My first stop at Boston Comic Con was to speak with model, cosplay star, and streamer Danica Rockwood. Recognized for her rolodex of cosplay characters, creative content via Twitch/IRL and her stunning modeling work, Danica is a stand out in the cosplay community. I was lucky enough to spend time speaking with Danica about her love for the art of cosplay and the community she’s building around her.
AiPT!: You cosplay, you’re active on Twitch and Patreon. How do you like to spend your free time when you aren’t cosplaying or working on one of your other projects?
DR: I didn’t know I had free time *laughs*. I do Twitch streams three times a week for six hours. I eat, sleep, go to the gym. Other than that *laughs*. This hobby has become my way of life. I truly love what I do.
AiPT!: How do you balance streaming on Twitch for six hours a day, attending conventions, patreon and working on the next cosplay?
DR: It’s a little bit complicated but I’ve found a way to make it work. With Patreon what I do is create bonus content by binging on photoshoots, this allows me to use that across several months. When I’m streaming I’m working on my costumes that I’ll eventually shoot with David.
To make it a more personal experience for our Patreon backers and to raise awareness around the fact that my Patreon exists, I stream on IRL. It’s a category on Twitch where you can literally do anything you want, as long as you’re being interact with chat. I’ll personalize the prints for people in chat, I’ve drawn some weird stuff *laughs*
AiPT!: What kind of weird stuff?
DR: I drew dickbutt. The chat is great because they’ll help decide what I write or draw on the print. If someone’s away from their keyboard they’re in for a surprise. Or if someone isn’t there because we know they’re sick, we’ll do something nice for them. We’ve formed a very tight close knit community. I’ve found a way to make it all harmonize.
AiPT!: You have a Facebook, Twitch, Patreon, Instagram and Twitter. This allows you to interact with your fans and the cosplay community in multitude of ways. What’s your favorite way to interact with your fans and community?
DR: We have a Discord channel and we use that to talk to our community. We don’t intend to paywall people, but it’s for Twitch subs and it’s for Patreon backers. The primary reason we use this method is it helps prevent a negative community from forming. It’s on the internet so it happens. So if you’re paying to be there, you want to be there and you’re going to want to have a good time.
We have movie nights using a program called Rabbit. We all watch movies and send memes. Sometimes it’s really bad movies, to laugh at. We have gaming nights. We’ve found a way to make it a family.
AiPT!: You’ve cosplayed as characters from Star Wars, anime, manga, video games, steampunk, comic books, horror movies and more. What’s the process look like for selecting a character from such a diverse area of interest?
DR: Well I did Morrigan from Darkstalkers because I really wanted to learn how to make wings. I said to myself, “I like her because I want to figure that out.” It could be either I want a new material to work with or this looks complicated and I want to challenge myself. It could be the design, the character or the story. There’s so many different things that factor in.
AiPT! Is there a cosplay you’d like to attempt but haven’t due to the cost and amount of time that would be involved?
DR: I find that because I have a Patreon that funds my work, it could be borderline insulting to say that money isn’t going to work. That’s why I have the thing. I don’t ever like to put up a wall or a barrier with what I can accomplish.
I don’t have enough time for most things but I will commission and I will seek out things. I’m actually working on a really big project right now and I’m not going to tell you anything *laughs*. It’s a really big armor commission. It’s not in my skill set or my time frame at all, but I’m going to shadow the guy that’s doing it and it’s going to be amazing. I’m really excited.
AiPT!: Out of all the characters you’ve portrayed, which would you say you align the most with?
DR: I really didn’t like that I related a lot to Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I didn’t really like her in the beginning at all. But the fact that she’s so willing to fix and figure out situations that she gets handed, that no one else can figure out, I can relate with that. I really like that about her character.
AiPT!: What’re you currently streaming on Twitch?
DR: I mainly do creative, making my costumes on IRL. But lately I’ve been playing Borderlands 2 with a few of my friends and a lot of PUBG (PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds).
AiPT!: What’re you most looking forward to in what remains of 2017?
DR: I’m doing a lot of conventions and a lot of traveling. This year I’ve been fortunate enough to have been booked out of the country on two occasions. It’s been amazing, I’m really excited about seeing new places. I’m excited to experience new cultures.
Here’s where you can find Danica Rockwood online:
Facebook – DanicaRockwoodOfficial/
Instagram – @danica_rockwood
Twitter – @ODanicaRockwood
Patreon – patreon.com/DanicaAndDavid
Twitch – twitch.tv/danicarockwood
Email – email@example.com
Storenvy – http://danicarockwood.storenvy.com/