You know, conventions have been a huge part of my life. Because of them, I have developed my reflexes in avoiding fuck boys, and wits to not mess around with cultural appropriated bullshit, unfortunately, found all over North American cons. I have also been lucky enough to meet some of the most outstanding people because of these nerd gatherings. One of them is the very fabulous cosplayer from The Observatory-Lumy Crafts. This amazing Luma is one spectacular soul, with a profound ability to challenge, analyze, and to love passionately many aspects of geekdom. I have had enlightening conversations about how we can better ourselves in the convention and cosplay world with this staple of the community, and I am beyond honored that I was able to interview them. Please enjoy!
Occupation: Admin Assistant
If you could brunch with any fictional character, who would it be and why?|Ignis from FFXV. That man can cook, let me tell you.
Black Nerd Problems: Please, tell us about your background!
The Observatory-Lumy Crafts: Well, I’ve got a major passion for instrumental music, art of multiple mediums, history, and human nature studies that I credit to… yes, video games. It’s through the lens of video games that I’ve studied humanity and how it views fantasy vs realism, cultural representation, and how the mind interprets information in combination with what you see and what your hear. Video games are magical little boxes of cognitive stimuli that affect people differently, but also the same in many aspects. Oh yeah, they’re fun too!
Besides that whole thing, I’m a nerdy black woman from Virginia who gets too excited over games and tries to sew sometimes.
BNP: You and I are pretty big nerds. What are some intersections you’ve noticed between nerddom and the cosplay community?
Lumy Crafts: The main intersect that I care about at the exclusion of all others is the passion for the thing that is being cosplayed. When I see someone cosplaying from a game or a TV series or a book that I know about, it’s an immediate intersection of common interests that spans beyond the piece of media. For example, if you’re into the Sci-Fi genre and you’re cosplaying Star Trek Next Generation, not only can I gush at you about Star Trek, but we can talk about other Sci-Fi media. Firefly, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, which then intersects into Marvel, which then intersects into Comic books or the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and so on and so forth. Cosplay is the ultimate ice breaker where nerddom is concerned. And that’s so amazing and important for more shy nerds that need such ice breakers to get out of our shells.
BNP: What issues have you noticed within the convention circuit and how do you feel we could combat them?
Lumy Crafts: Of the cons that I’ve been to (I’m not nearly rich enough to go to the ones I want to every year), the biggest issues I’ve found is with the cons themselves, not so much the people inside them, which is my experience only (so not saying other issues don’t exist). They’re often run by people who either don’t care about the fans and the fandoms and the panelists that they are accepting. Resources are only given to ‘top name’ guests of conventions, while small panels and info-sessions are left to their own devices.
The way that I believe we combat this, and it is something that’s already being done, is that people who have a passion for organization and fandom should volunteer in droves to these events. They should help as much as they can, and they do, and their desire to keep cons positively run balances out some of the frustration.
BNP: What are your goals for the future?
Lumy Crafts: I REALLY want to go to a Canadian or English convention. That would be such an experience! I also want to try my luck for New York’s ComiCon and DragonCon. I also want to try my hand at a giant Cosplay of Metal Gear Solid 2’s Mecha Ray. Fingers crossed!
BNP: Favorite cosplay of yours?
Lumy Crafts: My own favorite cosplay is a tie between my Vivienne and my Clementine cosplay. While Vivienne was made from scratch and more complex, I love Clementine because I LOVE Clementine. She’s a beautifully written and voiced child character in one of the most influential and compelling story-driven games this past decade. And while I love Madame de Fer with a burning intensity, I love Clementine more. That little girl’s got spunk!
Bowie Photography|Onion Cosplay & Photography|