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CALL TO ARMS WITH

FOLKENSTAL ARMORY

BEHIND THE LENS AshB Images

OFFERS TIPS FOR NEW PHOTOGRAPHERS AND SHARES A GLIMPSE INTO HER COSPLAY PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO

FAUN & GAMES

FIND OUT WHAT THE ‘FAUN’ COSPLAY FAD IS ALL ABOUT, AND WHAT FIVE TALENTED COSPLAYERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT. FEATURING EXLUSIVE INTERVIEWS FROM:

NANA KURONOMA

LUKA COSPLAY AND MORE...

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COS CULTURE MAGAZINE - FIRST EDITION EDITOR-IN-CHIEF/ CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Nikko Marie ASSISTANT WRITER: Colin Bremner PROOF READER: Natalie Howell PUBLISHER: NH Creative CONTACT: info@cosculturemagazine.com www.cosculturemagazine.com www.facebook.com/ cosculturemagazine DISCLAIMER:

Copyrights of all included text, photos and other material used in this edition of Cos Culture Magazine are the property of their respective owners, and have been graciously provided to us for use in this magazine. Efforts have been made to ensure full credit is given on all material. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact info@cosculturemagazine.com.

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INCLUDED IN THIS EDITION: Faun & Games: Nana Kuronoma (Austria), Photography by Franz Sauer Luka Cosplay (Germany), Photography by Heike Mischewsky, Pictoplasma & Peeraphotography Kalseru Cosplay (Netherlands), Photography by Arnold de Gans, Harold Spierenburg & Guerrilla Photography Susa Strawberry Cosplay (Germany), Photography by Sebastian "Blowfish" Engels & Mondkalb Luna le Fey (USA), Photography by Skyrocket Phtography

FRONT COVER IMAGE: Nana Kuronoma, Cosplayer Photography by Franz Sauer

BACK COVER IMAGE:

Bettie Bloodshed Cosplay Costume made by Laura Scoby and Bettie Bloodshed Cosplay Photography by AshB Images

ISSN 2368-2574 PUBLISHER:

Call to Arms: Folkenstal Armory (Switzerland), Prop and Armour builder

NH Creative Vancouver, BC Canada July 2014

Behind the Lens: AshB Images (USA), Cosplay Photographer

info@nhcreative.ca www.nhcreative.ca


Blood Elf, World of Warcraft Cosplay made and modelled by SunsetDragon Photography by AshB Images Ellicott City 2013

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Susa Strawberry Cosplay Photography by Sebastian 'Blowfish' Engels


FEATURE 9

FAUN & GAMES An exploration into the ‘Faun’ cosplay fad, with five talented cosplayers' takes on the popular costume.

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NANA KURONOMA

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LUKA COSPLAY

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KALSERU COSPLAY

TUTORIAL 42 CALL TO ARMS

PHOTOGRAPHY 68 BEHIND THE LENS AshB Images

Folkenstal Armory

Photographer Ashley Badie of AshB Images talks with us about cosplay photography and shares a sample of her portfolio.

Prop and armour builder Folkenstal reveals the inspiration behind her work and explains her process in building a replica prop through a photo tutorial.

Photography by Franz Sauer. Photography by Heike Mischewsky, Pictoplasma & Peeraphotography.

Photography by Arnold de Gans, Guerrilla Photography & Harold Spierenburg.

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Photography by Sebastian ‘Blowfish’ Engels & Mondkalb.

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LUNA LE FEY

Photography by Dan Santamaria of Skyrocket Photography.

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR I first discovered cosplay when walking by the local convention centre during a comic book and gaming con in Vancouver, back in April 2012. I had been vaguely aware at the time of the concept that people dressed up at these events, but had no idea the depth and complexity of the culture surrounding the world of cosplay. Cosplay was a new term for me, and the more I learned about this community the more I was hooked. I have been fortunate over the past few years to have been able to meet and photograph a number of talented cosplayers, and have had the opportunity to meet cosplay photographers, prop builders, artists and designers from all over the world. I had no idea how diverse and exciting this new world of cosplay was until becoming immersed in the culture myself. Fast-forward to today and you’ll find that my obsession with cosplay has grown exponentially, and this is why I’ve decided to dedicate my time to publishing this magazine. I wanted to create a means in which to share and promote the work of some of the many talented cosplayers out there – and not only the cosplayers, but also the photographers, prop builders, illustrators, storytellers, organizers, designers, and many, many more. There are so many creative and talented people out there, and I wanted to share what I can of it with you through these pages. My hope is that this magazine will further connect the cosplay community and bring awareness to the culture behind what I know now is much more than simply a hobby. The name Cos Culture Magazine stems from my belief that cosplay truly is a unique culture in itself, and everyone involved contributes to this internationally inclusive community that offers support, guidance and encouragement to everyone involved. This magazine is dedicated to all facets of the cosplay community, and I am thrilled to be involved in such an exciting and creative project.

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I wanted to set Cos Culture Magazine apart from other related cosplay magazines by not only featuring cosplayer profiles and interviews, but by creating themed articles and features that bring cosplayers and the rest of the community together in a way that has never been done before. I like to think of this magazine as a curated art gallery in print. Our main feature in this first edition is entitled ‘Faun & Games’, where we bring five talented cosplayers from around the world together in one feature spread and discuss the current fascination with faun cosplays. This edition also features an interview and tutorial from Folkenstal of Folkenstal Armory - weapon and armour builder. Not only do we get to know the girl behind the amazing props, but we get to learn her process in creating the Blade of Woe from Skyrim through a visual tutorial. To top it all off, we also feature photographs and an interview from the amazing Ashley Badie of AshB Images, who has photographed some of the most creative and well known cosplayers out there. I am extremely thrilled to release this first edition of our magazine, and I hope it brings as much joy to you as it did to me. This magazine is truly dedicated to the amazing people behind this craft, and I thank each and every one of you who submitted material to us and participated in this project. Much love,

Nikko Marie


Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Harold Spierenburg www.facebook.com/HaroldSpierenburgFotografie

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Luna le Fey Photography by Skyrocket Photography 8

