Monday, March 21, 2016

Q&A Interview with Miyuki Cosplay

Photograph by D.I.S/C Photogrpahy

How did you first get into cosplaying?

I actually cosplayed for the first time because my friend wanted a cosplay partner for Anime North 2012. I made my first costume overnight to meet the deadline, and just really enjoyed the experience and so I continued to cosplay!

Who is the first character you ever cosplayed as?

My first cosplay was FFX-2 Lenne songstress.

Which League of Legends characters have you cosplayed so far?

I have cosplayed Classic Ahri, Battle Bunny Riven, Heartseeker Akali (and a pool party version), and Secret Agent Miss Fortune.

Photograph by D.I.S/C Photography

Any plans for future LoL cosplays?

Yes! Sivir (Chinese splash art) is currently in the works.                       

Photo by Wilson Lau
Who is your favorite character in the game?

I have many favorite champions, mostly mages. At the moment, the one I play the most is Karma (mid and top). Other champions that I enjoy playing are Zyra, Lissandra, Swain, and Vel'koz. Poking as a mage is just too satisfying.

Which champion do you hate playing against the most?

Because I play squishy AP champions, I sometimes have a hard time laning against assassins. I always ban Zed if I get the chance!

Do you play ranked at all? What about alternative game modes other than Summoner's Rift?

I played rank in Season 4, and now I'm in the middle of my placements for S6. I play all games modes, and when we have enough people we do in-house Howling Abyss or Twisted Treeline. My favorite event mode in the past has been Ascension.

What are your thoughts on "genderbend" cosplays?

I love custom skins, and I think some genderbend concepts are very creative and fun. If I came across a cool genderbend concept, I would do it too.

Do you make all of your outfits yourself?

I make 90% of my costumes and props! I really enjoy making costumes because I get the chance to incorporate my creative flairs into the design.

Photo by D.I.S/C Photography

What are some of your other hobbies outside of video games and cosplaying?

It's really hard to find free time outside of my job and cosplaying. When I do get a break, I enjoy writing music, salsa dancing, and streaming.

Ah I was going to ask if you did streaming. How often do you typically stream?

I usually stream every Sunday at 7pm PST unless I'm out of town or working overtime. You can check My channel here.

You’re also getting a Ph.D?

I am a PhD candidate and I'm 3.5 years in (two years before I finish my degree). I'm studying molecular oncology, which is basically the study of cancer at the molecular scale. Specifically, I apply techniques from proteomics, biochemistry, molecular biology, and cell biology in order to understand the function of certain proteins and how they contribute to cancer-related processes. I am actually not looking to continue in pure science after I finish my degree. I have gained many invaluable skills (not just scientific method!) in graduate school and I hope to apply these skills either in consulting or in the video game industry.

Photo by D.I.S/C Photography

What are some of the challenges of cosplaying at conventions? I assume that some outfits can become uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.

Like you said, wearing costumes for a prolonged period of time can be painful or inconvenient, especially if said costume involves heels or wings. Bulky costumes or bodysuits are quite troublesome for the bathroom! Other challenges include lugging around heavy props, having to hold awkward poses with said props, and trying to avoid people taking photos of me when I'm eating... Yes, the life of a cosplayer is hard!

Anime fan? / Favorites?

Absolutely! Favorites: Shinsekai Yori, Death Note, Stein's Gate, Darker than Black. My favorite manga is Gantz.

Anything else you'd like to add?

TSM sucks.

For more images of Miyuki’s awesome cosplays be sure to like her Facebook page.

She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram as @MiyukiCosplay.

Photo by Dale L

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.