Singer, cosplayer and YouTuber Ginny Di dressed as Japanese artist Sakizo’s “Royal Milk Tea” illustration.

Editor’s note: In conjunction with the El Paso Comic Con, What’s Up asked artist Ginny Di to share some insight into the world of cosplay. Learn more about her at

When people ask me what I do, I don’t generally say “cosplay,” because most people don’t know what that means. Instead, I tell them that it’s like Halloween – but whenever I want – and supercharged. As far as hobbies go, making and wearing elaborate replicas of movie, TV and video game costumes is a pretty ridiculous one — but it’s taught me a lot of non-ridiculous lessons that can be applied everywhere:

1. I don’t need to be an expert to do a good job at something.

Being a cosplayer often means taking a costume that a whole team of Hollywood costume designers put together, and making it by myself. That means I need to do the job of a tailor, leatherworker, sculptor, jeweler, cobbler, blacksmith, and more. But even though I’m none of those things, I’ve done all of those jobs and created some amazing things. All I have to do is try it, and I’m always surprised by how much I’m capable of!

2. I have more in common with strangers than I think.

It’s easy to feel isolated, even in a crowd. But when someone recognizes the character I’m dressed as, we have an immediate connection. Sometimes the people who recognize and love my costumes don’t look like I would expect them to. It’s a great reminder that you don’t know which people you’ll click with until you try.

3. I’m my own worst critic.

I might look at the costume I made and see everything wrong with it, but when someone else sees it, they aren’t looking at my crooked seams or stray hot glue. They see it for the whole, not the individually flawed parts. My best might not be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to come together into something awesome.

4. It’s more fun to be excited about things.

As a teen, I thought the coolest thing I could be was disinterested. There are so many people who think being cynical or unimpressed makes them better than other people. The biggest lesson cosplay has taught me is that being really, really excited about things is fun. So even though there are people who think I’m crazy for spending money and time dressing up like fictional characters, I’d rather be a happy, enthusiastic nerd any day!

Interested in cosplay? It’s the perfect time to jump in! Put on a costume and join me at EPCON, April 15-17 at the El Paso Convention Center! Learn more at