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FAUN &

GAMES A L O O K I N T O T H E FA U N C O S P L A Y FA D

The cosplay world has been taken by a mythical storm. Cosplayers all around the world are dressing up as fauns, and we absolutely love it. But what prompted this new trend? What’s the story behind the faun phenomenon? First and foremost, we wanted to gain a better understanding of exactly what the history is behind this mythical creature that has made its way into modern culture. A faun is a hybrid creature; half human and half goat - with goat legs, hooves and horns, and a human upper torso. Mythologically, fauns are believed to be a manifestation of animal spirits that reside in the forest, and are unpredictable and tempermental beings. In varying mythologies from around the world, fauns are believed to range from kind, guiding forces for humans in need, to fearful and angry creatures who instill fear in anyone travelling through the woods alone. Fauns have made their way into modern

culture; the most well-known being Mr. Tumnus in C.S. Lewis’ fictional book series The Chronicles of Narnia (1949), reappearing again in the Narnia movies based on the series in 2005-2010. In the following pages we ask five international cosplayers what the story is behind their faun cosplays, and what they think the reason behind this obsession is. We are blown away not only by the beauty of the cosplayers and the workmanship behind these costumes, but also by the creativity and vision of the photographers who have helped bring these mythical creatures to life through their photographs. In this feature you will find interviews and photographs from Nana Kuronoma, Luka Cosplay, Kalseru Cosplay, Susa Strawberry Cosplay and Luna le Fey. We hope you are as impressed as we are with the overwhelming talent that is spread over the following pages.

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“Stay true to yourself, because you are what you are. You are perfect.” - Nana Kuronoma

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NANA KURONOMA Photography by Franz Sauer

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Nana Kuronoma Photography by Franz Sauer


Nana Kuronoma

Interview

CC Mag: What made you first interested in cosplay, and when did you first start? NK:I saw a picture of an Aerith Cosplayer, but I didn´t know that this is called Cosplay. I sent the photo to a good friend, who is a big fan of Final Fantasy VII, and said “LOOK! This girl looks just like Aerith!” He said to me “Yeah, this is Cosplay! She has to look like her!” I liked it a lot and had to try this on my own. This was in 2006. CC Mag: Do you have a biggest influence or inspiration in terms of your cosplay? NK: I think everybody has idols, but I think you should try to find your own best way and not to imitate someone else. CC Mag: What was your first cosplay? NK: Aerith Gainsborough from Final Fantasy VII. CC Mag: When did you do your first faun cosplay? NK: At the Leipzig Book Fair in 2014. CC Mag: How long did it take you to design and build your faun cosplay? NK: The idea and the design were ready within a few days. But to build it, I spent over a month or maybe two until I finished it all. CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about your faun cosplay? NK: All over the faun armour, crafted out of worbla, are elvish runes. Not many people recognised that it was Elvish, because nobody looked that close to it. But, if you will look closer you will read some funny things. CC Mag: We’ve been seeing quite a few faun cosplays lately. Why do you think it is such a popular cosplay? Why did you choose to make a faun cosplay – what inspired you? NK: I think it’s like every other hype. One person starts and everyone else wants to do the same. A good friend of mine brought me this idea, and I´m very happy she did.

Nana Kuronoma Photography by Franz Sauer CC Mag: What inspires you to start a new cosplay, and what process do you follow before beginning a new design? NK: There are many ways how you start a cosplay, sometimes you hear a song and you get an idea or a design for a new costume. It can happen anytime and anywhere. Therefore you should always carry a pen and a sheet with you.

You can find more of Nana Kuronoma's cosplay work on her Facebook page, or visit her Storenvy shop to buy prints.

CC Mag: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for new cosplayers who are just starting out? NK: Stay true to yourself, because you are what you are. You are perfect.

nanakuronoma.storenvy.com

CC Mag: Can you give us a hint as to what your next cosplays will be? NK: My next self-designed cosplay will be a partner cosplay. Susa Strawberry Cosplay and I will make a new mystical cosplay and, as you will see, it won’t be the last one. We are alive!

www.facebook.com/ pages/Nana-Kuronoma/ 353921927968428

Photography by Franz Sauer. www.facebook.com/sirFranzis. photography

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Nana Kuronoma Photography by Franz Sauer

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Nana Kuronoma Photography by Franz Sauer

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LUKA

COSPLAY Light Faun Photography by Peeraphotography & Pictoplasma Dark Faun Photography by Heike Mischewsky

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Luka Cosplay Photography by Peeraphotography FIRST EDITION

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Luka Cosplay Photography by Pictoplasma 18

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Luka Cosplay

Interview

CC Mag: What made you first interested in cosplay, and when did you first start? LC: I’ve seen many good costumes on the internet, but i never knew what this is... so I looked into it and I made my first cosplay for Connichi 2010 (Kassel-Germany). ^^ CC Mag: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? LC: Of course! My Name is Luka and I am from Germany. I’m 28 years old (I know oooold xD) and 1,76m tall. I like to eat sweets and cakes and fried food, but I have to train to keep my shape ;) I have two cats as pets <3 CC Mag: Do you have a biggest influence or inspiration in terms of your cosplay? Is there anyone you really look up to? LC: There are many great cosplayers that I like, but a direct model I have not. Kamui Cosplay helped me a lot with her tutorials. I like Yaya Han and Lightning Cosplay, Nana Kuronoma and Yuki Momochi. They are all gorgeous cosplayers. ^^ CC Mag: What was your first cosplay? LC: Luka Megurine in the Magnet version (Vocaloid). I saw it, and I had to do it! I love the design with the butterfly headset. CC Mag: Can you tell us the story behind your cosplay name ‘Luka Cosplay’? LC: Yes, it’s from my first cosplay, Luka Megurine-Magnet. I love the name Luka, and I like the sound of the name and character of course ;) That’s the simple story of my name. The “Cosplay” behind it is to make it easier to classify. CC Mag: When did you do your first faun cosplay? LC: September 2013 - The first faun cosplay I planned was very short notice, for Connichi 2013, and I actually had a completely different cosplay in progress. CC Mag: How long did it take you to design and build your faun cosplay? LC: It took about 2 months from the planned design to the finished cosplay. CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about your process in creating it? LC: For the horns I used a thermoplastic material (KobraCast), which easily allowed me to mold the original mouflon horns and then paint. In order to attach the wig I built a substructure. The armour is made of Worblas Finest Art (also a thermoplastic material). Do you know the material? ;) A lot of cosplayers use it for their armour. The hoofs were carved out of wood and screwed under high heels after I sawed the heel off.

