Hey everyone, hope you are having a great week so far and had an even better weekend. I had the unfortunate displeasure of being post blocked on Facebook. No idea why but hey I guess my pics are just too much for Facebook to handle. Well now that I got that off my chest, lets get into today’s topic. I have a very unique and rather awesome post today. I had the recent pleasure of interviewing a phenomenal cosplayer.
He has won several cosplay competitions and created some absolutely amazing Overwatch, Naruto, Kingdom Hearts and most recently Fate Grand order Cosplays. All of his costumes are homemade and involve extreme amounts of detail and time commitment. If you haven’t figured out who I am talking about yet no worries, you will get to know much more about him very soon.
I am extremely honored to introduce my good friend Lamont Artybridge at Never ending dreamz cosplay. He has taken a bit of time to give a glimpse into his cosplay world and even offer some tips as to how we can better our own cosplay costumes. He answered about 23 questions that I feel several of us have definitely wondered. Lets take a look out what he had to say
1.Lets start with introducing yourself, what’s your name where are you from and how old are you?
My name is Lamont, my cosplay alter ego is Never Ending Dreams cosplay. Im 26 years old and Spent most of life in Virginia and moved to South Carolina 5 years ago.
2.What is your favorite anime and do you think it got you into cosplay?
My favorite anime was Air Gear. I decided to actually cosplay as Ikki from Air Gear Last year at ichinboncon.
3. What is your least favorite anime and why?
My least favorite animes were probably Dog Days and log horizon. I didn’t hate them but more so didnt like their concept. I started Log Horizon but never finished it because I just could not get into the role of the main character. If the concept seems good ill give it a chance.
For example, I have a lot of friends that like Tokyo ghoul but the main character was not doing enough for me. Another example would be My Hero Academia, I gave the main character a shot and at first I just couldn’t get into him with all of the crying. But I continued to watch it and I grew to enjoy this series a lot.
4.How old where you where you first started cosplaying?
I was 18 when I first started but I did not get serious until about 2 years ago. I was mostly doing it for fun and I was not challenging myself.
5.Who/what was your first cosplay?
My first cosplay was Xaldin from kingdom hearts 2. Everyone at the con loved it but on the way to the con I broke the spears and ended up fixing them in the parking lot of the con. I was feeling bad but everyone seemed to still love my cosplay. It was definitely one of the better experiences at cons I have had.
6.What are your thoughts on the cosplay communities and world of cosplay today compared to when you first started cosplaying?
I definitely believe its more toxic today than in the past. I see a lot more arguments now and that may be due to social media. We are in a time period were people complain about anything and everything. In the past people maybe held their feelings in a bit more and you cant do anything without offending anyone.
For example my Lucio cosplay has received criticism for not having roller blades. But anyone who goes to cons knows you cant bring roller blades into cons. I see comments saying my lucio is not legit or people ask why im playing certain songs and not Lucios healing song.
I worked 340 hours on this cosplay and im not going to have the same song on repeat and since skates are not allowed im not going to walk around bare foot.
When someone criticizes or complains I ask for their opinion on what I could have done better. For example on my Lucio video a person commented “you could have done something better with your time.” I asked what did you mean and instead of explaining he proceeded to say “SUCKS TO KNOW YOUR LIFE IS A WASTE ISNT IT?” This is completely non constructive and non helpful.
7.Why did you choose to cosplay?
When I was in high school I majored in visual arts and architecture. I was drawing all the time and I was good with craftsmanship and color pencils. I wanted to turn my creations into reality and this lead me to cosplay.
8.Where you drawings originally anime based or video games based?
It was more along the lines of blending colors. It could be anything from skies to flowers and I just enjoyed blending scenes.
9. Are there any cosplays you found to difficult to attempt?
No, that’s the opposite of my nature. I generally go for the more difficult and unique cosplays. I may not know how im going to go about it but im going to finish it. My dream cosplay was Lu-bu from dynasty warriors, I completed it in 2015. I had no idea how I was going to go about it, I just knew it was one I wanted to do so I taught myself along the way. My experience with wiring and sound systems was also limited, it was all learned through Lucio.
10.So I couldn’t help but notice your awesome cosplay at Ichibancon, who is this character for all that don’t know and why did you cosplay as this character?
The cosplay was Saber Lancelot from fate grand order. I choose him because I love his berserker form and story. It’s a love story gone wrong. Seeing that version of Lancelot which is in the game but not the anime presented a difference spin on this character than what people are accustomed to. I knew it would be difficult and if things go well, I may have an entire group for katsucon.
