Community Focus: Lily Bean Cosplay

Mar 7, 2022 - Hippy

Making the Destiny community a little bit brighter, one epic cosplay at a time. 

In the last cosplay Community Focus, we playfully had a few jabs at non-Titan classes, so it was only fair that the next amazingly talented human being to be featured would showcase the beauty that are Hunters (Hippy says grudgingly). 

Lilian, or Lily Bean Cosplay, is a passionate fan of all things Destiny 2 and Star Wars, and that passion can easily be seen through her craft. OK, OK, you’ve got me – this Titan-main must admit, she makes Hunters look cooler than they already are. More than that, her connection to her community and the larger cosplay world inspires kindness, patience, and a desire to achieve the goals nestled away within our hearts. 

So, without further ado, let’s celebrate the amazingly talented Lily Bean Cosplay! 

You are making my day by sharing more of your cosplay with us, thank you for joining the Community Focus family! Before we start, tell us a little more about yourself and how you got into Destiny and the wonder that is cosplay. 

Hi! I’m Lilian and I’m a senior in high school who loves to make costumes in my free time! I’ve been doing cosplay and prop making for about six years now. I first entered the world of Destiny back in 2015, and right off the bat, I was captivated by the designs of all the characters and locations. After a few months of playing, I also started to get interested in the idea of cosplay. I had attended conventions in the past wearing my Halloween costumes, but the designs within Destiny were what inspired me to start recreating characters by cosplaying. My first cosplay was my first Destiny Hunter. It was a joint effort between my family and myself to make, but I had such a fun time wearing it that I wanted to keep going with the craft! Through both Destiny and cosplay, I’ve realized that my passion is costume design, which I intend to pursue after I'm done with high school.

Real talk, I can’t even sew a button onto literally anything, so seeing the intricacy of some of your designs, especially your Spider Associate, is mind-blowing. We’ve got to ask: What is your process like when crafting a new cosplay? Did it take you a while before you started feeling comfy with making your visions a reality? 

When I was just starting out, I learned a lot from many online crafters who shared their tips on YouTube and social media. That’s one of the things that I love about the cosplay community, that people are willing to lend advice to help a fellow crafter out on their builds. The first years were mostly about learning how to use different materials and thinking through the creative process. After each build, I just went into the next one thinking of how I could improve for my own enjoyment. In recent years, I have been a little more self-oriented when it comes to execution and problem-solving.

I think that cosplay is a learning process as much as it is a hobby, so even now I’m constantly learning new techniques that can make my projects more immersive. Last year, I learned how to make articulating beetle legs that hooked up to a toy spider motor to recreate the Khepri’s Sting Exotic, which honestly was just a really cool experience. 
My projects tend to last a pretty long time when it comes to new cosplays. My Spider’s Associate build, for example, began when I was 15 and was completed almost a year and a half later during the pandemic. It takes a while for me because I always want to include all the details to try and get things as accurate as possible, and that’s what I enjoy spending my time on.

About my process? The first step is choosing a character that I resonate with in some way. I’ve cosplayed as my Destiny 1 Hunter, a House of Winter Dreg, Sweeper Bot, Hawthorne, Ana Bray, Spider’s Associate, and my Destiny 2 Hunter. What all these builds have in common is that I was drawn to them because of their designs and role in the story. After settling on a character, it’s onto the sketching and researching phase in which I can get an understanding of the logistics behind building the costume. I’ll keep in mind things like, how heavy might this costume be? What is the most labor-intensive part? Will this work with real-life proportions? What’s the significance of this character? How can I make this look “real?” From there, I list the kinds of techniques I’ll need to use or learn, what sort of materials I’ll need, and how long I’ll have to make it before the next convention. All my costumes are hand-made almost entirely from scratch. My favorite part of the process is when the parts of the costume actually start to show some resemblance to the character. Then, of course, the end result, because I feel awesome while wearing it!

Wow, so it's a lot more extensive than newcomers into the cosplay community might think. Do you have any advice for newbie cosplayers looking to make their own mark? 

Take the opportunity to connect with other crafters online and in-person if you can make it out to a convention! Learning through online tutorials is also a fantastic way to start, and that will help you learn at your own pace and tailor what information you’re taking in for what specific goals you have in mind. Planning and drafting are very important stages, but it’s important not to get stuck there. Sometimes, things end up working out while you’re in the process of building, so I would say don’t be afraid to jump in and try new things! 

It is also never too late to start. If you think that you can’t do cosplay because you’re not “good” at something, forget that, because everybody starts somewhere. Cosplay is for everyone, no matter your shape, size, ability, age, or appearance. So, if there’s a character that inspires you enough to bring into the real world, then go for it!

I'm sure you've noticed that we like to (playfully) poke jabs at our own class choices, and the rest of the Destiny community definitely jumps into the fun banter, as well. You're up! What's your go-to class and why, oh why, did you leave Titans behind? 

