Sunday, November 8, 2015

Q&A Interview with Danielle Beaulieu

League of Legends is one game that definitely provides a lot of opportunity for cosplayers to showcase their skills because new champion skins are constantly being released which gives them seemingly perpetual material to work with. The same champion can be cosplayed in two, three, even four or more vastly different outfits.

Photo by  Steve Yang Photography
Danielle Beaulieu is world famous for her League of Legends cosplays and hands down one of the most talented out there. Danielle has cosplayed as some fan favorite characters like Caitlyn (her Caitlyn is insanely good – be sure to scroll to the bottom of the article to see it) and Katarina as well as other characters you don’t see all too often such as Fiddlesticks and Taric. Who else could pull off a genderbent Fiddlesticks and make it work so well? I recently sat down with Danielle to talk about the game and her cosplaying.

How did you first get into cosplaying?

I used to make costumes with my dad for Halloween, which turned into making costumes of my favorite Pok√©mon and anime characters. When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, my friend introduced me to my first anime convention and we both went as Kingdom Hearts characters (our obsession at the time). I’ve been going to Anime Boston every year now for a decade!

Photo by Anna Cosplay Photography
Who would you say is your favorite champion from League of Legends?


Photo by Anna Cosplay Photogrpahy
Which champion is the most OP in your opinion? Which should Riot buff?

I think Annie is pretty overpowered… and they should buff her.

Do you have any future plans to cosplay other LoL champs?

Oh of course. Whenever new skins come out I get kind of annoyed because I HAVE to put them on my cosplans list. I just have to!

What is the most difficult part about cosplaying?

People on the internet being mean. Either that or texting. Most costumes make it extremely hard to use a phone.

How long does a cosplay outfit typically take to create? Which of your past cosplays took the longest?

Photo by Sean's Photography
The longest I spent on a cosplay was seven months. That was Arcade Hecarim. Most of my cosplays take between two weeks and two months to finish. The one I am working on right now has taken me four-ish months though.

What are some of your other favorite anime/video games?

I am really into Rokka Braves of the Six Flowers right now. I grew up with Inuyasha and crushing on all the boys in the series. As for video games, Kingdom Hearts is really nostalgic for me and I hold it dear to my heart but World of Warcraft is practically my entire life. I have YEARS of time logged on that game.

What do you like to do for fun outside of gaming and cosplaying?

Sleeping and making fun of my fat dog while she wags her tail because she doesn't realize I am insulting her. It's hilarious.

Photo by Xen Photography

For more images be sure to follow Danielle on Facebook, Instagram or on Twitter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Q&A Interview with Garp Stavo Sauce

Garp Stavo Sauce is a cosplayer who makes all his own props and has a true passion for the hobby. Although his cosplays vary from video games to anime to movies, the one thing they all have in common is that their attention to detail makes them all look awesome. I recently sat down with Garp to talk about League of Legends and what it’s like being a male cosplayer.

How long have you been cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying for a little over five years.

How did you first become interested in cosplaying as a hobby?

I first decided to cosplay for the first time when I attended my first Anime Expo five years ago since it looked like fun when I went to BlizzCon and Comic-Con the year before. I decided to cosplay Mario from Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. which was a lot of fun. I had a dad ask me to put my foot on top of his five year-old son like if he was a Goomba. I was a little nervous about it but I still did it, hahaha.

What are some the favorite characters you've cosplayed?

Here are some of favorite characters I've cosplayed:

Jax from League of Legends, of course. I really love the Temple skin due to its Asian design, but I also have a Nemesis Jax skin and SKT Jax skin in my cosplay arsenal.

Xiahou Yuan from Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors games. He is known as the "The Happy General” and I had always admired the art of the Koei games in the past, but I never actually played much of them until I picked up the PlayStation 4 version of Dynasty Warriors 8.

Monkey D. Garp Vice Admiral of the Marine, from the Manga/Anime series One Piece. This is one of my favorite series’ to the point where I have become kinda addicted to it. I've cosplayed four different versions of Garp since I started cosplaying as well as many other characters from the series.

The best one for me to take to American Con and is also very enjoyable to wear is my Knight of Ni cosplay from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The reactions you get from the other attendees is priceless, every one shouting "NI NI NI" or the word "It".

Do you have any plans for future LoL-themed outfits?

I have been thinking about cosplaying Graves from the cinematic “A New Dawn,” but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

How do you even see in that Jax mask?

I have three different Jax cosplays and each one has a different level of visibility that varies from little to none. The best way to simulate my vision with Temple Jax is by putting the front of your t-shirt over your eyes, and then add some tunnel vision to the mix by placing your hands around your eyes like hand glasses. When I made the Nemesis skin, I found a better fabric that increased my visibility by about 50%. The worst one by far was SKT Jax where I had no visibility at all, even though I had added small holes that worked when I did a test fit, they didn't work very well once I took it to a convention. I ended up modifying the mask as a visor that was attached to the cap which let me flip the mask up and down when needed.

Which are your favorite champions to play in the game?

I will have to start out with Jax since he is my main, then Graves followed by Alistar and Veigar for ARAM.

Do you play ranked at all?

I wish I had the time to play ranked but it takes a lot of dedication and practice. I mostly play causally in between making new cosplays. I did once try to play as Jax while wearing Jax as an experiment since I was thinking about streaming on Twitch. In the end, that plan did not work out to well. Playing League was quite a challenge with just three fingers. I kept accidentally pressing Q and W at the same time and I was not able to follow the game very easily due to the lack of visibility.

