We had the good fortune of connecting with Shannon Rona and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shannon, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
From a very young age, I knew I had an artistic side. While growing up, I would often spend summers with my grandparents, where my grandmother would teach me different creative processes, like making place cards, folding napkins, or sewing small quilts or doll outfits. This progressed as I transitioned into middle school, where I taught myself to draw and play guitar – though, these skills were very basic and never developed as fully as others. In recent years, I began costume and prop making for cosplay, and have transitioned from modifying bought outfits to creating my own. I love working on projects, I love staying busy. My mind is constantly active, so multi tasking is not unheard of for me, and having something to work on and go through my own creative process allows me to escape, as sports or reading, or any other number of activities may do for others. Creativity has always been a part of me, so naturally, as I picked up more of the listed skills, I decided to make it a focus of mine to the point where I am now appearing at conventions or events, or making commissions to the best of my ability.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a costume creator / cosplayer, and I make or modify all of my own outfits. I learned how to 3D print armor during COVID lockdowns and am most well known for my Rescue and Iron Man suits, which have made appearances across the country over the last few years. In 2020, I was given the opportunity to create a mini Rescue suit for Lexi Rabe, who played Morgan Stark (Tony Stark’s daughter) in Avengers: Endgame. I am also a self-taught seamstress and love designing my own fabric costumes, all starting from duct tape drawings over a dress form. Earlier this year, this hobby allowed me to design and wear my own dress for a red carpet premiere [Prey], which completed a goal of mine that at one point seemed unreachable.

I cosplay to share the love of fandoms with both kids and adults alike – at home in Pittsburgh, I began a charity group called the Pittsburgh Avengers to appear at charity events, participate in children’s hospital visits, and raise money for relevant non profits. Now, most of my time is spent at conventions or like events in LA or the surrounding areas.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Most of my time in LA is spent in Malibu where family resides – I love the atmosphere and the chill vibe this part of California radiates and the energy is so unique! My favorite dinner spot is, of course, Nobu Malibu, and I’ve been lucky enough to spend some outstanding nights there with friend and family over the years. A good walk on the beach at Zuma or a hike up Point Dume is always a favorite, and if in the area on a Sunday, make sure you visit Cross Creek, where you can find impromptu car shows and one of the best farmers markets in the mornings.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I like to use my platform to acknowledge others, because there is no way I would be where I am now without the help of my friends and family. My early creative years were spent with my grandmother, who taught me how to sew, scrapbook, and craft as a kid. Through school, my closest friends [Amber and Brandon Klinge] supported me as not only my hype team, but my photographers and assistants through my first appearances…and even now. In recent years, my family has encouraged me to travel, and my friends that I have made in the entertainment or costuming industries have been my motivation and creative influences. A big shoutout goes to one of my biggest inspirations [Brad R Lambert] who I was lucky to meet through a mutual friend last year – of everyone I have gotten close to, he has shown me more professionalism and resilience than anyone, and the amount of support he has given not only me as my friend, but also my ideas and goals, is mind blowing. Nothing is done alone, and I am thankful to have a circle full of so many talented people.

Website: ShannonRona.com

Instagram: instagram.com/srona58

Twitter: twitter.com/srona_58

Facebook: facebook.com/shannonronacosplay

Other: TikTok.com/@SRona58 Twitch.tv/srona58

Image Credits
Jeff Zoet Visuals Amber Klinge Brandon Klinge

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.