Even though I started out as a Titan, I’ve been pretty consistent as a Hunter Nightstalker. I like the whole wait-then-strike element of the smoke bombs and tether abilities. Even though it often makes me the odd one out in my fireteam and Vanguard-less, I have a good time playing as a Hunter. Who else can rock those fabulous cloaks, I mean really?

You know what?  Touché. Looking at your portfolio and how you interact with your community, you seem like an absolute blast to be around at conventions. What is your favorite memory from being in the cosplay community? What is one of your darker moments that you’d be willing to share? 

That’s hard to say because there are so many great memories that have been made through my experiences in cosplaying with this community. One of my favorites is probably the first Destiny meetup I attended at Emerald City Comic Con back in 2018. I loved being able to connect with others that were also into Destiny and crafting. The meetups that this community puts together are always such a blast because of that. A close second is when I got to compete in the Crown Championships of Cosplay this past December with my Spider’s Associate! After working on that project during the pandemic it was so rewarding to finally show it to everyone while on stage, not to mention being able to share the space with so many talented cosplayers.

Thankfully, my experiences have been fairly smooth at conventions, but sometimes I encounter people who aren’t the greatest when it comes to boundaries. An important rule is that cosplay does not equal consent. Even though someone might be dressed as a character that you like (or dislike), they are still an individual person outside of that costume, and that needs to be respected.

With The Witch Queen out now, the game feels very different in a lot of ways. I don’t know about you, but it’s got us reflecting back on the road to get here. That begs the question: What is your favorite thing about the universe of Guardians so far? It can be a clan moment, a favorite cutscene; what spoke to you the most? 

I have a lot of love for the very first cutscene in Destiny where the Traveler was discovered on Mars because that was the beginning of something that essentially changed my life. When the music swelled, and the title appeared, I knew I was in for something special. Typically, it's the narrative, art, and music that have the greatest impact on me, and there are too many moments to list them all here. If I had to choose an absolute favorite, it would be when crossplay first went live because I was able to play with my real-life friends after hyping it up for so long. I was mostly a solo player before that, which I didn’t mind because I got to enjoy the story on my own but being able to play online with people I knew was such a great addition to my gaming experience; it opened the doors to raid runs and many, many chaotic PvP sessions.

I haven't quite gotten through the entirety of The Witch Queen campaign, but I'll add that to my favorites too, just to be safe! The story has been fantastic lately and I'm really excited to see how things unfold.

Speaking of "new," if you could add anything you wanted to the game - anything at all, big or small - what would it be? 
What about a Crucible mode sort of like Mayhem except it's the exact opposite? Like, no guns, no abilities, everyone just gets into a massive fist fight. I think it could be really funny to see Guardians charging at each other from across the map to take turns punching one another. 

What about a dream subclass? 
Gameplay and story-wise, more Darkness-focused abilities could be very interesting. Stasis makes me wonder if there are other elements besides "cosmic ice," like how the Light offers Solar, Void, and Arc abilities. Maybe something involving illusions or an ability like Taking (though, I'm not sure that would be lore-accommodating, just brainstorming here). 

Brainstorm away, some of the best ideas come from just throwing personal wants at a wall and seeing what makes sense, I dig it! Pivoting away from dreaming up what could be, you've got the stage right now. If you could tell the gaming community at large one thing, what would it be? 
I think it's good to remember that people from different walks of life are what make the gaming communities their best, whether that's the developers or the player base itself. Try to have a good time and not take things too seriously, if you can. 

Seriously, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Before we let you go, is there anyone you want to shout out here in your Community Focus? Also! Where can people find you to support your work going forward? 

 Thank you again for having me! I would love to shout out to everyone in the Destiny cosplay community, especially Air Bubbles Cosplay and Perzephone, who have arranged amazing meetups at local conventions. Also, thank you to all of the people at Bungie who make Destiny what it is because the game has been such an incredible source of artistic inspiration to me over the years!

I can be found on Instagram, that's where I share in-progress photos and finished projects. Come say hi! 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Destiny community is powerful in how talented and kind it is. We love giving fellow Guardians a chance to shine in the spotlight to share their personal Light with the rest of the world. From cosplayers, artists, fan fiction writers, or just those that quietly enjoy the game and take in the community at large one day at a time; you’re all incredible and if anyone hasn’t told you that today, we’re saying it now. You’re awesome, and don’t ever stop being you. 

 Are you digging that our Community Focus segment is back in action? We hope so because we’ve got plenty more planned. If you have someone special that you’d love to see get featured, feel free to hit us up! And in case you missed it, check out last week's Community Focus that was all about EpicDan22 right here.

In the meantime: stay fresh, stay kind, and go out there and kick some Hive booty. 

“I should go,” 
<3 Hippy 

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