When many people think of cosplaying, the first thing that pops into their head is often sexy ladies such as Jessica Nigri and Yaya Han. Do you find that being a man makes cosplaying more difficult to get noticed?

That is very true, a lot of people do think of Jessica and Yaya first. I've even experienced this with my own family who don't understand what cosplay is even after I explain it to them. They have a perception that cosplay is all about sexy ladies. Jessica and Yaya are both very talented cosplayers and they market themselves as models, cosplayers, and actresses. As a male cosplayer, it will always be a challenge to get noticed but if I don't get noticed I don't let it get me down since in the end I'm cosplaying for fun and if you’re not having fun then it’s probably time to find a new hobby. It’s still always a great way to meet and socialize with people who share a common interest.

How long do your cosplay outfits generally take to make? Which one was the most challenging so far?

As an estimate, anywhere from two full days to about four weeks with a lot of procrastination in between or waiting for stuff to dry, cure, or to be 3D printed. I want to say the most challenging one was Nemesis Jax, specifically his weapon. Making giant, round maces are a lot more work than making swords and my first attempt was a total failure. I had to start the weapon all over but in the end I was very happy with it.

So you're also a photographer?

Yes, but I haven't been doing much photography as of late since it has become more difficult to carry my camera and equipment and cosplay at the same time. I still sometimes do shoots for friends outside the convention here and there.

Outside of video games and cosplaying, what are some of your other hobbies?

I enjoy binge-watching of anime and TV shows, watching newly released movies, and going on random adventures with friends. I also enjoy collecting One Piece figures. I'm also a foodie and enjoy trying new foods.

For many more pictures, be sure to like Garp’s Facebook fan page.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Q&A Interview with Seviria Cosplay

Considering how popular League of Legends is, it's not at all surprising to see at least a few LoL-based cosplays at every gaming convention around the world. League is especially conducive to cosplay because the various character skins supply cosplayers with a bounty of possible outfits. Seviria is an up and coming cosplayer that has gotten some attention for her awesome League of Legends cosplays. I recently sat down with her to talk about the hobby and the game.

Is there any significance behind the name "Seviria"?

Well I am horrible at coming up with names, but when I made my League of Legends account last year I wanted to make a name that was original and that sounded cool to me. I ended up making a really simple one, "Severea," which is the word severe with an "a" on the end to make it sound feminine. As you can see, I'm not very creative! With that spelling, however, people pronounced it in some pretty strange ways so when I made my cosplay page I changed the spelling so the pronunciation would be clearer.

How long have you been cosplaying?

I'm going to say that technically I started cosplaying December 2014 when I made Snowstorm Sivir.

How did you first become interested in cosplaying as a hobby?

I’ve always loved dressing up, including participating in many school plays and acting events. I have a lot of fun getting into the role of different characters. So when I started seeing people like Jessica Nigri and Yaya Han and the amazing costumes they created I was totally inspired. I am a huge anime/gaming nerd so cosplay combines a mix of everything I love!

Which League of Legends characters have you done so far?

So far I have cosplayed Bewitching Nidalee, Snowstorm Sivir, Genderbend Malzahar, Arcade Sona, and New Dawn Katarina. I am currently working on Officer Caitlyn and will be doing genderbend Varus after that.

Which champion is your favorite to play?

My favorite champion? That's a hard question actually. I really love playing Nidalee but I also love Lux, Syndra, and Vayne! My first favorite champion when I started out though was Evelynn.

Alright what about most hated champ to play against? Any you find particularly annoying or troublesome?

I hate playing against Zilean. He has to be one of the most annoying champions. I also find Zed pretty annoying at times.

Aside from League of Legends what other video games are you into?

Oh my, so many! Minecraft, Guild Wars 2, 7 Days to Die, Borderlands 2, GTA, Gary's Mod, Team Fortress 2, BioShock Infinite, Diablo 3, Pokemon, Super Smash Brothers, Legend of Zelda, Spyro, Assassin’s Creed, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, the list goes on and on!

What about favorite anime?

I really love Fairy Tail. It’s probably my favorite. I also like: Highschool DxD, To Love Ru, Dragon Ball Z, Angel Beats, Sword Art Online, Gurren Lagan, Rosario + Vampire, Kaze No Stigma, and many others

In your opinion what is the most enjoyable part about being a cosplayer?

Getting to bring your favorite characters to life and getting to see the awesome pictures/edits that photographers make of your costumes!

Do you have any plans for future LoL-themed costumes?

Yes! So many! I have other things I want to cosplay but League hooks me in every time because it has such strong character design and with all the different variations of each champion there is endless inspiration.

What conventions have you attended/plan to attend?

So far I have attended: Anime Revolution, Halloween Expo, Anime Revolution Winter, J-fest, and Fan Expo.

The cons I plan to attend this year are: Northwest Fan Fest, Anime Expo in LA, and Anime Revolution so far. I'd love to go to PAX but tickets are so expensive!

Do you have any advice for people who want to get into cosplay but are intimidated or don't know where to start?

Start!!! That’s the easiest way to get into it. Don't be afraid to start. What have you got to lose right? I find that once you do the planning and start something, it is a lot easier to get into it. If you just think about it but don't pursue it, then it will seem a lot more intimidating.

Be sure to like Seviria's Facebook fan page.