The first time I laid eyes on Lisanna, of Draw Me a Cosplay (DMC), was in a photo on Instagram; decked out in cosplay as Jayde, the main Sim in the campaign for the 2004 game The Urbz: Sims in the City.
Whilst you could say the outfit was comfy, as far as cosplay goes- to label it unadventurous would be doing Lisanna a great disservice. What struck me most about the cosplay was how brave it was to go out as somewhat of a lesser known game character.
Although easily recognised as a Sim by the blue crystal above her head, only true fans of the short-lived Urbz series would recognise Jayde as the campaign character of the now fifteen-year-old game.
It's rumoured that a second Urbz game was in the making, but was scrapped in favour of The Sims 2. It may be of some solace to die-hard Urbz fans to know that Jayde was alleged to have been upgraded to a major character in the rumoured game, instead of just a preset- becoming your most trusted ally in taking down Daddy Bigbucks once again. True or not, it's fun to dream.
But for now, Jayde's legacy lives on in Lisanna! As well of that of many other beloved game characters. I couldn't be happier that she agreed to an interview, so take the time to get to know the woman behind the costumes here!
Tell us the story of how you got into Cosplay?
Well, that’s not a very fancy story. I went to my first con in 2013 (it was ‘Made In Asia’, in Brussels) with my mom and my older sister, and I was amazed by the cosplayers at the con, wanted to take pictures with every one of them. They motivated me to start cosplay as well, thinking this art can be a good passion to share with my mom. I was about to start my studies, far away from my home, so finding something that can link us (me and my mom) was a good thing. Secondly, finding an art that can make me look more beautiful than I am currently, was a second good reason! Haha.
What was your first Cosplay?
My first cosplay ever was my Dovahkiin OC armour from Skyrim. It was made with pretty cheap materials (cardboard, newspaper, etc.) but it’s still the most solid cosplay I have ever made! I’ve never had to repair it, unlike all the others. At this period, I was still weilding a sword that I’d designed (which is so ulgy, haha) so, back in 2016, if my memory is correct, I decided to make a “2.0 version” of this cosplay, added some details and made a beautiful battle axe, using reference pictures from the game, this time.
What has been your favourite Cosplay so far?
Urgh- that’s hard choice, since they all have a history behind them. I’ll answer; my Ranger Ignis armour since I had the most beautiful memories with it. This cosplay made me learn so many new things and offer me so much new opportunity that I couldn’t have dreamt of before, that I cannot think about an other cosplay than this one. But Elesis is not that far behind her, she was amazing to wear and create as well.
What have you learnt through Cosplaying?
So many things! How to craft, how to sew, how to style a wig, how to make pattern, how to pose, how to put heavy makeup, how to edit pictures, how to manage social media as my own community manager, how to make design for cosplay or visiting card, etc. There are SO many things you can learn from this art! That’s a “multi-art”.
What’s your favourite game? Why?
Urgghh. Second hard choice because I have plenty! Of course, I could say Black Desert Online for so many reasons (I’ve practically met my boyfriend on this game), the Ace Attorney Saga (that I’ve played way too much), The Urbz or The Sims in general (because it’s my entire childhood). There is SO many good games and so many reasons to love them.
What’s your every-day style like?
A brown-hair-skinny-potato. With glasses.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I have plenty, in many different ways. Jessica Nigri inspire me to take cosplay less seriously and just enjoy making funny cosplay, Kamui Cosplay inspire to improve my crafting skills and make my cosplay cleaner. Maul cosplay inspire me to make super accurate cosplay. This list has no end.
What practical/technical aspect of Cosplay do you struggle with the most?
Sewing, would be the first since I’m still bad at it (thanks to my mom who help me with this aspect) and being punctual. Because I take so much time to put my cosplay makeup that I’m always late at meeting/convention opening. Definitely need to improve that in the future.
Favourite con memory?
My favourite con memory would be the time I was invited to go to EGX, in Birmingham to represent the Ranger class for Kakao Games itself (editor of Black Desert Online). I got the chance to meet the crew, to meet amazing other cosplayers like Kazy Cosplay and Tarian Cosplay, and spent an amazing time with them, as well as amazing streamers like Dr Positive, GoodVibes Guys and AionJanis. I was just so lucky to be there and share this with my boyfriend (who also worked on the cosplay with me.) Just being chosen, because they liked my Ranger armour, that was the craziest experience of my life and I will always remember it.
Have you ever had any costumer/wardrobe malfunctions & how did you improvise?
I can’t count how many times we’ve had to improvise. But most of the time, double-sided tape is the solution. I remember once, when I was wearing my Gengar armour for the first time, I was sitting in the tram with Setheal (my boyfriend) and I heard a “crack” and suddenly all of the pearls that was on my boob armour felt on the floor (the string that attached them to my armour broke), so it was a mess. We were surrounded by people judging me, they were already looking at me funny because I had purple hair and armour on. Setheal had to collect up all the pearls quickly (the tram was moving so you can imagine the mess) and had to find a bag to pack them. So, he used the plastic bag that surrounds his cigarettes box, to create a mini plastic bag. He then singed the top closed with his lighter (to close the bag and be sure no pearls will felt off again). That was 100% improvisation and it allowed us to recreate my pearl “necklace” after the con. So, thanks to him for saving the situation! I can mention a-hundred of other heroic act he does for my cosplay struggles but that will need another interview, haha.
Any tips for newbies?
Depend on the newbie. But If you want to be an “accurate type” cosplayer (if this type exists), you need to take hundred of reference pictures (in HQ) and check them every second. You need to be patient, and do not put too much pressure on yourself or be disappointed if It cannot be 100% accurate. Sometimes designs are too tricky to be real.
But most importantly: enjoy what you do. If a cosplay is so hard that it makes you cry every five minutes (based on my own experience haha), then you need a break and that’s fine.
Also, save money, watch tutorial on Youtube before buying the cool fancy new material that comes out to know if you really need it, and if you’re cosplay cannot be done for the con you want, that will be all fine, it will be done later.
Cosplay is not supposed to be stressful, so don’t make it stressful and ENJOY !
Can you reveal any plans for future cosplay's?
Unfortunately, no. I always keep my cosplay builds a huge secret.
But I can tell you, in 2019, we’re (me, my mom and my boyfriend = DmC Team) planning to make 2 new outfits for the Ranger.
When’s your next con?
No idea! Again, I’ll know that when my new cosplay will be done. But be sure to meet me at PixelMania in Poland this year because I’ve been selected (yeaah!).
You can find more from Lisanna at:
Facebook : facebook.com/DrawMeaCosplay
Instagram : @drawmeacosplay