To her fanbase of magical beings, Mink the Satyr is a much beloved and charismatic cosplayer with a talent for tailoring. Her costumes, colorful and eye catching, have been admired by thousands. We were able to sit down with the master of mythical creatures at the virtual tea table to ask a few questions about her work, her process, and some fun hypotheticals.
Sticky Bunton (SB): What got you into cosplay?
Mink the Satyr (MtS): I started cosplaying in 2013 to attend my first PAX East convention. Though to start there with cosplay is honestly a misrepresentation of who I am. Like many wayward seamstresses, I got my start with Halloween. I would make delightful costumes that I refer to as proto-cosplay. I do not consider that time I dressed up as the rooster from Disney’s Robin Hood as cosplay since at the time I was just wearing it for a Halloween party. I had become familiar with sewing in college when I started making plushies for sale across the seven seas of the internet. From there, it was a natural transition to costumes as I began LARPing (Live Action Role Playing). By the time I started cosplaying, I had already been sewing and making historical and fantasy costumes for eight years!
SB: Is cosplay your job or your hobby?
MtS: As of now, cosplay remains my hobby. It would be rad to have it be a job one day, but at this point I consider it my part-time job. I am an elementary special education teacher for my full time job, which is incredibly rewarding in its own right. The act of building costumes is what I do after school, on the weekends, and of course over the summer. I also take commissions for other people and work as a guest presenter at conventions or libraries throughout my home state.
SB: What do you like to do outside of cosplay?
MtS: When I’m not cosplaying or building cosplays, I have a variety of random habits. Art of whatever capacity runs deeply within my veins. I do a lot of drawing and designing, which I often integrate into my cosplay. As mentioned earlier, I LARP quite a bit. I also enjoy playing and watching video games. My favorite games right now are Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn, and Pokemon (I play Pokemon Sun). My favorite shows to watch right now are Steven Universe, American Gods, and the remake of Twin Peaks, though the latter is sometimes a little too scary for me! :-P
SB: Where do you like to get your ideas for cosplay?
SB: What was the most rewarding cosplay you’ve done, and what’s one that you think you could have done better?
MtS: I am very lucky in that I have had a few cosplays that have felt very rewarding. In recent memory, my Warrior Ninetales cosplay from Pokemon was perhaps my most rewarding. At the time of its construction, I had not yet made a full armor set nor had I made a large scale weapon prop. It was a cosplay of a lot of firsts for me. That it was received so well has really made the experience of creating it quite worth it. As for costumes I feel like I could have done better, though I love the costume, I would like to remake my cosplay of Pearl from Steven Universe. I really loved the costume at the time I made it, but I think I have learned quite a lot since 2015, when I had made the costume. It is a costume that would only take a day to remake, but once I dedicate time to remaking it, I know I could really make it shine better than before! Remaking costumes is not all that uncommon in the cosplay world. I am often tweaking costumes and makeup applications subtly between its debut and the subsequent times that I wear it.
MtS: Gosh! Thank you! I do love making hoodies, hoodie dresses and gijinka! For hoodies, I really love wearing my Litten hoodie! I wear a lot of red and black in my wardrobe, so Litten naturally meshes with my lifestyle! For hoodie dresses, you can’t beat the magic of Magikarp! I made that dress for when I got tired of wearing all that armor etc when I wear my Magikarp gijinka! As for my favorite gijinka to wear, I’m currently loving wearing my Meowth gijinka! I feel so posh in it and I really like the makeup for that cosplay! I have a few favorite pokemon. My all-time favorites are Flareon and Shaymin (I just love hedgehogs). My favorite pokemon to play as is Delphox. “But Mink!” I hear you say. “You have a Flareon AND a Shaymin cosplay! But no Delphox?” And I respond with, “All in good time, my friend. All in good time…” :-D
SB: A lot of cosplayers face burnout when it comes to making a cosplay or series of cosplays. Do you ever feel burned out? If so, how do you break out of the creative block? And if not, how do you keep the creative juices going?
MtS: I’m glad you’re asking about this! For folks who cosplay regularly, this can be a real issue. I try to produce a new cosplay each month (or a big cosplay every 2-3 months). It can be really easy to fall into a rut. My ruts are usually because the demands of real life require too much mana so I am running empty when it’s time to create. It can be a really hard thing to deal with, emotionally. “The spirit is willing, but the flesh wants to take a nap!” My recent way of combating this is by creating mini-challenges for myself. My Meowth gijinka cosplay, for example, is part of a “design, shop for, and create a cosplay in 24 hours” personal challenge. Another challenge I’ve been giving myself is to make my pokemon gijinka cosplays fit an ongoing theme. My most recent cosplay, Rattata, is my rogue as part of a running gag about how my Pokemon cosplays double as Dungeons and Dragons classes. Sure these are silly challenges that no one but myself is issuing… but it’s enough to keep my brain focused and feeling sharp.
SB: A strange world event has occurred where the next cosplay you wear grants you all the powers and abilities of that character. What costume do you wear?
MtS: Oh man. That is a terrific question! Of the cosplays I’ve already made, I think I’d wear Ninetales so I can get both fire powers and apparently barbarian skills (whatever those might be)! If it was “the last character you cosplayed as”, I might still be okay. I just made a Gyarados (Pokemon) hoodie dress… so I guess I would have some fierce water (and dragon) moves I could use! I’d be happy with that too!
MtS: For this question, I am going to assume I am ignoring any “interrupt action” cosplay ideas that pop into my head and push the others to the side. For the immediate future, I have a pair of pokemon cosplays coming up: Sylveon and Caterpie. I aim to have those made in
June and July, respectively. I’ll be taking a break from pokemon for the next few cosplays. I aim to have an Aloy cosplay from Horizon: Zero Dawn crafted for October and HeiHei from Moana for November. So far, I’ve only planned myself out for the remainder of 2017. When I plan for cosplay, I plan according to convention. Each costume represents a different event I will be attending. Sylveon will be for MASSive Con. Caterpie will be for ConnectiCon. Aloy is planned for New York Comic Con and HeiHei is for Rhode Island Comic Con. I will have my hands full with such aggressive cosplays, especially since 3 out of 4 of the costumes are gijinka. But once I figure out my 2018 lineup, I’m sure I’ll be sharing that with my fans on social media and my patrons on Patreon!
SB: Any final thoughts or words to the readers?
MtS: I’m a chatterbox, so of course I have final thoughts! I am an endless babbling brook of thoughts! I’d like to share the following thoughts with people. I know lots of folks cosplay for lots of different reasons. Every single reason why you do it is 100% valid and worthwhile. Cosplaying for me is a social activity at its core. I aim to use my cosplay powers to better my world. If that means hoodie giveaways to make someone smile or handing out pins at conventions to fellow fans of the franchise I am dressed as, so be it! I love sharing my light and life with the fun people I meet! So please, let’s meet and be fantastic, magical beings together!