The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023 | Manganime Tradnow

The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

From June 23, 2023 to June 25, 2023 - NC, US - Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Durham Research Triangle Cary

Cosplay America provides a gathering place for cosplayers and cosplay aficionados to meet and learn. It is an educational event that focuses on giving cosplayers the opportunity to learn new methods through numerous panels and workshops. Cosplay America 2023 will take place from June 23rd to June 25th at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Raleigh Durham Research Triangle View on MapCary, NC

Cosplay experts that deal with a range of mediums lead Cosplay America seminars. The workshops are open to all levels of cosplayers. Everyone has the opportunity to broaden their talents and produce a one-of-a-kind artwork to take home with them.

What is awaiting you at the Cosplay America 2023

Guest Cosplayers and Panelists

Cosplay America 2023 can’t wait for you to meet their 2023 guests! The guests and panelists have all sculpted their unique personalities into their work and have come to Cosplay America to share their skills, expertise, and experience with everyone!


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Hoku Props is run by Chad Hoku, a prop builder, and Sammy Hoku, a seamstress. They are well known for their “Larger than Life” Lionhardt cosplay from Blizzard’s Overwatch, which won Grand Prize at TwitchCon’s first-ever cosplay contest in 2016.

Chad started his artistic path at Gnomon—School of Visual Effects, Games, and Animation in Hollywood, California. Before graduating from the University of California, Riverside, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on arts management, he learnt how to 3D model from some of the greatest in the field. Using this 3D speciality, he creates armor, props, and personalized trophies for video game studios and craftsmanship competitions, using a range of manufacturing techniques to bring his works to reality.

Official Website


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Utopian Pigeon is an award-winning cosplayer from Charlotte, North Carolina who believes that anything can be built with enough care, pins, and hairspray.

She’s been designing cosplays of characters and her own designs for over 15 years and has competed in ten of them. What started as a desire to go on silly adventures with her friends has turned into a passion for learning new skills and making an astounding quantity of Pokemon cosplays. When she isn’t working, you can find her reading manga into the early hours of the morning, playing D&D, and discovering strange bird facts.


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Brett Downen is a popular cosplayer noted for his (extremely) outspoken, enthusiastic, and encouraging shooting approach. When he isn’t shooting photos at comic cons, you may catch him on image panels or teaching photography lessons in a nearby conference room. In between comic-con appearances, you may find him in his home studio or on location in the Pacific Northwest, where he primarily shoots cosplay pictures.

Official Website


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Few people do “bigger is better” costumes as well as UbersCosplay! UbersCosplay has amassed an army of mecha ranging from the vintage RX-78 Gundam to the colossal Alt-Eisen since 2011. He attempts to gain experience with different techniques and materials with each costume. While he employs a range of materials, his Mecha suits are mostly built of PVC sheets, his preferred weapon for a smoother and cleaner appearance. He is a firm believer in never sacrificing cleanliness and details for the sake of scale alone.

Official Instagram


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

December Wynn is an award-winning cosplayer residing in Denver, Colorado. They are part of WCS Team USA 2022. December specializes in fabric dyeing, painting, and stitching.

Leatherwork, millinery, embroidery, and sculpture are all popular. They have given guest lectures on craftsmen skills at national and international conferences, as well as at universities.

December has been a professional craftsperson for five years, including time as a devoted painter/dyer in addition to her cosplay job. They graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BFA in Theatre Design and Technologies and a BFA in Studio Arts with a specialization in painting.

Official Instagram


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Brittani Ginoza is a Columbus, Ohio-based costume and prop designer. She is primarily renowned for her distinct painting style and intricate costume design. Brittani, a competitive cosplayer, recently won the Twitchcon 2022 costume contest and has represented the United States in international competitions on many occasions. She is inspired by video games like World of Warcraft and Borderlands, and she has collaborated on projects with Blizzard Entertainment and Gearbox Software in the past. Brittani enjoys talking business and teaching others about cosplay when she’s not working on her next armor build.

Official Instagram


Jennifer “Jenny” Barclay is an award-winning artist who doesn’t shy away from experimenting with new mediums. Her diverse background has equipped her with a diverse set of skills, which include traditional illustration, digital art, animation, and, of course, cosplay.

Jenny thrives on challenges, particularly those that others regard as insurmountable. She works as a professional Creative Director at Moxie, a digital media firm, and her work has been displayed abroad. Jenny prefers to spend her free time with a controller in hand, hosting the gaming online program Backward Compatible.