Luka Cosplay Photography by Peeraphotography CC Mag: We’ve been seeing quite a few faun cosplays lately. Why do you think it is such a popular cosplay? Why did you choose to make faun cosplays – what inspired you? LC: Why is it popular? Mmmmh, because it looks awesome! I don’t know why, but I’m happy to see many great faun cosplayers. I love fairies and mythical creatures, and because of their human body it was possible for me to cosplay this mythical creature, so I dared to venture to do this project. :) I like the design, from the head (the horns or antlers, unusual ears, creative make-up, wonderful armour or magical clothing) to the feet (painful but incredibly great “shoes”). CC Mag: What inspires you to start a new cosplay? What process do you follow before beginning a new design? LC: It depends on whether it is a classic cosplay by an original character (anime, movie or manga), or whether I create the design itself. The ideas float around in my head, and I create a rough design before, so I know where I want to eventually build everything. ;) But the intricacies and details often only arise during production. The color I decide often only shortly before I paint it. FIRST EDITION

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Luka Cosplay Photography by Heike Mischewsky

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Luka Cosplay Photography by Heike Mischewsky

CC Mag: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for new cosplayers who are just starting out? LC: No one is perfect and we all have to start somewhere. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made very many mistakes. It is important that you have fun when manufacturing and while wearing the cosplay. One should always respect other cosplayers. And dare to ask, I personally love to help. CC Mag: Can you give us a hint as to what your next cosplays will be? LC: The next planned cosplay is Fran from Final Fantasy XII. I also have many other projects in my headâ&#x20AC;Ś maybe a new faun or other mythical creature ;)

You can find more of Luka Cosplay's work on her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/LukasCosplay Photography by: www.heikemischewsky-fotografie.de www.facebook.com/Peeraphotography www.photoplasma.de Dark faun makeup by 'Make up Artistry by Ina'.

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Luka Cosplay Photography by Heike Mischewsky

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KALSERU COSPLAY Photography by Arnold de Gans & Guerrilla Photography

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Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Arnold de Gans FIRST EDITION

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Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Arnold de Gans

“Believe in yourself and in your skills, and be proud of yourself! Cosplaying takes courage sometimes, and is quite a talent!” - Kalseru Cosplay

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Kalseru Cosplay

Interview

CC Mag: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? KC: My name is Lindy, I’m 23 years old and I’m from the Netherlands! I studied veterinary healthcare and am now studying photography. Next to that I am an amateur photographer, a geek, a fanatic gamer since I was about 10 and I am a cosplayer! :-) CC Mag: What made you first interested in cosplay, and when did you first start? KC: My first interest in cosplay was YEARS ago… I’m talking about 7-8 years. I watched Naruto back then, and friends of mine wanted to dress up as the characters to go to a fair. My parents told me not to, because of the money issue and my dad didn’t want me to make a fool out of myself, haha. I started cosplaying halfway through 2012 when I started living on my own. My first cosplay ever made was Ysera the Dreamer from World of Warcraft, for the release of Mists of Pandaria. CC Mag: Do you have a biggest influence or inspiration in terms of your cosplay? Is there anyone you really look up to? KC: A lot actually! Let’s start with Blizzard (creators of Warcraft, Diablo…). I’ve LOVED these games ever since I started playing Warcraft (not WOW but the original games back in the ‘90s). Next to that there are my friends and family, they really keep me going and support me 100% in my hobby! I watch a lot of cosplayers on Facebook, Pinterest and DeviantArt. The work they make is stunning, and they actually stimulate me to improve my ‘skills’ even more. Next to that is my boyfriend who tries to help me a lot in every way possible! CC Mag: Can you tell us the story behind your cosplay name ‘Kalseru Cosplay’? KC: Kalseru is a name I made up while creating a Druid in World of Warcraft. I tried my best to give my characters a unique name. I was so proud of coming up with this self-thought name, that when I started cosplaying I started using this as my ‘artist’ name as well, because the Druid was my main character back then! :) CC Mag: What was your first cosplay? When did you do your faun cosplay? KC: My first real cosplay was Ysera the Dreamer. After that I created Riven(2013) and Lux(2014) from League of Legends. When I made up my mind of going to the Elf Fantasy Fair that was held not far from where I lived, I wanted to make a faun. I LOVE mythical creatures! CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about your process in creating your faun cosplay? KC: I have collector edition Warcraft and Diablo games, which contain artwork books. I got a lot of design inspiration out of that! And since I’m rather insecure about my craftings, I asked friends that also cosplay for honest opinions. Next to that I’ve used Pinterest for inspiration and ideas on how others made their faun make-up by example!

Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Arnold de Gans

The antlers were the thing I did first. Because if that didn’t work out, I wouldn’t start on the rest of it. I started with a hair fillet and worked my way around it with Worbla. I couldn’t attach it to my wig because I knew it would be too heavy to wear. I only had Worbla back then, and attaching it to a fillet allowed me to take it off whenever I want. The feet where quite a challenge, but after seeing some tutorials about how hooves can be made, I felt secure enough to give it a try. I had some high heels, snapped the heels off, added a block of wood underneath the foot part and the base of the hooves was already done! The hooves actually gave me even more height! (Next to being about 6ft tall) The armour part was done in no time. The basics where done in 2-3 days and the painting in the following 2 days. I doodle my thoughts a lot, and the design was already printed in my head, so crafting it all was going quite fast and smooth! And the make up? Well, that’s a bit of fantasy and A LOT of random inspiration! CC Mag: How long did it take you to design and build your faun cosplay? KC: I was quite lazy. I plan cosplays so far ahead that it has a timespan of at least 6 months. It doesn’t mean I actually start on it right away… I plan it, because next to my study I also work part time. The making of my faun was no different, but if I had to guess the time I spent making it it’ll probably be about a month. FIRST EDITION

