Hey guys! Welcome to another weekly installment that we like to call Cosplay Friday. Weekly we try to showcase cosplayers who we think are pretty noteworthy. Recently I came upon Ve’loria from @veloria.solo.cosplay when her cosplay was shared by a user on instagram. I found myself creeping through all her cosplay photos. Impressed by her selection of cosplay and the work that goes into building them, we reached out and were so pleased to that she agreed to let us get to know her a little better.
[Temple of Geek] Tell us a little about yourself.[Ve’Loria] I am a pint sized ball of enthusiasm that likes to make stuff and geek out over people’s creativity, games, comics and movies. I love making costumes for me and my husband to frolick around in at cons! I’m also on a podcast about cosplay, conventions and general geek life called Cosing A Problem.
What was it about cosplay that you like so much?
I realised I’m happiest and most fulfilled as a person when I create things or can be creative. I grew up loving painting and drawing but I’m a major procrastinator, and often other things push these hobbies out so I never get to actually focus time on doing fine arts. Since cosplay typically has date-based deadlines and is wearable art, I actually am motivated to finish projects, which is rare for me otherwise. I love the community of cosplay because there’s very few other forms of art where people are inclusive and open in sharing their techniques and tips, and really help foster newones to hone their craft.
What was your first cosplay and what made you decide to do it?
I had been unintentionally cosplaying since high school, my friends and I loved dressing up in themes to see the movies we loved. My first real handmade gateway costume was making a shotty Burt Ward Robin costume for a costume party. I marathoned Batman the Animated Series while building it and loved the whole process. (Robin is my favourite comic character because he is selfless, understands the bigger picture and that being the main hero and the accolades that go along with that mantle isn’t what is the most important thing, it’s doing what needs to be done, and doing it with a great personality.) When I actually went to the party all decked out, I realised I had only accepted the invite so I would have a goal to make a costume for. We stayed for a bit and ended up leaving to play board games in costume at a local McDonald’s. My foray into con cosplays was for Star Trek Vegas where I made a Borg, Vulcan and Voyage Home Admiral uniform for the journey.
What has been your most recent cosplay?
My most recent finished cosplays are Symbiote Spiderman (where I’m caught in my TASM2 suit trying to break free from the Symbiote that is trying to take over me) and Storm of Asgard. For Symbiote Spiderman I painted on a venom emblem, cut up a black suit, puff painted the webbing on the Spiderman suit, devised a custom method for making a 3d chest spider symbol, installed shoes, and sculpted a symbiote jaw and tongue. Storm of Asgard I made a hammer of holding where it had a secret magnetized component inside to house my phone and other things I needed for the
con, the feather headdress, armor and all the clothes.
How do you decide on what cosplays to do?
I suffer from Cosplay Attention Deficit and my list of cosplans changes daily. Its a problem . In the end, I think it is a mixture of wanting to embody characters I love, or seeing designs that I think would be really fun to make . Occasionally I also get
motivated to create certain characters to do group cosplay, which is incredibly motivating (I can let myself down but when you’re committed to a team, you don’t want to let them down!) and fulfilling.
What is the process of building your cosplay?
Typically I finally get fired up enough to commit to a character. Then I bubble forth about it to my friends or publically so I can establish a semblance of public responsibility. I then research as much as I can and collect reference photos from as
many angles as I can from the movie or show, or from action figures. I then template out the costume myself on illustrator or on myself with the duct tape method. I look for materials and try to find the cheapest options. Then I usually get lazy and procrastinate til the deadline is looming them I con crunch like a maniac. Usually I don’t put any real work into a cosplay until a month give or take before a convention, which is a mistake considering I work full time, have very little free time and keep
choosing increasingly difficult builds.
Which cosplay was the biggest challenge for you to put together and why?
