Crystal Graziano is a cosplayer from South California and started cosplaying in 2005 at the San Diego Comic Con. She creates the costumes by herself and puts a lot energy and time into them. She and her cosplays gained interest during the years, she was mentioned multiple times on blog like Kotaku and her pictures became quite popular.

While Game Art HQ is mostly about drawn art related to video games, i also see it as art to recreate the appearance of a video game character through a costume and thought it can be interesting to learn more about a experienced cosplayer



GBK: Hello Crystal, your Photos got quite some attention in the last time and i saw that not a few people are visiting your gallery here on Game Art HQ as well.

How do you feel about the many people which are looking at your cosplays, faving them on Deviantart, like them on Facebook and are asking you all kinds of questions and tell you that they like your works?

Are some people on the street recognize you from you photos and start talking to you or was there someone who wanted an autogramme?

Crystal Graziano:I’m glad people like my costumes! It’s a fun way to share your fandom with others. No one recognizes me outside of cosplay events, but I wouldn’t expect them to! Being a cosplayer is, in my opinion, more about the characters.

My goal is to look like the character as much as I can, and not just, “Oh, it’s Crystal in a costume.”


GBK:The whole cosplay trend began to get popular in western regions only a few years ago while it was famous in japan since over 10 years. When did you hear about cosplay for the first time and what was your first reaction?

Crystal Graziano:I got into cosplay in 2005. I had started to go to Comic Con a few years earlier, but I always thought that cosplayers were weird and thought they were the character or something.

Eventually I realized they were just showing their enthusiasm for their favorite series, and that they were having a lot more fun than everyone dressed normally!


GBK: Do you remember how you felt in your first cosplay costume?

Crystal Graziano: Yeah, I do! My first costume was a terrible Aeris cosplay, but when I got to the convention a bunch of little kids ran up and gave me hugs because they really liked FF7. They were so cute, and it made me feel really happy!


GBK: Please tell us a bit about the process of making a costume, how does it start and how do you organize all the materials needed for, let`s say your Selvaria Bles costume. I am sure that wasnt easy to get together or?

Crystal Graziano:Usually I start out by collecting at reference pictures and deciding how I’m going to make the costume, and what materials I need. Selvaria definitely was not easy in this regard. Her pants/leggings have a unique pattern on them, and no similar materials seemed to exist for it.

I had to draw the pattern on by hand for that! Her blouse, skirt, and sleeves also posed an issue. I originally bought a black cotton with slight stretch to make them out of, and it worked fine for the skirt and the sleeves.

However, because of how chesty she is, it was impossible to fit the blouse right without having a million seams on her chest.

I wound up having to use a thick black lycra for the blouse to get the correct fit without too many seams, but luckily you can’t tell the difference between the blouse material and the skirt and sleeve material. Having to redo parts of a costume to get it right is pretty common, and you just have to problem solve.


GBK: What costume was the most difficult to make for you and whats your favourite costume so far?

Crystal Graziano: Selvaria was the most difficult. It was a bit overambitious for me at my skill level back then, so I had quite a bit of trouble with it. However, the Old Snake costume I made for husband is actually more technically challenging, but by then I had more experience. My favorite costume is really hard to say!

Every time I make a new costume, that costume becomes my favorite, so right now it would be Black Widow.


GBK: How do you feel about cosplay photoshootings? I noticed that a lot of your photos were made on events like the Anime Expo and relative few seem to be from shootings

Crystal Graziano: I usually do my photoshoots at conventions. It’s just more convenient since

I’m already in costume, and the cosplay photographers are already there! Scheduling shoots outside of conventions can be more of a hassle, but I’ve been doing more of that lately.


GBK: Can you tell me something about your future plans regarding your cosplays and also regarding fan arts from you? Ya know i liked some of your works and you mentioned they wouldnt be the last ones to see from you.

Crystal Graziano: I’ve recently been hired by Red 5 Studios to portray their character Mourningstar from the game Firefall, so you’ll definitely see me in that this year! For the costumes that I plan on making, right now I’ve got Klan from Macross Frontier, Venus from Metal Gear Ac!d, Ivy from Soul Calibur V, Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 4, and Risty from Queen’s Blade planned, among others.

As for my fanarts….I don’t really feel they are up to par, so I don’t post them much. Maybe I should use a different account for my artwork!


GBK: Recently i saw that there are more and more websites and models which do commercial cosplays.

On deviantart there are photographs and website admins as example which show stuff like a cosplay model of – as example – Hinata from the Naruto animes with costume and a 2nd photo with the same model Hinata. What do you think about this development and commercial cosplay as a whole?

Crystal Graziano: I don’t have a problem with purchased costumes. I prefer to make my own, but I understand not everyone wants to take the time to learn how to construct them. All I ask is that you don’t claim you made it!

Regarding cosplay pornography, I understand why there is a market for it, but I personally don’t like it.


GBK: Do you have any tips for people which like cosplay and want to do a costume but don’t know where they should start?

Crystal Graziano: Practice makes perfect! Your first costume will likely be bad, but that’s okay! You’ll learn from it, and your next one will get better.

There are a lot of tutorials online about how to sew, make armor, style wigs, and more! Use these resources to learn, and eventually you’ll be making things you feel really proud of!


GBK:Thanks a lot for the Interview, i hope it will be interesting for many of our readers. I wish you everything good and look forward for your future cosplays and fan arts! I am sure Ivy from Soul Calibur V will cause a lot nosebleeding 🙂

Crystal Graziano: Thank you so much for interviewing me!


You can Visit Crystals gallery on Game Art hQ right here,

Her own Homepage


More Interviews on Game Art HQ