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CC Mag: What inspires you to start a new cosplay? What process do you follow before beginning a new design? KC: Everything inspires me! Friends telling me to do a certain character, daydreaming, watching movies, looking at updates from games containing new skins/champions, etc. Before making a new design I draw the character multiple times, to get it printed in my head. Then I take a few days to think it over: Do I want to do this, how will I do this? If the idea is still in my head after a few days, I start planning it! CC Mag: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for new cosplayers who are just starting out? KC: Believe in yourself and in your skills, and be proud of yourself! Cosplaying takes courage sometimes, and is quite a talent! Every step is a step made and a step of improvement on your talent! :) And please.... Don’t let the words of others bring you down! I started cosplaying BECAUSE I’m very insecure about myself. For every person that says something nasty to me about my appearance are 19 people that LOVE you for what you’re cosplaying/ performing! CC Mag: Can you give us a hint as to what your next cosplay will be? KC: There are WIP’s on my facebook page of my upcoming cosplay! It involves feathers, pointy ears and a staff! :-)

Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Guerrilla Photography CC Mag: Have you made or do you plan to make another faun cosplay? KC: I’m currently working on an albino Faun sketch, which I’m really excited about as well! But since that’s still on paper, I have one faun cosplay I’ve made, and I love it because I never thought I would be able to pull it off and feel so proud wearing it. CC Mag: We’ve been seeing quite a few faun cosplays lately. Why do you think it is such a popular cosplay? KC: Probably cause some famous cosplayers did some killer fauns as well. (Lightning Cosplay, Nana Kuronoma). CC Mag: Why did you choose to make a faun cosplay – what inspired you? KC: Basically I wanted to do animal-like cosplays for a LONG LONG time. I never had the time and money, or a good reason to do it. The fact that a great cosplayer in my friend list (Armored Soul Cosplay) was planning on making one, I told her I would make one myself as well!

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You can find more of Kalseru Cosplay's work on her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/ KalseruCosplay Photography by: Arnold de Gans www.facebook.com/ ThoranPicturesPhotography www.thoran-pictures.nl Guerrilla Photography www.guerrillaphotography.tk


Kalseru Cosplay Photography by Guerrilla Photography

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SUSA STRAWBERRY

COSPLAY Photography by Sebastian "Blowfish"” Engels Title image by Mondkalb

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CC Mag: Do you have a biggest influence or inspiration in terms of your cosplay? Is there anyone you really look up to? Susa: I don’t think I’m very influenced by other people in terms of what I cosplay - It’s more in terms of how I create my cosplays. I really look up to creative people like Kasan Cosplays, since I don’t know anyone else that is able to use so many different materials (e.g. latex, resin etc.). Since cosplay enables you to create literally anything, I get inspiration from everything I see within the world! CC Mag: Can you tell us the story behind your cosplay name ‘Susa Strawberry’? Susa: Well Susa is my nickname in real life and I thought for a cosplay name I’d need something else. And since I am a strawberry addict I decided to use Susa Strawberry. This way it feels like the name really belongs to me or states something about me. CC Mag: What was your first cosplay? When did you do your faun cosplay? Susa: My first cosplay was C.C. from Code Geass R2 in 2011. My Faun was made in March 2014.

Susa Strawberry Cosplay Photography by Sebastian "Blowfish" Engels

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CC Mag: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Susa: I’m Susa, a 22 year old artist who just graduated from University with a degree in Media IT. I live in Germany and love to be creative and to challenge myself over and over again. CC Mag: What made you first interested in cosplay, and when did you first start? Susa: I got interested in cosplay when I visited my first convention in 2009. I was there because I was interested in new mangas and stuff like that. Up ‘til then I really had no idea what cosplay was about and why everyone dressed up. It made me quite curious, so I decided to try it too. With not that much success, it basically looked like a giant bag with me in it, not even wearing make-up or wigs. I wasn’t able to sew, so I gave up on the idea of cosplaying. After a long time I visited a book fair in Germany and saw all the cosplayers again… Up until then I didn’t even try to cosplay for real, but when a friend of mine lent her cosplay to me, I got so interested again. That’s when I started to cosplay for real in 2011, this time with make-up and wigs.

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CC Mag: How long did it take you to design and build your faun cosplay? Susa: It really took me a long time to build this Faun cosplay. I have never worked with thermoplastic material before; therefore I had a lot to learn and a long way to go. The real crafting process took me about 6-8 weeks. CC Mag: Why did you choose to make a faun cosplay – what inspired you? Can you tell us a bit about your process in creating your faun cosplays? Susa: I visited a convention in 2013 where I got to meet Lightning Cosplay. It was around this time that we decided to do a faun couple design together. I was quite fascinated with mythology since my childhood, but up until then it never crossed my mind that I could cosplay something like that. I saw Lightning Cosplay with her faun cosplay, and when we talked about it we noticed that she wanted to redo a faun and that I wanted to create one for myself. That’s how we got the idea on cosplaying a warrior faun couple together and started to make designs by the end of 2013. I then started with the cosplay in January. I crafted the breast plate, hip armour, collar and bracers out of Worbla’s Finest Art. I even ordered faux arctic fox fur from Great Britain to match my design. For the skull mask I molded a Siberian Tiger Skull out of clay to cast it with Kobracast Art and Worbla later.


