Q&A: Kit Kendal Shapeshifts as Cosplay Clip Artist

Q&A: Kit Kendal Shapeshifts as Cosplay Clip Artist

When Kit Kendal turned 18, a friend who had been making some extra money on Chaturbate suggested that Kendal give it a shot as well.

Upon learning what cam modeling entailed, Kendal was surprised to hear that people actually got paid for it, since they had already been doing it for free on mainstream video chat site signed up for Chaturbate and even lost their actual virginity on stream — a missed marketing opportunity that, in retrospect, they lament not hyping up more.

My brand is definitely some sort of shape-shifting, since cosplay is the main focus and each character can be so different from the last.

Before taking the plunge, Kendal grew up in a sheltered environment in a strict Christian household, with a stepfather they describe as narcissistic. Hence they were eager to escape the situation through camming, even if that meant hiding late at night or faking sleepovers at friends’ houses to save up money and eventually leave once college started.

Kendal credits the supportive community they found online through camming with helping them get through that rough patch — especially when, barely three months into college, someone outed them as genderqueer and they were kicked out of their home. Fortunately, by then Kendal had some money saved up, so they grabbed their things and left, knowing a loyal group of people awaited on the other side of their computer to lend aid.

After moving in with some friends on campus who also assisted with paying bills, Kendal at last had a safe space to learn to be themself and explore their sexuality without consequence.

At the time, they were camming as trans, leaning more into transmasc with what Kendal describes as a “femboy twink” look before it became a popular trend. They still identify as genderqueer and use they/them pronouns, though they now feel more comfortable being fluid and femme sometimes.

After two years of camming, Kendal eventually ended up in their own apartment. When another cam model moved in, they started making videos and clips to sell outside of camming and found they really enjoyed that. In time, Kendal ended up focusing more on producing videos, especially cosplay content, because they could spend time building a set and storyline and really figuring out how they wanted to portray characters.

Kendal also takes commissions bringing other people’s character fantasies to life. Doing all this while attending a variety of comic cons, anime conventions and adult conventions has been an enjoyable experience for them, and Kendal is thankful that their career has led to successes such as being named Best Cosplay Clip Artist at the 2023 XBIZ Creator Awards.

In this Creator of the Month interview, they open up about their career and evolution.

XBIZ: Describe your overall brand in a nutshell as far as vibe, aesthetic and style.

KENDAL: My brand is definitely some sort of shape-shifting, since cosplay is the main focus and each character can be so different from the last. I’m somewhere in the “alternative” genre of style. I have colored hair and lots of piercings and tattoos, most of them from bands or series or characters that I like. I have Zelda tattoos, “One Piece,” “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,” Ghibli, My Chemical Romance and Pokemon, just to name a few of the popular ones.

My aesthetic changes often depending on what I’m into, but I think it’s safe to say “alternative anime” is my main style.

XBIZ: As a cosplayer, what characters are your favorites to portray? Tell us a bit about the effort that goes into making costumes and how you bring role-playing to life.

KENDAL: I’ve had so much fun lately getting into “One Piece.” There’s so many amazing storylines and tons of characters so I feel like I’ll never run out of cosplay ideas — and finding other “One Piece” fans at XBIZ Miami was a true highlight. On awards show day, I showed up at the convention cosplaying Ace from “One Piece” and so many people recognized it. We got to talking about the story and characters; it felt like finding crewmates.

I had brought my straw hat for Johnny Stone to wear after we had spent a while talking about it beforehand. God Khi is another model I made friends with at XBIZ, simply because they recognized my cosplay and the Whitebeard tattoo I have on my back. They were wearing Zoro’s earrings and we geeked out before I went to the beach to take pics and make TikToks in cosplay. I’ve yet to make any “One Piece” vids, but trust me, they’re coming!

I tend to cosplay characters that I can relate to, or that I’m attracted to. Sometimes I make my own cosplays from scratch, other times I thrift or buy pre-made cosplays and modify them to look better.

When I’m planning on making content as a specific character, I like to make sure I understand the source content, so I go looking for inspiration. I’ll look up fan art, fan fiction, even check out other cosplay creators’ work, since I don’t want to copy or do something that’s already been done. I typically ask my followers what they’d like to see of that character and/or take commissions to bring them to life in ways people want. Sometimes I’ll find a good animation online and decide to recreate elements of it in my vids. I did this in my cosplay for 2B from Nier Automata.

One of my more recent cosplay videos was as Jolyne Kujo from Part 6 of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and I incorporated a lot of her poses into the video with how I’d position myself, and showed off her signature tattoos.

I’ve done a variety of Dead by Daylight cosplay content too, which has been really fun because there’s a lot of creative liberty you can take with the characters and different scenarios they get into. I’m a video game streamer as well, and DBD is one of the main games I’ve played, I have almost 1,000 hours in that game. I’ve done content as Meg and Nea from that series too and have made cosplay props like the hex totems, and hidden a dildo in one to find, since the character’s in-game sound effects sounds like moaning. That’s just one example of the creative process with that content and bringing the characters to life.

XBIZ: How do you balance giving fans more of what they already like versus taking creative risks?

KENDAL: Finding balance is pretty hard, but I find the best thing to do is to lean into whatever I’m enjoying, and fans tend to enjoy it with me! I try to pay attention to releases of big movies, series, animes, etc. so I know when there’s going to be hype around a specific thing and can prepare to have content ready for it. A lot of my content revolves around customs, so that’s where the balance comes from, I suppose, in terms of giving them what they like.

XBIZ: What have been a few of the biggest business lessons you’ve learned thus far as a creator?

