Would You Kindly......
“A man chooses...a slave obeys.”
I have been so lucky with the friends I have made in the cosplay world, one of whom is Mary Klajbor. We started talking via Instagram, and I eventually invited her to a cosplay meetup (hosted by the awesome @sinceralychrista & @nightsisterjin)at Ocean Beach in San Francisco,CA. Since then we have met up for some great cosplay shoots and even published her in a non cosplay magazine! My one regret is that I have never actually been to a convention at the same time as her. I look forward to all of our future shoots.
I recently reached out to some of my friends and asked them all the same questions, curious what their answers are......
The Nerdographer: How did you get into Cosplay?
Mary: I’ve been dressing up for years. I have pictures of me as a kid refusing to take off my costumes. I would play dress up every day, and started sewing when I was about 10. From there I just sewed what I liked - so when I started reading comic books what I wanted to sew was the costumes that I was seeing. My first cosplay was lady punisher and I made all her accessories out of duct tape :)
The Nerdographer: What are your goals?
Mary: Honestly, my main goal is just to have to build my self confidence. I was bullied ruthlessly growing up and had trichotillomania (obsessive hair pulling) due to anxiety, and that contributed to my confidence just being shot. So, when I dress up as these characters it reminds me that I CAN be anything even though no one saw anything in me and that is so empowering to me. I’m working on feeling more comfortable with my body by working with new photographers and by going even slightly out of my comfort zone, I can continue pushing the boundaries of what I’m capable of.
The Nerdographer: Would you talk more about how you have pushed your boundaries?
Mary: I’ve pushed my boundaries by meeting new people, shooting in more public places, and doing the kinds of shoots that I definitely would not have done before. I tried my first out of cosplay shoot with you and that was a big one for me! I’m kind of a scared little child and I’m trying to practice being more adventurous.
The Nerdographer: Explain your process for choosing a new cosplay.
Mary: I see it. I like it. I make it. I got it.
The Nerdographer: How did you choose your cosplay handle?
Mary: It’s named after a children’s book my mom used to read to me about a mouse that does everything backwards and I can still personally relate to it
The Nerdographer: I am definitely a contrarian at times...but that might be because I am a grumpy old man.
The Nerdographer: Do you have a favorite fandom?
Mary: Right now I love Marvel and League of Legends. It changes though - last year I was super into Destiny 2 (still am but not as much). I think Marvel is the most consistent favorite I have though.
The Nerdographer: What do you do away from cosplay for work?
Mary: I am a full time student! I am studying costume design at FIDM SF and I’m loving it!
The Nerdographer: What other hobbies besides cosplay do you have?
Mary: Too many - gaming, horseback riding, drawing, running, makeup, sewing....
The Nerdographer: Do you have any nicknames?
Mary: My mom calls me Fairy and my dad calls me Bear. My boyfriend calls me like 200 different names. One of them is Smol Bean
The Nerdographer: Do you have a dream cosplay?
Mary: Well, it was Cosmic Dusk Xayah but since I’m bringing her to Fanime... I’m going to need a new one 😂
The Nerdographer: Do you have a favorite convention?
Mary: Yes!!! SVCC will always hold a special place in my heart. My boyfriend bought the tickets for me for Christmas and it was the sweetest gesture
The Nerdographer: Favorite character?
Mary: I have too many... let’s see. I really like Neeko, Xayah, and Nidalee from LoL. From Marvel I love Scarlet Witch (but not the movie version), Jean Grey, Deadpool, and the Punisher. I also really like SO many anime characters - mostly the ones that have some kind of animal ears cuz they cute
The Nerdographer: How long would you say on average you spend building a cosplay?
Mary: That varies. Big, armor heavy cosplays usually take a couple months. Cosplays that don’t have armor usually take 1-4 weeks. My Scarlet Witch Costume I did in a night 🙃
The Nerdographer: Have you ever had anybody tell you that you should not cosplay someone and how did you react?
Mary: Yeah and it was the funniest shit ever. Someone told me I shouldn’t cosplay anime characters because I’m not Asian. I basically told them to fuck off (with more words)
The Nerdographer: Any cosplays that you put on the back burner or got over whelmed by while building that you would love to finish?
Mary: Poor bayonetta got pushed to the side. She’s so iconic and I’d hate to screw her up so I’m more just afraid to work on it. Also Prestige Akali - I started her and figured out that I couldn’t afford the rest of the materials and that made me sad :(
The Nerdographer: Are there any older cosplays of yours that you would like to redo?
Mary: Oooo yeah. I want to re do my dark pheonix cosplay - it was super cute but needed a lot more work to make it perfe
The Nerdographer: Give me an unpopular opinion about something you have.
Mary: Ummmmm I really like pigeons? I think they’re cute as hell and I love how dumb they are 🐦
The Nerdographer: Give me one tip you have for starting a cosplay.
Mary: First priority always has to be yourself. If you can’t afford a cosplay DONT DO IT. You need to eat and pay rent and pay your Netflix and phone before working on a cosplay. Cosplay should never come before your personal well being.
The Nerdographer: What do you think about the “need” to make a new cosplay for each convention?
Mary: The need to make new cosplays honestly depends on how you as a person would like to run your “business” as a cosplayer. For me, it’s really fun to unveil a new cosplay at a con, because that’s when I know people will be responsive and see the work I put into it in person. When something just goes up on social media it’s often hard to show little details of it!!! I try to bring new things too because it holds me accountable for the things I’m making and gives me a “due date” of when it needs to be finished. That being said, that’s my thing and I think also a big part of cosplays that people miss is loving yourself and if you love yourself in a cosplay you’ve worn before and want to show it off again then you should!!!!
❤️❤️❤️❤️ - Mary