Cosplayer Cinderys wants you to embrace your inner badass
Known for her striking embodiment of Diablo’s Lilith and World of Warcraft’s Sylvanas, the French cosplayer is all about going big.
When she was a young girl, Cinderys fell in love.
Never mind that her first crush was the Death Knight from Warcraft III.
“I asked my mother to buy me Warcraft III,” she says, laughing at the memory. “I remember showing her the box and saying, ‘I love him! He is the Death Knight! But also, this is a strategic game, Mom—it's good for my brain!’”
Her argument worked, and Cinderys soon found herself completely enamored with the intricate worlds of her favorite games. The armor, the clothing, the fantastical characters—everything. It sparked a personal obsession which then led to a previously unimaginable career path.
A lifelong artist (Cinderys studied 3D concept art at New3dge in her hometown of Paris, France), she has been able to combine her twin passions into stunning works of cosplay art, traveling the world in the process. She’s even had the chance to partner directly with the studio partially responsible for starting it all at official events like the launch of Diablo IV.
“Ever since they showed the full design of Lilith for Diablo, I really wanted to make that costume,” she says. “I was like, ‘I have to do it!’ I had been thinking of that costume for many years.”
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Embodying iconic characters is just part of the thrill for Cinderys (pronounced sin-DARE-ess). Professional cosplay has allowed her to connect with a large international community and has even inspired her to begin crafting her own original designs for herself and others (“My best friend won at TwitchCon last year with one of my original designs!").
And the passion that was sparked all those years ago doesn’t show any signs of abating yet…
In your opinion, which has had the bigger impact on cosplay’s popularity: the 3D printer or Instagram?
I will say, from my personal experience, social media. Because that's why I learned English! It was to be able to speak with other cosplayer worldwide, to ask them some question, and share with them about techniques and materials and stuff. So I learned English for that.
Is the international cosplay community generally close knit? Do some of the more well known names all know each other?
Oh yes, of course. I'm often a convention guest, judging cosplay contests. I'm also doing some panels and workshops. So, yeah, I'm often with other famous cosplayers. To me, I'm not famous. I'm just some kind of a goblin in my cave crafting a lot! But sometimes I accept invitations for convention just to meet people. I usually accept only one convention per month because it's a lot—you have to travel and it can be sometimes overwhelming for people who are introverted like me. But it's OK that I'm an introverted person, because when I'm in cosplay, I'm not me. I'm Cinderys. I'm in huge armor, so it's OK.
Where did the name Cinderys come from?
I always love to mix words and create nicknames. In French, we have the expression that means we love emo stuff, being sad. So I wanted to create a nickname with some shadow or darkness to it. I had this cute pet in World of Warcraft called the Cinder Kitten, and I love the fact that it is like the remnants of flame, like a passion—just like I was burning inside for cosplay. I was also watching Game of Thrones, so I mixed Cinder and Daenerys, I was like, "Cinderys. Perfect. Queen of dragons and a lot of flame, this is me!”
Do people find that intimidating?
You’ve seen many of my costumes, right? [laughs] Badass ladies with a huge armor, all really powerful or crazy. I love to do crazy characters, so I felt my nickname suits my taste. But in real life, I'm not like that! I'm a cutie! [laughs] I'm the kind, sweet girl. I love chocolate and cats and playing video games.
Last year, I did a huge build from Monster Hunter, and I did maybe nine months of working out. I gained 10 kilograms of muscle for that costume to be able to wear the huge armor and to carry the weapon—I’m only 1 meter 70 [about 5’6”], so the weapon was bigger than me! I gained a lot of muscle. I was looking like a body builder. Now, I'm just a thing like that [hold up one pinkie finger] but it's OK. I did it. I was really proud to achieve that.
There really is a performance element to cosplay, beyond just the look. Is that something you get really into?
Yes. I remember that when I was wearing the Lilith costume at the Diablo press party, I had people coming up and calling me “Mommy.” I'm a bit too young, but, hey, it's role play! “OK, I'm the mother of Sanctuary, here we go!” I would say things like, “Of course, my blessed child.” [laughs] I love to do that. At other shows when I would dress as Sylvanas from World of Warcraft I would make jokes with people, saying “For the Alliance!” or “For the Horde” depending on what they shouted at me—it was fun.
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As your cosplay skills have developed, do you look back at your earliest costumes and cringe at all?
Yes and no. I was really proud of what I did, and I guess that's the most important in cosplay, is to have fun. As a beginner, I was really, really proud of what I created. At first, I didn't expect it to become my job. I was just doing it for fun, and I just try to remember all the fun moments I had with those costumes and all the amazing people I met with those costumes. I would say, yes, I'm still thinking that it could have been better, of course, because I'm a perfectionist, so I'm trying to not be rude with past self.
Do you have any advice for those who are looking to get really into cosplay?
So much! First, the main advice would be to start with a small costume because if you start with a big project, you can lose your motivation to do it. So start with a small project. And do like I did and do a small costume with many techniques—sewing, armor, make-up, body paint—so you can try different things and then know what you prefer. I would also say maybe do a famous character so many people would have done the costume before you so you can check for some advice and tips or maybe find tutorials or buy the patterns.
Now that cosplay has gotten bigger and bigger, you can buy good quality costumes online. You can buy a costume and just customize it, like maybe adjust the shape, add more details on the costume so you're not starting from nothing. You already have maybe some fabric, some part of the cosplay. Maybe you will just have to improve a bit the wigs or do the makeup and you're into cosplay. Cosplay is not about crafting your costume. It's about wearing a costume and being the character you love!
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⚔️ Visit her official site for even more pics, prints, and tips