The REAL Rascal
Today we are talking to one of Australia’s most creative cosplayers none other than ‘Rascal’!  While she is based in the Newcastle area she is a regular at conventions all over the country and she is quickly making a name for herself as a very skilled costumer and propmaker. Predominantly cosplaying stronger female characters she is one of the more inspiring players on the scene, giving younger female cosplayers everywhere another beacon of hope on a convention floor filled with either demure princesses or sultry femme fatales. While we have plenty of love for either end of that spectrum its good to see a healthy middle ground, the strong feisty woman who’s bite is actually louder than her bark. Whether she’s wielding a bow or a futuristic machine gun you are left without a doubt that if you cross her she WILL not hesitate to put you down and leave you regretting the day you messed with ‘Rascal’..
Thankfully for us her alter ego Sarah is perfectly charming in person and agreed to satisfy our curiosity about her life both in and outside the cosplay world, somehow this reporter came away completely unharmed. ..other than a slightly bruised ego because I know I’ll never be able to wow the crowds with costumes this amazing!
So when did you realise you were a cosplayer?
 “I adopted the term cosplayer after a couple of years of costuming. It’s just the term widely accepted these days. In some ways I don’t really identify with the term because I’m much more about creating the costume than I am about wearing it. I grew up loving costumes. Part of the reason mum taught me to sew was because I was always asking her to make things but having four kids meant she didn’t have much time to sit down and cater to my ever-changing whims. I dressed up at every opportunity through highschool- Green day, Red Nose day, uniform free day, parties. My first REAL costume was Columbia from Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was 18, had just finished highschool and started Fashion Design at Tafe (with the desire to go on to study costume design in Sydney). I was probably 22 before I started freely using the term cosplayer.”
Photo by James Niland
Nice, great answer! As for the ‘play’ aspect of the term, did you ever or do you ever think about combining the costume aspect with a drama element and paticipating in theatre or short films ?
“I love acting, but haven’t really had an avenue to do it in. I excelled at it in highschool. I would love to get into doing short films, especially some post-apocalyptic stuff.”
Good to hear! Lets hope someone puts something compelling together soon and the call goes out. What sort of role/characters do you find yourself attracted to? Are there common characteristics that draw you to most of the characters you have cosplayed?
“Well, I go for badass girls. Haha. There’s definitely a common line between all the characters I choose. The sirens from Borderlands, Jack from Mass Effect, armoured Wonder Woman, X-23, Tank Girl, Fallout.. I’m absolutely drawn to characters who are powerhouses. Often prone to taking the head off anyone who looks at them wrong. My femShep in Mass Effect is full renegade. I’m much more for the approach of take-no-prisoners than to walk away and let a problem sort itself out. Male or female, most of my favourite characters have a brutal streak.”
Credit for this shot goes to.. https://www.facebook.com/snaphappyian/about
Fantastic! What kind of response do you get to this usually? Do you think it would be any different if you went a Disney princess or less robust character?
“I get a pretty good response about my character choices. I’ve had people really excited to see me as a character, and then suggest a character I might be interested, only to get more excited when I tell them that it’s already on the list and under way.
I had one guy talk to me recently, after he looked through my page and saw the different costumes I’ve done so far, and he complimented me on my choice to never focus on the potentially sexual side of the characters. A few of them show off a fair bit of skin, and I could play up my body, but instead I focus on the badass side of the character. I might be wearing nothing but a bra and pants, but I’ll still snap your neck.I don’t know how I’d be received as tamer characters because I can’t really see myself wearing any of them! Haha. If anything it’d just be my friends running up going “Holy crap, is that Rah?!”
credit for this photo goes to..  http://www.charmaine-morgan.com/
Future cosplays? 2015 and potentially longer term?

“Currently I’m working on Tank Girl, and slowly increasing my array of post-apocalypse gear.

This year the large majority of my costumes are game-related. I’m building more on my Fallout costume, I’m doing a 5 Nights at Freddy’s group for SydNova, plus a project that I’m not ready to publicly talk about yet. But lets just say it’s big. Really.. really big. Later in the year looks like Half-Life, Mass Effect or Halo, and probably Borderlands again. On the horizon is a Farcry collaboration with an international cosplayer. I’m also fixing up some costumes that I’ve already worn- Including my first-ever cosplay, Lilith. I’m bringing her up to par with my current skills. I’m also re-detailing my Diana (armoured Wonder Woman) so that I can finally shoot her.”

 Inspiration is a pretty broad thing for me. I don’t aspire to be like anyone, because every person has their own unique features. Of course there are people like Something Wicked Cosplay who I could stare at forever, and Justin Acharacter whose work was just always phenomenal, and he was a true mentor to me. I actually follow prop makers much more closely than I do cosplayers. People like Volpin, Blind Squirrel, Punished, Henchmen, MrPinski, Jarman, Junkers… Stan Winston and the RPF are constant sources of inspiration. I was very lucky to have already gotten to team up with the two most amazing guys- Justin Acharacter and Something Wicked. I also got to shoot with Nathan DeLuca from Canada, when he was in Australia last year. I’d love to team up with Tarah-Rex Cosplay from Canada, and Valentine Cosplay from England. And I’d love to team up with the 300+ cosplayers that I follow and adore.Oh and I would really love to have a chance some day to work with Dimitri from Nuclear Snail Studios!


Photo by James Niland

How do you juggle being a mother and cosplay being such a big part of your life? Do you involve your little girl in your cosplays ?

Cosplay means a lot of late nights for me. If I’m working full-tilt on costumes, I can often stay up til three in the morning to work on things undisrupted. There are some things that I can do with my daughter around, but she doesn’t have much interest in me sitting at a desk and sewing, so I do prop work during the day when necessary, and sew at night. I like to think I involve her in my cosplay, but she really has her own reins. We haven’t actually done a mother-daughter cosplay yet (though I’m sure it’ll happen). These days the costume requests come directly from her. She knew what she wanted to be for Sydney Supanova months ago [Dr Horrible, from Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (she LOVES it, and had picked it out before we knew the real Captain Hammer was going to be at Nova); and Altair from Assassins Creed (she loves watching me play it, and yes she’s played parts of it herself!)]. Whenever we go to Spotlight she asks if we need anything for Billy or Altair.”
What do you do to stay awake till 3am crafting costumes?!
 “A lot of people have movies or TV going in the background, but I find that too distracting. It’s either something I haven’t watched, and want to pay attention to what’s happening, or it’s something that I love and I get sucked in. Music isn’t engaging enough for me. I listen to audiobooks, it’s how I’ve gotten through a lot of books in the last few years. I’ve gone through all sorts of series – I did the entirety of A Song of Ice and Fire, the Harry Potter books, the whole of the Discworld series (though I’ve read them all before), I’m about a quarter of the way through the Top 100 Sci-Fi Books which means I’ve FINALLY managed to read Dune again. I was quite happy to even find the series that my daughter’s named after (Vatta’s War series by Elizabeth Moon).
 TL;DR is that audiobooks keep my mind stimulated, while keeping my hands and eyes free!”
Well thats all we have for now folks, let us know if you want to hear more or have any questions for her yourself and we will happily put another interview together once we have enough suggestions. Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed both the artwork AND the words.
If you see her at a con feel free to say hi or even grab a camera and get what will surely be one of the best double selfies of the weekend!
Important links
Rascal’s page.
Mama/Dredd Shoot
Nuclear Snail
and a couple more photos of her in action because awesome..
The above photo taken by James Niland went viral on reddit after someone posed as her brother..thread here

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