Welcoming 2021 with a New Cosplay Bombshell: Meet Astra Void!

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Astra Void Bombshell of the Month 01-2021

Okay, everybody. You don't need us to tell you that 2020 is a year that belongs in the dustbin of history. We did our best to brighten it once a month with some colorful positivity in the form of cosplay, and we're going to continue that on into this new year, in the hopes that things get better.

Every month the staff at Critical Blast combs the cosplay community for up-and-coming cosplayers who deserve to have a broader audience for their work, taking into account not only costuming skills and spirit, but also how they use that ability in service to others. Through this, we've not only met some talented cosplayers, but also some fine human beings.

So let's get this year started off right! Critical Blast is proud to introduce you one and all to 2021's first...

 

Critical Blast Bombshell, January 2021

Astra Void


Starfire (DC COMICS)
photo credit: @FeindtPhotography

What is your interest in cosplay?

Cosplay is my number one way to express myself. It allows me to combine the things I love (makeup, dressing up, nerd content) in a way that lets me be my most authentic self. Getting to share that experience with like-minded people and especially kids really makes the difference for me as well.

How did you get into cosplay, and what was your first cosplay experience?

I used to be involved in the theater program at my old high school. We had a day called the ‘international thespian society day’ where we were allowed to pick a character and dress as them! In my senior year, my graduating class decided we should all get together and do characters from Marvel. After everyone chose their characters, I was a bit lost on who to be. My friends suggested that I should do Gamora and paint myself green since I was the makeup artist of the group. I love a challenge, so I agreed. The day came and went and it was one of the most fun experiences I have ever had. Not long after I graduated, my mom informed me that there was a comicon going on near our house. I had no idea that those even existed near me and I had always wanted to go to one, so I was already excited just to go at all. She told me that there was a cosplay contest going on and I realized that I still had everything from when I did Gamora...and so the rest is kind of history. From there, I just fell down this really long rabbit hole.

How has your cosplay evolved since you began?

I have learned so much, it is unbelievable. I started by buying my stuff - nothing wrong with that! I then started to teach myself how to do small modifications/builds and I slowly worked my way up to EVA foam, 3D printing, sewing (with help from my mom), etc. My dad taught me how to use a variety of different tools that allowed me to expand my skills, so I am forever grateful to the two of them for supporting me and for giving me the opportunity to grow into my own as I navigate adulthood and find who I am. Even with makeup, I look back on my year and realize just how far I’ve come in that alone! It can be really inspiring to look back on old works. I’m still learning every day and I hope that I can continue to do that going into the new year.


Gwen Stacy ("Into the Spiderverse," MARVEL COMICS)

photo credit: @FeindtPhotography

What is your "secret identity" outside of cosplaying?

I am a full time college student! I am currently studying to become a forensic scientist and I hope to go into the FBI one day as a crime scene analyst.

What kind of social or charity activities do you get involved in with your cosplay?

I only started cosplaying in July of 2019, so I am still sort of new to the scene. My goal has always been to one day do charity events/visit a hospital and that is still on my list! Aside from that as a goal, I just recently got the incredible opportunity to become the co-host of a cosplay podcast (The Heroes of Cosplay Sanctuary Podcast) which I am incredibly passionate about. We get to talk about topics as well as interview guests. It’s such a positive light and it really brings the community together, which is something that I believe in strongly.


Harley Quinn (DC COMICS)

photo credit: @FeindtPhotography

Do you make as much of your own costume as possible or rely on purchased materials -- and is that important overall to cosplaying? 

As I stated before, I am still learning and though it is really rewarding to build your own suits, there is absolutely no shame in saying “yeah, I can’t do this yet, I need to commission it.” I think it is important to know your limits and to not push yourself too hard - this is something I’ve had to learn the hard way. Take everything one step at a time! Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are full blown armor suits! It is perfectly okay to make your own things, buy and modify, or just outright buy, in my opinion. The important thing is that you credit whoever you purchase your pieces from and that you have fun either way. No one is better than anyone else just because they made their costume. We’re all nerds here, we’re all doing the same thing!

What's your favorite cosplay, your "go to" look that you just love to put on and act out?

My favorite cosplay at the moment would have to be Starfire. I have wanted to cosplay her for a very long time, but I never really had the confidence to. I had a pretty intense realization about halfway through the year that I would be turning 20 in March. I decided that for the end of 2020 and going into the new year, I wasn’t going to waste any more of my life feeling insecure or unsure of myself. I didn’t want to spend another day holding myself back from things that I love and so I didn’t. It was the best decision I have ever made. It’s opened my cosplay journey up to so many new possibilities that I never thought would happen and I could not be happier. 

Where can people go to find you online?

People can access my socials through my linktree! However, I also have them listed below:

Linktree link: https://linktr.ee/AstraVoidCosplay

Instagram: @AstraVoidCosplay

TikTok: AstraVoidCosplay

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZstjuTRSuSGaJ687M-wekA

Podcast: Heroes of Cosplay Sanctuary