Since a child, Rhiley always loved dressing up in costumes, but Halloween and renaissance fairs weren’t enough. Once she found the world of cosplay, she knew that was her calling. Now 10 years later, Rhiley is still cosplaying and has no plans of stopping. Her eye for detail and creativity has allowed her to create accurate costumes for characters from many different series. She also loves looking at fan art and concept skins and bringing them to life. We at Omnic Cosplay are now happy to introduce you all to Rhiley a.k.a Chimichangachan!

The interview

How did you get into cosplaying? How long have you been cosplaying for?

That’s a really hard one to say for sure. I’ve always been fond of dressing up in costumes since I was a kid. Halloween was the only time it seemed acceptable to do that, and then I figured out you could also dress up to renaissance fairs, but I always wanted more excuses to dress up in costumes. I even started sewing some costumes (badly) when I was in 5th grade I think, but I had no idea what cosplay was and that I had technically started doing it.

It wasn’t until I was in late 6th grade that I was reminded that Kingdom Hearts existed and I would be watching videos of it online, and somehow by chance I stumbled across the sort of goofy videos cosplayers would make of them dressed up and that was my first introduction to the hobby. All of a sudden I was just mind blown that there were videos and pictures or people dressing up as pop culture characters and going to conventions, or just running around in public for fun. It was probably the biggest eureka moment of my childhood that’s shaped what I’ve come to be today.

I’ve been at it for well over 10 years now, and don’t have any plans of quitting. I’m also incredibly lucky to have an amazing, supportive mother who’s always got my back with encouragement and willingness to put up with being my handler at cons we go to together.

Why did you choose to cosplay Moira? What drew you in about the character?

My decision to cosplay Moira was entirely on a whim. I liked her a lot when they released her back in November 2017, but I wasn’t in love with her costume at the time. I had suspicion that they would release an “Origin” skin for her come time the second Archives event would happen, and we had already seen slight teasers of the outfit in her art. I really liked it then, but refused to do the outfit until an official skin was released. I’m glad I waited because the second they revealed the teaser for it, I went head over heels and knew exactly which con I’d be making it for (Montréal Comic Con 2018).

I immediately tried to do a makeup test to see if it was something I’d be able to pull off, but was actually very disappointed with how it came out. It’s really weird looking back on it now because I’ve been flooded with nothing but positive and supporting comments saying that I represented her very well, but in my own eyes it just wan’t good enough. Beyond the reason that I didn’t love her originally released skins, I hesitated to cosplay her because I look almost nothing like her.

I can fake a good amount with makeup and careful posing, but I was very upset by the discrepancies in our features. She’s tall and slim like a gazelle, and I’m the actual shape and size of a gremlin. I cosplay Widowmaker very often and it’s because I feel like my curves and facial features read well as her, but I just didn’t know how to feel when it came to Moira. I’m very lucky that I received such exuberant feedback on the makeup test because I was about ready to drop her from my plans altogether, but it was the encouragement through Instagram and Facebook that gave me the motivation to continue.

 

What was the biggest struggle when crafting your Moira costume? What was the biggest struggle wearing it?

I had already done a lot of the challenges that her costume offered previously from crazy patterned bodysuit to large foam builds. I had a lot of trouble with the animated LED’s I wanted to put in the pack, but it was my first time working with Arduino and I didn’t have enough time so I just had to use regular LED’s. The only other issue that came up was my anxiety over traveling with that huge backpack. I had to fly from Windsor to Montréal and even though I could fit the pack into my suitcase, it would take up an entire half and I was terrified they would think it was a bomb while scanning and damage it by trying to investigate. I ended up wrapping it up in a bag and taking it with me as carry-on. I got plenty of weird looks and had to spend an extra few minutes with CATSA, but it fit in the overhead bins and got there and back all in one piece miraculously. Surprisingly my biggest issue was walking around the con and tallying up a kill streak by turning around and not realizing I have a two foot canister sticking out of my back. I was knocking out kids left and right, my K/D stats were amazing, but the parents weren’t impressed. Had a good time still.

Photo by: Billy Wong

Do you have any memorable interactions with other cosplayers, fans, voice actors, artists, etc. when you cosplayed your hero(s)?

My biggest cosplay inspiration is Alyson Tabbitha and I’m incredibly lucky to have been able to meet her multiple times while cosplaying Overwatch. I’m very open about how her Widowmaker cosplay was the whole reason I decided to jump the gun and finally make the Patina skin for myself. When I saw her for the first time at Holiday Matsuri 2016, it was right when I was coming out of a two and a half year hiatus on cosplay to focus on college. Something about her really invoked the passion I had for the hobby and inspired me to challenge myself more in my own projects. She’s been one of the sweetest cosplayers I’ve ever met, and has given me bits of encouragement that really helped me out with some self confidence issues. I only hope she knows how much I appreciate her as a genuine and talented person.

Who is your favorite Overwatch hero Chimichangachan?

Oh gosh, I love so many of them! Mercy is what piqued my interest in the game to begin with back when it was first announced and they showed her off. I was trying to make a cosplay for her back in late 2014 which didn’t go too well since I had just started college, but I relate more personally to her. Other than that I’m very fond of Widowmaker and Moira. I think their personalities are so far beyond what mine is, that I like portraying them as an acting exercise. I think it’s fun to try and channel that darker energy for pictures and video shoots.

What hero or hero skin would you love to cosplay?

Brigitte concept skin by: Antonio Demico

There is a fan made skin by artist Antodemico for Brigitte that I think looks significantly better than the in-game Shieldmaiden skin and I would love to try and cosplay it. I was thinking for next year, but I know Blizzard is gonna whip me across the face with something for this year’s Halloween event that I’m going to have to bum rush to finish for a con as usual. Hopefully for Moira or Widow? Please, Blizzard, please, I’ll slide y’all some Totino’s.

 

What makes cosplay fun for you?

I’m obsessed with creativity. While it does stress me out now and then, I love challenging myself with newer and bigger projects. It is beyond rewarding to finish a crazy cosplay and wear it to a con. Especially if it’s received very well. I would definitely say the closest friends I have now I met through cosplay. I also love the moments where people recognize what I’m dressed as, or when I’m on the outskirts of the con doing a photo shoot and someone who isn’t aware of cosplay asks for a picture or what it is. I’m naturally a quiet and anxious person, and I feel like this hobby has allowed me to branch out from that.

Do you have any upcoming costumes planned Chimichangachan?

It’s been getting a little harder these days to keep making cosplays regularly since I work a full time job in my degree for 3D modeling, and I’d love to work for a game studio in the future so I have plans to slow down a bit on cosplay and focus on improving my portfolio to achieve that. Otherwise, I would do Overwatch cosplays until Armageddon destroys us all, but I guess unfortunately for some a lot of my remaining cosplays for the year are non-Overwatch. This is because I’m wanting to challenge myself in sewing more and there’s only so many times I can pattern a bodysuit. Like I said, I’m sure they’ll release something later in the year that I just HAVE to do, but after I finish my Combat Medic Ziegler cosplay for Otakuthon 2018 I’ll have only the Hannah Alexander design for Mercy and then other video game related projects.

Where to find them

Find Chimichangachan (Rhiley) on:

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