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.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Q&A Interview with Feoranna

Cosplaying has transformed from being a niche hobby to a much more mainstream pastime of thousands of nerds in just a few short years. As you would expect with a game like League of Legends, which at the beginning of the year Riot Games reported sees an astonishing 27 million players daily and over 67 million players monthly (and has likely grown even higher since), League of Legends cosplays are very popular. Looking at some of the best LoL cosplayers is how I ultimately found Feoranna. I recently sat down with Feoranna to talk about League of Legends, her tattoos, and of course her cosplaying.

Photo by Cloud City Photography

How did you first become interested in cosplaying?

Ever since I was a little kid I did arts, crafts, and everything in between. I love it! Well, my grandmother was a gifted artist and seamstress so from a young age I have done lots and lots of sewing. I took a break from that particular area of the arts for awhile and worked on other stuff like drawing. Once I finished college, I was turned onto cosplaying! I absolutely love Halloween and dressing up is so much fun. I already did a lot of it for an alt modeling group I worked with so getting into cosplay seemed fitting! I got a busted old machine that was like fifty years old and had my friend RikkuGrape help me remember how to use it. From there, it just escalated.

Which characters from League of Legends have you cosplayed?

I have a lot! My first LoL cosplay was for Halloween a few years ago. I made a Nurse Akali. After that, I did Ahri in her classic skin. I also have done three Jinx cosplays, three of Katarina, and Dark Valkyrie Diana.

Do you have any current plans for future LoL-based cosplays?

Right now, I am working on a Slay Belle Katarina cosplay which I am really excited about. I would love to make Ahri from the A New Dawn video that Riot released; her outfit in it is just so beautiful. I also have plans to make Mafia Miss Fortune as well as Lunar Goddess Diana. As of now, those are the ones I am 100% sure I will be making soon.

Photo by Cloud City Photography

Who would you say is your favorite champion from the game?

Orianna! I love her so much! She’s definitely my favorite champion. When I first started playing League, I realized that I liked mid and being a mage typically. Once I discovered Orianna, I decided that I would play her until I mastered her.

What about most hated champ to play against?

I really hate playing against a Lee Sin or Xin Zhao. Total mage killers right there. I used to hate playing against Fizz since he counters Ori so much but I have been counter picked so many times now that I have gotten quite used to him and can zone him pretty hard.

Photo by Cloud City Photography

Do you play ranked at all?

Eh not really. I do sometimes, but it’s not something I care that much about. I have had the unfortunate luck to get stuck on teams where people of go afk and after so many games of that happening I just don’t really do solo queue anymore. I do however enjoy playing ranked with a full five’s or three’s team of people that I know.

So I’m assuming you make all your costumes yourself. Which took the longest?

I most certainly do! I have made all of my costumes besides my Black Widow which was sent to me by Costume Super Center to review and use while at New York Comic Con this year. The costume which I made that took the longest was probably Dark Valkyrie Diana. I spent a lot of time and detail on that costume and it was one of the earlier costumes I made with armor so I was extra careful.

Photo by Kim Nguyen
Would you say that cosplaying is an expensive thing for someone to get into?

Oh yes I would! But it is definitely possible to cosplay on a budget as well and I do this as often as I can. Worbla can get pretty expensive, which is the main thing a lot of people like to use for making armor. There are ways around that such as craft foam or EVA foam. It does the same thing, looks just as good, and is easy to work with. The downfall is that it’s not as durable as Worbla is. It is definitely possible though to cosplay on a budget without spending too much.
Photo by TwistedManga.com

So tell me a little bit about your tattoos.

I have a lot! Like thirty something. I love them and I always have. I started getting tattoos when I was 18 years old since I had a job in a tattoo shop and they are pretty addicting. Most of my tattoos are related to comic books, video games, or literature. I just love all of those things and they mean a lot to me so I am happy that I have them on my body to remember forever.

Which was the absolute first one that you ever got?

Well, when I was in eighth grade I was kinda bad and gave myself a stick n’ poke tattoo also known as the prison tattoo. (No I wasn’t in prison, but it looks bad enough to be believable! Hahaha!) And that would be a heart on my finger. My first professionally done tattoo when I was of legal age though was the quote I have on my chest which reads, “What value would there be in life if we are not together?” It’s a quote from the movie Becoming Jane which is based on a book about the author Jane Austen, one of my favorites.

What are some of your other hobbies?

I love all other types of art such as drawing, painting, and calligraphy. I like to play other video games too such as World of Warcraft, and some PlayStation games. I really like reading both books and comics. Knitting is also something that I like doing in my spare time. One of my favorite things to do though is watch movies and go to the movies! It’s so much fun for me.

To check out more pictures of the talented Feoranna be sure to like her Facebook page.