Brittany Chaos is one of the most earnest cosplayers I’ve had the opportunity to talk with. In AiPT!’s latest cosplay interview, we discuss what drives the passion behind Brittany’s love of tattoos, Dragon Ball, conventions and of course, cosplay.
AiPT!: I’d like to start off by finding out where you’re from.
Brittany Chaos: Currently, I live in San Antonio, Texas, with my husband and two children, but I’m from Dayton, Ohio, originally.
AiPT!: How do you like to spend your time when you’re not at conventions or working on cosplay?
BC: I’m a hairdresser by trade and I work out of my home. My husband’s in the military and as I said I have two kids, so it’s easier for us since I can work at home and take care of one my kids while the other is at school.
When I’m not with my family, I’m usually catching up on my nerdism. I religiously watch Dragon Ball Super every Sunday. I’ll actually be in a podcast because I’m such a Dragon Ball fan (laughs). The podcast has a Dragon Ball section, so after seeing my Beerus and Goku cosplays, the creators thought I’d be the perfect person to have on. Beerus and Vegeta are my two favorite Dragon Ball characters.
I’m also big into my nerd TV series and I love swimming.
Most of my family is out of state, so I spend a lot of time on FaceTime catching up with them. I’m new to San Antonio, so I’m trying to get to know people and make friends. I’m still trying to get my bearings, get to know local cosplayers and build some new friendships.
AiPT!: What was the first moment you knew you really wanted to try cosplay?
BC: I’ve had a passion for dressing up and costumes for a long time. When I was still living in Ohio, my brother and I would attend this enormous Halloween party our friend threw every year. We’d also try to go over the top with our costumes, plan them six months in advance and spend a lot of time and money.
So later when I was working for Journey’s, I was attending a big company party for their top-selling managers and the theme of the party was Comic Con. Right off the bat I knew this was up my alley, I’m a big comic fan and I decided to go all out as my favorite comic book character – Deadpool.
AiPT!: Did you enjoy the movie?
BC: I was there opening day (laughs). No one could have done it better than Ryan Reynolds. I LOVE that movie!
So I started with Deadpool at my company party and at the time I had already purchased tickets for Dragon Con in Atlanta. Growing up in Ohio conventions aren’t a big thing there, so I was only really aware of San Diego Comic-Con. My husband clued me in to the fact that there’s a lot of other conventions out there. So we got tickets to Dragon Con and I went all out. Along with Deadpool I made a Goku and Green Arrow cosplay for the three-day weekend.
AiPT!: Wow, you dived into the deep end of the pool right off the bat!
BC: I really loved the idea of cosplay in general and I was able to combine it with my passion for Halloween and my skills as a hairdresser. So it felt like a perfect fit. The response from people at Dragon Con was overwhelming, I’d never encountered anything like it before. The feeling of having such an intense connection with people I had never met before, over the shared love of different characters, was a high like nothing I’ve ever felt. That’s why I keep doing it today.
AiPT!: When you first jumped into cosplay, what did you discover to be your biggest misconception about it?
BC: That it would be easy (laughs). I thought it would be so much easier than it is. But bigger than that, I didn’t realize the amount of guts it takes to step out on the convention floor in your costume in front of thousands of people. There’s good criticism but you also have to face the bad criticism and initially I didn’t think of that.
Goku was one of the first cosplays I ever did and it was thrown together and awful (laughs). No one knew who I was half the day, so I put a scanner on and of course I got hell for that because Goku never wore a scanner. The first time I received criticism like that it was really hard, now I just let it roll off my back, but the first time was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with.
AiPT!: How do you deal with the online negativity, the trolls, the keyboard warriors, the people who don’t have anything nice to say?
BC: It depends on the criticism. If it’s just basic negative criticism of my work, I don’t really mind, I don’t have time to spend worrying about that. Whatever, you don’t like my cosplay. If it’s inappropriate, that I do have a problem with. I try to keep a clean image that leans towards family orientated. You’re not going to see me using profanity and calling out followers or commenters. I want to keep things positive.
AiPT!: When you arrive at a convention what’s the first thing you like to do?
BC: It depends, I could either be at a photoshoot I have lined up beforehand or if I have time I like to walk the floor. I love browsing the merchandise (laughs). I’m a geek at heart, I love to see all the artwork on display. Artist alley is always my favorite place to be.
AiPT!: What’s your process look like for selecting and then creating a new cosplay?
BC: (laughs) Part of why I call myself Brittany Chaos is because of how many planning and preparing process unfolds- total chaos. Usually I like to bounce ideas off my brother and husband, they’re booth into a lot of the nerdy television shows I like and I draw a lot of inspiration there.
Since it’s so hot in Texas I always try to find fabric that will reduce how much I’m going to sweat. Craft foam is my best friend, you can make anything with it.
AiPT!: I saw your Rey cosplay and loved it. I’m a massive Star Wars fan myself and I’d love to know more about your relationship with the Star Wars franchise and what it means to you.
BC: When I first saw it I was 15 and forced to watch it by my brother. I secretly started to fall in love with it and then as I got older I was more open about it and really explored the genre. My brother has always been a huge influence there. When the prequels were released we saw all of them together on opening night. I fell in love with the universe.
I made my Rey cosplay for the opening night of The Force Awakens, it was done in a hurry and made almost entirely of curtains. I partnered with a local photographer in my neighborhood who was just starting up and we got some really amazing shots at a local construction site that gave the appearance of a different planet.
I’d really like to do a Sith Lord in the future. Jessica Nigri’s Sith Lord was a really big inspiration there.
AiPT!: I’ve noticed that you have some tattoos and as someone that has a lot themselves, I’m really curious how many you have and what they are.
BC: (counting) Four. I’d like to get more. Tattoos are something that you take to the grave, so if I’m getting one, it has to be really meaningful.
The one on my ankle is the kanji symbol for strength – I went through a rough year with losing some family and it was a lot to go through. But I came out of it a stronger person. I have text on my arm for my mother who passed away. My best friend and I got matching hearts on our pinky fingers for a pinky promise. Then I have an anchor and heart on my side for my husband who keeps me truly grounded.
If I were to get another one it’ll most likely be something for my kids. But eventually I’d like to get logos for all my favorite characters that I’ve cosplayed as.
AiPT!: Do tattoos factor at all into your decision making when selecting a cosplay?
BC: A lot of the costumes I have cover almost all of them anyway, but either way I’m going to do what I want to do, regardless of it my tattoos are showing.
AiPT!: I know you have quite the toy and action figure collection. What would you say is your favorite type of toy to collect and hunt for?
BC: My Pop!s are definitely my babies. My friend who cosplays as well, just put one of my favorites on lay away for me. It’s a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive, a little Beerus. I also collect other larger collectibles, some of my favorites are my Deadpool and Groot figures. Lady Deadpool is my pride and joy.
AiPT!: What’re you most looking forward to this year?
BC: I’m looking forward to finishing the costume I’m working on, Hawkgirl! I’ve never put more work into anything. There’s so much blood, sweat and tears that I’ve shed working on this. The wings alone are one of the most ambitious things I’ve ever done, there’s so much work required. I’m crafting fake feathers, including real feathers, air brushing and giving them the ability to open and close. Then there’s her mace, cowl, boots and body suit too.
AiPT!: Last but not least, where can we fans find you online?
Facebook – facebook.com/BrittanyChaosCosplay/