Cosplayer Spotlite: Ricey

This week we are shining our spotlight on New Jersey cosplayer Brittani, AKA Ricey (she/her)!

Ai Mikaze from Uta no Prince-sama at Katsucon 2020 (photo by @yennieatcons)

How long have you been a cosplayer?
I’ve been a cosplayer for roughly nine years, and went to my first cosplay convention when I was nineteen.

What got you into cosplay?
I decided to delve into cosplay when I realized at a very young age, around 11 or 12 (roughly 2009/2010) that there were people who enjoyed dressing up as characters from anime and from books and the like, as this was back when cosplay was not nearly as widespread or widely accepted as it is nowadays. And I figured, hey, if other people do it, then why can’t I also?

Do you make, buy, or is it a combination?
As far as crafting costumes goes, I definitely use a combination of sources. If it’s a project that I definitely see out of the realm of possibility to make myself or to closet, I will either purchase a premade one from a retailer or seek out a commission. I personally believe that there’s nothing wrong with any of the three, as we’re all in this for relatively similar reasons, if not the same, and not everybody is able to afford extravagant, hand-tailored cosplays in this economy. I believe it’s only right for everyone of all walks and kinds to be able to enjoy it.

First cosplay?
My first cosplay I ever did was Dohee from the K-pop group Tiny-G, specifically from their Minimanimo era, but my first public cosplay that I wore out of the house was Sam Manson from Danny Phantom.

Latest cosplay?
The latest cosplay I’ve debuted has definitely been Joanne Harcourt from Black Butler, in the Phantomfive era, but the latest cosplay that I have obtained and plan to debut is Aloy from the Horizon game franchise.

Favorite thing about being a cosplayer?
I think my favorite thing about being in the cosplay community is the lack of personability; unfortunately, while I consider cosplay an incredibly welcoming and open community, it’s never going to be perfect and there is always going to be some hardship when it comes to the public eye. However, I find that being as you are an unknown face in that instance, any opinions that come with what you’re wearing are solely from what you’re wearing. And seeing as most of us in this hobby have an eye for craftsmanship and creativity, I find it incredibly flattering and I find people very supportive and uplifting.

Least favorite thing?
My least favorite part of cosplaying is definitely luggage – I truly don’t think anything is worse, haha.

What do you do for work outside of cosplay?
I spent many of my years as teacher to fund my hobbies, and am currently bouncing around a patch of unemployment in picking up part-time jobs to get back on my feet.

Lizzy Midford (left) from Black Butler at Katsucon 2019, with @yennieatcons as Ciel Phantomhive (right) (photo by @dearest.cindy)

What are your top 3 fandoms?
I’m a massive Black Butler fan, and likely always will be. It’s definitely my favorite fandom to be in (except on twitter, I don’t be on there) and I adore so many of the manga-era characters and have plans to cosplay so many more. I also adhere very closely to the Uta no Prince-Sama fandom, as it was the fandom that I made the most friends through, and as a lesser-known fandom it can be very special to find other fans. For a third, it definitely has to be Total Drama. This falls into the same vein as UtaPri, wherein not many people willingly cosplay from it, but when they do, it’s always a friend-group thing and you can tell it’s something that a lot of us twenty/thirty-somethings grew up on and bonded over.

What cosplay are you planning next?
As I said previously, my next planned cosplay to debut is Aloy from the Horizon game series (I currently have the Nora Huntress fit from both games on hand, and am looking into making the Utaru Winterweave armor, as well) but the next cosplay I plan to make/finish is definitely either Snow Bunny Ai Mikaze from Uta no Prince-Sama Shining Live, or Tsukasa from Devils’ Line.

What’s one piece of advice for new cosplayers?
One thing I definitely recommend if you’re thinking of dipping your toes into cosplay is that Youtube can quite literally be your best friend, and that you don’t have to overthink it; I know a lot of people tend to get intimidated early on, because maybe they don’t know how to sew, or don’t know how to style wigs, or whatever the case. Closeting is an amazing, budget-friendly option for those looking to do any kind of a simpler fit, and it’s where you use either your own clothing pieces or even thrift some and work them into an outfit befitting of the character in mind. It’s a great stepping-stool in my eyes, and is quite honestly overlooked. Youtube is literally full of tutorials for just about anything, from makeup techniques to wig styling to patterning to even hand-sewing; to me, it’s all about your willingness to learn.

Where can people find you on social media?
You can find more about me and follow me on Instagram at @thespicyricey!

Below is a gallery of some of our featured subject’s cosplays! (All photo credits use the photographer’s Instagram handle.)

About Gabby Bibus

Gabby has been obsessed with anime since she was just 9 years old, and is proud to say she has watched over 200 different series. But that’s not even her biggest claim to fame: she also lives on a farm with over 80 goats! Although anime and animals are her two favorite things in the world, she also loves music, books, and movies. Her day job is a middle school ESL teacher, and she is also a staff member at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire.

View all posts by Gabby Bibus

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