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Unveiling the Art of Cosplay: An Exclusive CCM Interview with Maria.Cosplays12

Updated: May 2

Meet Maria, the vibrant cosplayer from Upstate New York, whose cosplay odyssey has taken her from Disney enchantment to the thrilling realms of Marvel and Anime. For those new to Maria’s world, join us in this exclusive CCM Interview and let’s unravel the layers of her cosplay adventure.


Maria, take us back to the beginning. What inspired you to start cosplaying and can you share the details of your very first cosplay experience?

I was taking a costuming class in college and making my own clothing and costumes was always something I wanted to do. Here, I made my first costume, Village Belle, and I fell in love with piecing together and creating garments that were all my own.


Your cosplays range from Disney to Marvel to Anime. How do you choose which characters to bring to life, and has your selection process evolved since you started cosplaying?

My first step is always finding a character that I relate to in some way. I think that really helps me to bring out that connection when I’m cosplaying. I tend to gravitate towards, anti-heroes, villains, princesses and heroes.



Who are some of your all-time favorite characters in Pop Culture? Which would you choose to be your best friend if you could and why?

It’s so hard to pick just a few, but my top three right now would have to be Snow White, Kate Bishop, and Anakin Skywalker. However, if I had to pick one of them to be my best friend? Probably Kate Bishop. She’s funny, she’s heroic, she’s strong, she cares about others, I think should would make an amazing best friend. Plus, who wouldn’t want a superhero for a best friend?


You’ve achieved some great things since your started cosplaying, including joining Hill City Ice Queen, which seems like a dream come true. Can you tell us about Hill City Ice Queen, how this opportunity unfolded, and what has been the most magical aspect of portraying characters from beloved fairy tales?

Hill City Ice Queen is a Party Princess company based in New York’s Capital Region and surrounding areas. My costuming professor at the time, Bethany Marx (@hillcitycosplay), needed another princess so I happily accepted, and the rest is history! I always tell everyone that it's the best job in the world and that’s the whole-hearted truth. I love getting to make magic for kids who look up to these iconic characters. I think my favorite aspect is getting to see kid’s reactions to seeing us for the first time. It never gets old and it just makes me feel that much more real.


As a cosplayer with a ton of great photos, you have worked with many talented Photographers. One of those Photographers was Kevin (@kevinqgray) whose photo of you was chosen as our Mid Season NO.15 cover. How did this collaboration enhance your cosplay experience, and do you have a favorite behind-the-scenes moment from any particular photoshoot with other Photographers you’ve worked with?

I cannot say enough kind things about Kevin, he’s the best photographer I’ve ever worked with! The picture on the Mid Season NO.15 cover was taken right after a holiday ball with Hill City Ice Queen and it was one of the first times I got to wear our new Holiday Belle dress, made by Bethany Marx  (@hillcitycosplay). I remember that in the moment I was so excited because I’ve always loved that movie and it's one of my favorite dressed that Belle wears. I was really excited to have pictures of me in this dress, I’m so obsessed with it. I love shooting with him, we’ve had so many fun moments so it’s hard to pick just one. But, I will say, in any given shoot, Kevin will climb on top of a risky structure, or balance off of something questionable to get the shot. The shot always comes out amazing, but I do worry for him in the moment.


You have also had the opportunity to perform on a Broadway-level stage for a benefit concert in December 2023 is a remarkable accomplishment. What characters did you portray, and can you share the emotions of stepping onto such a grand stage and what that experience was like?

It was an experience like no other to say the least! I’m so thankful we had the opportunity! I got to play Snow White for two nights and Cinderella for the last performance. The feeling I had was fear because I’ve got such horrible stage fright. You probably wouldn’t believe it but it’s true. In college, a lot of my peers tried to convince me to audition but I was much happier behind the scenes working on costumes and makeup. But, once we were out there and singing it was like I had done this a million times before. We were the Act I finale and it was so magical to see the surprised look on everyone’s faces in the audience. That’s another thing that was really cool too, getting to see everyone in the audience. I really hope it’s something we get to do again!


What are some things that you would like to accomplish in 2024 with your cosplay work? What can we expect to see from you?

I want to work more with foam this year and of course build my own costumes! Theres a book version of Ariel that requires armor and I want to create my own Tinkerbell costume that is really nature centered so lots of leaves and “lost things” wink wink


Adding your unique touch to costumes is a special aspect of your cosplay journey. Could you share an example of a personal detail or modification that holds special meaning to you?

I love questions like this! I have a few good ones! I’ve got two versions of Chat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug that I’ve made heavy alterations to. Both my Rabbit Noir and my Astro Chat have bias tape sewn on as the embellishments for both suits. I also painted white dots on Astrochat to represent stars. The wings for that suit were a base from Spirit Halloween and painted green. The helmet was originally a Batgirl cowl, but I painted it using the same design as the suit. My Rabbit Miraculous used to be a makeup highlighter that I removed the product from, glued shut, painted, and glued a binderclip to so I could clip it to my belt.


Your Instagram and TikTok (@maria.cosplays12) are windows into your cosplay world. How do you utilize these platforms to connect with the cosplay community, and what kind of content can your followers expect?

I use these platforms to share my princess life, behind the scenes of big events, or new cosplays! I especially love sharing behind the scenes of princess events because I love to see that kind of content. Every year I make a princess recap video of all the events and parties I got to do over the year and its a really great way to see my growth over the year. 


Are there specific characters or genres that you are eager to explore in future cosplays? Any dream cosplay projects on the horizon?

I’ve been really into Star Wars lately and I’ve been planning a Revenge of the Sith Anakin Skywalker cosplay! I’m super excited about it! I also want to work more with foam projects this year, though I’m not quite sure what cosplay I want to start with just yet.


How has being part of the cosplay community affected your life, and do you have any advice for newcomers looking to embark on their own cosplay adventures?

The cosplay community has been so great to me over the nearly four years! I’ve had so many great mentors and friends to help me along my journey and I’ve learned so much from everyone! I’ve made so many lifelong friends and I couldn’t be more thankful! My best advice may be cheesy but it’s true, have fun. Truly love what you do and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Love what you do and have fun doing it.


As we conclude this immersive journey into Maria’s cosplay universe, we’ve unraveled tales of enchantment, creativity, and memorable performances. Maria, for those eager to continue following your cosplay adventures and stay connected, could you share where our readers can find you on social media or any upcoming projects they should keep an eye out for? Thank you for letting us peek into the magical world of Maria’s cosplays!

Of course! You can find me on TikTok and Instagram @maria.cosplays12! I’ve got more princess projects on the way and some new cosplays that I’m excited to debut this spring and summer so be on the lookout!


Also be sure to grab your copy of Creative Cosplays Mid Season NO.15 that features Maria on the cover with an amazing photo by @kevinqgray. Click photo to buy.

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