Susa Strawberry Cosplay Photography by Sebastian "Blowfish" Engels

“Remember that it’s about YOU having fun. The height/age/gender or the type of cosplay doesn’t matter.” - Susa Strawberry Cosplay

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CC Mag: We’ve been seeing quite a few faun cosplays lately. Why do you think it is such a popular cosplay? Susa: I don’t know why everyone starts cosplaying fauns now, but I guess faun cosplays give you the possibility to create something completely new something with no original or draft. You can be as creative as you want. CC Mag: What inspires you to start a new cosplay? What process do you follow before beginning a new design? Susa: If I start a new cosplay it must be really breathtaking and challenging. I like to work with material I haven’t used before, and I love to do a cosplay that I can’t picture myself in. Since I easily get bored with cosplays that are too easy, I am always looking for a challenge. Due to me having not that much time for a lot of conventions or shootings, I want to do cosplays which I can look at and tell myself “I am so proud, I never would have imagined that I am capable of creating something like that!” When I have decided which character I want to create, I think carefully what kind of materials I am going to use. I often ask other people for their opinion on materials they have used (often ones I have no experience with). Otherwise I start to investigate the net for inspiration or ideas on how to make them. After that I just dive into it and start! CC Mag: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for new cosplayers who are just starting out? Susa: Pick a character you really want to do because you like them and not because other people suggest them to you. Never forget to have fun while creating your cosplay and don’t give up if something doesn’t work out or people tell you that you can’t. Remember that it’s about YOU having fun, the height/age/ gender or the type of cosplay (bought or self-made) doesn’t matter. Don’t hesitate to ask other cosplayers for advice and don’t let yourself be intimidated by others. If you really want something, you can achieve anything. CC Mag: Can you give us a hint as to what your next cosplay will be? Susa: My next cosplay will be something really creative, which is more my own design based on fan art of a really talented artist. I will include around 30l of liquid latex and it will be really terrifying and nasty! ;)

You can find more of Susa Strawberry Cosplay's work on her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/SusaCosplay Photography by: Sebastian "Blowfish" Engels www.flyingpussyfoot.com

Susa Strawberry Cosplay Photography by Sebastian "Blowfish" Engels

Mondkalb animexx.onlinewelten.com/mitglieder/ steckbrief.php?id=253167 FIRST EDITION

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LUNA

LE FEY

Photography by Dan Santamaria of Skyrocket Photography

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Luna le Fey Photography by Skyrocket Photography

Luna le Fey

Interview

CC Mag: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? LLF: I am basically what happens when you combine Tank Girl with pixie dust~ Modeling for me started many years ago when I first became interested in cosplay and makeup art. I had been drawing for a long long time before that and eventually realized there were an overwhelming amount of ideas/pictures that I just couldn’t put down on paper, so many things I couldn’t materialize or make “come alive”. That’s when I started dabbling in makeup. Turning my face into a canvas itself for my creativity. (Often times just doing cosplay makeup/hair when I didn’t have materials for full). The more I experimented with that, the more of my body I started to transform. Starting from my hair, to my chest and arms, eventually my whole body. It was the first time I realized I could turns my visions into reality - I could turn my entire body and surroundings into the things/scenes I imagined but couldn’t put on paper. Thus, my obsession with modeling/cosplaying began. I had always been very into creating clothes and fashion, jewelry as well, so being able to model them and create scenes (hair, makeup, etc) to go with them made my creativity levels skyrocket, always coming up with more than I had the time or supplies for. I loved the idea/concept of being able to turn myself into something more than human, or a different person. Cosplaying gives me the chance to do that, and help me escape reality for awhile. (And when I am not dabbling in all the above, I am the mother of an amazing five year old and engaged to the love of my life, who is also extremely creative as well :D)

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CC Mag: What made you first interested in cosplay, and when did you first start? LLF: Watching a ton of Sailor Moon, Pokemon, all the animes on Toonami, along with the huge amount of RPGs I played when I was younger (Chrono Trigger, Legend of Mana, etc). I first started when I was 11/12 ish and the first costume I made (with help of my grandmother) was Belldandy from Ah My Goddess. After that I was hooked!


CC Mag: Do you have a biggest influence or inspiration in terms of your cosplay? Is there anyone you really look up to? LLF: I look up to a ton of different people to be honest haha, to name them all off would be extremely difficult. I look up to them for a variety of different reasons too. Some that even just starting out as well! I really respect people who try to take on different challenges and look at something that could potentially be difficult and be like “I can do that!” and rather than depend on other people to make things for them, attempting to learn new things (like say Worbla or prop making) and challenge themselves to make it on their own.

Luna le Fey Photography by Skyrocket Photography

CC Mag: Can you tell us the story behind your cosplay/model name ‘Luna le Fey’? LLF: Back when I was 12/13 I had this ongoing RPG with a close friend of mine (Callie/Tama) and my main character’s name was Lunatea. This RPG went on for yeeaarrrsss and the name Luna had ended up completely sticking with me. I ended up having a growing obsession with the moon and with faeries so when it came time to pick a name that was going to represent me to the world, Luna (of the fey) le Fey was the first thing that came to mind. :D CC Mag: What was your first cosplay? When did you do your faun cosplay? LLF: Belldandy from Ah My Goddess (And San from Princess Mononoke soon after) back when I was 11/12, and I did my faun cosplay about 7 to 8 months ago. CC Mag: How long have you been modelling? LLF: I’ve been dabbling in it off and on for years now but didn’t really dive into it fully until about a year ago. CC Mag: How long did it take you to design and build your faun cosplay? LLF: About a week ^^ CC Mag: Wow - only a week? Can you tell us a bit about your process in creating your faun cosplay? LLF: The hardest part/most time consuming was definitely making the hooves. I ended up taking a pair of platform boots I owned and cutting off the back heel (so I only had the hoof/front support) and then used heavy fur fabric and created the thigh high legwarmers (which still have some trimming needed on them). Then the leather top was bought from a Ren festival, the horns were handpainted by myself, and then the skirt was pieced together and handsewn by me. (Makeup was also done by me :3)

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Luna le Fey Photography by Skyrocket Photography CC Mag: We’ve been seeing quite a few faun cosplays lately. Why do you think it is such a popular cosplay? LLF: I can’t speak for anyone else necessarily, but I know that some have mentioned that the challenge of making it itself was what drew it to them. The look of the finished product is a huge ‘wow’ factor, especially if you can afford to make the hooves and buy the sclera contacts for it. CC Mag: Why did you choose to make a faun cosplay – what inspired you? LLF: I’ve always had a fascination with fantasy creatures. The faun is a very innocent but sinister creature and when designing one/a look for yourself, it gives you a ton of creative freedom that you can’t have with most other “monsters”. It has a handful of iconic features (Hooves, the ‘faun’ makeup, horns) that you have the potential of doing so much with and no matter how it turns out, it’s magical to see. That’s the kind of impact I want people to have when seeing my work, so I was instantly drawn to it. CC Mag: What inspires you to start a new cosplay? What process do you follow before beginning a new design? LLF: The character itself usually. I’m very drawn to personalities and being able to portray the character when I cosplay them, so if it’s someone that just jumps out to me? I have to add them to my list haha (And omg my list is gigantic). I do a ton of research, a TON. I look up and save a huge amount of reference photos so that I can try and get all the details right, THEN I start to draw out the design and break down the patterns for each part along with the makeup/hair styles.

