I have the utmost respect for cosplayers and cosplay queens, but I myself am not one. Cosplayers, for the uninitiated, are people who dress as a character from a movie, book, or video game. These artists use painstaking detail in their recreations of outfits and wigs, and I’ve witnessed some that included tentacles, working wings that would pop out, satyr goat legs, a fully working back half of a centaur, and tons more. Cosplayers are some of the most incredibly talented artists around.
As a drag artist who can lean into the more bizarre or inhuman side of drag, some people might mistake me for a cosplayer. After all, most mainstream drag doesn’t include people with bright red or blue skin tones or wearing elf ears or such. However, as I am not trying to make accurate recreations of any character that already exists, this would be an incorrect label for me. Furthermore, drag is performance art. While plenty of drag artists focus on their looks or online presence or don’t perform live much, they are still not cosplayers. A drag queen is not required to perform, although the majority do.
So in accordance to all that I’ve laid out above, we can come to the conclusion that I am, in fact, not a cosplayer (although I wish I had so many of their incredible construction skills). However, this doesn’t bar me, as a drag artist (or any drag artist) from creating cosplays or cosplay-esque looks. For me, my more fantasy character looks lean toward cosplay, and I’ve even created looks inspired by characters who exist in the Critical Role world of Exandria.
See, aside from drag, I adore playing Dungeons&Dragons, also known as D&D. I also love live-play D&D shows, particularly Critical Role, a Twitch-streamed D&D series of eight (now nine!) voice actors playing large campaigns of D&D over several years. They’ve grown from a single home game to three full-length campaigns, hundreds of thousands of hours of content, millions of fans around the world, several canonical books detailing the world Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer created, and now an animated series on Amazon Prime. They’re kind of a big deal. And I’m kind of obsessed with them and with D&D as a whole!
So this week’s look was inspired by Opal, the Twice-Crowned from their Exandria Unlimited series, created and played by Aimee Carrero. While it’s not a totally accurate recreation of how Opal appeared in the campaign, it’s my version of her character. And one of my most popular looks, surprisingly enough!