Greetings gay geeks and gaymers! Our cosplay crush this week is one of our own, cosplay correspondents: Foamsmeef Kyle from Pensacola, Florida! We’re catching up with him over a year later to see what he’s been up to.
Which characters have you cosplayed as since the last time we interviewed you?
Archangel from X-Men: Apocalypse, Hecarim from League of Legends, Sidon Ithano from Star Wars, and some random other things. Harry Potter stuff here and there.
What conventions/events have you cosplayed at since last year?
Collective Con in Florida, Dragon Con in Atlanta, Pensacola, C2E2, Pax South good definitely not a cosplay convention but still fun regardless. It was still nice to be invited and do panels. But it did seem to fall on a small group.
Dragon Con is my favorite but C2E2 is a close second. Dragon Con giant adult party. You just go in amazing costumes and get awesome recognition and compete in amazing contests. And 90% of the time you’re wasted. Dragon Con is throughout eight hotels and you can drink the entire time.
What new things have you learned cosplaying since we last spoke to you?
Started working more with prosthetics and special effects. Sculpting, casting, molding. They all work in tandem, you sculpt something then cast something, and make copies. But it’s a work in progress, it’s really difficult to get the right mixture and materials.
It’s an unfamiliarity problem but I’m getting the hang of it. One of the reasons why I didn’t do a lot of cosplay was because I went to a special effects seminar with teachers from Face-Off and learned about casting and sculpting and molding there. I got a scholarship and everything. And that was last May.
What cosplay projects have you been working on?
I have 4 due in the next coming month of May. One is an armored Gijanka Pokemon. The other ones are an original Dragon Age character. I also want to do a Behemoth FFXV. I’m so excited! And I need to finish my Thunderbird Farah Skin from Overwatch. I literally have my booth and it’s taking up my entire living room. It’s a 10×10 space. Trying to build up a frame for it right now.
How have the conventions changed from when you first started going to now?
Now I am guesting and getting paid to guest at conventions. And I invented and produced my own cosplay foam line. It has the properties of L400 and EVA Foam. So it’s super workable and you can heat it up and mold it. L400 make it carvable but it’s really compact so it’s easy to make the make the shapes.
How did you even come up with that?
I had some of my coworkers translate from English to Chinese to explain to the manufacturer. I came up with it because there was no supply that fit cosplay needs. I needed it to be smooth, durable but also moldable, and I wanted it to be affordable so other cosplayers could take advantage of it.
Has being LGBT affected how you cosplay?
It hasn’t affected my choices in the characters I choose but it has affected how I treat other people. And how I emphasize acceptance in the community, especially in the competition realm. There’s a lot of cattiness and talking about each other.
And I like to preach everyone has their own way of doing cosplay. And whether is matches your idea or not, you should still be respectful to other people’s art or how they want to interpret it.
It’s really hard for cosplayers to look past the comparison factor because it’s usually a really big thing to compare yourself and your cosplay to other people’s work. And I think that stems from issues in the past of a nerd’s life of unacceptance. And I try to emphasize you don’t need to compare yourself, just accept yourself and other people’s cosplays and go from there.
What issues have you noticed between being a cosplayer and being an openly out LGBT cosplayer?
The parallel that just like in the gay community you can have a lot of bickering and community fighting when the ultimate goal should be unity and togetherness. Because that’s how you have power. So I think it should be the same in the cosplay community rather than tearing each other down, build each other up.
Is there divisions in fandoms where certain fandoms are looked down upon as childish or strange or weird. Even in the weird community, which is really unfortunate. You’ve got bronies and furries and even Steven Universe lovers, a lot of them get pushed to the sides as being either amateur or weird, or not accepted.
But also, the division with cosplay and different levels, you could say, where you have someone who is more experience critiquing people who are less experienced. Or someone less experienced and comparing themselves to better people. The novice cosplayer who hasn’t done it very long compares it to professional cosplayers. The ultimate goals should be fun. People miss out on the play part of cosplay too much.
How do you feel about these people who are charging for pictures or time to talk for cosplays they’ve done. Hey, can we interview you? Yeah, if you pay me $50 bucks?
My personal opinion, there’s a happy medium where cosplayers have been treated as an afterthought. Where many people go to conventions to meet and learn from seasoned cosplayers, and a lot of convention owners see cosplayers as convention goers. But, I think that cosplay has a huge light in the community and is only getting bigger with shows on Sci-Fi costuming and cosplay is becoming a larger portion of the convention circuit.
I think cosplayers should be afforded to be paid to teach and pass on their skills. With a good professional cosplayers, you have someone who has an amazing costume who will be there the entire convention for the photo, meet and greets, and who will run panels, demonstrations and pass on their knowledge.
They will also act as the face of the event and host, and give a presentation and speak at the convention. I don’t think it’s the best thing for cosplayers to charge for interviews since the main goal should be to spread the love and the knowledge and get more people involved. That’s my goal. I don’t necessarily think they should put a price tag on everything they do.
If they want to monetarily support the cosplayer they can do tip jars or Patreon. I think the whole point of cosplay is to share the love and community and get more people involved because who doesn’t want to dress up as their super hero?
What upcoming events will we see you cosplay at again?
Next convention is Mobicon in Mobile Alabama, it’s a local small con but it should be a great time. I’m going to be a guest and a judge for their cosplay contest. And San Diego Comic-Con. For SDCC I’m going to be working with Gaymer Base as a cosplay media correspondent and making Youtube videos and I plan to bring several things to SDCC.
Probably my Persona 5 character. Yuisuke and I’d like to make Dark Elf Assassin from Morrowind. And hopefully, Behemoth if I can get it done.
Any new tips for people who want to start cosplaying?
Make mistakes. Don’t give up. Each costume will be better than the next. And to have fun.
If anyone wants to look or find out more info about the cosplay foam you can find it here. Everybody should watch Cosplay Melee!