Thanks for your positive reception to our special member feature. As part of a promotional push for new “local-con-on-the-block”, Chi-Fi, We Are Cosplay asked members to post their favorite Science Fiction/Fantasy creativity with the hashtag- #wearecosplay and #chifi. There was such a good response that our friends at Chi-Fi donated seven 1-Day passes to their inaugural con, in the heart of Chicago’s Loop. From those winners, we asked Rom the Space Knight’s cousin, Ran the Space Randomizer, to select our featured member.
So let’s meet Wisconsin transplant, and Chicago resident, 20 year old, Bevan Sukowaty.
“Now where did i park that jet…”; photo by Martin Huizar Photography
Character wise, who’s on your “done it” list? Who’s the favorite?
“Eevee, White Mage (Final Fantasy), Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman (Odyssey), Wonder Woman (Classic), Squirrel Girl, Kyrie (Devil May Cry 4), Clicker (Last of Us), Poison Ivy, and Batgirl.
My favorite is definitely the classic Wonder Woman. She is such a powerful character to embody, and wearing that costume makes me feel strong. Plus, she’s got a lasso of truth. How can you say no to that?”
Your must read/play/watch at the moment?
“Well, to read, I would have to say Harry Potter… haven’t read it all the way through. I’m ashamed. To watch, it would be Batman TAS… again, ashamed. To play, I would have to say Red Dead Redemption, though I highly recommend The Last of Us if you haven’t played it yet. It will blow your mind.”
Who are your favorite artists/writers/publishers/game studio/whatever?
“Favorite artist is, hands down, Nebezial (http://nebezial.deviantart.com). He just does wonderful, unique illustrations of my favorite superheroes. I can’t help but want to cosplay all his versions of characters. My favorite writer is Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), and my favorite game studio is Square Enix… gotta love Final Fantasy.”
What got you into costuming/cosplay/propmaking/fx/photography/etc.?
Pika-who?! We choose you, Bevan.
“Well for years my family did this haunted house thing for Halloween. We would all dress up and try to scare off trick-or-treaters. Harmless fun [laughs]. Then one day, my friend asked if I wanted to go to a convention with her. She said we could dress up and buy things and I thought it would be fun. I went for one day and wore my very first costume- a poorly made Eevee costume. I was so excited though! I went and had an absolute blast. I cosplayed randomly for the next year or so, but it was kind of fading out of my system. Then, two years ago, Dante Drake asked if I wanted to go to Wizard World. I figured I would go. It was my first comic convention and I loved it. I saw so many wonderful costumes and had the best time. However, it was the people that really got me hooked. Everyone was so kind and they welcomed me right into the community. To this day, cosplayers are some of the closest friends, and we’ve kind of made our own little ‘family’. I’ve been addicted ever since.”
Do you think you’re treated differently as a female cosplayer then a male cosplayer?
“I think that, as a female cosplayer, I get treated a little differently. Not badly, but I feel like the public tends to lean more towards female cosplayers. A female will generally have an easier time getting noticed than a male cosplayer. But overall, I feel like people enjoy a well-made costume, regardless of gender. If you put the time and effort into a costume, people will appreciate it.”
What’s your typical process when taking on a new project?
“Step 1- Pick a character. I usually base this on the look of the character, how well I know them, and my knowledge of how to make the costume. I also occasionally choose based on suggestions from others, or the need for a character. The list grows quickly, as you can imagine, but eventually one of them gets picked to actually be made.
Step 2- Research, research, research. Pictures, facts, other peoples’ costumes, tutorials on pieces, you name it. That generally takes the longest for me. After I feel I have more information than I need, I move to step 3.
Step 3- Start getting materials. Fabric, paints, tools, other miscellaneous things. Anything you may possibly need. Pull up tutorials and see what others may have used to get the job done.
Step 4.- Procrastinate until about two weeks before the costume needs to be finished and go into a panicked, costume-making frenzy. That way you can ensure that the costume is made with as much sweat, tears… and occasionally blood, as possible.
Voila! Your costume is done.”
Have you met any of the artists/writers/filmmakers/etc. Who’s work your costume is based?