KENDAL: Do what you enjoy, and the people that like those things will find you. I’ve tried to do what is “popular” or jump on bandwagon things and even though I might’ve got some new eyes on me, they didn’t stay because in the long run, that’s not what I’m into or who I am. I’ve found that genuinely doing the things I enjoy, will bring people who genuinely like you and what you do. It makes things a lot more fun and less like work when you and your fan base both enjoy the same things.

XBIZ: Whom do you consider a friend and/or source of inspiration in the industry?

KENDAL: This is a hard one to answer, because the entire creative industry as a whole is constantly evolving and inspiring day by day. However, I can definitely shout out some friends and inspirations! From my early days of camming and cosplay content creation, creators like Kati3kat, Catjira and, in more recent years, Amouranth, have been big inspirations. It’s crazy that I’ve had the chance to meet all of them at this point in my career.

I’m naturally friends with a lot of nerdy alt babes, and I wish I could just list every cosplay baddie but to name a few of my favorite inspirations and friends I’ve made over the years: Omanko Vivi, Ghoull “Ghoulian Gore,” Cattie Candescent, Tricky Nymph, Leairis, God Khi, Johnny Stone, Lacey “MissLaceyRoyce,” Fuuka Doll, Emilia Song, Evie Rees “JiggleYourPuffs,” Kylie Corrupt, Ashe “LikeMyAshe,” Arc “HeartMyArc,” Jayla and Xavier “ThatCoupleJX,” Lana Bee, Ghostie Goo, NerdGibbler, Goddess Lilith and Little Puck.

I’m sure there’s so many more, but this was off the top of my head and includes people I’ve collabed with, or who I follow on cam/clip sites, talk to regularly or would totally love to collaborate with someday. This is also basically a list of who I’ve hung out with at past XBIZ events! All of these people I consider friends and inspirations, and I appreciate all of them a lot for their support and friendship and for the work they do and content they make. You’re all amazing and I love you.

XBIZ: How do you approach social media marketing?

KENDAL: My relationship with social media is so weird! Everything has been changing dramatically lately and it’s rarely on the side of adult content creators, so it’s tricky to navigate new rules and regulations, shadow bans, algorithms, etc. I’ve been trying to be more kind to myself about just posting casually; not everything has to be a professional-quality post. I can talk about my dinner, my day, the anime I’m watching, whatever is on my mind and any amount of social media presence helps. I find being open and honest and not 100% marketing helps me maintain more of a personal relationship with people too, where they actually know me and not just my content.

At XBIZ Miami, I went to a panel by Emily “Jaybird” Jones about “going viral” on social media and it really helped put some things into perspective. I’m still not posting three reels/TikToks a day like she recommended, but it did help me reframe my mindset to just post when I can and stay in the public eye. That, and trying to do something different from others — say something different, post a blurry pic sometimes and whatever it takes to keep people engaged — helps a ton. Full disclosure, though: I’ve been 99% “One Piece” content lately, so that’s been most of my presence and interactions.

XBIZ: Tell us a few of your favorite hobbies and how you incorporate your passions into your content.

KENDAL: Aside from cosplay, my hobbies include gaming and crafting, as well as performing and streaming and a variety of other things. I often perform here in New Orleans in a variety of shows. I run “Sweet Sensations Shadowcasts and Productions” where we do monthly “Rocky Horror” shows and other niche things. I do drag and nerdlesque as well. All of this gets incorporated into my content. For the cosplays I make for performances, I often do photo sets and clips for content online while I’m at it, and vice versa. I have a lot of fun bringing people’s favorite characters to life, so it’s definitely a fun passion to follow.

XBIZ: What was it like winning Best Cosplay Clip Artist at the XBIZ Creator Awards?

KENDAL: It was insane! I’ve been nominated for a handful of awards in this category among the various shows and I really worked hard for this one. I’ve had a rough time the last few years navigating COVID, family troubles and then two years ago when Hurricane Ida uprooted me from my home; it’s been a struggle getting back on my feet, even today. I might seem busy, but it’s still for the sake of survival. It was a huge boost to know I still had people rooting for me.

Sitting in the front row, with a huge group of other nerdy friends, my category was second and I was so nervous. I swear we were all holding our breath and holding hands. I have a great video of my live reaction to getting called, including LikeMyAshe, HeartMyArc and NerdGibbler.

When the trophy came in the mail later, I had a whole moment of “Holy shit, we actually did that!” There are so many incredible cosplay clip artists in the industry, and I’m just honored that among all of them, I was considered one of the best this year. It means the world to me, and really gave me a big boost to keep it up.

XBIZ: Discuss your ambitions for the rest of 2023 and beyond.

KENDAL: I want to be making enough to pay my rent on time in full every month. That might sound simple enough or boring, but housing security has been a big struggle since Ida. I’ve moved eight times and I’m tired. I’d just like to be secure and comfortable in a place so that I can focus on being fully creative again full-time. Besides that, I’d love to go to more adult conventions regularly. I’m already touring with one convention across the country for some of their events as an adult cosplay performer specifically. I recently did Galaxy Con Raleigh with Society of Sin, which is the troupe out of New Orleans that I perform drag and nerdlesque with. I’ll be at Animate! Des Moines this month too, Sept. 8-10, performing in the After Dark Nerdlesque Cabaret shows throughout the weekend. Other dates are TBA for that.

I’m looking into going to other cons too, so if any fans out there would like to see me somewhere, be sure to let the convention know you want me as a cosplay guest. I also run a monthly “Rocky Horror” shadow cast out in New Orleans as I mentioned earlier, and we’re looking forward to some big things this upcoming Halloween season.

I want to be able to make payout on every site, every time, and have enough sales coming in that I can make the content I want to make, and also support other creators more.

TLDR: I just want to be very booked and very busy — and to have a lot of fun! 


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