Bethany Maddock is one of my favorite cosplayers that is always blowing up my feed with some sort of feast for the eyes with her incredible costumes. She was recently named a cosplay ambassador by Netherrealm Studios for the Mortal Kombat Kollective and I can’t think of a better choice. I am very excited that Bethany gave me the chance to grill her on all things cosplay and beyond.
When did you realize you wanted to take your Cosplay to the next level?
I guess that’s all in how you define “next level” haha! My approach to cosplay has always been from an artistic perspective. I try to learn from each project I do, and improve. Cosplay is an outlet for me outside of my career as a graphic designer, where I get to create something physical, not digital, AND I get to create content that I love! I just want to do my best and if that means my cosplay has been taken to a “next level” then that just goes to show all of my hard work towards improvement is paying off!
2. What do you bring to the cosplay community that is unique to you?
Being unique in the cosplay world is pretty tough. For the most part, we wear costumes of characters that already have a design for us to replicate. However, I think some of my most…(I don’t want to say “successful”, but maybe…”well known”?) cosplays have been when I created my own feminine versions based off of male character designs. Hardly a concept that’s unique, but my design choices based off of these characters certainly are, and I’m very proud of them!
3. Are the any skills that you have acquired in your career as a graphic designer that you utilize when creating cosplays?
Absolutely! Being able to take a screenshot of a character, and digitizing specific designs, or creating templates. Those skills are all a huge benefit to having accuracy in a costume that I utilize all the time!
4. Speaking of career, how do you balance cosplay and professional life? Any tips for others looking to follow in your footsteps?
Have a routine, and realistic expectations! I do have a career and sometimes it can feel frustrating if I’m not producing enough. But at the end of the day, I know that not everyone has my busy schedule, and I need to be kind to myself and prioritize my projects. It’s taken me a long trial and error period to learn to stop putting things off to the last minute. “Con Crunch” is not cute, and it will get me sick (every time!). And most importantly Unless you’re getting paid to make something, don’t let your project overwhelm you there’s always another convention. Cosplay shouldn’t be stressful, it should be fun!
5. You’re a Boston woman, how would you rate your hometown nerd scene?
There’s probably 100 conventions a year in New England now. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s insane. I’ve learned to be a lot more selective with which conventions I go to. I’ve started going to less comic cons, and more video game events because they tend to have more things that I enjoy. We’re very lucky to have PAX East here in Boston and that’s my favorite local event hands down. We also have a lot of fantastic arcades and arcade bars that I love and even some cool table top places I have yet to check out, but intend to!
6. You’re now an MK Kollective ambassador. Can you talk about your journey as a Mortal Kombat fan?
YES! This was a huge dream come true to have been asked by WB Games and Netherrealm to be an Ambassador for such a fantastic fan art platform. Its wonderful to see companies reward their fans with amazing opportunities like this. I’ve been playing Mortal Kombat since I somehow convinced my dad to let me rent it at Blockbuster for my Sega Genesis hahaha! Back then it was a HUGELY controversial game, so to this day I don’t know how I was allowed to play it. But I loved it! Especially being able to play as a female character that kicked butt! At the time there weren’t a ton of games (that I had played) that represented women in such a powerful way, and I was really drawn to that. I think it went into obsession-level when I really got into Deadly Alliance on the Gamecube. I played that game so much, the entire Krypt is unlocked haha!
7. What are your wishes for the cosplay community as it continues to evolve?
I’ve been lucky enough to have been asked to work with a few companies on an official capacaty. Like I said before, it’s extremely rewarding to have all the hard work that’s put into your craft get recognized by the creators, and I hope more companies continue to reach into their communities to put a spotlight on artists that truly love the content.