It’s a new year, and that means more Cosplayers interviews! But whether their reign lasts a month or longer, each cosplayer we feature is timeless! So in keeping with that, we are going to finally sit down with a cosplayer I’ve known since the beginning. A cosplayer whose personality and talent are so incredible, that not even months of scheduling conflicts could deter this interview. A cosplayer who just so happens to have a Birthday tis month! So who is this epic cosplayer? It’s Amie Lynn of course!
But seriously, she is NOT an easy woman to schedule time with! As if school and Cosplay wasn’t enough, her flight into NYC was delayed last New York Comic Con, forcing many schedule re-writes and us to come up with a Plan B plan. . . This looks like a job for Skype!
So sit down with us! Pull up a chair. Put off doing your taxes – but not too much – and let’s get to know the amazing Amie Lynn a little better!
Prior to 2009, Amie had no idea what Cosplay was – that is until a close friend had the novel idea for a group cosplay. They had already been planning on attending Anime Expo; but when the opportunity to dress up as characters from Code Geass arose, Amie thought it’d be a fun change. So she bought a quick C.C. costume from ebay for the group cosplay and made a quick Fuu (Samurai Champloo) costume with her mom; and before she knew it, she was bitten by the Cosplay bug. That initial friend might not cosplay anymore; but to Amie it was the moment she started to feel like she truly belonged somewhere.
“I moved around a lot up until high school (like every year or two), and I never had that feeling of belonging in a community or group. I never picked up a hobby and never felt like I was capable of being good at anything. I tried sports and the coach actually dropped training me, tried choir but mouthed the songs because I didn’t think I had a good voice. I just didn’t have a lot of faith in myself or that people would want to be around me because I sucked at everything. So basically I just stayed at home playing video games and watching anime.” – Amie
Although after she started cosplaying, all of this changed. She enjoyed finally finding something she not only enjoyed, but could also keep growing at. Even if she wasn’t great at it yet, it was still something she loved doing regardless. As Amie so poignantly said, “That moment you find something you love doing and feel accepted doing is so euphoric”! Although these feelings aren’t just true for Amie. In fact, this is probably something most cosplayers understand at some point.
“It’s not about the panels, signings, exclusive merchandise or any of that. Sure those are the facets that bring really cool people all together; but for me – and at the end of the day – it’s all about the people who I encounter and meet” – Amie
Amie’s boyfriend hilariously summed up this feeling by saying Con’s are basically “people walking around saying they will get somewhere, but never really do”. And if you’ve ever tried to coordinate with anyone at a convention, you know that’s very true! But meeting new people and catching up with old friends is what really makes Conventions so special – and when you’re in costume and people are constantly asking you for photos, you really don’t get anywhere. But it’s in moments like those where if you stop and take it all in, that you truly feel the energy!
After Anime Expo 2009, Amie really wanted to start making all her own costumes; but she had barely any experience. So after getting a basic sewing machine for Christmas, she set out to at least master all the basics – and by “basics”, she means the completely “foolproof”. Though Amie didn’t just want to sew; but also make armor too. With help from her friend – now called Aaron’s Armory – and plenty of online tutorials – Amie grew and two years later completed her first big costume for Anime Expo 2011, Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII-2. Fast forward to the present day and Amie’s armor skills have grown quite a bit; and even her sewing has gotten better thanks to a serger she got … wait for it… for free on Craigslist!
Although no matter how much work Amie tries to put in her costumes, she doesn’t think it’s necessary to make your own. In fact, when you think about what Cosplay is, it’s actually kinda “silly” to think one MUST make everything his or her self.
“I’ve never been a Cosplay purist. If you’re entering a cosplay contest then yes craftsmanship is important; but to simply wear at a convention, you should be able to wear whatever you want… it’s cool to make your own costumes, but certainly not necessary. I’ve had help from Maise Designs, Dinopoopie, Cl0vache, and Henchmen Props. They are my friends and I love the work that they produce so collaborating with them on a costume is an honor.
