We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandria Mattingly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alexandria, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I’ve always been a big risk taker. So to me that was one of the things that really pushed me to start my own business. There is a lot to learn about prop making and costume design and diving into a new project is just as much of a risk. You never know exactly how a project will be executed, but that feeling of the final product and getting it right can’t be beat. To anyone who’s worried about taking that risk don’t, that’s only stumping your progress. If you put your mind to it, you will surprise yourself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The challenges of having a cosplay business in a community that is already very established with bigger more well known creators can be extremely difficult. Although one thing I love about the cosplay community is that so many creators will amplify and support eachothers work, which is something I’ve never seen in any other community. One big struggle I’ve had is funding. Cosplay and prop making isn’t my full time job. I’ve been a waitress for most of the time funding my own endeavors until covid hit. It’s been tough, but I use what little resources I have to keep creating. I put all of my energy and soul into what I do and what I create. I will look at reference photos of whatever I’m building to try to emulate it exactly down to the last details. The one thing I’ve learned was getting over my fears of not being good enough to be able to create bigger props and costumes projects. That fear really stumped my progress as a creator. Another thing I wish I had known when starting is patience is key, not everything you make will turn out how you want until you focus and keep researching the right methods to get your desired finale product.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely love Museums. The Museum district in Houston is one of my favorite parts about the city ever since I was a little girl. Art and History has always inspired me and learning is apart of the fun. The Houston Museum of Natural Science has an incredible collection of artifacts from all over the world. I could sit all day in their gem exhibit and find peace. The Fine Arts Museum Houston is also another great place to visit. Their Classic Art exhibit is a place I find myself constantly coming back too, something about classical art has you admiring it for hours. A little bit further into the city is a revolving sushi bar called Kura. It’s such a fun way to eat sushi with your family and friends and everytime you’re done with your plate and insert it into this slot at your table you get a prize from a gum ball machine I’m a sucker for cute gimmicky places like that. Another cool spot I recently found is The Secret Garden located in Houston. They have amazing coffee and the most beautiful crafted cocktail drinks I’ve ever seen. Just sitting in their restaurant is like sitting inside of a greenhouse it’s all glass and over flowing with flowers and plants.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
One name comes to mind and that’s Prodigal Son Industries. Tyler taught me a lot of what I know today. He is always willing to answer whatever questions I have about a project that is gets me scratching my head. His patience and impeccable craftsmanship is one to be admired. I consider him a mentor and I hope to one day reach his level of artistry. I also want to thank J.a.vilches and Xrphotographic two incredible individuals and photographers. Their ability to capture a character as if watching a still from a video game or a movie has pushed me to put those extra details that pop for the camera. Without all of these people I wouldn’t have been as motivated or confident in what I’m doing today.
Photos by J.a.vilches (Photographer) on Instagram, Xrphotographic (Photographer) on Facebook and Instagram, Kcraigphoto (Photographer) on Instagram and a_tad_unhinged (Alucard Cosplayer) on Instagram and Twitter.