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Featured Cosplayer is...
{ Kate }
Kate is a huge Tomb Raider fan from England, She is a wonderful cosplayer and celebrated friend of the community, she has been an inspiration to so many and taught all of us so much that we just had to feature her. here is your chance to know her a little better.

1- Tell us about yourself.

"My name is Kate Sykes. I'm 20, living in The Lake District in the North of England and I'm a budding filmmaker.
The past few years, I've had some amazing opportunities - meeting and networking with some very talented people in the industry along the way.

I currently have a few of my own projects on the go - all in pre-production. One is for a local film festival. I've also written the Tomb Raider (2013) inspired fan film that Sara and Anne Roig are doing.

I also love doing photography, editing videos and writing music on piano."
2- Why do you cosplay Lara, what does it mean to you?

"I guess one of the reasons is the challenge of cosplaying a character like Lara Croft when I'm in a wheelchair (I have Cerebral Palsy) - finding a way to do things out of my chair.
It gives me a chance to be creative and hopefully do something different.

Also, it's like with actors, putting on a different persona and being someone else."
3- How did you first hear about lara?

"I discovered Tomb Raider III in my local GAME shop when I was about 8 years old - so 12 years. I used to go into GAME every so often to pick up a new game to play.
On the back, I saw that the main girl had the same hair as me (I used to have my hair down to my waist - most of the time in a plait). I never used to play games properly. I always just walked around doing my own thing.
The fact that Lara had a manor to walk around in gave me the perfect opportunity. I used to make up my own story-lines and play them out.

When I got older, I ventured into exploring more of the game and what Lara could really do. In a way, it became a way of experiencing things I couldn't do myself.
After getting Tomb Raider III, I started collecting the rest of the games out of order from GAME and the rest is history."
4- When did you get into cosplay?
In 2007. Through browsing Youtube, I discovered some videos by Anne Roig and Jenn Finaldi (Jenn Croft). I had no idea what cosplay was at the time and truthfully, I thought they were official look-a-likes.
After investigating, I found pictures by others and I was inspired to try it myself."
5- How do you assemble your outfits?
"I've bought a lot of things from Ebay at pretty cheap prices. When costume pieces need to be made, my Mum does the sewing and my Dad does props."
6- How do your friends and family feel about your cosplay?
"Everyone is immensely supportive!
My Mum, Dad and Step-mum in particular are closely involved in the projects."
7- Favourite TR outfit:
"In the games, it would have to be the newest one because of it's realism and ruggedness. In terms of the costumes I've made, the Tomb Raider: Legend biker outfit. I think it's the most accurate one I've done and one of my best shoots.
8- Favourite TR game:
Tomb Raider (2013), without a doubt."
9- What do you think of the movies?
"I think they're good films in their own right but I don't feel they're really "Tomb Raider" films. I don't really like the take on Lara's character and on the story. The second one appeared more secret agent style than anything."
10- What is your favourite boss fight/puzzle in your favourite game?
"I haven't actually played all the Tomb Raider games all the way through so I can't really choose favourites."
11- How do you feel about the new origins story?
I think it's the best story-line Tomb Raider has had in all it's forms. I think the decision to re-imagine the series has done wonders for it.
We're now at the stage where comic book and superhero "tongue-in-cheek" are outdated and everything is becoming more realistic - making the characters more like human beings (Batman, James Bond etc.)

The new Tomb Raider was emotional, heart wrenching, brutal and beautiful. I like the reincarnation of Lara's character in that she's an ordinary girl who is vulnerable and broken emotionally. When she starts to fight and kill (becoming the Lara Croft we know), you know it's something that she is forced to do, rather than a choice. Kill or be killed.
I don't like violence/gore normally, and I didn't like to have to kill people (I always tried to do it as quick and painless as possible) and so as a player, I felt like I was on the journey with Lara.

I also like that Lara has loved ones that she cares about. It makes you warm to her more. In past games, I thought the fact that she was a loner and sarcastic made her seem a little arrogant, and therefore lesss likeable.
I particularly like the relationship between Lara and Sam, and Lara and Roth - him being like a surrogate father figure.

This is actually the first game I've completed myself - thanks to Meagan Marie and Crystal Dynamics who commissioned engineer extraordinaire Ben Heckendorn to customise a Tomb Raider Xbox360 controller for me (I've previously had difficulties with the controls). They sent me a free copy of the game and a Tomb Raider Xbox to go with it."
12- What is the one item you would add to the croft outfit?
"I don't know if I would add anything. I suppose it would depend on the story-line and what she would need."
13- Who takes your photos, and what kind of equipment do you use?
"Either my Step-mum or my Dad normally take the photos. We use my camera which is a Nikon D90. My Tomb Raider: Underworld studio photos were by Astbury Studio."
14- What are your favorite qualities that Lara upholds?
"Her strength of mind, physical strength, determination, fearlessness, her intelligence and that she's worldly wise."
15- What is your dream Lara croft costume?
"There are lots of costumes that I'd really like to do. I have been working on the costume from the new game which I have exciting things planned for."
16- Do you have any advice for first time cosplayers?
"If you are thinking of starting cosplay, come and join the fun! It's a wonderful art form!
Don't worry about getting it perfect first time. Chances are you won't. You get better over time too. I have been cosplaying for 6 years and I still think I improve every time.

There is an issue of negativity and bullying online. I would say don't make it a factor. Unfortunately, it's just something that happens - but not always.
If it does, don't take it personally. Often, it's just "troll"ing - people just writing something for the sake of it. All that matters is that you're happy with it and, of course, that you enjoy it!"
17- Have you anything you want to share with our readers?
"Yes, I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their incredible support! It means the world to me! I have recently got messages from people saying they think what I do is inspiring. I am very humbled!
It's been a huge motivation and it's much appreciated! ..and of course, thank you to Sara for asking me for this interview. "