Today we’re joined by Maeden. Maeden is an awesome cosplayer who is perhaps best known for her wonderful Supergirl. She puts a lot of time and effort into her cosplays and it shows. When she’s not working on cosplays, Maeden also enjoys drawing (both digital and on paper) and does some graphic design. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I love to draw both digitally and on paper, but my main artistic medium is cosplay. I started off by doing characters who wore “street clothes” that I could just approximate and wear as-is, but have recently grown my skills to make heavy modifications to base pieces. I strive for accuracy and am always looking for ways to improve.
I also run a YouTube channel that is mostly centered on cosplay, with occasional fandom rants and tip videos.
What inspires you?
Honestly, Supergirl. Specifically, as played by Laura Vandervoort. Seriously though- when I first discovered the character, my life was really awful. But striving to embody her helped to keep me from becoming bitter and angry. I saw someone who had lost everything and was severely displaced, but was still kind, and hopeful, and strong. I decided I wanted to be like that. And I wanted to pay tribute to her, starting by writing her and adopting her bright, bold aesthetic, to eventually bringing a full-fledged portrayal to life.
I don’t agree with all the ways she’s been depicted, as I’ll mention more later, but aiming to be more like my ideal version of her keeps my head held high.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I just love creating. With cosplay, I went to my first con without cosplaying and just realized I’d enjoy it more if I were playing a character. A few months later at my second con I cosplayed for the first time, and haven’t stopped since.
As far as my drawing, it just started as something to do when I was bored. Over time I improved and realized I was pretty OK at it, and wanted to share it.
What’s the best thing you’ve experienced through your art?
Being able to bring my ideas to life. I’m so often disappointed by how the character I love is represented, but by both drawing and cosplaying- especially the latter- I can realize what I would like to see, ranging from queer headcanons, to creative and unique stories that respect my muse.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Pursue what you’re passionate about. People may call it an obsession- and that’s fine! Be driven and proud of your work.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Demisexual Panromantic. With most people I just say Bi though, and even that’s wild or complicated to some.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
In the cosplay community, most are very accepting of everyone. I also don’t introduce myself as Mae the A-spec, so I haven’t had occasion to tell many people. But those I’ve happened to mention it to are perfectly accepting.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it’s a medical/psychological “condition” or that it simply means a complete disdain for sex. To me, it means that sex is never my imperative with anyone when meeting or getting to know them.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s OK to not be sure. How I identify has changed more than once as I’ve grown and learned about the spectrum. There’s no rush or need to pick a label if you don’t know; just be yourself!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I also have a TeePublic shop: https://www.teepublic.com/user/maeden
And I post some stuff on my Tumblr, at Maeden.
I’m also a partner with fandom culture site Cosplay Spotlite – http://cosplayspotlite.com
Thank you, Maeden, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.