Biography

Hello! I'm Feytaline. I'm a cosplay artist, photographer, and con safety advocate from Western Pennsylvania, USA.

Why Cosplay?

I express myself through cosplay—whether it's cute, sexy, or spooky, there are many facets of myself that I can share which I wouldn't be able to show any other way. I can choose a character and convey so much more than a single mood—I'm showing not only what I have created in that moment, but retelling the story of that character.

Why Photography?

You can't show off your cosplay without photographers! I have created many of my images as self-portraiture, or with the help of my partner. But when I work with a different photographer, we're combining our talents to create something that expresses both of our art.

I want to help other cosplayers express themselves as the unique people they are; to show the world what they want to say with their costumes and expressions. I want my photos to give others a voice of confidence, even when they're insecure, anxious, or otherwise afraid to express themselves to the world!

With a few other local photographers, I host public photoshoots with Western PA Cosplay Shoots. We explore unique locations in Western PA from Hell's Hollow in McConnell's Mill State Park, to the Mansions on Fifth Avenue, to Soergal's Orchards, to the Cathedral of Learning. These free events are open to cosplayers and photographers of all skill levels to create images and make connections.

Why Advocacy?

I'm a survivor of trauma, stalking, sexual harassment and bullying. I have not always handled this well, partly due to mental illness and partly due to how a negative attitude is rewarded in the online community. There are sites dedicated to sharing the latest "drama," people who keep screen-capped "receipts" for years to disgrace and tear down the achievements of anyone who has ever made a mistake or held an uneducated view—that's ALL of us! People are bonding over what they hate, rather than what they love, and it's creating pain to the point that people drop out of the community. After breaking free of that attitude, I knew I wanted to fight against it and the pain it causes others. I want to create a community where people are safe to express themselves and create--one where harmful attitudes are not accepted or rewarded.

What's CSSN?

A few years ago, I met a fellow cosplayer and survivor, Trickssi. We bonded through shared experiences of online harassment, as well as sexual assault. Trickssi founded CSSN (Cosplayer Survivor Support Network) because so, so many cosplayers have stories where they have been harassed, assaulted, and otherwise traumatized-- and were not believed or worse, blamed, when they tried to speak up.

This is something I also feel very strongly about, and I am happy to be a part of the organization she founded. We Believe You is our mantra, because we believe that survivors should be heard without judgment or demands that they 'prove' their trauma happened when they are only seeking support.

We work to provide education through articles and panels so that survivors are treated with the respect they deserve at all community events, especially when reporting incidents to staff. "Cosplay is not consent" is not enough—we need specific policies at all events that define harassment, provide a way to report, and spell out consequences for perpetrators. We all deserve a safe community!

I want to work hard to share my visions—the 'story only I can tell", and to help other artists tell theirs.

With your help, I'm sure I can create many more wonderful things!

Thank you!