Candy Keane Is A Cosplaying Mom

Posted by Ashley Sturgis on

Candy Keane Is A Cosplaying Mom

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One of your highlights that I thought was interesting was a yard full of bubbles and kid’s playing. How did you fill up a yard with bubbles and while we speak about kids, tell me about your kids, how many, ages, homeschooled or school, etc…

My son Keelan is 6 and in 1st grade. The yard full of bubbles was for his 6th birthday party and a company called comes out and pumps the yard full of foamy bubbles. It’s pretty cool and lasts a few hours, then disappears. The kids loved it!
Here is the link to the video on TikTok:

I am also a mom, but my children are grown… what’s it like being a mom cosplayer and do you come up against any opposition with anyone saying anything negative, or do you get positive vibes from everyone?

It’s been very positive so far. I try and keep things fairly family-friendly on my social media and I have a pretty short fuse for people who say anything rude or negative and just delete and block when necessary. I don’t have time to engage with negative people.

That’s one thing that changed since becoming a mom- I just don’t have the time and energy to deal with toxic people anymore. Dealing with a high-energy little kid is enough, lol.

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I get a lot of Lita Ford vibes from your rocker pics, I love them, and I remember Jem and the Holograms from when I was a kid. I thought that was the most amazing cartoon so have you seen the series from the 80’s or 90’s or is there a new series out? Tell me about why you chose Jem?

Jem was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, so I grew up with it. I always liked The Misfits and picked Roxy because I already had a wig that would work. I pick a lot of cosplays because I already have a piece to start with. I also thought the make-up would be really fun to do!

Side note about the guitar in the pic- it’s a real guitar I won with a Monster High group cosplay at Spooky Empire years ago. Our group won first place and one of the prizes was a hand painted guitar.

That's amazing!!!

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Did you write a children’s book? Looks like the title makes it a great book for little Otaku’s to read. Tell me about it pls.

I did! It’s called “I’m Going to My First Comic Convention” and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Here’s a link to the book:

It tells the story about a little boy who’s excited to go to his first con, and imagining all the fun things he will see and do there. It is illustrated by another local Jacksonville mom, Katherine Margaritis.

The pic of you on Cosplayzine is AMAZING! I love that look. How did you get featured and tell me about the look and the process. 

Thanks, that’s one of my favorite pics, taken by Mary Carver of Red Velvet Photography. The cover was from several years ago. I submitted a few pics and it ended up on the cover. 

I put the look together using items from my costume shop. I owned a costume boutique for many years, but closed it about 6 years ago now. I just piled on a bunch of stuff for a steampunk look. My store was all about putting items together to create your own look, so I would often do photos to show people how it can be done, without needing to make anything.

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What inspired you to start cosplaying, when did you start and I love the sexy ghostbuster. Great take on it.

I’ve been cosplaying since before it was called cosplay. In fact, it was years before I finally assimilated and would call it cosplay. I just called it “costuming.” My first big cosplay was Aeon Flux in 1995. I won a lot of costume contests with that.

Yeah, me too. I was Wonder Woman when I was about six years old. An aunt made me the costume on her sowing matching with a rope and everything.

I didn’t really start going to conventions in cosplay until 2005, the same year I started my costume business and realized it was a great way to advertise it. I gathered a long resume of published work during those years:

And here’s the Ghostbuster look you mentioned. I thought it would be fun to do a makeup look inspired by Slimer, lol.

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This is crazy but on the maleficent photo you refer to Alyson Tabbitha, you are the second cosplayer to ref her. Tell me about collabing with her.

I mentioned Alyson in the pic where I was thanking certain people for inspiring me to dress up again. Maleficent was the first costume I’d put together in a while, and it was a last minute idea for Halloween. It reminded me how much I enjoyed cosplay.

I got very burnt out after doing costumes and cosplay professionally for 11 years. It was starting to just be work, and no fun. After I had my son, I decided to close my store and take a big break from it and do the stay-at-home-mom thing for a bit. I did conventions here and there, and a few commissioned costumes, but found I just didn’t have the time to make costumes for other people anymore. What used to take me 3 days now took 3 months. 

When my son started school is when I started to have more time to myself again. The whole scene had changed by then and social media had become a big thing. At first it just seemed like everything was overrun by barely costumed cosplayers trying to push their Only Fans site. Slowly I found more people who were more into the craftwork, the makeup and bringing characters to life, and Alyson Tabbitha was one of those people. Her work really impressed me.

 And I actually got started dressing up and taking photos again after @susie_creates_cosplay asked me to do a TikTok collab dressed as Antiope. I don’t think I was even on TikTok at the time. It was my first “cosplay transition” video. I enjoyed it so much I started doing more of them. And once I figured out how to take my own photos, I really started getting into it more. Almost all the photos I post now are self-shot.

 I noticed that and I wonder what you use to take your pics. Could you tell me, please?

The ones I mentioned by Red Velvet Photography were done in a studio with a camera, but all the ones I take myself are done at home with my iPhone12 pro and a ring light plus natural light. I have one spot in my house where the light is just right at a certain part of the day.

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I love the scenery in the Maleficent shot. Where is that?

Maleficent was shot in my front yard. I have quite the jungle around my house. Lots of tall oak trees, ferns and tropical plants. I'm always adding more plants!

I love the female Mad Hatter, tell me about getting ready for that.

 I’ve done many Alice in Wonderland and Mad hatter looks over the years, so the latest outfit was a combo of several different outfits. I pretty much just made it up as I went along. My favorite thing about it is the sash with all the thread. I sacrificed a lot of thread for that!

I love the spools on this costume. You obviously are very creative. Did this idea just pop in your head? Tell me about creating that part of the costume.

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When I had my shop, I often shot with local photographers Red Velvet Photography and they’ve done some of my most memorable photos, like the steampunk ones and my first Dazzler pics.

I took the idea of the spools of thread from Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. I basically took bits and pieces of the Mad Hatter costumes I liked and mashed them all together to come up with my own. But I wanted my thread sash to have lots of different colors and textures and types of thread. Some of them are yarn wrapped around and glued to the spools.

Do you have any photographers that you would like to give a shout out to or that you really love working with and why?

When I had my shop, I often shot with local photographers Red Velvet Photography and they’ve done some of my most memorable photos, like the steampunk ones and my first Dazzler pics.

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I also have a few favorite images from shooting with David Love Photography. I was a couple months pregnant when we shot, and it was my last cosplay photoshoot for a while.

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What was your favorite cosplay photoshoot and why?

My favorite photo shoot wasn’t even one where I was a main model. I was the costume designer for a group shoot on the Black Raven pirate ship. I also dressed up and got a few pics. The pic below was one of the behind-the-scenes snapshots. It was really fun to be part of that.

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What is your favorite show, or cartoon, or anime and why?

 My favorite cartoons are the ones I watched in the 80s like Jem and the Holograms and Dungeons and Dragons. I haven’t been able to get into anime lately. I used to watch it, and have tried some of the newer popular ones, but it’s not holding my attention. I mostly just get stuck watching whatever my son is watching at the time.

But I am loving all of Marvel’s new spin-off shows like WandaVision and Loki.

 I love all of the supernatural shows the best. Including Supernatural, The Originals, Vampire Diaries, Legacies, and all of those vampire, witchy type of shows. I actually read Vampire Diaries in the 90's before it was a series and I remember that Elena had white silvery hair. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this with me. I really enjoyed it and know the readers will as well.

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