“Sadly, I have not. I have met people who have drawn costumes I would love to do in the future, but as of now, my list is pretty short with who I’ve met. But who knows, maybe in the future I’ll be able to meet some of the masterminds behind the designs.”
Are your aliases known to everyone, and how do they feel about it?
“I don’t have one. I’m like Wonder Woman or Tony Stark. I don’t need to hide who I am from the world. I have thought about creating one, but honestly, it seems like a lot of work trying to keep the two worlds separate. I’m A-OK with having people know who I am. Now nicknames, that’s another story entirely.”
Most interesting Con story?
“My most interesting con story would have to be winning Best Group at last year’s Kollision Con. Me and Dante Drake decided to go to the convention with our Last of Us cosplay. The costumes were brand new and weren’t even finished before we got to the con. The night before we were still sanding and wearing down the clothes, but eventually we got them done. The next day, we started getting ready bright and early. We hadn’t done many full makeup runs, so it was kind of a panicked trial run. However, we finished getting ready… a whopping two and a half hours later, and walked on down to the con floor. Now for those who don’t know what a Clicker is, it’s a zombie with fungus growing out of the front/top of it’s head.
Kollision Con 2014; photo by Zatoyoshi Photography
My mask, trying to be accurate to the character, does not allow me to see very well. Dante basically had to lead me by hand all through the con. Eventually, we got to the signup for the contest. It was a bit of a wait, but we got our turn in front of the judges. Turned out, one of the judges was a huge Last of Us fan, so we chatted with him for a while and he told us he really liked our costumes. That was basically it. We left, feeling happy, but not expecting much from the contest. Eventually it came time for all of us to go on stage, which was a bit terrifying for me considering I couldn’t see the stairs. We posed, the crowd cheered, and then we walked off. There were still a lot of entries to go and a half-time performance, so we decided to go back up to the room. We figured we’d go back down in a bit to see who had won. We waited about twenty minutes and then went back down. People were saying congratulations to us while we walked back to the contest. We got there and found out we had missed the announcements for the winners. Everyone who was still in the room cheered as we walked in, and [were] handed our trophy. I felt a bit embarrassed, having won but not been there, but no one seemed to mind too much. It was such a cool feeling to have a costume we had spent so much time on and spent a crazy amount of time getting into, get such a great reaction from everyone.”
What Con are you most excited to one day attend, or return to?
“I would definitely say I am most excited to go to Dragon*Con. I have heard so many stories, both great and surprising, and it sounds like an absolute blast. I am excited to see the costumes and just feel the buzz of the cosplay community. After that it would be C2E2, which also has a life of its own, and then ACEN, which never seems to stop moving. I have other cons on my list, which are there for a reason, which is simply, they are awesome cons. They wouldn’t be on my list otherwise.”
What do you like to do when you’re not costuming… other hobbies?
“I used to ride horses, still do occasionally, but honestly, my life is making costumes. I love sewing and building things. I have also tried taking up Photoshop and Bodyart, both of which people seem to appreciate. My other, non-official hobbies include playing videogames, drawing, and dancing… poorly I might add. I am also going to school for animation, so hopefully one day I can make that hobby a full-time job.”
Costume groups, or solo- which do you prefer?
“Honestly, I love both. Solo costumes are fun because you are able to stand alone, have people recognize your character by itself, and feel powerful and awesome. But then you take the solo character and you add characters to it and you have a group, which is just an absolutely indescribable feeling. You have people standing by you that support what you do and want to have fun with you. It’s great to be in a group, especially if you are ever nervous about a costume or costuming in general. But honestly, whether or not you decide to be part of a group, cosplay is such a rewarding experience, it won’t really make a difference. You’ll have a blast either way.”
What’s next? Dream project?
“Well I’m currently working on finishing up my Batgirl and Poison Ivy, but after that, I’m not exactly sure. I have been talking about making Samus armor, but I am not exactly sure when that will get done. I think I may take a costume making break after I finish up these costumes, but who knows, I may find something I just ‘need’ to do [laughs]. My dream project is definitely Belle from Beauty and the Beast, but I need to learn more before I’ll feel prepared to start that.”
left to right: Samus Aran, Princess Belle
You can follow Bevan’s projects in the We Are Cosplay facebook community, through her facebook page, deviantart, and Tumblr.