FBN Cosplayer of the Month: Arif Iqbal

GameStop, Inc.

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Name: Arif Iqbal

City: Dublin, Ireland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yautjared

What was your first Cosplay Experience?

Firstly thanks to fanboynation.com for this interview opportunity. I am Arif; animator, illustrator and costumer.  Big Red- Predators Ireland.  Darth Revan SL27787- 501st Legion Ireland Garrison- Flagship Eclipse.

At the very first all I aimed is a predator suit, a suit that I will get and then put it on occasionally to hang out with other predators from Predators Ireland. But as I was volunteering in first Dublin Comic Con 2013, I got to hear about 501st Legion, I decided to join and team up with them.

Photo by: Ricardo Silva

 

My First cosplay experience was in Temple Street Children’s Hospital here in Dublin Ireland along with my buddies from 501st Ireland Garrison, a star wars costuming organization that put its resources (members and their costumes) to good use through fundraising, charity work, and volunteerism.

As we walked into the hospital we were greeted with our hosts and they explained the conditions of the residents. We started our trooping and then it really hit all of us. We were all men and seeing these kids stuck with tubes and needles or in stitches were not easy but as we started to meet them- they were all smiling, some of them were astonished, some of them thought we were fake (like toys or robots!) but as they were interacting with us and find that there are real human beings under our costumes they were cheering! Most of them asked us what we are doing here in their hospital so we had to tell them the food in Death Star is awful so we came for some nice food and meet them. Or sometimes we had to tell them that we are looking for the Rebel Princess and if they have seen her. All in all, the very thought that we brought smile and made these kids happy made all the effort of putting a costume together a worthwhile experience. The experience was so great for us that last month we went back again to visit the new residents of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital .

 

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Photo Courtesy: Meg Hilko

How long have you been Cosplaying?

I have been cosplaying Since April 2014. Like I said it was never my intention but I am glad things have change. I have always kept myself busy in either my studies or the two part time jobs I do over the weekends. Only time I would have taken some time off of my works is when some decent bands will come to play live gigs. Even my friends were complaining that I need to relax. Cosplaying opened up the door for me to meet like minded folks who are great to hang out with, just relax talk about things I am interested on.

What is your favourite cosplay you have worn/created?

It has to be Big Red. I have been trying to get a predator suit for almost a decade, ever since I was a kid. Since it needs quite a funding to make a screen standard predator suit I had to wait until I grow up and get a job and save money for the suit apart from paying for my living and education. It all become easier when I met Bryan Campbell–  he suggested I go for Big Red from Batman: Dead End since Predators Ireland already has few of the other canon predator figures. AND I LOVE BIG RED! Bryan did a perfect job on putting the whole suit together for me, and in the process like few other prop makers he didn’t rip me off haha.

If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?

I will long more for an economical cosplay than something really expensive- also I have my mind set on few, when I get those cosplays done- that’s it for me.

Here they are in a nutshell:

  1. Republic Commander Omega Squad
  2. Zeratul
  3. Phantom
  4. Judge Giant
  5. Necromonger
  6. Vision
  7. Dracula Red Armour
  8. Donatello
  9. Karl Kroenen
  10. Bumble Bee G1
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Shot taken when we were filming a video by Grahamedia

What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?

Ah of course why not!?  Be nice to everyone and make friends! They will also stand for you!

-Be social and nice to each other and have the heart of a lion. At the end of the day everyone you meet is the social circle you want to belong to. Be nice to them, encourage them in every polite way possible, give them constructive criticism in the most polite way if you have to, share their works in social media and if you give your word to someone about something- keep it.

Folks like nice people, if you give yourself to the world nicely, the world will give itself to you. So if you help others to break into cosplay, they will help you in return.

And most of all have fun! Just remember- the character you are cosplaying, you are bringing it alive. It has its own story- just read the story and tries to analyze the character; what is his goal, how he starts in the story, is he changing in his journey throughout the story and how is this happening? What are the obstacles he is facing in his way, the iconic poses your character has or punch lines etc. Also knowing how appropriate your cosplay is for the event is very helpful to others, you don’t want to walk around in indecent clothing in a place where you have kids walking around. For example the Karl Kroenen suit I will make, I don’t think I will wear it in a comic con- cause in the expense of me having some fun- I might be offending some people.

Also credit the artist: if he’s a photographer, or someone who helped to build the suit for you or even someone who was with you during a event to keep an eye on you to make sure you were safe and share the joy with them equally.

In Conclusion I want to thank Chad M. Osuna for this great opportunity to reach a broader audience. I hope everyone who read this interview enjoyed it or it helped you in some way.

Anytime Costumes

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