At the end of the day, Cosplay is a hobby and hobbies are for fun! People can make their own costumes, they can be sexy or silly, they can genderbend, do an original creation, whatever. If you feel good about it than isn’t that what matters most?” – Amie Lynn
When it comes to what type of costumes Amie loves most, that’s a little tough. On one hand, she LOVES making armored cosplays; but at the same time she’s also incredibly picky about which she chooses and usually has trouble finding one that speaks to her. On the other hand, she’s “really excited to sew pretty things” now that she has a serger!
“Seriously, [I] can’t stress enough how happy I am to find a free serger THAT WORKS! Yeah, yeah, it’s also from like the 70’s; but it good!” – Amie
And when it comes to choosing a costume in general, her options don’t get any easier. Basically she separates her planned costumes into three categories: The first is for characters she loves and/or admires (ie: Vincent Valentine). The second is based primarily on ‘looks’ and when she wants to make something she thinks is beautiful (ie: Harley Quinn). And the final is a new category she’s recently been blessed with having where someone will sponsor a costume. (ie: Gamevil).
Although there is a 4th category that Amie loves doing and it’s one that I myself have even been pondering lately: Crossover Cosplays! From genderbents to Assassins Creed Disney Princesses, there’s nothing quite like “the freedom” offered by a crossover cosplay. Sure it requires a lot more research and work than a normal costume, but it’s a chance to truly take ownership of the character you are creating. It’s something genuinely you and yet still within the realm that your character exists within. Though not everyone likes these kinds of costumes as Amie warns; but “from a creative side, it’s liberating. From a fandom side, it’s immersive. But be careful because once you do one, you’ll never want to stop!”
Of all the costumes Amie’s done – and there’s been A LOT of them – she of course has a favorite: Yuna from Final Fantasy X. With Yuna though, it’s not just because she’s one of Amie’s favorite characters or even the fact that she loves all of her beautiful outfits in X-2. This is Amie’s favorite character to cosplay because on some levels, Amie literally feels like Yuna! Beside their similar “mannerisms and personalities”, Amie even jokes that since she’s half-Chinese and Yuna is half Al-bhed, they basically are the same person!
So besides Cosplay, what else is going on in Amie’s life?
Well she’s graduating in May; and like most seniors, the stress of the job hunt and student loans is ever present – but I have every confidence that she’ll knock it out of the park like everything else she does. Beyond that, when she’s not playing video games, she’s dead asleep – usually in that order’ – and through all of that she’s being her usual silly self; but if you’ve ever met her or seen her famous ‘nose-picking prints’ you already knew that.
“I wouldn’t say silly, but I definitely don’t take myself very seriously. I try really hard to make sure the Internet sees the purest version of me, and not some fake Internet enigma. I’m a human being and I’m no more special than any other human being.”
The whole nose-picking thing wasn’t intended to be a trademark, but I’m happy that it is *laughs*. It’s my way of saying, I’m more than my photos and my following. I’m just a normal gal who picks her nose like everyone else. I’m me… ok, I can’t say EVERYONE picks their nose… but you know *chuckle* – Amie Lynn
Though one things fans probably didn’t know about her relates to her other nickname “MissHabit”. Where did it come from? What does it mean? Well Amie’s first gaming handle was HAB!T. The first online game she ever played was Metal Gear Online 2 (MGO2), which had a pretty small tight-nit group of players. Over the years she grew quite attached to this name, but sadly most Social Media sites didn’t allow ‘!’ in names. So instead of starting fresh, she chose to honor the past and move forward with everything being MissHabit.
So what’s next for Amie? Well besides Graduation, she recently went to her first Blizzcon and got inspired to do something big! As of the moment, something from Overwatch seems like the best bet – since she loves Mercy’s design. Beyond that, she’s looking into starting a Twitch schedule and has a couple of group cosplays planned, which she promises will be epic but are also secret at the moment.
In closing, I’d like to thank Amie for chatting with us and after 3 years, OFFICIALLY welcome her to the Panda Pal family! Till next time Amie! And if YOU want to keep up with Amie’s adventures and all her latest work, you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more!
* All Photo Credit goes to their original takers including, but not limited to Mike Rollerson Photography, Mineralblu Photography, Eurobeat Kasumi Photography, Anna Cosplay Photography, Bigwhitebazooka Photography, I Must Be Dead Photography and more!