100 Creatives 2012: Nicoletta Maranos

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What She Does: Sharp-eyed readers might recognize Nicoletta Maranos from previous coverage on Comicpalooza and the Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds concerts. If you did, you're well ahead of this reporter because every time we see her she dazzles us, and we never recognize it's the same girl. Maranos has made a name for herself as a local cosplayer, and the characters of Final Fantasy are her specialty. We've seen her as Aeris from VII and Yuna from X. She makes all her costumes herself from scratch.

Why She Likes It: "The characters in Final Fantasy are so detailed and creative. It is a challenge to dress like them. I love the attention and the appreciation from fans and people on my cosplays because it takes a lot of time, money and effort to make them."

What Inspires Her: As you can probably tell from the fanboy first paragraph, hardcore Final Fanatics share an unshakable bond of enthusiasm and camaraderie...unless you get into a debate about whether VIII sucks, but hey, every subculture has its taboo topic. The world of the games is so magical and all-encompassing that being able to portray some of the amazing characters in real life is its own inspiration.

If Not This, Then What: Maranos has many other creative outlets, such as drawing and designing bags. As you might have guessed, she also plays a fair amount of video games.

If Not Here, Then Where: "I love Houston but I would love to work at Greece since it is my second home. I would work there if it was not so bad over there right now."

What's Next: You'll be sure to see Maranos when Distant Worlds returns this year, and again at Comicpalooza. Her latest characters are Serah from Final Fantasy XIII-2, Alex Mercer from Prototype and Ezio from Assassin's Creed Revelations. We can't wait to see what she puts together.

More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright

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