Hello world! (what a happy title)

Hello lovely readers! My name is Jessica Schultz and this is my first post in my first blog ever! I intend to use this as a place to post my costume work and drawings, maybe a few short comics.  I would also like to write up a few tutorials to help fellow cosplayers. Of course, who knows where this will end up? I sure don’t! Here I am, don’t question the crazy.

I have been cosplaying for about three years now. All of them were made on a very tight budget and therefore not sturdy enough to last while in storage. This year I decided to finally step up my game and invest a little money into my work. My new outfits will definitely be able to survive more than one convention and storage in between. Here are some of my retired (aka broken) costumes:

My first attempt at costuming, Princess Zelda from The Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 64. Made it’s first appearance at Anime Expo in 2009. This was taken in my backyard, a few hours before we drove to the convention. Sitting next to me is my friend, Sarah, dressed as the poe collector; a lesser character from Ocarina of Time. She’s holding up a cage with a sign attached that reads, “Please don’t feed the poe”. As for my Zelda outfit, I sewed the dress with a generic pattern, altering it slightly for my needs. The purple portion was mostly guesswork and it doesn’t quite fit. Unfortunatley I don’t have a dressform to help me with fitting. The armor, crown, and waist were made with painting craft foam, my first experience with the stuff. The cloth hanging from the belt is some scrap fabric painting with watered down acrylics. The ears were bought from: http://www.aradanicostumes.com/elf_ears. It’s a great site with high quality ears for a decent price. The wig was a cheap ebay buy. I wish I had gotten help braiding it properly. All in all, the costume was a success, especially considering it was my first try. It was very popular, more so since I had Link wandering around with me. We were also photographed by Cosplay in America, a book of photographs of cosplayers from all over the nation. The photographer is a very friendly guy, and I highly suddgest checking the book out. It’s a lovely hardcover available at: http://www.cosplayinamerica.com/

And here is my companion costume made for my boyfriend, Alex. If it wasn’t obvious, it’s Link! From the same game. Also worn to Anime Expo in 2009. The photograph was taken in my kitchen, I don’t have very many pictures of us from the actual convention. A few can be found on Deviant Art, but I won’t post those since I haven’t asked the photographers permission. The pants and undershirt were bought from various thrift stores. They were huge to begin with, but with a bit of sewing I took the seams in. The tunic was sewn using a cut up shirt as a pattern. The hat is a basic cone shape. The bracers were made with the same sort of foam as my Zelda armor. They were covered with a type of fabric that resembles leather. I made the mistake of trying to spray paint it, not realizing the material wasn’t compatible. Even after leaving them outside for a few days, the paint didn’t dry. The mistake was easily covered with a layer of acrylic paint (which did dry!). The various belts, gloves, and shoes were bought from thrift stores.

And here are a few more pictures:

I think we wore there to Anime Expo in 2010. Vault Dwellers from the Fallout games. Alex is from Vault 108, a vault inhabited by a bunch of clones named Gary. I’m from 106, a vault in which psychoactive drugs were leaked into the air supply causing the inhabitants to go mad. Unfortunately I don’t have any detail shots of these two but the Pipboys were made with craft foam. Mine has a paper screen, Alex’s features an Iphone screen.

For Anime Expo 2011 I went as Lady Sylvanas, leader of the forsaken. Alex didn’t dress up that year. This was quite a learning experience. My body was painting using a combination of PAX and acrylic paint. I may go into more detail in a later post. The good thing: it stayed on. The bad thing: it made my skin break out like no other and I couldn’t smile or talk without it cracking. The armor is again made of craft foam, the top made of a bra covered in purple fabric. I bought boots and repainted them. As luck would have it, they came in a side too small so my feet suffered after hours of walking around. I wore this for two days, day one I had no ears on. Day two I painted the Zelda elf ears to match my blue skin.  There were a couple other WoW cosplayers there with equally exciting and amazing costumes.

