You’ve heard the word so many times, yet the world of cosplay continues to be one that only a small percentage of people are familiar with. While most cosplayers are only hobbyists, saving their outfits for events such as Comic-Con and returning to their nine-to-five routines immediately after, a handful of people have tapped into the industry by turning their passion into a career.
Five years ago, Reika Arikawa made the transition from only cosplaying in her spare time to making it a full-time profession. Now, she is the CCO (Chief Cosplay Officer) of her own production company called 12Company and jetsets around the world to attend the biggest cosplay and anime conventions as a special guest, growing her fanbase everywhere she goes. We asked her to tell us about the ins and outs of being a cosplayer, and how she got to where she is now.