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My cosplay and convention alias is Kenshin Kyo.
Kenshin comes from Rurouni Kenshin my favorite anime character, and Kyo comes from Samurai Deeper Kyo, also an anime character I very much like. (Cosplay is a portmanteau of costume and play. Anime is Japanese animation.)
I entered the world of cosplay in 2005 when I learned of anime conventions. My first convention was Tekkoshocon 2005 in Pittsburgh, where I dressed as Kenshin Himura, in his assassin form also known as Hitokiri Battōsai.
In the years following my family would return and compete in the costume contests and bring home minor awards. My son was singled out in 2006 for best child costume as the Dark Magician. In 2008, I received a novice award in Craftsmanship for my son’s costume as Yami Yugi in Blue Eyes White Dragon Armor.
In 2009 my kids took the stage alone dressed as ninjas from Naruto. Again I made their costumes and they won awards for being the cutest ninjas. We haven’t competed for a few years, but we still attend a few conventions each year. I still make all our costumes as well, and I have started accepting commissions to make costumes for others.
Primarily, I am an artist/craftswoman. I create many items from paintings to costumes, so you could say my skills make me a “Jill of all trades”. I draw many things, and animals and fantasy figures seem easiest for me. I also hand fashion Native American crafts like dreamcatchers and seed beaded designs. I sew costumes from just studying images of characters then draft my own patterns by drawing how I think the pieces should fit together. I also do basic woodworking to make props like swords, and small figures.
Many of my skills are self-taught. Others came from my mom showing me methods and techniques as I was growing up and even now. Some of my great art teachers taught me skills as well.
Beyond my high school diploma I hold two specialty diplomas: one in Web Design and the other in Computer Art. I also earned an Associate degree in Digital Design and Multimedia Editing.
I live in Pennsylvania with my husband and three children on my parents’ farm, with many pets and horses.