Published on August 4th, 2014 | by Khloe Khaos0
Cosplayer Of The Month – Andy Valentine
Here at Need To Consume we love cosplay and we want to show off some of the most talented individuals within the community. Each month, we will choose one cosplayer and have a chat with them. For those of you who are new to cosplay or aren’t quite sure what it is, let me explain! It’s when people dress up as characters from anything awesome like video games, comics, movies and anime. Most people make their own consumes and props. So, without further a do, let’s meet our first cosplayer!
August – Andy Valentine
Andy Valentine (aka Valentine Cosplay) is a super skilled cosplayer from England, he’s got a huge eye for details and he’s making his name in the cosplay world. He’s been a cosplay guest for both London Anime & Gaming Con and London Film & Comic Con! So we asked him some questions to find out more.
What was your first cosplay?
It was a version of Ezio from Assassin’s Creed 2. Man, that thing was a learning experience. Back then I’d never used a sewing machine, worked with leather or foam, or anything that I now do on a pretty much daily basis. I actually finished the cosplay, then decided that I could do better. So I scrapped the entire build and started again. I eventually put EL-wire around the trim of the version one tunics and occasionally wear them to go clubbing, which weirds people out and makes me laugh.
What was your first convention?
It was Summer LFCC 2013 just over a year ago, so I guess in the scheme of things I’ve not been a cosplayer all that long. What a year it’s been though.
How did you get into cosplay?
I’ve always been a geek. I grew up gaming and being a big sci-fi fan, so when my friend suggested to go to a comic last year, I jumped at the chance as it was something that I’d always wanted to do. I couldn’t imagine not going dressed up, so that’s when I started on the aforementioned Ezio outfit. During that build, I completely fell in love with the construction process and the first time I put the whole thing on I stood back and thought “Damn, two months ago that was just a pile of fabric. I can’t believe I just made that”. I got hooked on that feeling, so I just continued making things.
What is your dream cosplay?
I have so many that I’d love to do. I guess I’m most looking forward to starting on a 10ft tall G1 Starscream as it’s going to be a real showstopper. But it’s going to be such a large project it keeps getting put back. I’m determined to get it out in 2015 though.
What cosplay or prop are you most proud of?
My favourite prop has to be my Fallout AER-9 Laser Rifle. I build that thing seven times before I was happy with it, and a lot of love and hard work went into that build and I was very proud of the result. That said, the Oberyn Spear I made a few weeks ago went massively viral (partially because I was the first person worldwide to make one), and I’m very proud of that too.
As for costume, the Fallout Lone Wanderer that went with my laser rifle was hugely detailed and well received and I was ecstatic with how that turned out. But I guess my version of Vaas is probably both what I’m best known for and one of my prouder cosplays as I spent a lot of time nailing all the little details that made that one stand out.
What is your favourite material to work with?
Wood, by a long shot. It’s predictable, solid, and I know that if I cut something a certain way it’s not going to move or alter in the same way something like worbla does. Also, I get to use power tools on it, and I’m just a big kid at heart so I always find that exciting.
What is your favourite convention and why?
Hard question as they all have their plus and minus points. London Anime and Gaming Con is always fun. It’s an over 18’s con so the event has a different vibe to it, and being a bit smaller there’s more chance to have 1-on-1 conversations and moments with people, which I like. Also, you don’t find that you’re swimming through crowds all day which can be painful if you have large or fragile props (as I so often do)
Best cosplay moments?
Two stand out. Firstly when Michael Mando (who Vaas from Far Cry 3 is based on) found my page and commented on my Vaas cosplay album telling me that I’d done a great job, and when Pedro Pascal (Prince Oberyn from Game of Thrones) shared my build of his spear. It’s always great to get acknowledgement from the people your cosplays are based on, and very humbling.
Worst cosplay moments?
As much as I appreciate more and more people becoming aware of my work and who I am, sometimes at a con I can’t move five steps without someone shouting my name or wanting a photo, which can get really tiring, especially at three and four day events. Sometimes all I want to do is sit down and have a drink. I don’t mind though. After all, I wouldn’t do this if I was bothered about being recognised and stopped.
What is your next big project?
I’m currently working on Corvo from Dishonored for Insomnia52 and Camcon (for the first time – due to time contraints – I’m commissioning someone else to make the fabric parts whilst I concentrate on the mask and weapons) as well as bird-form Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle which involves 3500 feathers and Dr Krieger as part of an Archer group for Alcon. After that, I have the rest of Prince Oberyn to finish (probably another 200+ hours work) as well as couple for WLFCC and MCM October that I’ve not publicly announced yet, so you’ll have to wait for those.
Any tips for new cosplayers?
Don’t compare yourself to everyone else, or if you do, don’t get disheartened if you think someone else’s cosplay is “better” than yours. It shouldn’t be about that, it should be about sharing the love of a fandom and having a good time. Also, if you’re anything like me you’ll want to be awesome at all fabrication techniques immediately, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s a learning curve, but if you put the time into honing your skills, you’ll amaze yourself with what you’ll be able to make in the future.
Do you have Facebook page, Twitter or Youtube?
www.youtube.com/user/AndyValentineGuitar (I used to be a musician and now can’t change the URL, which is a pain – oh well)
Well that is our very first Cosplayer Of The Month. I hope you enjoyed reading Andy’s answers and I can’t wait to share next month’s cosplayer with you. Remember to follow Need To Consume on Twitter and on Facebook. You can also find my own page on Facebook where I post new cosplay photos, works in progress and I even do the occasional giveaway!