Official Website


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Beverly Downen of Downen Creative Studios is a professional novelist, cosplayer, and creator who crafts high-quality costumes based on popular culture figures as well as elaborate individual designs. She travels across the country giving seminars and talks at various events, and she enjoys writing extensive tutorials.

SheProp, a maker forum for female, non-binary, and transgender cosplayers, debuted in 2018, and she oversees all programming and events. She has worked with companies such as Marvel, Worbla, Smooth-On, PlaidFX, and MicroMark, and has appeared on Tested, Be Amazed, and the NW Nerd Podcast. Her 240-page how-to book Cosplayer’s Ultimate Guide to EVA Foam was published in 2022 and is now available on bookstore shelves around the world.

Official Website


The Most Anticipated Panels at Cosplay America 2023

Pros and Cons Cosplay are twin High-level cosplayers from the Midwest with a deep understanding of cosplay construction, cosplay competition, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

They have received numerous awards for cosplay artistry and performance, and they specialize in sophisticated creations with multiple design aspects such as needlework, formwork, wig style, and meticulous detailing. Pro recently won the USA title at the Crown Championships of Cosplay.

They are committed to making the cosplay community a safe and welcoming environment for all, and they work both personally and professionally to develop inclusive cosplay contest policies and educate the community on bystander intervention techniques, social justice, and inclusion in the cosplay and costuming community.

Official Facebook

Learn the Art of Cosplaying from Experts

At Cosplay America 2023 Premium Workshops, you can improve your abilities and try out new materials. These one-of-a-kind courses are led by Cosplay specialists from all around the world. Attend their Guest Panels and Demonstrations to learn more about their experiences and work!

Engage with various Panels

Come enjoy a cup of tea with Cosplay America Cosplay Guests at their Cosplay Cafe. Take a look at the Market Expo and Fan Panels. Are you in the mood for a good time? Don’t forget about the Pajama Party and the Mech Building Party! All the details can be found on their Programming page.

Compete with Others Cosplayers

Put your skills to the test in their Craftsmanship Contest, and look your best at their Gala! Photograph in the Green Screen Photography area or at scenic locations around the event. There are numerous activities and events to enjoy during the convention!

What about Cosplay America 2023 Premium Workshop?

Premium Workshops, led by experienced cosplayers, provide hands-on learning with a wide range of materials. Slots are limited, materials are provided, and you may take what you make home with you!

NB: The convention states that “All Workshops are Non-Refundable. Attendee is responsible for attending the workshop at the specified time and place

Faux Bone PaintingHokupropsWorkshop 3Friday 12:00 PM
Creature Gloves Pt. 2Jenny BarclayWorkshop 2Saturday 10:00 AM
Beginning Card WeavingIvorivet, Stella Sews,
Workshop 2Sunday 10:00 AM
Bevels with BeverlyBeverly DownenProgramming 1Friday 01:00 PM
Light-up Zaku Heat Hawk AxeUbersCosplayWorkshop 3Saturday 10:00 AM
Texturing EVA Foam like a ProBeverly DownenWorkshop 3Sunday 10:00 AM
Leather Pt. 1December CosplayWorkshop 1Friday 12:00 PM
Embossing for Boss BuildsPros and Cons CosplayWorkshop 1Saturday 10:30 AM
Essential Hand Stitches
for Cosplay and Costuming
ZippyEllyWorkshop 1Sunday 11:00 AM
Casting a Tiara Pt. 1Jenny BarclayWorkshop 2Friday 01:00 PM
Hand EmbroideryDecember CosplayProgramming 1Saturday 01:00 PM
Casting a Tiara Pt. 2Jenny BarclayWorkshop 2Sunday 12:00 PM
Intro to SpinningIvorivet, Stella SewsWorkshop 3
Friday 01:30 PM
Foamsmithing Forge:
Crafting EVA Foam Daggers!
Beverly DownenWorkshop 1Saturday 01:00 PM
Spiking and Volume
in Wigs 101
Utopian Pigeon CosplayWorkshop 3Sunday 01:00 PM
Intro to SpinningIvorivet, Stella SewsWorkshop 3Friday 01:30 PM
The Basics of Resin CastingUtopian Pigeon CosplayWorkshop 2Saturday 01:30 PM
Beaded CabochonsWorkshop 1Workshop 1Sunday 01:30 PM
EVA Foam ChainmailUbersCosplayProgramming 1Friday 02:00 PM
Wrangle that Wig:
Wig Styling 101
Pros and Cons CosplayWorkshop 3Saturday 01:30 PM
My wig is ruined!Utopian Pigeon CosplayProgramming 1
Sunday 03:00 PM
KumihimoWingedlight CosplayWorkshop 1Friday 02:30 PM
Creature Gloves Pt. 1Jenny BarclayWorkshop 2Friday 03:00 PM
Kanzashi Ornate FlowersJenny BarclayProgramming 1Saturday 03:30 PM
Scalemail and Chainmailenny BarclayWorkshop 2Sunday 03:00 PM
Making Cosplay
ThreadMagnet CosplayWorkshop 3Sunday 03:00 PM
Creating Your Own
Sloper for Custom Costume Construction
Infernal Machine
Cosplay, Redfield Design
Workshop 3Friday 03:00 PM
Leather Pt. 2December CosplayWorkshop 1Saturday 04:00 PM
Let’s Assemble Gunpla!UbersCosplayProgramming 1Friday 07:00 PM
Faux Metal PaintingHokupropsWorkshop 2Saturday 04:00 PM
Foam BuildingGinoza CostumingWorkshop 3Saturday 04:00 PM

