I love gaming, whether it’s video games, board games or even war games such as Warhammer. I also have an interest in history, photography, archery and fencing. I love being creative and try to spend as much of my free time as possible doing something constructive. I haven’t really mastered any particular craft skills, as I always like to try a bit of everything and not get too focussed on one particular area, but if I had to highlight one it would be my painting skills which I have picked up from the years of painting war gaming miniatures. Cosplay has proved to be a great opportunity to try out new craft skills and make more use of existing ones.
My interest in cosplay started when I saw photo galleries of cosplayers appearing on various gaming websites. I was initially more interested in the photography aspect as this is another interest of mine. However, after going to the October 2011 MCM Expo I realised that I had to try making my own costume to wear at the next one. My first costume was the Red Pyro from Team Fortress 2, which I wore to the May 2012 MCM Expo, and I even managed to integrate my camera bag into the costume.
Even before I got into cosplay I could often be found is costume. I had the usual home made super hero costumes when I was very young and the odd fancy dress party. Also I am involved with a historic archery display team and wear full medieval costume for all of the events that we attend. This is where I first realised how fun it was seeing other peoples' reactions to the costumes. Through the archery displays I ended up working as an extra in a few historical documentaries where I got to wear a number of interesting costumes, including a medieval monk and the assistant to the executioner of King Charles. Even though it was always a long days work I still enjoyed doing these - I think there is something about being in a group of people in costume that just makes things more fun.
I love the artistry and skill that goes into cosplay plus I enjoy the challenge and the fact that you end up having to use so many different craft skills to put together a full costume. And finally, I like the friendliness of the cosplay community and the great atmosphere you seem to get at cosplay events.
My proudest moment was walking on stage in my Assassin’s Creed Harlequin costume and hearing a loud cheer during the Saturday Masquerade at the May 2012 London Comic Con – something that I didn’t think I would have the skill or confidence to do. My greatest achievement was receiving a judge’s award for the Harlequin costume at the same event – I really wasn’t expecting it and already had my camera out ready to take photos of the winners as they went on stage.