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CC Mag: Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for new cosplayers who are just starting out? LLF: Be resourceful! You don’t have to have a huge amount of money to cosplay. I can guarantee that if you have access to Goodwill, Salvation Army or various thrift stores, you can find something in there to alter or use for your cosplay. It may take a little while looking, but it has the potential of saving you tons of money on fabric and props. Do your research on breaking down patterns or altering clothes as well. Ebay and Aliexpress are also great for finding cosplay grade wigs for cheap. Don’t ever give up if this is something you want to do, I promise you if you are determined, you will find what you need without breaking your bank. Don’t let lack of income stop you :) CC Mag: Can you give us a hint as to what your next cosplay will be? LLF: I actually have a few in the works right now that will be premiering in some conventions later this year. “Big bada boom!” and a lovely psychotic woman with a ringblade are hints for two that I’ll be completing in the near future, but there are MANY more to come :D

You can find more of Luna le Fey's cosplay work on her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/LunaLeFeyModel Photography by: Dan Santamaria of Skyrocket Photography www.facebook.com/SkyrocketPhotography


Luna le Fey Photography by Skyrocket Photography

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CALL TO

ARMS FOLKENSTAL ARMORY - PROPS & REPLICAS

Whether you’re sprinting head first into LARP battle or braving the long lines of a convention, Folkenstal’s replica weapons and armour will be sure to instil fear in your enemies and envy in your allies – or at least impress the judges at your next cosplay competition. Crafting unique armour and weapons is what attracts many people to the fast growing culture of design and creativity that is cosplay, and Folkenstal has mastered the craft of both. The talent behind Switzerland’s Folkenstal Armory shares an interview with us where she explains how she got into prop building and divulges the methods behind her unique craft. Her specialty is creating weapons, armour and other props from the fantasy/medieval genre,

with a particular interest in weapons and armour from Skyrim. Folkenstal takes us through a step by step process in creating one of the most recognizable daggers in the gaming world today – the Blade of Woe. Her casting methods and finishing detail result in a piece of weaponry that appears as if it were actually crafted from the depths of the fiery forges of Skyrim. Forge-on, fellow armourers, but please do so at your own risk. Cos Culture Magazine will not be responsible for any gauged eyes or broken limbs from either the manufacturing or enjoyment of the replica blade from the tutorial.

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Folkenstal Interview CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? F: Sure. I’m a media designer during the day and in the evening and on weekends, I work on my projects. I have a partner who supports me and 3 awesome cats at home. I’ve been drawing since childhood and started sculpting in 2001. I improved my skills and those helped me to start with prop making. CC Mag: How long have you been doing this craft? F: I started with it in November 2012 when I crafted my first item, the Ebony Dagger from Skyrim. I then moved forward to the molding and casting technique and did the same with my following projects. CC Mag: How did you get into prop building? What inspired you to start? F: I slowly got into prop making while reading about the technique I mentioned above. But what really inspired me was Harrison Krix over at Volpinprops. I was like “Wow, I want to do this, too!”.

Khajiit Mask, Worbla build.

CC Mag: What materials do you use? Do you have a favourite material or style? F: So far I work with Worbla for armour parts, and the casting technique for my weapons. It always depends of course how fast I need to build an item or how complex it is. My favourite materials are Worbla in combination with craft foam and resin. I prefer my items made in a medieval/fantasy style. I’ve never tried to go the sci-fi route, but one day I might. CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about the process and thought that goes into designing and building a prop? F: Well, it’s not that easy to explain what goes on in my head. But roughly I first study the item I want to recreate. Figuring out how many separate parts I need to craft, what the size is, what materials I want to use, and so on. Once I have all this information, I just start with crafting. Or, when the item is more complex, I do a rough sketch to make sure everything goes right. CC Mag: Do you only do exact replicas, or do you design custom props as well? F: So far, I’ve only done replicas. I could do my own designs, but it’s not as fun to me as trying to get a nice replica out of a 2D image from a screen, right?

Khajiit Mask, Worbla build with Apoxie Sculpt. FIRST EDITION

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Ebony Armour Boots (above), Upper Torso (adjacent)

CC Mag: Do you have any favourite props out of the work you’ve done? F: The Blade of Woe is a quite nice piece, also the Ebony War Axe. But I also like all the other daggers I’ve done and actually I like all of my armour pieces… It’s hard to decide on which one’s my favourite because I worked hard on all of them and am glad they turned out so well. CC Mag: Do you do commissions? How can people contact you for a commission? F: Yes, I do commissions! People can contact me over at Facebook or through my website. Soon I will be working on making a functioning Elder Scroll. I can’t wait to start with it. It’s nice to see my work being appreciated like this :)

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CC Mag: Is there anything else you would like to add? F: I’d like to say that I’m really astonished of how people like my work. I never imagined I would get this much attention. I want to thank all those guys who supported me through these past years, and I hope to provide you with more interesting projects. Thanks, guys!

You can see more of Folkenstal's work and learn more about commissions here: www.facebook.com/folkenstal www.folkenstal.com


Ebony Armour Made and modelled by Folkenstal FIRST EDITION

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BLADE OF WOE TUTORIAL by Folkenstal Armory

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MATERIALS STEP 1: CUT OUT & SCULPTING

STEP 2: MOLD BOX

STEP 3: MOLD MAKING

STEP 4: CASTING

Knife 3mm Polypropylene sheets Image of the blade Pen Cutting mat Small screwdriver Small soft brush 1 cup of water Apoxie Sculpt

Polypropylene sheet Knife 1 Cup of water Sulfur-free clay

Silicone Measuring cups Modelling sticks Disposable gloves Respirator Safety goggles

Polyurethane resin Measuring cups Modelling sticks Disposable gloves Respirator Safety goggles

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STEP 1: CUT OUT & SCULPTING

1.