We attended Comikaze’s first year in 2011. I am dressed as a Draenei in Season 11 PvP armor. Keep in mind, this was made before the armor was officially released (hurray for MMO-champions leaks!) Alex is wearing a tier 13 warrior set, as a human I guess. Although we dressed as alliance characters, we both play mainly horde. For the Horde!! All this armor was made with craft foam and paint. The horns were made of model magic. That was a mistake. Although model magic is light, it cracked and the sheer thickness of the horns prevented the insides from drying completely. The wig (oh the horror) was bought last minute. It’s hands down my least favorite thing about this costume. The hooves were surprisingly easy to walk in, though I had the alliance banner to help me balance. The only downside was that a screen in the shoe came loose and the head if it dug into my foot halfway through the convention making it very painful to walk. This time for the body paint I used a higher quality acrylic with PAX and my skin thanked me for it. The paint was very matte, but in a few of the pictures my skin looks extremely shiny. I have to admit that it looks a little awkward, but it didn’t look like that in person.

We entered into a costume contest and came away with honorable mentions. My friend Roseanne and my sister Amy came with us. Roseanne is dressed as Poison Ivy from Batman, Amy as a lightning saix from the anime Zoids. Amy also won an honorable mention in the contest.

Remember the cosplay in America book I mentioned? Well the photographer was at Comikaze and took our pictures! He sent me the high rez pictures in an email.

And lastly, the costume I wore to this years Wondercon, held in Anaheim for the first time. I didn’t make any of this outfit myself, instead just pieced it together from various sources. I used two pairs of gloves, one red, one black, cut the wrist (sounds morbid) and resewed them on the opposite colored sleeve. The pants were also made from two pairs cut in half then sewn up the middle. The red boot was spray painted, but began chipping part way through the convention. Day one I put black all around my eyes, day two I dared to get the white paint up close to the lid. The effect was better with more white, I think.

So that’s it! All my previous costumes. It’s time to move on to bigger and better things and improve the quality of my cosplay. Next up; Alextrasza and Deathwing! Hopefully in time for Comic-con 2012.

 

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Frekki

My name is Jessica Schultz and I'm a fun loving gamer with a passion for art, costuming, writing, and all things nerdy. During the week I am a game artist, and during the weekends I try to keep up with my costuming and writing. I always have a cosplay project to keep me busy until the next convention. I love helping other artists so if you have any questions at all feel free to ask!

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3 thoughts on “Hello world! (what a happy title)”

  1. Hi, it’s Whisperz. I followed your link from DA. I don’t have the words to say how awesome I think you are. Keep doing what you do.

  2. A friend and I are going to do Link and Zelda from the Ocarina of Time N64. Any advice? I thought about making it myself since I will have a year to do it in and I own a sewing machine. As far as I know right now, all I need to worry about is my costume. He’s working on his.

    Thanks. :3

    1. Hey there, Zelda and Link are a really fun pair to cosplay! Unfortunately my Zelda cosplay is older than this blog so I don’t have any progress pictures, but I’d be happy to explain to you how I went about making it! It was my very first cosplay actually. I’ve never been very good at making my own patterns, so the first step was to buy a suitable dress pattern from my local fabric store. My favorite patterns are by Simplicity. They make good but simple and easy to follow patterns. Make sure you invest in a nice fabric. Its tempting to want to try to save money here but the quality will definitely show. Also, try to avoid anything too shiny. The bridal fabric section is a good place to look. For her purple top thingy I uses a simple tank top pattern (again, bought from simplicity). I laid out all the pattern pieces and added some extra length to the back panels. Sewed it up as normal, then tweaked the cut as needed. The dress is so long that you won’t really see your shoes under it so pick something comfortable! I can’t stress that enough! The gloves are easy, those can be bought. Hew crown, shoulders, and waist/belt bits were all made from painted craft foam. But if you have money to spare I would suggest using wonderflex. It’s a little pricey but its easy to work with, it bends nicely, and it will be way more durable than craft foam. There are armor patterns online of Zelda’s armor specifically to give you a better idea on how to make those. Let’s see what else… oh! For her apron thing in the front I just used some scrap white fabric cut into the right shape and painted with fabric paint. You can get a nice gradient if you use the kind that comes in a spray bottle. Not spray paint exactly, but its applied similarly. Hope that helps! If you have any specific questions let me know and I will do my best to help. Cheers and good luck!

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