It’s a new year ladies and gents; and that means I’m bringing you more awesome cosplayers each month! We kicked off last year with the incredible Katie Cosplays, chilled with the charming NYC Assassin, caught up with the up-and-coming Straight Line Association (SLA) Cosplay, learned a few things from Canada’s own Heroes Workshop, and finally revisited our childhood dreams with Jessi Lynn. So where to next? Simple, this panda’s going International!
Seriously, you didn’t think Cosplay was a strictly American – or North American – thing did you? There are tons of incredibly talented cosplayers all around the world, and this month we’re traveling to Brazil to meet one of the most kick-ass – Danielle Vedovelli!
Martial artist, cosplayer, graphic designer and an overall unbeatable spirit, Danielle is as awesome as the characters she cosplays as. I first got to work with Danielle a couple months back for an article about ‘The Golden Age Of Cosplay’; and she was such a joy to work with that I just had to have her back! So let’s travel to Brazil – the land of beauty – and get to know this cosplayer a little better.
Like most cosplayers, Danielle’s Cosplay origin began with a little help from a friend. Even though she hadn’t started attending conventions until 2011 – that year out of costume – Danielle had always thought about cosplay, but didn’t know where/how to start. It can certainly seem a little scary at first; but thankfully her friend Aelyin Cosplay was there to take that first step with her – and what a step it was!
You always remember your first costume, so it makes sense that it should be something special. It should be a character that truly speaks to you, that you see yourself in, and has had a hand in driving you to this point. So when the idea to dress up as Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy 7 came up, Danielle’s answer was an immediate “YES!”
Since then Danielle has made various other costumes – some by hand others commissioned – but even when she doesn’t make a costume, she’ll still make it a point to at least make any props on her own. Though whether made, commissioned or borrowed, each of her costumes follow a certain theme: Laura Croft from Tomb Raider (the original), Elektra from Marvel comics, Videl from DragonBall Z, Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon and many more. So if you’re looking for a “beautiful badass”, that’s kind of Danielle’s thing.
“Sure it is! I see myself in these ladies more than I would [in]… some kawaii character or anything [overly cutesy] like it! Haha I’m a [long time] martial arts lover… of course my favorite characters would be fighters!” – Danielle
Now sure Danielle might try a ‘cute’ character once in a while; but it is truly the fighters that give her purpose. Since childhood she’s experimented with various different martial arts – Capoeira, Nei Kung and Nin Jutsu to name a few – but it is Tae Kwon Do that truly holds her heart and spirit. Whether in class or in costume, Danielle brings the same power and focus to everything she does – as well as how she sees the world.
I asked Danielle the usual two questions – ‘How do you define Cosplay’ / ‘Why should people give it a try’ – and just like everything else, she did not hold any punches back. As far as Danielle is concerned, there is only one rule for Cosplay: “Be happy”. Sadly there are some people in Cosplay that cast blame and belittle other people’s work; but they do not represent the community as a whole. No matter where you go in life, there will always be people trying to get you down for one reason or another; but don’t let them!
“For me Cosplay is about love and fun! What can be more fun than dressing as your favorite character and pretending to be as awesome as him/her? … You can feel like a hero!”
Though she didn’t stop there. She even went on to show how the process of making your own costumes could help teach you what’s important in life. When you work on a costume, you start to learn how to see the good in what you’ve done rather than all the bad. “[You] always have to stick with the good … or [else] you will die in your own remorse.” Very wise words to live by – in Cosplay and life itself.
When Danielle isn’t cosplaying, she’s of course training and working as both a graphic designer and photo/video editor. Throw in taking care of her adorable dog and cat, and she’s got one busy schedule. Though she’ll still make time for some good ole martial arts movies, like Bloodsport – her favorite.
As for what she has planned next, she is currently finishing up a costume of Chun-Li from Street Fighter, and has plans for Taki from Soul Calibur and Momiji from Ninja Gaiden – but she could always change her mind last minute as all cosplayers do when they have an overabundance of desired costumes. So be sure to check her out on Facebook to stay up to date with all of her projects, martial arts, and overall awesomeness!