2.

The first step is to print out the image of the blade in the size that you want your replica to be, then cut out the shape.

I also draw or press along the design of the blade. Since my pen is empty, I only press along the lines. A pen is easier to work with - I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recommend to use a knife here.

Glue the cut-out onto your polypropylene sheet. Make sure you use water-based glue. This way you can cut out the image and the polypropylene sheet at the same time.

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A rough sketch of the design is seen here after the pen pressure trick. Now remove the image, cut out the rest of it, and what is left is the plastic sheet you are going to work with. Clean the glue off the cutout or youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have a sticky base.


Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

4. 3.

Here I am shaping the edges with an exacto blade, because the dagger blade is going to need to be sharp and pointy.

Once the overall form is cut out, we can begin the sculpting process. The cut-out will be used as the base for the dagger.

We canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have bold edges here!

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5.

6.

When working with Apoxie Sculp, you need to work quickly as it cures very fast.

The handle will of course be wrapped with leather, so the final texture isn’t too important here.

I decided to start with the handle first. With this I can either do the pommel next, or do the blade. The thought of it is to finish the blade of woe step by step and allow the Apoxie Sculpt to cure in stages. I wouldn’t have time to work on the whole blade for too long. Starting with the handle, I compare the handle with the ingame model on my TV screen. It’s easier to figure out how thick this needs to be this way.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

7.

8.

Usually, I let the Apoxie Sculpt cure about 8h, one night max before starting with a new layer. When not in the mood to wait for too long, I work with it as soon as it’s in a “sandable” state.

If something doesn’t turn out right, I can always add Apoxie later, if everything fails. Or sand it to remove.

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9.

10.

This is an image of the finished knife end, and now I wait until it’s fully cured.

I decide to start with the “back” of the blade, and then shape the sharp part later. You can smoothe the surface out with water to get an even texture.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

11.

12.

After detailing. I let the back of the blade cure before starting on the sharp part.

Here is the overall form of the knife fully sculpted. The deadly side of the knife took a lot of smoothing and sanding to get the right feel.

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STEP 2: MOLD BOX

1.

2.

The next step is to create a mold box for the blade.

Use sulfur free clay here and work around the whole model. Why sulfur free? As far as I know clay with sulfur prevents the silicone from curing.

Cut the polypropylene sheet in a proper size. It needs enough space around the whole blade, especially on the bottom. If there’s too little silicone there, the liquids might find a way out later… and that’s not what we want, right? So give extra space to the bottom. The bottom here would be the tip of the blade, when casting. You’ll see later what I mean if you don’t get it now, don’t worry.

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So be sure it it 100% sulfur free, not just low sulfur clay.


Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

3.

4.

Shaping the clay at the edges with a small scerwdriver can help sometimes to get the details.

I cut the clay block here into a proper size and build up the walls of the box around. I used hot glue to hold the box together.

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5.

6.

When I have a big and especially long box as seen here, I need to add a support for the walls, otherwise the huge amount of silicone will bend the walls. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look good nor will this save me any silicone, and the box might burst.

Registration keys are important in this step. These are essential for two-part molds.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s similar to huge fish tanks, they also have a support like these, it prevents them from breaking. I prefer to have a burst mold box over a burst fish tank, though.

Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m using the cap of a pen here to make the keys.

Make sure the clay is filled to the edges in a clean line, and the surface is flat.

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With them I can easily put together both mold parts for the cast.


Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

7.

8.

At this point, I carved a vent and the pour spout into the clay. You can see the thin vent line already cut into the clay here.

Here you can see the box is ready for the silicone.

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STEP 3: MOLD MAKING

1.

2.

Gather all the tools you need in advanced, so you can work quickly.

Most casting materials come in a two step method. You will need to follow the instructions carefully, as each material is different. The product I used needed to be measured in two parts, and mixed together evenly. Make sure you wear the necessary safety equipment, including a respirator and gloves.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

3.

4.

When the product is ready, carefully pour it into the mold box, and let it sit for as long as is specified - usually over night.

On the next day I flip the box over and remove the clay I used from the bottom of the silicone.

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5.

6.

Make sure you clean the mold from the leftover clay and any silicone that may have gone under the blade.

Here the mold is ready for the second part.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

7.

8.

I followed the same directions as the first mold, and rebuilt the mold box (this time with the first half of the silicome mold on the bottom) with supports and filled it with silicone.

Here are both halfs together, after removing the solid molds from the box.

The silicone goes directly on this half of the mold. Again, I let it sit overnight.

You can see the effects of casting the silicone into the registration keys. These will allow me to close both sides of the mold in the perfect position when casting.

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STEP 4: CASTING

1.

2.

I dusted the mold with iron powder here to ge the metallic effect for the blade.

I use wood supports to hold the two sides together during the casting process. This will help make sure the sides stay together and the silicone wont spill out. You can see the end of the pour spout and the vent hole here.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

3.

4.

After pouring in the resin and allowing it to cure, you can remove the two sides of the mold.

You can buff out the surface with steel wool to get a shiny effect.

Here is the first pull of the blade. On the floor is the master - the one I sculpted.

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5.

6.

Looking much shinier now.

Comparison with the master and the first cast - with ‘blood’ on it.

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Blade of Woe Tutorial by Folkenstal

7.

8.

I weathered the leather before I put everything together.

Done!

To learn more about Folkenstal's work, or to see more tutorials, visit her website at www.folkenstal.com FIRST EDITION

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Death Knight from World of Warcraft Cosplay made and modelled by Phaleure Cosplay Photography by AshB Images Ellicott City 2013 68

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BEHIND THE

LENS WITH ASHLEY BADIE OF ASHB IMAGES

Ashley Badie is fast becoming the go-to photographer for many of the top cosplayers from around the world. Her images not only capture the craftsmanship and beauty of the costumes, but the personalities and characters behind them. Active in social media, Ashley of AshB images is constantly engaged in the cosplay community, sharing live editing sessions and Q&Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s through her blog website and Facebook or Twitter accounts. She is conscious of the impact the

surrounding environment has on an image, and you can be sure she will represent your character and costume through a visually and contextually stunning photograph. The following pages include only a small sample of her cosplay portfolio. She has already photographed such cosplayers as Yaya Han, Stella Chuu and Its Raining Neon, and you can be sure her portfolio will continue to grow.

