Featured Cosplayer Interview – Jennifer Kateri

Jennifer Kateri

Black Widow photo by Bryan Humphrey
There are many talented models and performers who bring their love & enthusiasm to dressing up as their favorite characters. Comic Book Critic will regularly showcase a performer who embodies this spirit of cosplaying.

Whether it’s creating the costume from scratch, altering the appearance of an existing one, or just getting into character, these performers spend a lot of time and effort on their craft. As much as we all enjoy seeing our favorite fictional characters represented in real life, let’s not forget the behind-the-scenes work that goes into that portrayal.

One thing is for certain though, their love of cosplaying shines through in their work.

The Comic Book Critic Featured Cosplayer Interview this week is:

Jennifer Kateri From Des Moines, Iowa

Emma Frost

Recently, we were fortunate enough to catch up with the talented and very busy cosplayer from the Midwest,  Jennifer Kateri. She found time in her schedule to give us the following interview about her cosplaying.

What made you decide cosplaying was something you wanted to do?

I have always loved to dress up in costume. Halloween, being my obvious favorite holiday, was the gateway to cosplay. I didn’t want to be limited to dressing up on only one day a year and sought out other avenues which I found at comic conventions and costume-themed events.


What was your first costume?

The first costume I constructed myself was Rogue from the X-Men.

Rogue photo by Rich JohannsenRogue

Do you model and is it something you did before you began cosplaying?

Yes, I have done other modeling projects outside of cosplay. My favorite being a photo shoot for Controlled Chaos Arms last year.

Jennifer Kateri - Modeling for Controlled Chaos ArmsJennifer Kateri - Modeling for Controlled Chaos Arms

Do you make and/or design your own costumes?

Absolutely! That’s one of my favorite parts about cosplay. I love the process of constructing each new costume because they each present their own set of challenges.

What are your favorite characters?

A few of favorite characters are: Rogue from the X-Men, the Disney Princess Sleeping Beauty, and Raistlin Majere from the Dragonlance saga. When it comes to my favorite characters to cosplay, I would say Rogue and Red Sonja are two of my current favorites.

Red Sonja photo by Bryan HumphreyRed Sonja photo by Bryan Humphrey

What do you like to do in your spare time, other than cosplay?

In my spare time I enjoy reading, playing video games, drawing, going to the gym, and watching movies and anime.

Do you read comics regularly, if so, which are your favorites?

Yes, I am currently enjoying Uncanny Avengers, All-New X-Men, Justice League Dark, and Morbius the Living Vampire to name a few. My favorites are definitely X-Men titles, I’m rather biased when it comes to Marvel Comics.

Emma Frost photo by Bryan Humphrey

You seem to be genuinely having fun in your cosplays, is there anything that really gets on your nerves about cosplaying in public?

I adore cosplaying and have so much fun doing it. I guess one of the things that gets on my nerves while cosplaying in public would be the individuals that get nitpicky on a costume’s accuracy. One instance in particular was someone commenting on my eyes being the wrong color. Usually I will wear contacts to be character accurate but I do not wear prescription contacts on a daily basis and my eyes get tired/irritated after wearing cosmetic contact lenses for long periods of time, like at conventions. So by the time Sunday rolls around, I may or may not be wearing contacts if I can avoid it.

Emma Frost photo by Bryan Humphrey

On the other hand, what do you enjoy the most about it?

I really enjoy the excited look on childrens’ faces when they recognize the character I am cosplaying. Meeting the creators is another highlight of attending conventions.

What are your convention plans for this year and how many do you usually attend in a year?

This year’s convention schedule currently includes: C2E2, Florida Supercon, and Dragon*Con.  In contrast, last year I attended 6 conventions across the United States. This is a hobby and I have to budget my conventions based on what I can afford each year and scheduling conflicts. I have quite a few weddings to attend this Fall and some of them coincide with convention weekends.

Black Widow photo by Bryan HumphreyBlack Widow photo by Bryan Humphrey

What’s one of your most memorable moments while cosplaying?

While at C2E2 this year, a friend surprised me with a commission from the artist Francesco of me dressed as Red Sonja. It was the sweetest gesture and the picture is absolutely gorgeous.

Who are some of your favorite cosplayers?

I really admire the work of Belle Chere, Rosanna Rocha, Freddie Nova, Ana Aesthetic, Yaya Han, Riddle, and Vampy Bit Me.

How long have you been cosplaying?

I didn’t start cosplaying at conventions until April 2012 but I have been making my own costumes and dressing up since I was a child.

Red SonjaNYCC 2012 Black Phoenix

How much time do you invest in it?

I don’t get to spend as much time as I’d like to because I’ve got two jobs that take up about 50 hours of my week but somehow I find the time to work on my costumes. When I’m working on a new costume I will spend 1-5 hours each night until it is finished. Usually the last few days before a convention are pretty hectic and I will end up spending close to 20 hours doing last minute preparations and repairs to any costumes that will be worn that weekend.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out?

Don’t give up if your first attempt fails because there will be a lot of trial and error when you are trying a new technique. Reach out to your fellow cosplayers for advice and tips. Google and YouTube videos are also an excellent resource for tutorials on just about everything you could possibly need to know when you’re working on a new costume.

Emma FrostRed Sonja

If you could change anything since you started, what would it be?

Absolutely nothing. I have loved every step of this journey in the cosplay world.

What does the future hold for Jennifer Kateri?

You can expect to see more costumes, convention appearances, and hopefully I will be able to complete my website soon!

Jennifer Kateri - Dark Phoenix chest piece by Carlos Blanchard Rage Custom Creations

Jennifer, thanks for giving us a look at the behind-the-scenes of your cosplaying. We look forward to seeing a lot more of your work!

 

Booking & Contact

If you would like to book Jennifer Kateri for your convention or want to contact her for modeling opportunities, you can do so through her email here.

 

Jennifer Kateri Links

Facebook

Twitter

Flickr

 

Photo credits:

Bryan Humphrey

Rich Johannsen

Controlled Chaos Arms

 

– The Comic Book Critic

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