We had the good fortune of connecting with Tessa Crownster and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tessa, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I started cosplaying in Europe I had a lot of free time especially during school vacations. When I decided to move to California, I wanted to continue my studies as well as have a part time job. At first, settling into a new country was really time consuming and I had quit my hobby as a whole for two years straight. When schools went online because of quarantine, I found myself working on my creative projects again. I slowly started to find that motivation I had lost when moving. Because of this new free time I had found, I was able to incorporate my hobby into my daily life, while at the same time focusing on school and my part time job. Usually I make my costumes by hand, and some of these projects can take months. I have accepted the idea of buying a few of my cosplays. At first I was very reluctant to the idea of a bought costume, but I realized that this saves me a lot of time, as it allows me to plan more photosets while also advancing progress on my own creations.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I made my first costume when I was about 14 years old, without knowing that my hobby was called Cosplay. I hand-sewed my very first outfit, it didn’t really fit me that well but for a 14 year old I was pretty proud of myself. A year later I received a sewing machine for my Birthday and my skills got way better from there. At first Cosplay was seen as a way to meet friends and socialise with people who share the same hobby as you. Now it is also a place where people compete for fame and fortune. Cosplay for me is not something I see as a source of income; I simply enjoy the process from making the costume to posing and modeling in the costume. I even enjoy the photography aspect that comes with this hobby. I am happy cosplaying as I am now, but I do not shy away from the idea of becoming what people may call a professional cosplayer. My goal is simply to enjoy what I do. The biggest challenge in cosplay for me is to find the right balance between expressing my creativity and being happy while doing so.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would probably take them to mission beach, and then stop by at The Grass Skirt for food and drinks. They have the best Poki bowl, and cocktails.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Photographer : @Samu.snap Latex Artist: @Andromeda_Latex
Other: Cosplay is an expensive hobby, and I am a full-time student & part-time worker. Donations on Ko-fi really help!~ https://ko-fi.com/tessa_crownster
Instagram: @samu.snap @Andromeda_Latex @amy_hu97 @manuelmoggiophotography