Tiphani and Tamarah are the amazing duo of Pros and Cons Cosplay. We saw them first at Planet Comicon and officially met them at Sausomecon and Anime Fest Wichita~ :D Both are cosplayers from KCMO and also very talented artists.
For new readers, please introduce yourself:
Pro: I am Pro, the eldest twin from Pros and Cons Cosplay.
Con: I’m Tiphani, and I am “Con” in Pros and Cons cosplay. I’m the younger twin.
What is your Favorite color?
Pro: I have decided I can’t pick a favorite color—it really depends on what the object is. This is evidence of the larger issue with indecisiveness I have….
Con: I love the color Yellow! I’m not really a “silver linings” kind of person like you’d probably associate with the color, but for whatever reason, yellow is the best!
What is your favorite food?
Pro: Chipotle has done my wallet and caloric intake a huge disservice with this summer rewards program. I could happily sustain life for many years on Chipotle burritos, because they are, and forever will be, the perfect food.
Con: Really anything covered in cheese. It has become a problem. I may or may not have eaten an actual block of sharp cheddar in my past.
What piqued your interest in art?
Pro: I have always been pretty artistic—my mother is an amazing artist, and I was lucky enough to inherit a fraction of her talent. I am also extremely uncoordinated, so any tasks that relegates my body to a desk with minimal movement suit me well!
Con: Our mom and grandfather were pretty artsy-fartsy, so I think we inherited it. I also submit that my artistic skills are honed from laziness. Rather than hunt for a picture I want, or hunt for the object I want, it’s easier to just make it myself.
Who is your favorite artist?
Pro: There are a lot of artists who I admire, and for different reasons. Right now, I’m into Greg Burnham’s artwork for the Tuskegee Heirs. What is your favorite medium? I really enjoy acrylic paint and colored pencil. Paint is wonderful because it is incredibly forgiving, while colored pencils take a lot of focus and patience. Both are great for various types of projects!
Con: I’m a huge fan of Asiey Barbie’s work! They’re so graphic and colorful. Her renditions of Sailor Moon, and Steven Universe as well as some of the cartoons I grew up with are just fantastic!
What is your favorite medium?
Con: Outside of general cosplay materials (I have a deep love-hate relationship with expanding foam) I really like painting. I’m generally more construction focused than “prettifying” things, so I prefer the art of the build, and the creation of the character rather than coloring it haha. Paint is pretty forgiving, so I like using it the best.
What are your favorite things to draw?
Pro: I used to do a lot of portraits, but I have really started enjoying drawing various video game and anime characters, because stylistically, those characters offer a lot of opportunity for creativity. We have a glassware “side-hustle” where we paint existing characters onto glassware. It has also been a lot of fun painting characters that some of our customers have created!
Con: I like drawing people! Video game characters have been fun to draw lately. I’m a big ol’ nerd, so drawing cartoon and video game characters gives me room to do more dynamic expressions/ poses than I can feasibly get away with on realistic portraits. It’s really fun to put these characters on our glassware.
What are you working on now?
Pro: Currently, I’m working on several projects simultaneously, because time is a sour, hateful thing. I’ve just finished my list of cosplay-to-dos for the year, so most of my disposable time will be spent working on those pieces. We’re also working on a new batch of glassware to sell both online and at upcoming conventions.
Con: I’m currently working on a ton of Cosplays. Pro and I went through our list of cosplays for the year, and it’s a little…intense. If I am anything, it’s over-committed, so I’ll probably be face deep in construction materials for the foreseeable future. Also our glassware side hustle will require a lot of attention this year too, which I’m really excited about!
What are your favorite games/tv shows?
Pro: This is so hard! I have reached an unhealthy obsession with the Tales series (Xillia-2 tore my heart in half, and Zestiria gave me all the feels). I love/loathe anything Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, and have a weird obsession with Pokemon Puzzle League. It is an oldie but a goodie! When I work on cosplay, I will usually spam a TV show over and over, so Archer, Bob’s Burgers, and The Office were great for those projects.
Con: Hm…I am forever Square Enix trash, so even if the game doesn’t have good reviews, I’ll still probably buy and play it. My favorite game thus far has been Final Fantasy 12, but I really liked the nonsensical character designs of Final Fantasy 10. I’m a somewhat recent fan of the Tales series, so Tales of Xillia and Tales of Zestiria are at the top of my list (still sobbing about Xillia). Pokemon needs no mention. I’ve loved that series since the 3rd grade. When it’s cosplay season, I spam a lot of Bravo shows or Netflix. The office and Parks and Rec are gold!
What would you like to say to aspiring artists?
Pro: Art comes in many forms, so don’t feel pressured to conform to a specific style or medium. If you’re really into painting today, and decide to become a master potter tomorrow, do it! There is often an unhealthy obsession with defining yourself, and those things will come naturally with experimentation and time. Additionally, watch out for art-snobs. While critique is helpful, (and often par for the course particularly if you are selling your work), take the advice as needed and ignore the hatefulness.
Con: Just jump in and do it. “Art” is one of those amorphous terms that are completely self-wielded! There is no reason to limit yourself to one area of “talent,” and everything is subjective. Have a good sense of where your strengths and weaknesses are. Celebrate your strengths as much as you can, and pummel away at your weaknesses as you practice and get better. Have patience with yourself, and just have fun with it!
Any questions you have for us?
Pro: How did you all get into business? What inspires you all to create such wonderful and adorable designs?
I personally started the business in early 2010s as a hobby. I went to occasional craft shows about twice a year. My main product then was origami jewelry and accessories as well as kanzashi. I still continue the craft but have expanded my product line. I teamed up with Giang in 2015 and since then the business has been really great. Our inspirations come from our love of anime, Japanese culture, and literally all things cute~
Con: What spurred you on to become such a powerhouse of cute products? What are some of everyone’s favorite things to make? Any tips for artists/dealers at conventions?
To be honest. Giang and I joined forces in 2015 with one goal: take over the world and make it cute.
I personally like to make new designs for jewelry and accessories but new product is really hard to keep up inventory wise when it's just one person making them. I'm going to make an gut guess and say Sha enjoys making the soaps and Giang enjoys photography and digital illustration.
Tips for artists and dealers? I would say make a connection with as many people as you can in earnest. Always make a good impression to everybody (customers, other artists/vendors, guests, even random people outside of the convention). Have fun and smile! Lastly, keep on hustlin!!
Thanks again for reading our artist feature of the week~ Stay tuned for next week and have an awesome weekend!