December 2019 Artist Spotlight: Crystal Priestess Naydra!!

This month's awesome artist spotlight goes to the talented cosplayer and model Crystal Priestess Naydra!!!! Check out some awesome photo work and learn more about her below!!

Woman cosplaying as Black Cat at Katsucon 2018

· Where are you from?

I’m from the South Central area of Pennsylvania

· How did you come up with your cosplay or business name?

I had help from friends to come up with the idea. I made a list of things I liked and then a friend came up with priestess and it stuck well. I also used Naydra, because it is one of the dragons from Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This dragon is also based off my favorite Goddess of the series, Nayru

· How did you end up at your first convention or anime inspired event? If you were in your first cosplay? What was it?

I got into anime, and realized that conventions were a thing. After I knew this, I really wanted to try going to a convention, to meet more people like me. I spent a bunch of time on search engines researching anime conventions. Eventually, I ended up at Zenkaikon 2009. My first cosplay that I wore out to a convention was Coco from Mermaid Melody. My first one I made, that I didn’t ever wear out was Suigintou from Rozen Maiden

· How long have you been cosplaying for? What do you think has been the greatest change in the community since you’ve started your art form?

I have been cosplaying since 2009, so I’ve been cosplaying for about 10 years now! I think the biggest thing that has changed is the community. The community was a lot more easy-going and had some difficult challenges, due to lack of resources. I think it is great that the amount of resources has increased so much for cosplayers! However, I feel that there are a lot more elitist and competitive cosplayers now

· If you could give one warning to someone entering the world of conventions, what would it be?

Have fun! Cosplay can be very intimidating, and other people can be real sticks in the mud, if you’re not careful who you surround yourself with. I would say to find those, who really enjoy similar things as you , and to not lose the reason why you started in the first place

Officer Jenny from Pokemon sticking her tongue out
Make sure to have fun!

· What is the biggest challenge that comes with cosplaying, in your opinion?

Confidence. There are a lot of reasons I say this. Confidence helps with posing and your ability to pull off what characters you want. I know that a lot of the times, I would stray away from a lot of characters, just because I wasn’t confident in my abilities, or how it would look on me.

· And personally, what is YOUR biggest challenge when it comes to cosplaying?

I would say craftsmanship. I like to get things done rather quickly. However, I have come a very long way, where I’m not hot gluing everything to myself

· What are the cosplays that you would say most people would know you for?

I would say a lot of people know me for my Danganronpa cosplays, or mostly Ibuki. I have since strayed away from cosplaying her, but I know a lot of my following is from that fandom

An ibuki cosplayer crouching for a portrait photograph
Danganronpa consistently maintains popularity over the years!

· Which cosplay has provided you with the most challenge so far? Which one has been the most rewarding?

Hoooo-boyy! I’d say Lyn has given me the most challenges. She had so many different elements involved in her costume, between props armor and sewing. Unfortunately, she isn’t quite completed yet. My most rewarding has been my female Sesshomaru, designed by Drifting by Stars. It is a very exhausting costume to wear, but I love all the details I put into it

Sesshomaru cosplayer sitting on a bench with a regal kimono style dress
Epic Sesshomaru design by Drifting by Stars

· What is your favorite part about making (or wearing) cosplays?

I love feeling relaxed and taking my mind off everything else going on in life. It gives me a healthy outlet, so that I can feel less stressed. Wigs are the most relaxing things for me to work on

· What is the worst part about making (or wearing) cosplays?

The sacrifices of comfort. AKA heels, corsets, slimmers and the whole shebang. Cosplays can be very exhausting to wear

· What is your favorite convention to attend and why?

My favorite convention would have to be Colossal Con East! It’s a little bit small, as far as with its convention activities. However, the water park and drinks and overall fun time is worth it to me

· What are your hobbies outside of your particular art form?

I like to draw, craft and do photography

· How do you balance that with your normal everyday life?

It can be very challenging. I barely have time to think to myself some days, and so I don’t always get time to do as much as I’d like to do

Ritsuko cosplayer from Evangelion posing in front of a benjamin clock
Sometimes simple can be amazing as well!

· Is there anything else you want to tell people thinking about stepping into the world of cosplay/art/photography?

Just make sure that you are doing it for yourself! Sure, there might be a small market of people trying to make this into an industry. However, these people succeed because they are very passionate and love what they do. They are not just looking to make money in the end

· Where can we find you on social media or check out some of your work?

I have a facebook page (Crystal Priestess Naydra) , Instagram, and twitch @CrystalPriestessNaydra

Christmas cosplays of Lilith and Morrigan
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