Cosplayer Lindsay Elyse is rising up the ranks this year, and we’ve been keeping an eye on her. You might recognize her from our BlizzCon Gamer Next Door footage—Pamela Horton ran into this beautiful blonde dressed as a blood elf priest—or maybe you’re familiar with her lively Twitch account. No matter what she’s cosplaying, this girl is 100 percent full-blooded geek! She makes all her cosplay outfits (accessories included!) herself and they’re only going to get better with time. Follow her on Twitter @ohhlindsayelyse to see where she’ll be popping up in 2014 and subscribe to her Facebook page LindsayElyseFanpage to get all of her best cosplay photos throughout the years. Do you feel there’s any tension from being both a superhot chick and being as immersed as you are in this nerdy subgenre of culture?

Elyse: There is. It’s funny because I’ve actually always been into the same kind of stuff. I’d get made fun of in grade school and high school for being the person that liked video games and anime. Years ago, that was considered weird. I’m still into all that stuff, the only difference being that I’ve learned about makeup and how to be a girl. [laughs] I’m still the same person! It’s just too bad because I feel like the costume and convention stuff is such a fad at the moment. I feel like a lot of people are just getting into it because it’s popular. I’ll post a picture of myself playing a game or something and the Internet will be like, “That’s a pretty girl, there’s no way she’s actually into that game or any of this stuff. She should be out partying or doing other stereotypical girl things!” It is really hard to deal with, and I do feel like I have to prove myself. Who initially got you into cosplaying?

Elyse: My mom! She found a flyer at a local comic book shop and she thought it would be something I’d be interested in. She noticed that there was a costume contest so she encouraged me to dress up. She actually made my first couple of costumes and did my first convention with me. The first costume I ever wore was Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. I remember being so nervous that I’d be the only one dressed up!

* *I absolutely love that it was your mom that got you into this stuff! How cool.

*Elyse: *Yes, it really was my mom that got me started. She taught me how to sew and how to make costumes. She used to dress up when she was younger, actually; we have a lot of photos of her dressed up as Wonder Woman and stuff like that. I posted one of those pictures on one of my pages and everyone was asking if we could do one together but we haven’t done one yet. I’ll have to get on her about that! What’s the longest you’ve ever spent making a costume?

Elyse: It’s hard to say because when I work on a costume I kind of go on and off. I’ll work on it for three days straight and then I won’t touch it for a month. But I think if you take all the time and mash it together, my Kratos costume, from God of War, probably took the longest—about two and a half weeks. I really got into the details. [I went so far as to] get a battle-worn look on my costume [by] burning it with fire … My good friend Jessica Nigri has been doing this for a long time and she mentored me through it all. Other than cosplaying, what else do you keep yourself busy with?

Elyse: I play games all day! [laughs] I am lucky enough that I don’t have a day job; I can support myself on my cosplay so my days are usually pretty free. When I’m not making costumes I’m playing games. I’m also really into Game of Thrones and Dexter. I honestly do what everybody wants to do on their days off from work: hang out! It’s pretty great. I feel very lucky. Is it strange for you that people want to have prints of you and follow you on a fan page?

Elyse: It’s like a dream come true. This is something I’ve been doing since I was 13 years old. Cosplay, conventions and all that stuff has skyrocketed in popularity over the last couple of years and it’s just insane to think that something I did as a hobby is now my entire life. It’s just overwhelming, the support I get from people who make a point of telling me that they love my costumes, the work that I do and that they want a poster of me on their wall. It’s definitely a surreal thing. It’s very cool. One of your fans told us on the Gamer Next Door Facebook that you’re big into Tron!

*Elyse: *Yes, I even have a Tron tattoo! Tron has always had a special place in my heart. I watched the original film a ton growing up. My family has always been really big into Disney and my dad’s really good with computers so it was just something we’d all bond over. When Tron: Legacy came out, it sparked my love for it again! It’s one of my favorite movies ever. Do you still do your gaming reviews?

Elyse: I haven’t recently, just because the opportunity hasn’t really arisen. Earlier this year I was writing for a magazine and I was doing game reviews for them. I was doing about four a month, but since then I haven’t really had any opportunities to do anything with that. I am working on a website. Hopefully I’m going to do some weekly blogs on the website, as well as some game reviews. What are your thoughts on the Xbox One?

Elyse: I love it. The interface is really different, though. Usually when I play I have to go offline so I don’t get a ton of messages popping up. It took me a good 20 minutes to figure out how to go offline with the new interface! [laughs] Dead Rising 3 is really great. I’ve been playing a lot of that, it’s a hysterical game. I’ve been playing a ton of Assassin’s Creed IV and of course Call of Duty: Ghosts, too. What do you have planned in the New Year?

Elyse: I’m not sure yet, but I do have a bunch of tentative plans. I’m hoping to go out of the country next year. I’ve never been out of the country before, even just to Mexico or Canada! I’ve only been to three states, not including the one I live in, so I definitely need to travel next year. I do have a trip to the Bahamas planned and another to Canada, both for convention-related events. 2014 is the year I hope to travel more, go to more conventions and just get out there! I have the time now so I may as well do it. What’s been the greatest thing that’s happened to you since you’ve started cosplaying?

Elyse: I think the coolest thing is waking up and knowing that people love what I’m doing! I have people emailing me, asking me to be a guest at their conventions, and I’m thinking, “How do these people even find me?” It’s such a cool thing to know that people think highly enough of my work to want me to go to their convention and promote their stuff. What’s your…

Favorite food: It changes every couple of weeks; I will get obsessed with one thing and I’ll eat it for every meal for weeks. Right now I’ve been doing pasta, but I think my favorite food would have to be potatoes. I would eat potatoes for every meal for ever and ever.

Favorite drink: I really like raspberry tea and I’m a big Guinness fan.

Most embarrassing moment: One of the first conventions I went to without my mom I wore a costume we’d made from Final Fantasy X-2—I was Rikku in her training outfit. If you look at the costume it has a ton of straps near the neck and on the shoulders. So I’m walking in and the straps all start breaking. Unfortunately, the straps were holding up my entire shirt, so within minutes I was holding onto everything, trying to [keep my shirt from falling off]. I remember frantically running around asking people for safety pins or glue. It was pretty miserable. It was the first time I had ever worn it and I was only able to wear it for five minutes.

Worst pickup line you’ve heard: A friend of mine and I share these with each other so anytime I get something bad I’ll text her and she’ll rebut with something that was said to her. I did have someone ask me once if they could print out a full body picture of me on bed sheets so he could lay on me all the time. It was the weirdest thing. It’s not how he phrased it but it was something along those lines.