Get to know Panterona
Panterona is an award winning cosplayer, fashion and costume designer, model and convention organiser from the Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago. She has been actively cosplaying for the past 13 years and has created a plethora of costumes of varying technical difficulty, from the worlds of anime, comics, cartoons, games and much more. She has won cosplay competitions in Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and notably the London Film and Comic Con Cosplay Championships in 2015. She has travelled to conventions around the world from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom to Italy and recently to The United States! She has also been the resident Head Judge for the Caribbean Cosplay Championships from its inception for the past four years.
Starting out in front of the camera as a model, Panterona has since switched to fashion design and has produced three ready to wear collections over the past 4 years. She also creates one of a kind hand painted pieces for her client’s special occasions, including wedding gowns and graduation dresses. Her talents in costume design and construction are currently being put to work as the Head designer for the first ever cosplay Carnival band in Trinidad and Tobago.
Panterona is also the only authorized distributor for Worbla in the Caribbean, where she routinely hosts worbla/ foam armor building workshops alongside her sewing workshops for beginner cosplayers. She also recently hosted a cosplay q and a session at the Cosplay Community of Kenya’s first workshop via skype this year! She is therefore able to host workshops and panels on a range of topics which also include makeup, design and stage performance.
Having auditioned for the Juilliard School of performing arts at a young age, Panterona has continued to take an active role in the arts and sees cosplay as the perfect avenue for creative self expression. She believes that anyone can become whoever they want to be regardless of race, size, gender etc and uses her platform to inspire and encourage acceptance and equality within the cosplay and pop culture community.
Name: Panterona but you can also call me Josie!
Birthday: August 8th, LEO FTW!
Ethnicity: Mixed/Black Caribbean
Height: 5ft 8 inches
Languages: English and Intermediate Italian
Country of Residence: Trinidad and Tobago
Likes/Dislikes: I love plantain but hate bananas…..weird right?
How long have you been cosplaying?
I started cosplay in 2004, so this year will make it 13 years
What was your first convention?
My first convention was a con called Anime City in Trinidad and Tobago
What was the first character you ever cosplayed?
Rurounin Kenshin/Hitokiri Battousai!
How did you get into cosplay?
I remember seeing someone cosplay as my all time favorite character, Kenshin Himura and thinking that I could do it better hahaha So I slaved over my cosplay for months and debuted it at the very next con! What started off as a bit of over indulgent fanaticism has since grown into a really enjoyable hobby and has effectively changed my life. I have never looked back since!
Do you make your own cosplays?
Yes I do! The most fun part of cosplaying for me is making my own costumes! If I got any sponsored or commissioned I would definitely say but 99% of my cosplays are all hand made by myself!
What was the hardest costume for you to make to date? What is your favorite cosplay?
That would definitely be my Demona from Gargoyles! I initially thought it was impossible to make accurately and convincingly but with some help from the guys on the Predator forums, I was able to make a latex muscle suit and truly bring one of my favorite childhood characters to life! It took me 8 months in total to build.