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S E G A M I hB

As

Interview

CC Mag: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? AshB: My name is Ashley Badie. I’m 24 years old and from the Northern Virginia area. I’ve been shooting photos since 2009 and started shooting cosplay when I attended my first convention, which was Katsucon, in 2012. My good friend DeAnna Davis aka Its Raining Neon whom I met while attending the Art Institute of Washington, is the one that got me into the cosplay and convention scene. She told me about the costumes she makes and the anime and gaming conventions that are close to the Virginia area. With her help, and other art school friends, I started traveling to local conventions and fell completely in love with cosplay. CC Mag: What inspired you to get into cosplay photography? AshB: The thing that inspires me the most about cosplay is the innovation of cosplayers. They are really clever and can build, sew, craft and create just about anything! And they transform themselves seamlessly from costume to costume embodying each unique character while still maintaining their own signature flare. I like to think of cosplay as high fashion for nerds. The designs, wigs, make up and props are all absolutely beautiful and utterly amazing. The handmade art that I get the privilege of seeing and photographing is also constantly blowing me away. CC Mag: What’s it like shooting at conventions? AshB: Shooting cosplay at conventions is challenging but very fun and rewarding. Conventions provide a place for photographers and cosplayers to connect from all over the world. Without conventions, I wouldn’t have access to a great majority of the talent that I get to work with and meet. When shooting at a convention, I need to keep in mind things like high traffic areas, and off limits areas. I don’t want people photo bombing my photo, but I also don’t want to get in trouble for shooting where I don’t belong. I also have to keep in mind what character I’m shooting and the world they come from. Shooting a Tinkerbell in the alley ways of NYC wouldn’t make much sense so I’d look for a nice green forest. CC Mag: When creating a ‘scene’ do you let the cosplayer decide what they want, or are you the one to come up with ideas for the background, etc? AshB: I like to collaborate with my clients when we work together. Almost always, the cosplayer has more knowledge of their character than I do, so their input is incredibly important to me. Together, we can decide what places, lighting, poses and expressions will yield the best results. But a lot of times we are limited with what the convention space has to offer, so we have to be extra creative and use those clever camera angles to make it look like we are somewhere that we are not! 70

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Princess Aurora,Sleeping Beauty Cosplay made and modelled by Dessi-Desu Cosplay Photography by AshB Images Ellicott City 2014 FIRST EDITION

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u o y t r a e h t e k a m d n a d e r i . p r s e i n i p p t a e h “G % 0 0 1 e b l l i w t a u e o r y g d a n s a t i e t, lov i e k i l e l p o pe r e h t ts I o . f i o o t And y a k o s ’ t a h t , t o shB A bonus; if n ” . s r i e h t t o n , t r your a

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Warrior Class Armour, Granado Espada Cosplay made and modelled by Its Raining Neon Photography by AshB Images Katuscon 2013

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Steampunk Harley Quinn designed by NoFlutter, Costume made and modelled by Jessica Nigri Photography by AshB Images New York Comic Con 2013 74

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CC Mag: Do you prefer studio or on-location photo shoots? Why? AshB: For cosplay I feel location shoots that fit the character help create a setting and tell a story much better than studio shots can. However, studio shots can still be strong and captivating too. It’s really up to the artists involved to make each shoot special, but for me, I’d rather find a cool looking location to shoot than a plain room! CC Mag: Any advice for amateur cosplay photographers who are just starting out? AshB: My advice for people starting out in cosplay photography is to shoot a lot and when you think you are done, keep shooting some more! It’s important to try many different things and be critical of your decisions. Take all things into consideration, even the things you think you can’t do because you’ll surprise yourself. Find what styles you really like and build off of it, changing a bit by bit as you go along... And remember that it will definitely take time. CC Mag: Summer is just beginning – do you have any tips on shooting in the summer sun? AshB: Avoid shooting between 12-2pm. That’s when the sun is at its highest peak and will create really harsh dark shadows under the eyes, nose and neck of your subject. Unless that’s the look you’re going for, shoot in the morning or evenings. Look for shady areas or aim to shoot during cloudy over cast days. It provides diffused soft light that’s generally more flattering when photographing people. You can also shoot with the sun behind your subject, which would make a silhouette, and use either a reflector or flash in front to provide fill light to fill in the shadow detail on your subject.

To see more of AshB's photography, or to book a shoot, visit her at her Facebook page. www.facebook.com/ashbphotos She can also be found at: Twitter @Hey_AshB Instagram @Hey_AshB Tumblr ashbphotos.com or e-mail AshleyBadie@gmail.com

CC Mag: If someone wants to work with you, what do they need to do to get the process started? AshB: If anyone wants to work with me, their best bet is to message me on Facebook. From there we can open up a dialog about what and when we’ll shoot! All costumes are welcome! (Except clowns because they scare me)

Original black and white leggings Made and modelled by Its Raining Neon Photography by AshB Images FIRST EDITION

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Male Pocahontas Designed by Sakimi Chan Cosplay made and modelled by Junkers Cosplay Inc. Photography by AshB Images Fanime 2014 76

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Princess Merida, Disney's Brave Cosplay made and modelled by Sunsetdragon Photography by AshB Images Otakon 2013 78

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Killer Frost, Injustice: Gods Among Us Cosplay made and modelled by Bethany Maddock Photography by AshB Images Otakon 2013

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FIRST EDITION C O S C U LT U R E M A G A Z I N E

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Cos Culture Magazine - First Edition  

Art. Culture. Cosplay. Featuring: Nana Kuronoma / Luka Cosplay / Kalseru Cosplay / Luka Cosplay / Folkenstal Armory / AshB Images

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