“Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Consume You”- An Interview With Cosplayer Bad Ass SayoNay Cosplay

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What got you into cosplay and the make up game?

I happened to be around the Inner Harbor of Baltimore during the summer of 2012 when I saw a wonderful parade of cosplayers walking toward the Baltimore Convention Center.

I almost lost my mind seeing all my anime and video game characters being showcased in cosplay. I found out that the convention was Otakon and I made it my goal to attend the following year. My first cosplay was Poison Ivy. I had no idea what I was doing but cosplaying as a plus-size black femme for the first time made me so proud.

We see you doing very intricate cosplays, is there a story behind that?

When I was a little girl, I used to draw OCs (original characters) wearing intricate gowns and details befitting a Queen or Goddess. Cosplay lets me bring elements from those inspirations into real life. Whether it’s paying homage to my Yoruba culture and showcasing Orisha’s to cosplaying my version of villains, an element of glamour is always present.

Are there any models or cosplayers that inspired you?

Absolutely! I have always looked up to Diana the Great, Queenieshah, Bepopcosplayer, Tranquil Ashes, Mzzskittlestr_cosplay, The Black Mccoy and Thouartauli. Without these cosplayers, my inspiration and growth would not have been the same.

Any favorite cartoons or anime growing up vs. now?

My favorite cartoons and anime of my past would have to go to Sailor Moon, Yu Yu Hakusho, Berserk, Akira, Reboot, Bleach, Aaahh!!! Real Monster, Ren N Stimpy, and Cow and Chicken.

My favorite cartoons and anime currently are Bleach, Demon Slayer, Hell’s Paradise, Heavenly Delusion, and Castlevania: Nocturne.


What are your absolute favorite 2 cosplays?

This is always the most difficult question to answer because I usually don’t have favorites when it comes to my cosplay. But the two cosplays that I am most proud of would have to be the Hexadecimal/ Maleficent mashup and The Red Queen/ Queen of Heart mashup. I always get a kick out of abstract concepts coming together to make sense.


What’s your top artists on Spotify looking like? Or rather what artists are you listening to at the moment?

I have been blasting Rema and Kaytranada daily. I might add some Coheed and Cambria and MCR to switch it up but it’s all a vibe.

Which cosplay was the hardest to pull off? Because, if people have seen your cosplays, there’s a lot going on lol.

Anything to do with yellow body paint is such a no-go for me. I cosplayed Ares from Lore Olympus and I have never cursed so much cosplaying until that day. Yellow tends to blend into the skin and dull the intensity if you have melanin. But dear God, what a horrible experience applying the paint and taking it off. I looked cute though lol.


What convention are you most excited about in 2024?

.I am very excited to attend Khromakon and Blerdcon in 2024. We need more black conventions on the East Coast so I am geeked out for both.

Any words you have for future cosplayers coming up in the scene?

Don’t let imposter syndrome consume you and give yourself some grace. Create cosplays that make you happy and fulfilled. The numbers, trends, and algorithms don’t matter. Lastly, be your own advocate and make your middle school self proud.

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