Welcome to the second month of our regular dual monthly cosplay features. Every month we feature a UK and International Cosplayer. We will get a few details from them about what drives them and how they started. In the case of the UK Cosplayers, we will feature an exclusive shoot and for the International Cosplayers, we will showcase some of their work, and if they ever make it across to this side of the world, we will update their profile with an exclusive shoot of our own.
Name: Tabitha Lyons
When did you get into Cosplay?
I started last year in May, My first convention was KAPOW! That’s really when it blew my socks off to this whole new world of cosplay.
How did you get in to Cosplay?
I work for a company called Artyfakes Action Props which make foam and latex props. I love the game Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Who doesn’t? Every so often Artyfakes does a photoshoot to show of what we can do and we really wanted to do a Skyrim inspired range. Once the photos hit the internet it went viral. I couldn’t believe how crazy it got. We received a lot of feedback with a certain word repeatedly popping up. Cosplay. I had to find out what it was, and that’s when I found the Kapow convention.
What was your first cosplay?
It’s quite hard to say what my first cosplay was as I used to cosplay before I even knew what I was doing. The first cosplay I made for a convention was She-Hulk.
Which has been your favourite cosplay to date?
My favourite cosplay to date is my Dovahkiin. I upgraded the cosplay and wore it to my second convention, MCM London May 2012. The event was 10 times as big as Kapow (and even though I still love the more personal events) the response I got was incredible, it took me 4 hours to walk 100 meters.
What has been your most difficult cosplay to date?
All cosplays can be difficult in their own way, cosplays I’ve done can be very hot and heavy as its mainly armour, but as I like to LARP I’m used to running around in heavy costume. If I had to pick one I would choose She-Hulk, even though the costume wasn’t hard to make, having green hands when you want to pick up one of a kind comics is not fun!
What’s the shortest amount of time you’ve ever spent producing a cosplay?
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever spent producing a cosplay?
How many cosplays on average do you produce a year?
As many as I can! I’ve not done a full year as yet so I’m very intrigue to see how many I can do for 2013! I cosplayed 7 last year
Do you set targets for your cosplays at the start of the year, or for specific conventions, or just produce them as you find the time, or find inspiration?
I find it’s a bit of both, you start off with your plans at the beginning, and then your mind just gets carried away – There are so many amazing characters out there you just want to do them all!
Talk us through your usual cosplay producing routine, do you spend time on planning, gather all the materials and then start, or do you produce as you go?
Always plan. There’s so much to consider when making a cosplay, I like to be prepared as much as I can before diving in. However if I think of a better way of doing something while I’m making it, I’ll happily adapt as it usually makes the cosplay 10 times better, you learn from your mistakes.
What cosplay would you like to do, but have never had the time/money/knowledge to produce?
When I was a young girl I loved the Dragonlance books by Tracy Hickman and Margaret Wise – there is a character in the books, a lady called Kitiara, a dragon rider. One day when I have time and money. I WILL ride a dragon to a convention as the kick arse character that is Kitiara.
Why do you cosplay, what draws you to it?
I’ve LARPed since I was 12, so have always been a fan of making costumes, and now I work in the family business making costumes and props it’s the perfect hobby for me. Not only do I get to have fun in a costume that I’ve put my heart into making, it’s appreciated. I also get to see what other cosplayers have put their heart into. It’s a rare thing going to a convention everyone is accepted whether you cosplay or not. It’s a great feeling.
What is your favourite cosplay memory?
There really is so many, from going to a bar with fellow cosplayers when you friend randomly turns up in a cosplay you made him to smothering your friend in plaster. If I had to choose it would be at Kapow, my first ever convention and I came 3rd in the cosplay competition. It was the perfect way to welcome me in to cosplay – not to mention the Avengers goody bag
Any bad cosplay experiences and lessons learned from it?
I can’t say I’ve had really any bad experiences, the only one that springs to mind was when two alcohol intoxicated gentlemen were getting a bit too friendly with their camera but my friend Xena saved the day. They were outside of the convention halls so this could have happened anywhere.
What is your favourite convention to cosplay at and why?
It’s hard to choose as I have only been to two and there so different from each other so would be unfair to say. All I can say is I hope to go to more this year
Any advice for new cosplayers?
If you have a large cosplay, make sure you have a handler, someone to help you get through doors if you have large wings, carry a bottle of water for you that sort of thing.
Any advice for cosplay photographers?
Get to conventions as early as you can as you want to see as many cosplays as you can
Any advice for convention goers / fans?
If you go to conventions and haven’t cosplayed, try it! It makes the experience that much more fulfilling!
Tabitha Lyons Exclusive Cosplay Shoot
The shoot below was photographed by StealthBuda near the Royal Albert DLR Station in London. Tabitha is cosplaying Rogue from the X-Men.