Meet Mizimel, one of the incredible cosplayers attending Comic Con Honolulu. In the hustle and the bustle of the con it can be tricky to get to know people, so we wanted to give you a chance to get to know some of the amazing talent right here on island!

1. What inspired your first cosplay?

My first cosplay was Gnar from League of Legends, for Kawaii Kon in 2015. The character had just been released in August, and I really loved his design, his personality and playstyle. By October, I got really good at playing Gnar, and I had previously made cosplays for other people, but never for myself so I decided to try making something for me. Loving the character made it really easy to stay fired up about making the costume; I put so much thought into how to make it and I even learned most of his babble dialogue and tried to mimic the voice and attitude. I also really wanted to cosplay because people didn’t think I could. Some of my really good friends and I would talk about it sometimes, and I always felt like they didn’t think I could actually do it.

2. What is the hardest part of cosplaying for you?

For me, the hardest part is choosing something to work on. A lot of the difficulty comes from picking a character that fits my face/personality/body type – something that will look/feel right on me. Most importantly, I have to really love and connect with the character or I don’t feel enough passion to put the work in. I would also feel like I’m lying to people who really love the character/show/game if I were cosplaying their favorite character that I had no real interest in or love for. The other part I would say is finding time between working full-time and being so tired.

3. What are the three most essential things to have with you when cosplaying at a convention?

I always bring a repair kit, pain reliever and a pair of comfortable shoes to change into so I can prevent as much suffering as possible. Haha, I also always have a family member there to help me handle everything.

4. What is the best cosplaying advice you received?

The best advice I’ve ever received was from a cosplayer that I look up to very much. She told me not to give up. That sounds really cliche and insignificant but my struggle is always feeling like I can’t do something. Everyone starts somewhere and for a while there will be a time where you compare what you do to what everyone else does and you’re going to feel like giving up. You shouldn’t. You’re never going to get anywhere without struggling and growing first.

5. What are some of the best things you’ve learned about yourself since you started cosplaying?

I’ve learned to be forgiving. I’ve learned to let the imperfections go. It’s very tempting to be a perfectionist, but the best you can do is your best until you get better. I think the best thing I’ve learned is that if I put everything into making something, there’s no way to really be disappointed.

6. Who is your hero? (real life or fictional)

I have a lot of heroes – other cosplayers, my sister, my friends. I think my real hero is my husband. He lets me wreck the apartment to make nerdy crafts, then stays up all night with me when I’m working finishing them at the last minute, then chauffeurs me to and from con, then carries around all my things and heavy props while I just goof off and try to look pretty. He is my real unsung real hero.

7. A new cosplayer wants some advice – what do you tell them?

I actually get a lot of questions about getting started, which is hard because I’m still really new at this. I always tell people to pick something that has a significance to them. I tell them to research the heck out of it and to learn literally anything they can that will help. Then I tell them to give it their best shot and have fun because that’s honestly the entire point.

8. What has been one of the coolest things to come from cosplaying?

The coolest thing for me is that I have been able to make so many friends, and grow as a person and as an artist. I’m constantly learning and growing and it keeps me from getting bored. I’m more social than I’ve ever been because the local community is so friendly and welcoming and fun.