“Can I write to you? If I like leave letters… can we be pen pals?”
You’ve undoubtedly seen her jaw-dropping Calianna cosplay and her Mollymauk is just as amazing! For our second interview, we sit down with Ledasubatomica and discuss DnD, introductions to cosplay and Mollymauk’s coat. Why not join us and learn about this fantastic US cosplayer.
Photo by Billy Wong
1, Could you please Introduce yourself, tell us a little about your interests.
I’m Leda, (@ledasubatomica on most social media) I’m 24, and currently in graduate school working on a PhD in nuclear engineering. I’ve always loved crafts and creative hobbies, and have always kind of gone back and forth between a bunch of different ones. I think I really enjoy cosplay as my main hobby now because it allows people to practice several different hobbies simultaneously while working on one project.
2, How were you introduced to Critical Role
I had quite a few friends who I played D&D with try to get me into it for a while, but I was really intimidated by the backlog of content. It became almost a running joke that I would never get on board with it, but then after lots of recommendations, seeing the second campaign start up, and seeing the amazing fan art and cosplay start to fill up my social media feeds I gave it a chance. Ever since then I’ve been basically obsessed with the show.
3, How did you start cosplaying?
When I was maybe 14 or 15 my mother was teaching animation to high school students, and those students wanted her to chaperone them on a trip to a local anime convention. She took me along and that was my introduction to cosplay. I didn’t start really participating too heavily in the hobby/community until the summer of 2017, when a bunch of my friends from undergrad wanted to go to a local con and we all finally had time to work on costumes.
Photo by Wwestphalen
4, If you were to describe Critical Role to a friend, how would you do so?
I think I would describe it as a game of D&D played by a bunch of wonderful and talented friends that feels like you are sitting there with them playing along. It’s also a really amazing show for sparking your own creativity.
5, Everyone has favorite moments from Critical Role but do you have a moment that always stands out to you that affected you personally (Either from the show or in cosplay at a event)?
There’s just so much content from Critical Role that it’s hard to pick a favorite moment. This season there have been some really moving scenes played out by every single player, and the guests have been phenomenal. I think Taliesin’s interview on Talks Machina post-episode 26 might have been one of the most impactful events on the show (well, on an adjacent show) recently. At least for me personally.
6, Have you played DnD and which character do you currently play?
I play D&D as much as I can. I’m about to wrap up a game where I’m playing a swashbuckler rogue who I’ve really enjoyed playing. She’s the first non-spellcaster I’ve ever played, and she’s also got a very different personality compared to a most of my past characters, which has been fun.
7, If money was no option, is there a character from Critical Role you would love to cosplay?
That’s really hard to decide, I’ve contemplated cosplaying so many different characters from the show, including basically every single player character, along with a large number of the guests and NPCs. I think that if money were not an issue, and more importantly time was also not an issue, I would just want to make a bunch of different versions of Mollymauk. Right now I feel like I could justify the money and time needed to make most other things I’d want to make, but it’s hard to talk myself into making another Mollymauk coat. So I suppose that would be the big change in plans if time and money were no longer an issue.
Photo by Jacqueline Kilner Photography
8, Do you watch any other DnD podcasts? if so, which ones?
I’ve listened to the entire first arc of The Adventure Zone. I’d like to get into more but there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
9, If you could give a shout out to any Critters or Cosplayers who inspire you, who would it be?
Shouting out just a few of the Critters who inspire me is so hard because I find the entire community to be a never-ending supply of creativity and inspiration. Some folks who got me into cosplaying Critical Role were local friends who were so eager to do fun groups/meet ups at cons, like tinyechoes, magicalvoltage, syntacticsugarcosplay, and assorted creations. They all put up with my constant plotting and planning, haha. As for non-locals, I could go on forever listing people whose work I really admire. I’ll give a special shoutout to Armaria Cosplay for being one of the first critter cosplayers I found, whose work I still love seeing every time it shows up in my instagram feed.
I find picking the character I want to cosplay really hard, because I love them all so much. I picked Mollymauk because I really loved his attitude and his carefree nature, and also because I really wanted to make the coat. It looked like a fun challenge, and it definitely was! I picked Calianna as an almost last minute project because I found her so endearing and she gave me so much inspiration. I still need to improve on her quite a bit I think, but she is delightful to cosplay. People are a bit more surprised to see the guest characters show up at cons, which is always fun. At this point I just pick characters who are very distinct from one another personality-wise and aesthetically, because it’s fun to try very new and different things out.
Photo by Iron Photography
11, If you met a member of the cast, what would you tell them?
I think I would tell thank them not only for the content they’ve produced for us all to enjoy, but also for creating something that has inspired the creative sides of so many others. I feel like Critical Role really was the jump start to the creative parts of my brain that I had been waiting for for a while. I had been in a bit of a creative slump where I was having a hard time committing to and following through on creative projects before I decided to tackle Mollymauk.
12, If you could impart some cosplaying wisdom to someone at the start of their cosplay journey, what would it be?
I think the best advice is to just start making things. Nothing will ever be perfect, so don’t let perfection be your goal, because if you spend all of your time fighting to make everything absolutely perfect you’ll never finish anything. The only real goals of cosplaying for me are to learn new skillsets and ultimately have fun and create something I have fun wearing. But, for the second best piece of advice, do keep an eye on your budget. It’s easy to not realize just how much money you’ve spent just bedazzling a pair of tiefling horns.
Photo by Billy Wong