Where are you from originally or reside currently: Originally from Belfast currently living in London
How long you have been cosplaying: 5 years
Other characters cosplayed: Iron man MK42, MK7, The Heartbreaker, War Machine, Cyberman, Spider-man Noir
Website or facebook fan page: Selby Cosplay
1. Who or what inspired you to cosplay?
Its actually a funny story. When the first Iron Man film came out, I went to see it with my buddy Chris (Hi Chris) we where leaving the cinema and right after we saw the film I was just awe struck and jokingly said “one day I’m gonna own one of those suits”. Chris laughed at me and told me I’d never do it. Now I have a habit of liking to do things just to annoy Chris so I set about making my first suit just to annoy him. It evolved from there. I really enjoyed taking my first one to a convention and just kept wanting to do it more and more. Moving to London really set me of as the conventions here are so much better than back home.
2. What do you do when you aren’t cosplaying?
I’m actually training to be a prop maker which funny enough I got into because of cosplay. I enjoyed making things so much I decided to see what I could do with it. I found an amazing course at a very good school in London and I applied never really thinking I’d get in. Well I showed up to the interview with a portfolio filled with cosplays and was also the only person at a group interview in a suit. I was honestly waiting to be laughed out the door. I could not have been more wrong; my interview went down a storm and I got in. Here I am 3 years later in my last year ready to graduate and all because of cosplay. I honestly cant believe how lucky I am.
3. What costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far and why?
The biggest challenge and reward was definitely for the medieval inspired Batman cowl I made. I made it as a sort of exercise to see if I could. It took a fair few days of very repetitive work and I almost just dumped the whole thing a few times. I’m glad I powered through it though. I posted some pics online just before going to bed and woke up the next morning to find it all over the internet. One of my favourite websites had shared it and it was getting shared on twitter quite a bit. It was a great experience to have my work shared so much. It inspired me to make the rest of the costume which I am currently working on. I hope it lives up to the hype of the first piece.
I could also say my Iron Man suits. Each and every one of them has brand new challenges and I always think I am stuck about half way through. My wife will usually spur me on and inspire me to keep going though and I’m always glad I did. There’s nothing like when you get asked to appear at an event and a little kid who loves Iron Man sees you and runs up to say hi. Those kids really think you’re Iron Man and they love it. There’s nothing like making some ones day in such a fun and amazing way.
4. What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying?
Pick something you love and just go for it. There are plenty of tutorials on-line and the community is more than helpful when you need advice. If you love marvel then go for it make your favourite super heroes costume and take it out for a spin. Are you a big DBZ fan then fine get your self some material and go to over level 9000 Hell do you like the power rangers then get making a helmet and make it morphing time. When you do this as a hobby literally the only limit is your imagination. If you want to make something there is another cosplayer out there who will probably know how and they will help you. The cosplay community as a whole is a very accepting one and they are always willing to help. So please if there is something you want to cosplay as just jump in and do it. You will never be sorry you did and you will make so many amazing friends along the way.
5. What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other?
We need to keep up this amazing atmosphere of support and friendship. We are all involved in the same hobby and we want more people to join in we can do that by being supportive and banding together. Give people feedback both constructive and positive; just don’t be a jerk about it. If you don’t likes someone’s cosplay, fair enough, just move along. There’s no need to be negative and make some one feel bad. When you see some one showing off a W.I.P. encourage them to keep going and do their best. There can be allot of negativity when people don’t like a certain costume and there is no need for it. I think most of all, we need to stop calling people ‘fake cosplayers’ or saying they are just doing it for attention. Weather that is true or not, someone has put time and effort into an amazing costume and they want to show it off. We should appreciate that for what it is and be happy that some one has added to the community. Cosplayers are some of the friendliest people I have ever met lets keep it that way guys 🙂
(Photo credit to Fen Evettes and https://www.facebook.com/AceAmpPhotography?fref=ts )