My Marvel Cinematic Universe Falcon was a huge leap in terms of fabrication and engineering for me than my previous builds. It required figuring out the mechanics of how to make the wings move and articulate, and working with new materials like aluminum, polycarbonate and other such things. Also the screen b accurate details on the harness and wings were crazy and as someone who loses herself in getting every screw, bolt and angle, I definitely was very particular about getting every minute detail right. Did I mention that the wings in the movie were completely CGI? When all was said and done, they were almost 10 ft wide, and were assembled completely for the first time on the con floor. PHEW!, that was a bit crazy, but a fun
Which cosplay was the easiest for you to put together and why?
My generic Storm cosplay was made in about a week, and was pretty simple besides learning how to make spandex thigh high boots. I threw it together to do a shoot with an X-Men group at the actual movie X-mansion itself and got to circle back to being Storm on the playground at recess with my friends in elementary school. Because there wasn’t much to the costume, it inspired me to take on Storm of Asgard as a more inspiring design build. Either that, or my Winter Soldier build, mostly because I made it up as I went along. I do have a tutorial on my Facebook page with my methods.
Which cosplays have brought you the most satisfaction and why?
For me, my satisfaction with Cosplay mostly comes from the progress section. I enjoy getting my hands dirty and covered in adhesive and, at the risk of sounding like any evil supervillain scientist, just the feeling of raw creation. Honestly I don’t know if I have a favourite cosplay. I like trying new things so my favourite cosplays are always what I’m starting to work on next.
How do you feel about where you are now as a cosplayer as opposed to when you started?
When I started I had a completely different outlook. I’d go to one con a year and had no reference of other cosplayers. I think I slowly starting to get better at not procrastinating and I have met so many amazing builders. Each time I pick a new build I tend to learn new skills so I’m always growing. Now I think I’m so much more in the mentality of wanting to build new cosplays it’s hard to not watch a movie or show and have my mind entertain what it’d take to physically build a certain propel or costume.
Are there any future cosplay that you are currently working on?
I am currently con crunching on a duo cosplay for me and my husband. I am making Gladiator She Hulk and Thor from the arena scene from Thor Ragnarok for Emerald City Comicon. It’ll be my find experience with body painting and tackling the helmets, armor, shoes and 4 weapons for the two of them will be a challenge with the deadline.
Do you have a cosplay bucket list of cosplay you want to eventually do?
Oh man, I have an eternally shifting list of projects I want to take on. After She Hulk I have my heart on Batgirl, but I wouldalso love to do a Jackal Pharah (woo armor central!!), Resistance Pilot Poe Damron, a DC Bombshell, Samurai Stormtrooper and more ! … though I’m sure this will change in a week.
Are there other cosplayers who have or do inspire you?
Constantly!! I’m mostly inspired by super positive people in the community that build amazing stuff but are super great about giving advice, tips and tutorials about how they make stuff. People like Punished Props, Evil Ted, Kamui Cosplay, Egg Sisters Cosplay, ZonzonZonbi, Jackiecraft, Downen Creative Studios, Coregeek, Armored Garage, SKS Props, Modulus Props, Day Germia, Spicy Thai Design, Jechts, … I could do this all day. More than anything, everyone who is creating stuff they love any learning new things inspires me.
What kind of stuff are you interested in outside of cosplay?
I nerd out about board games, tabletop rpg games, movies, tv, comics, history and art.
What advice do you have for someone who is new to cosplay and wants to get started in it?
Watch as many tutorial videos as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask questions . So many amazing makers share their knowledge and there’s a wealth of knowledge online, just absorbs it all like a sponge and everything will seem less overwhelming. Pick a character you LOVE to start, so when motivation wanes or frustration rears its ugly head you can push through. Don’t be so hard on your mistakes and celebrate your accomplishments!
Where can our readers check out more from you?
I’m mostly active on on Instagram as @veloria.solo.cosplay. I lurk on Twitch and (rarely) Facebook under the same name.
Born and raised under the California sun. Monica can be found around the Southern California comic book and pop culture convention scene. She can usually be seen either behind the lens of her camera or in cosplay. Lover of all things geeks but especially Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Star Wars and Star Trek.