I had never seen this form cosplayed in person and I loved the color scheme. The difficulty of his full body armor and cape could be applied to my cosplay techniques. I also relate to this character so I choose to cosplay as him. I added LEDS because I always try to put my own spin on it and go the extra mile. His ultimate or special can be represented by the blue leds on the costume.
11.What are some attributes of this character?
The problem with Lancelelot is there isn’t enough in the story to give you any attributes. He doesn’t exist in the anime outside the berserker form and when in berserker form he cant speak. So until the next season comes out he still is a bit of a mystery.
12.Do you think cosplayers in general tend to match their cosplay to characters with similar personalities as themselves?
It really depends on the type of cosplayer. The reason why I say this is because for me I try to find a connection or link. If I like him I most likely can relate in some way which is why I cosplay as them. But others may cosplay as a character because he/she is popular or you have the situation where people say cosplay isn’t consent. Just because someone cosplays something provocative doesn’t mean they want the type of attention.
13.Do you think cons now days are full of people only playing as popular and common characters?
I believe there’s a possibility that people may general like that character. For example a few years back when Naruto was huge, you would see a ton of Narutos. I cant say all those people do not general love Naruto, but there is a possibility that they were cosplaying as the “popular” character at the time.
14.How Long did it take you to make your armor?
The first Lucio took 340 hours and the second Lucio was about 300 hours. I did not calculate Lancelot but it was probably around 3 months. My routine involved waking up at say 6 am and working until midnight.
15.What material did you use?
The armor for Lucio was made from eva foam. The fabric is fully stretch fabric. I also used the Yaya Han fabric for the pants beneath it. I mixed different layers of craft foam into the shoes and on the backpack I used the silver car door trim and aquarium tubing for the gun to the backpack. The base of the gun is wood. I used a subwoofer and two base speakers on the side of the pack all wired to an amp. It runs on multiple 18650 batteries which are the batteries you find in vapes. I wired them all together and choose these because they are easily rechargeable.
16.Why did you choose that material instead of others?
I like EVA Foam because it is thick. Worbla is not as thick and so why not go with the option that does not require multiple layers. Theres also wonderflex but I did not choose it because you have to use multiple layers to thicken it. I also like eva foam because you can sand it so I can make even more intricate shapes through sanding.
17.Why don’t u use metal?
I use wood for the base of my gun and my Lancelot sword was also wood. But I don’t use medal because medal is just not allowed in cons. And I want my cosplay to be convention savvy. I would hate for it to be checked and I would not be allowed to bring it into the con.
18.How many cosplay contests have you entered/won?
I have placed in 4 events in the last year and won approximately 40% of the time. Unfortunately I did not place at Ichiboncan but I will certainly continue to improve my cosplay techniques and skills to be ready for next year.
19.Do you think cosplay is a viable career?
Yes, but it depends on how you go about it along with your methods. My fan base supports me a lot and they love my keyblades. I do things such as giveaways to return my appreciation for my fan base. They are the ones that will support you no matter what and to say its not a viable career wouldn’t make sense since I make a bit of profit from my keyblade commissions.
20.How do you make money for your cosplay and where and when do you find the time to do it?
Like many, I have a 40 hour a week job but what I usually do is multitask. I manage time very well and still play games with my friends.
But when I am at work I am thinking about how I can create my cosplay that afternoon. My key blades have no blueprints and I do it all from creativity. They are all unique and its very difficult for me to duplicate two of the same keyblades. I believe it really boils down to time management.
21.How did you grow your fan base and what advice would you have for people trying to grow in the cosplay community.
The best advice I can give is grow your own core fan base. A fan base that will share your work support and be happy for your cosplay. Because you will have good and bad days, but if you cannot rely on your fan base than you will have nothing as a cosplayer. You have to let them know that you care and the stronger your fan base is the more they will carry you to the next level.
22.What advice do you have to give to young and inspiring cosplayers just entering the cosplay world?
I would say the best thing you can do is be yourself and hone your craft. You have to hone your craft a lot and several people do not seem to understand that. Theres no real excuse not to hone your skills. If you buy your cosplay then maybe you have to hone your makeup.
You have to do something to establish yourself as a cosplayer if you plan to grow in the cosplay community. You also have to constantly challenge yourself. If you never challenge yourself you will get stuck.
I would like to thank Lamont for allowing me to interview him and for answering several questions that I am sure many of us have. If you enjoyed this interview than please feel free to drop some comments below.
Any CONSTRUCTIVE feedback is certainly appreciated and can be implemented into future interviews. If you would like to be interviewed and share your personal cosplay experience, than feel free to send me a message or drop a comment below. As always, until next time, STAY BOUNDLESS!!!
PS: TO view more awesome cosplay images look HERE.