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31st August 2019
Vyxenah's Stunning Jesse Faden Cosplay
[With Interview] Updated 12/9

Community Spotlight is a regular feature which highlights and celebrates amazing fan projects in the Remedy community. In 2018 we switched things up a little with each month having its own spotlighted fan and fan project. This year we're continuing the tradition, and to celebrate the launch of Control this month, we spoke to someone who was inspired to step into Jesse's boots. 

Shykodah is best known online by her username, Vyxenah (YouTubeTwitterTwitch, and Instagram). She is a talented cosplayer, filmmaker, photographer, voice actress, and Twitch streamer, with a following of thousands, and passion for video games. Earlier this month, she stepped into the role of Jesse Faden, Control's leading lady, in a new and stunning cosplay. While it was not her official photoshoot, a couple of photos from this cosplay were uploaded to her Instagram account and quickly started to draw attention from developers at the studio as well as Jesse herself, Courtney Hope.

Vyxenah has a history of focusing on badass heroines in her work. Over the past several years, she has portrayed characters like Spider-Gwen, Supergirl, Maya (Borderlands 2), Lara Croft, and more. Her cosplay of Jesse fits into this perfectly into this pattern and is surrounded by great company.

And with a cosplay scheduled before the game's launch, it makes her one of the first cosplayers to tackle the heroine's look.

Vyxenah's headshot for Vyxenah Studios.

As an avid and passionate cosplayer, Vyxenah already had a number of items that worked perfectly for the look; the red wig, although it had still needed to be styled into deep curls like in the game, and the appropriate jacket. The make-up played on the blacks and red, which makes up the game's iconic look and complements it beautifully.

In addition to getting the clothes, make-up and wig just right, Vyxenah also worked hard on creating Jesse's service weapon. The piece was carefully constructed using craft foam, and which made a debut in her Control launch-day livestream which she hosted in full cosplay.

She's planning to do a full photoshoot of her Jesse cosplay in the coming weeks, which we're excited to see! But in the meantime, we couldn't wait to talk to her about her latest project. You can check out our conversation below:

First of all, we’d love to learn more about you, can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Shykodah, however, my Business name is Vyxenah on most platforms. I’ve just turned 20 and as I’m still discovering where I fit into this world, I do know one thing… I love Film and Games. I’ve had an addiction to Writing, Games and Film making for as long as I can remember. I was also lucky enough to get into voice acting from an early age and have voiced over three-hundred roles over twelve years. Over that time, I enjoyed various Film courses which have helped me gain the knowledge that I needed to have the confidence in creating my own Film Production Company – Vyxenah Studios.

What got you into cosplay and were there any cosplayers at the time who inspired you?

In 2012, I started with a cosplay of SpiderGwen, after being inspired by all of the Marvel Characters I’d seen and read about in the comics.

In my early days, I lacked confidence and experience, but after a while, and a lot of tutorials, I began to understand how to do my make-up to suit the different characters and especially how to make the Costumes and the Props. The creation, the building, the accuracy… all became such a wonderful challenge. Now, I feel empowered, especially when I see new Game Characters come out that I connect with, like Jesse Faden.

Cosplay has really helped me come out of my shell and be a more confident person, and encouraged me to find who I am, at the same time. If it wasn’t for Cosplay, I don’t think that I would have discovered my love for building and creating.

Your Jesse Faden is seriously badass! What made you want to portray the heroine?

Seeing the first trailer was heart-stopping, a game with a kick-ass red-headed female protagonist. Who wouldn’t want to portray her!

Personally, I’m obsessed with strong, redhead, female protagonists and Courtney Hope portrays her so well; she’s absolutely beautiful. Having all that power plus being able to levitate, its everything I love, rolled into one game.

Realising I had a wig and jacket for her already, I decided why not and just did a quick cosplay test, with a view to do a full shoot in the following week. It was never really a question, it was like, ‘Right, I’ve found my next Cosplay!”

How did you get your Jesse costume together and how long did it take?

Luckily for me, I’m a Costume hoarder, so luckily for me, I had a wig which I tweaked to suit.

It was really hard to tell the colour of Jesse’s hair so I spent a lot of time debating on whether it was more of a ginger, orange or a red.

After more gameplay was released, I noticed it was a dark tangerine orange.

The jacket, shirt, shoes and pants, I luckily already owned so that was surprisingly the easiest Costume that I’d ever put together.

After that, I made the gun for Jesse out of basic craft foam and painted it up.

Tah Dah… fastest Cosplay in history, well… kind of.

What are you most looking forward to about Control?

Being a huge horror game lover and having played Resident Evil and other scary story driven games, I’m so excited for the release of ‘Control’. In fact, I’ve just begun Twitch Streaming and will be Cosplaying Jesse whilst streaming. For me, it’s all about the overall atmosphere, the full journey and the increasing powers of the character as the story progresses along.

What adventures or cosplays do you have scheduled next?

Ellie, from ‘The Last of Us’ has intrigued me. I’ve written and directed a music video and soon, a short film. Her post-apocalyptic world and her own set of problems, makes me inspired to create a variant on her story-line, a ‘what if’ scenario… It is in Pre-Production at the moment.

Next, I’ll be working on a Chloe Frazer cosplay from ‘Uncharted’: The Lost Legacy, which I’ll admit that I’ve played over ten times. It has a wonderful balance of unique comic timing as well as an awesome adventure.

Vyxenah's headshot for Vyxenah Studios.

Do you have any advice for aspiring cosplayers?

Cosplaying is a wonderful way to make friends, even if you are an extremely shy person, like me, somehow being another character gives you a spark of inner confidence. Always start Cosplaying a character that you are passionate about so you won’t lose interest. If you are making it, expect errors, accept that you are only human and just starting out… but keep going. Ask for help: Grandmas know how to sow… so get help where you need it. Start buying your own tools, be empowered. Attend the tutorials on Cosplay Costume making at the Conventions. YouTube is a great tool for learning. Meet people, ask questions… lots of questions.

Best advice is, just be you. Learn, live, and laugh.

A huge thank you to Shykodah for the interview! 

You can follow her as Vyxenah, on YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and Instagram


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