” Also included in her plans for future cosplays are (as yet unnamed) characters from both Marvel and DC Comics.
“I have a sof spot for meek little girls with hugeass weapons.” She confesses and adds that she does wish to portray male characters wearing intensive armor, such as found in the Halo franchise.
As a first step towards these future cosplays, Sha-Nyan and her friends have begun fashioning fully functioning props, (such as a launcher) which she does say that they plan to keep ‘Convention Safe’.
In the making of her cosplays Sha-Nyan shows an eye for detail with the costumes she has made so far. “From start to finish, from the initial pattern draft to the completed ready-to-wear product (including wig styling, makeup tests and shoe hunting) I’d say it probably takes about 20 hours for a simple sailor uniform to 40 hours for cosplays with a prop and lots of accessories.”
Her love of cosplay extends beyond her own personal characters. Beside the prop making Sha-Nyan also makes and sells accessories for cosplay and is currently booking other cosplayers for photography sessions. Her online store features extra items she has made which she won’t be using herself. In addition she has recently added ‘Doodle Commissions’ to her sale items.
These are a way of saying thank you to fans for their support by offering one of her pencil drawings for $1 or an inked version for $3. Both versions are mailed to fans with a personalized thank you from Sha-Nyan written on them.
When one scrolls through her Facebook page you see a fun loving, energetic person who genuinely enjoys all aspects of cosplay. Sha-Nyan’s natural energy, attention to detail and dedication to improvement make this up and coming cosplayer an artist to keep an eye on.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available through Amazon.com), and a number of articles here on TMRZoo.com. His monthly column ‘Indy Comics Spotlight’ appears here and through his blog Indy Comics Spotlight