Anime Expo 2018 Craftsmanship Spotlight

Decidueye Cosplay

With Anime Expo being one of the conventions that attracts some of the best cosplayers every year, I wanted to showcase a specific aspect of cosplay: Craftsmanship. For this project, I chose costumers who had such fantastic cosplayers and creators that I had already been following on Instagram.

Let’s get to the craftsmanship spotlight!

Zhuque Mercy by Aristargirl

Geek Lyfe: Where can we find you on social media?

Aristagirl: My name is Aristargirl on Instagram, you can call me Ari. I’m also on Facebook!

GL: What impressed me about your cosplay was not only your wings but the way you made your headpiece. Can you tell us about what materials you used to make it and how you attached it?

Aristagirl: So my headpiece is actually just EVA foam, like the hairpin and everything. The gems are made of this material called Hearty Clay, kind of like a paper clay that you can mold with water and it dries within 24 hours. But yeah, the side pieces are attached via hair pins, and the top, there’s actually a wire armature that goes underneath my wig and up through.

GL: Could you tell us about the materials used on your wings?

Aristagirl: So there’s three materials. The outside color parts are just EVA foam, 4 millimeters. On the inside to give it like stiffness and structure its PVC foam.  It’s the material PVC pipes are made out of but it’s really easy to just like heat up and cut it like Worbla. It comes in one-sixteenth and one-eighth-inch thicknesses. I used the one-eighth-inch thickness. And the wing extensions are just laser cut yellow acrylic.

GL: How did you attach the wings?

Aristagirl: Instead of doing the U shaped method, I sewed slots into the back of the costume to slide the wings into. It makes it less bulky and it doesn’t shift around as much. They lightly move forward and back much like real wings. I can also just take them off without having to get undressed which is a huge plus.

GL: How long did it take you to make this?

Aristagirl: It took about three weeks!

GL: Is there any technique you’re really proud of that has been a struggle in the past?

Aristagirl: This is all like an accumulation of a lot of skills I’ve picked up over different cosplays and it’s definitely the most outlandish one I’ve done, very extra. It was a lot of practice on other things to get to this level.


Jeanne d’Arc by Anna Lynn Cosplay

GL: Where can we find you on social media?

AnnaLynnCos: Anna_Lynn_Cos_ on Instagram, Anna Lynn Cosplay on Facebook, and AnnaLynnCos on Twitter!

GL:  Your flag is really what caught me, because I watched this whole process on Instagram and it’s super beautiful. Do you want to tell us how you made this?

AnnaLynnCos: It’s really just a big sheet of broadcloth with the design painted on. All the seams on this are all double hemmed just for like durability and support, because the gold trim here is super super heavy. It was just a lot of sewing because the flag is 7 feet long and 3 feet wide so hemming all of that took forever. The designs are hand-painted on too!

GL:  Tell us other parts of this costume that you really enjoyed making.

AnnaLynnCos: Oooo the waist armor!  Figuring out how to keep curves and have these stupid hip flaps. I don’t know, it’s just a really fun challenge like making the pattern and then actually making it. I liked it!

GL: What about your head piece? How did you attached to your head? It’s almost like it’s floating.

AnnaLynnCos: It’s all EVA foam, and then there’s a comb. You just kinda shove it into your wig and its super sturdy!


Primarina by Frost Kings Cosplay

GL: Where can we find you on social media?

Frost Kings Cosplay: frost_kings on Instagram and Frost Kings Cosplay on Facebook.

GL: What was the most difficult thing about this cosplay to make?

Frost Kings Cosplay: Probably the breast plate. Working with foam and Worbla is always difficult to make the fit right and make sure that it stays together in the heat.

GL: What piece is your favorite on this costume? My favorite is the headpiece! Also, how did you make it?

Frost Kings Cosplay: Yes the headpiece is my favorite! It’s just a headband with pieces I glued to it. It slides into my wig very easily and the starfish on the sides actually have clips on them which also attach to my wig.

GL: What new technique did you apply that you enjoyed??

Frost Kings Cosplay: Making the prop! It was the first time I’ve made a prop. I used the pink insulation foam so learning how to work with it and having it turn out pretty well was an exciting moment for me.


Decidueye by Chickenpineapple

GL: Where can our readers find you on social media?

Chickenpineapple: I am Chickenpineapple on Instagram!

GL: What was a technique you used that you found was fun?

Chickenpineapple: Designing the costume myself was definitely my favorite part of the process. Usually we use patterns, but this time we did it 100% on our own. We wrapped ourselves and made the patterns from scratch!

GL: What materials did you use to craft your armor?

Chickenpineapple: For this costume we used worbla, foam, and insulation foam.

GL: What kind of paints did you use?

Chickenpineapple: Primer, spray paint, and some acrylics for detailing.

GL: What is your favorite part of this costume?

Chickenpineapple: The hood and wings! They are attached and figuring out how to make them one piece was really fun and new. I glued on all the feathers and I felt it really helped bring it together.


Kid Icarus by Bukkitbrown

GL: Where can we find you on social media?

Bukkitbrown: bukkitbrown on Instagram and Twitch.

GL: Your wings are what drew me in to this piece. Can you tell me about what materials you used?

Bukkitbrown: The wing base is a wire frame that goes into a corset that is holding it up so you don’t have to do straps like a backpack.  The wire frame is covered in felt which sticks really well for the hot glue that all the feathers are connected to the felt with. The larger feathers are made of foam. It’s got turkey feathers and goose feathers.

GL: What process did you enjoy most making the wings?

Bukkitbrown: It was an entirely new thing that raised a lot of questions: How I was going to wear them? How I was going to make them? But watching them come to life over time was really fun!

GL: What advice would you give to cosplayers wanting to dive into making wings for the first time?

Bukkitbrown: Do not be scared of it! Check out The Crooked Feather for a tutorial. It’s very easy to follow. Hot glue is your best friend!

These were just a few of the AMAZING cosplayers I saw at Anime Expo this year! Getting to pull them aside and really examine their costumes up close was a unique experience that not many get. Especially when these costumers put so much time and effort into their craft, getting to appreciate their work in this manner helps not only showcase their skill but also inspires others to got hat extra mile in their own work! Tell us what kinds of craftsmanship you want to see in the spotlight at our next con!

Deegan came to Geek Lyfe the same way Gandalf did: Humble, kind, talented, yet a total badass all at the same time. She is an experienced commercial photographer who has put an immense amount of time, energy, and money into her craft. Every photo she takes shows off just how much she has learned over the years and despite being incredible, she still makes time to help out Geek Lyfe with conventions! Check out more of Deegan

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