In today’s cosplayer feature you have the pleasure of getting to know Effektd Cosplay, who has a remarkable talent for creating armored cosplay. We hope you enjoy reading what inspires him about costuming and his experiences as a cosplayer.
First could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I’m a 26 year old artist and cosplayer currently stationed in San Jose, in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. I’m a professional Flash Animator and illustrator for a social game studio, working on games for Facebook, dot-com, and mobile platforms. In my spare time I love comics, cartoons, movies, video gaming, anime, classic sic fi and adventure literature, eating food that’s terrible for me (but tastes delicious), and running around San Francisco causing all kinds of ruckus.
How did you come to be involved in the magical world of cosplay?
I’d always been an artsy kid. I got it from my mom, who always cultivated any artistic endeavors I tried. My mom herself was a talented seamstress, always sewing and working on projects. I always had the best Halloween costumes
I pursued art and eventually got my BFA degree in Illustration from Academy of Art University in SF, got a job as in the art industry. But I found that trying to draw at work, then drawing for fun at home, was burning me out. At the same time (circa 2009-2010), I was making Halloween costumes instead of buying them and really enjoying it. On a whim, I took a ragtag Green Ranger cosplay that I’d made for Halloween 2009 to Fanime 2010, and I was immediately hooked onto cosplay!
What do you love most about costuming?
I love that it’s an expression of a person’s creativity and passion for a fandom. There can be a number of reasons to make a cosplay: Maybe a person resonates with their favorite character, maybe the person loves the character design, maybe a person wants to challenge themselves and learn or perfect new costuming techniques, or maybe a person loves to perform and be in front of cameras connecting to a photographer or an audience. Whatever the case, cosplay is a great way to show your passion for a character or series.
In your opinion what is the most challenging aspect of cosplay?
I think the most challenging part is the technical skills. It can be really daunting to the first time cosplayer. Learning to sew, work with patterns, choosing fabrics, breaking designs into real world counterparts… It all takes skills that we as cosplayers have to learn and develop. I think pushing yourself to learn more and become better at your craft is the hardest part.
What is your general creation process in making a costume (including planning, construction, and wearing)?
I first have to be inspired to cosplay a character. They have to be a character I like or I can relate to. From there, I do a ton of research, getting reference photos with as much detail from all angles and possibilities as possible. I’ll often look at other cosplays of the same character for reference as well. I try to balance the accuracy with the reality as much as possible, picking and choosing what will work and what won’t. From there, I’ll figure out the materials I’ll need and the general construction of a cosplay. I like to start with the harder or more important parts first, as it will give me a more realistic idea of what the whole cosplay will involve and how long it will take.
Is there a dream costume that you are dying to make but do not have the materials or skill set to make it at the moment?
I’d like to learn how to use a sewing machine (almost all of my cosplays are either hand sewn or armored using EVA foam and E6000 glue) so I can sew my own clothing elements. As for dream cosplays, I’m a huge Metal Gear Solid fan, so I’d love to make a Gray Fox cosplay, as well as make a revised version of my MGS4 Raiden.
Could you tell us what costumes you have planned for the future or are currently working on?
Currently I’m working on some improvements to my Might Morphin Green Ranger cosplay. I’m also working on Link (Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword) for FanimeCon 2013 and the Zelda Symphony in SF, a kid Goku (Dragonball) also for Fanime, and a Nathan Drake (Uncharted) for PAX Prime
Can you share with us a few of your most memorable cosplay moments (could be from a convention you attended, a photo shoot, something that happened during the making of a costume)?
I think my most memorable moment would be meeting Dante Basco in my Rufio cosplay.
I’m a huge fan of the movie “Hook,” about a grown-up Peter Pan who has to return to Neverland and rescue his kidnapped children from Captain Hook. In the movie, Dante Basco plays Rufio, leader of the Lost Boys in Peter’s absence. As a Filipino, I looked up to Dante Basco and loved his character in the movie, and so for Halloween 2012, I made a Rufio cosplay to show my love for the role.
A few weeks later, I heard about Pacific Media Expo in LA, and heard that Dante would be attending as a guest and panelist. On a whim, I decided to travel to LA to attend PMX and hopefully meet him. Rufio was very VERY well received by everyone at the convention. I ended up sitting front row at Dante’s panel, and he gave me a quick nod and thumbs up when he walked out and saw me. He kept motioning to me during his panel as he talked to the crowd, using me as sort of a visual guide.
At the autograph table, he was more than happy to sign my cousin’s Pan sword (my cousin had made a Rufio cosplay prior to my own, a cosplay I had borrowed to wear at San Diego Comic Con 2011 and had used as the inspiration for mine) as well as my own souvenir. We talked a little bit as well, he’s a really cool guy and appreciative of my cosplay. It’s amazing to be able to meet the inspiration of your cosplay in the flesh!
What upcoming conventions will we see you at?
I’ll be at Big Wow Comic Fest in San Jose, FanimeCon also in San Jose, Anime Expo in LA, Comic Con International in San Diego, PAX Prime in Seattle, and Pacific Media Expo in LA. Look for me!
Thanks so much for taking the time to interview me, it means a lot! Please check out my FB fan page at http://facebook.com/EffektdCosplay/ for more on my current and future cosplay projects! You can also follow me on Twitter (@EffektdCosplay) or on deviantArt (effektdmentality).
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