*Premium workshop may require a separate purchase

Other Activities and Panels you should expect at the Cosplay America 2023 Convention

  • Workshops and Demonstrations
    • Makeup
    • Prop Making
    • Cosplay 101
    • Sewing
    • Photography
  • Craftsmanship Contest
  • Gala
  • Market Expo
  • Cosplay Checkers
  • Panels by fans, experts and guests
  • Photography Areas
  • Cosplay Runway Show!

Cosplay America 2023 Craftsmanship Contest

The craft of your costume will be judged for craftsmanship. Because judging time is restricted, there will only be 48 judgment slots available. Sign up as soon as possible because it is first come, first served. Please keep in mind that because they will be videotaping the contest and posting it online, you will be required to sign a waiver agreeing to this. If you have any concerns about this, contact Cosplay America. Minors must have a parent or guardian over the age of 18 sign this waiver on their behalf.


This is for candidates aged 15 and under. Although parents/adults can help with the fabrication of Juniors’ costumes, Cosplay America prefer that junior contenders engage in the building of their outfit. Juniors who made large sections of their costumes will receive extra credit. If you assisted your junior in the creation of their costume, you are invited to attend their judging and assist in the discussion of how the costume was constructed. Because all of the contestants must sign a waiver this year, and minors must have a guardian over the age of 18 sign it for them, juniors will not be able to sign up at the convention unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.


This category is for newcomers to cosplay or crafting competitions. To be eligible for this category, a costume/cosplayer:

  • Cannot have earned more than one major award (first place or best in the show) or more than two minor awards (2nd or 3rd place) in the Beginner category at this or any other convention.
  • Cannot have previously received honors in the journeyman/advanced/masters category at any conference.
  • With the exception of shoes and wigs, you must have manufactured at least 50% of your outfit. Remember, the more costumes you make, the more costumes you have to impress others with!
  • Let Cosplay America know if you have never entered a craftsmanship contest before but have been producing costumes for a long time. We may discuss elevating you to the Journeyman or Master category.


This category is for cosplayers who have been making costumes for a while and have previously entered craftsmanship contests. To be eligible for this category, a costume/cosplayer:

  • Cannot have won more than 5 awards in the Beginner or Journeyman category.  
  • Cannot have won awards in a masters division at any convention in the past.
  • Must have made at least 75% of your costume, excluding shoes and wig base. Keep in mind that the more of your costume you make, the more costume you have to impress the judges with!


In general, the master’s division is intended for persons with several years of costuming expertise and multiple awards (such as more than 5) from previous tournaments.

At least 75% of your costume must be handmade. Remember, the more you make of your outfit, the more chances you have to impress the judges!

Send an email to if you’re unsure if you qualify for this category or have any questions regarding the contest

Cosplay America 2023 Craftsmanship Contest Judges

Here are the judges for this 2023 anime convention


Please for rules and regulations regarding online registration, check out the convention registration page


Published on: June 10, 2023

Author: Lolita Rogers

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