Not everyone gets into cosplay or any profession by consciously planning for it as a career. Sometimes it’s just something that you fall into when an opportunity or circumstance falls in place. Nathan DeLuca is one such example.
The Canadian Pro Cosplayer and Model, who makes all his props, gives a little insight himself and on what it takes to make your own costumes.
Why Cosplay? How did you get into it and when did you begin?
Funny story that… about two years ago, I had to have my wisdom teeth pulled. I had never even thought about cosplaying before, but when I went on the internet in a painkiller-induced stupor, I decided that building a set of Mass Effect armour was a good idea. I tried it, and… it wasn’t pretty. I went back at it when I recovered and since then it’s been quite an addiction.
What do you do when you’re not Cosplaying?
This is my day job now! From making costumes, designing dye subs, prints and appearances, this is what I do with my life. I left my job at a miniature company to focus on doing this full time, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
What was your first costume?
Kaidan Alenko from Mass Effect 3! Here’s a picture of the original build- I’m pretty embarrassed in retrospect, but it was my first.
What’s your favourite costume?
I would have to say it’s Gabriel from Dan Luvisi’s Last Man Standing- Killbook of a Bounty Hunter! It’s a costume I had the most fun making and wearing- a fast build that allowed a good deal of creative freedom and control, as well as being one of my favourite series- as well as something not widely recognized. Also, I got to splatter blood on it and everyone asks me why I taped pictures of cats to it.
What’s the hardest part about making a costume?
To me, it’s the fitting and patterning stage! I’m getting better at it slowly with time, but some things still get me. I’m inherently kind of impatient so I waste a lot of material trying to get it right on the first try without double checking. Whoops.
Which one took the most amount of time?How long did it take?
My longest build was a full fiberglass Halo Spartan from Halo Reach, about a year and a half ago. It was my first fibreglass build and I didn’t go at it the right way, even a little bit. It was mostly the bondo and sanding stage, which took forever- even more than the papercraft, which was weeks in its own right.
I think the entire process took about three months, a lot of which was solid several-hours-a-day working. Even then, it was one of my least favourite costumes.
What’s the most critical skill you need when you’re making your own gear?
Being able to pattern 3d objects by eye, to be honest! It took a LOT of practice, but it cut my build time down tenfold. The same armour that would have taken me months in the past takes me days, now- and time is always a factor.
Which is the biggest Comic Convention you’ve been to so far?
FanExpo Toronto! Attendance of about 150,000 people. To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming- I like it but I prefer conventions such as Montreal Comic-Con or Sydney Supanova.
Which was your favorite?
Hard to say which my favourite convention is! Each has its own merits–it really depends on the crowd you’re with, to be honest.
Do you receive many requests?
All the time! Most common is DC characters, or Tuxedo Mask. Probably going to do the latter, he’s kinda badass.
Who’s your favorite cosplayer?
No favourites! Just a lot of awesome influences. From Bill Doran of Punished Props and Gary of Beer Money, to Riddle from Riddle’s Messy Wardrobe, to Dara DeFreitas and Henchmen Props to Vickybunnyangel and Lyz Brickley–just to name a few. Just a lot of awesome friendly people, I couldn’t choose one over the other.
Who should we look out for? Any up-and-comers?
Gary Crowl of Beer Money Props makes some pretty cool stuff! Been watching his builds since he started posting them on N7 Elite and found it was awesome when he made a page. Dara DeFreitas from Calgary also makes INCREDIBLE armour and props, and my friend Philippe Lauby in Paris does ridiculously accurate builds all the time- and you can’t beat that French bone structure
What advice would you have for budding cosplayers?
Be patient! But if you want to start a project, never go ‘oh, the con is in X months’, or you’ll leave it to the last minute and never get it done.
I also kinda recommend against starting too ambitious at first. Some people do it, but a lot of people take something way outside their skill set and get overwhelmed–I’ve done it many times before. Do your research before you know what you’re getting into, lest you are left with a thousand dollars in tools and no drive or ability to carry on!
What’s next on your project list? What should we look out for from you?
Tuxedo Mask. Gotta mix things up every once in a while.
After that, I have no idea! I have so much stuff I’d love to do, but I’m stumped as to my next serious build. I think an armoured Robin! I’m done with HUGE suits for a little while, the Edge of Tomorrow exosuit took a lot of my large-build juice from me.
Who would you love to cosplay but haven’t gotten down to it yet?
Fenris from Dragon Age 2! I keep meaning to do it but keep pushing it back, it’s driving me crazy.
Who’s your favourite hero or villain?
Bucky Barnes is up there! He’s no nonsense and is generally very well written. Punisher MAX by Garth Ennis also breathed a fresh life into the character–Gabriel from Last Man Standing is pretty wicked, as well.
As for villain.. Bullseye from Punisher MAX by Jason Aaron. So wonderfully crazy.
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Ability to control time absolutely! Or to affect probabilities absolutely. Need cash? Probability of winning the lottery is 100%. Got a cold? Probability of you getting over it is the same. Get shot? Bullet hitting you is 0%. That’s… a really dumb power.
Marvel or DC?
Both! There’s pros and cons to either.
What the best way for fans to get in touch with you or purchase your prints?