Kyla Jones, better known as Ely Renae to her fans on Facebook, is a typical 21 year old college student.
Just kidding, she’s anything but average! Kyla’s beautiful cosplay creations have been featured all over the place, including right here on Fashionably Geek. In a recent interview with The Rocket, Kyla explains why cosplay is so important. “Once you start accepting yourself for who you are,” Jones said, “and accepting your body for what it is, you can surpass anyone’s expectations of you.”
Kyla and a group of friends realized that although cosplay is a very individualized hobby, it’s always more fun to get together with other creators to collaborate and just spend time with each other. That’s when they decided to start a club at Slippery Rock University in PA and invite other cosplayers to join. With over 20 members, Kyla says the club is “significantly more successful than we had ever expected.”
Photos by Emily Smith Photography.
Click below for details about the club…
We reached out to Kyla about the SRU Cosplay Club and she noted that it is devoted to creating “an atmosphere that promotes creativity and instills a sense of self-pride in all the members”. “It’s a safe haven for anyone to come and be themselves, and then we give them a chance to be whoever they want to be.”
According to Kyla, this club isn’t just about hanging out. Their regular Thursday night meetings are actually very structured. Each meeting begins with a group discussion on current projects and the tools which can be shared among the members. After that she explains:
“we often will have a workshop, where one of our more experienced cosplayers will teach something within their expertise. We try to teach all sorts of things, from basics like how to hem a skirt or simple makeup techniques to armor and prop making.”
The rest of the time is spent utilizing their new skills to work on their projects and collaborate with each other.
Aside from the cosplayers themselves, Kyla explains that the club has received overwhelming emotional support from the student body.
“Everyone is excited about the club, even if they are not involved. We recently worked with the Student Organization for Latinos/Hispanics and Allies (SOL) to create sugar skull body paintings to celebrate the Day of the Dead. It was an awesome experience.”
For those geeks and nerds who have yet to delve into the world of costume play, Kayla urges:
Don’t be afraid about what people will think of you.” She didn’t expect anyone to show up to her first meeting, but dozens of cosplayers came to join.
“There’s nothing better than a bunch of geeks in a room doing what they love. And on top of that, you can belt out an obscure reference to something nerdy, and EVERYONE in the room gets it. It’s great!”