Name: Silver Ice Dragon
City: Ithaca, NY
What was your first Cosplay Experience?
Like many cosplayers, I started out making Halloween costumes every year, and each year they got more and more elaborate. My friends kept telling me I should try going to conventions, but, because I don’t live in a big city, I didn’t have the time or money to go until recently.
My first real cosplay experience was when I wore my Dovahkiin (Skyrim) cosplay to PAX East 2014. This cosplay actually started out as a Halloween costume, and when I wore it to several Halloween parties, I was disappointed that no one recognized the character. Going to a convention was the complete opposite. PAX East doesn’t have quite as much cosplay as some of the other conventions I’ve been to, which meant that I got a ton of attention. I was surprised by how many people recognized my costume, wanted to take pictures of me, were asking how I made it, and just wanted to talk about Skyrim with me. I made many amazing new friends that way, and so I was pretty much hooked from that day on.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
I started making costumes in 2011, but I didn’t go to conventions until 2014.
What is your favorite cosplay you have worn/created?
My favorite cosplay is probably my most recent one, the black knight from Dark Souls. I am very proud of all the effort I put into making the armor as smooth and clean as possible, to really make it shine like actual metal. The skirt is real chain mail, which took me maybe a month to make. The detailing, too, I spent many hours sculpting everything by hand. It was a lot of hard work, and the end result was definitely worth it. Not only do I really like how it looks, but it is, surprisingly, my most comfortable armor build without the helmet…. and I can actually sit down. With the helmet, it’s a different story, but I look terrifying, which is fun in itself.
I also look forward to making some different weapons to go with this cosplay. The prop I have now is actually a modded cheap plastic sword because I ran out of time. I would like to make the actual sword from the game, and maybe some of the other weapons as well.
If you had unlimited resources, what Cosplay would you create?
This is a hard question. I’ve always wanted to try making something really big with stilts and I really enjoy making armor so…. how about a giant robot? Maybe Gurren Lagann or one of the jaegers from Pacific Rim. I am a physicist by trade, so a lot of times I try to incorporate LEDs or electronics into my costumes. I think with either of these two choices, I would have a lot of fun making parts light up, move, or spin.
What advice would you offer others trying to break into Cosplay?
Don’t be afraid to try new techniques, especially if it is something you are uncomfortable with, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Everyone has to start somewhere. I’ve had many people tell me that they wish they could make armor, but they have no idea how to work with foam or worbla. Or people tell me they would love to sew, but have never sewn anything in their life. The key is to not be afraid to start. Watch some tutorials on YouTube, ask other cosplayers for advice, maybe even buy a book on the topic. Then pick a small, simple project to start, and go for it.
When I started my first armor build (Tyrael from Diablo), I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. I had never touched worbla before in my life, and actually at that point, I had never even used a sewing machine. I made plenty of mistakes, but I stuck with it, and look where it got me. And it wasn’t any sort of inherent “talent.” It was perseverance and not being afraid to mess up. Anyone can do this if they put their mind to it.