There are a growing number of people choosing cosplay as a hobby. It has caught the attention of a couple of young people in Portland who happen to be brother and sister.
Lily Graves and her brother Tristan Graves enjoy wearing costumes that identify specific characters in movies, plays, novels, and other works of art.
Tristan became interested in cosplay a few years before his sister but now they enjoy creating characters together. Sometimes they create costumes that are identical to the original characters but often create their own characters.
Lily looks on line for pieces to find items to add to a costume she is creating. She said she will scroll for hours choosing the various pieces to complete a costume.
Tristan and Lily create costumes to wear for Halloween at their church truck and treat event. Often their parents join in and dress in costume making it a family affair.
Other times Lily may choose to do cosplay when her high school has spirit week or hat day. She isn’t shy about coming to school in costume on those special days.
Lily began dressing up as a little girl. Her parents often bought her costumes for gifts. Being creative with her play as a child, opened the door for her to step right into cosplay. She is beginning to do some Japanese style characters, which are very popular with cosplayers.
She has cosplayed as Harley Quinn (comic book character), Belle (Disney princess), Spider-Man (comic book character/movie), Aziraphale (book character), Cruella De Vil (character in the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians), Poison Ivy (comic book character), as well as others including several original characters.
Lily said, “Cosplay is truly a form of expression and acting, and I believe that’s the reason that it speaks to me so much.”
Tristan promotes his cosplay on social media. His posts include acting in costume and music. He has a cosplay account on Instagram and TikTok with photographs of the characters he does.
Tristan said, “I do cosplay because I love creating with my mind and body. It allows me to forget about life for a while and have fun with others who take joy in what I do, as well.”
Their parents are Burkett and Amanda Graves. Their father is the lead singer in the Jak Fiddler Band, a well-known local band. Tristan and Lily often play in the band, and they can play a variety of musical instruments such as guitar, bass, piano, drums, and dobro, as well as sing.
Tristan is a graduate of Volunteer State Community College and is currently enrolled in Middle Tennessee State University. Lily is a junior at Portland High School.