It’s time for another interview, this time with Grandus! He’s a long-time cosplayer from Washington, who makes some seriously awesome stuff!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Grandus. It was given to me by a good friend of mine. He wanted to help me get in shape, so he nicknamed me after the biggest, blockiest Transformer ever. Look it up in Google; this thing is ridiculous looking.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
About 9 years now. It was all my wife’s idea, but it wasn’t a hard sell. I’ve loved anime since I first really saw it in the early 90s, and I’ve not only done theater, but was an independent pro wrestler for a while. So it fit right into my likes.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Craft foam and styrene. With a mind for three dimensions, you can create an array of inexpensive but durable props, armors and accessories.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Wonderflex, EVA foam and el wire. They’ve been on the “try me” list for years and I’ve seen a lot of fantastic costumes pulled off with them.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I like to see creative ways to pull off ‘impossible’ costumes. The quality of costumes has come incredibly far over the years. One guy that inspires me is Volpin. His Big Daddy costume is awe-inspiring.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It seems to really vary depending on where you are. Out East, they take things super seriously, yet up here in the Pacific Northwest, we seem to just have fun with it.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
The cattiness and picking on ‘bad’ cosplayers. Places like /cgl on 4chan, while often helpful, can just be ridiculously cruel as well. For most of us, this is something we do for fun, and we all started somewhere. Some of the ‘cosplay famous’ could stand an ego check too.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Learn as much as you can. Ask people for tips, go to workshops, and figure out how to work a sewing machine and a bandsaw.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
SakuraCon is my home con, but I also have a lot of love for KumoriCon. Its attendance has taken a hard hit due to PAX, but its one where folks to go and just seem to have a lot of fun. As my wife and I have started up a small business, we know limit ourselves to cons where we can get into their AA/Dealer’s Hall only, but we have been trying to get into Steamcon as well.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
The sword for my Auron cosplay (which finally met its demise at SakuraCon’s cosplay chess last year) was actually thrown together 3 days before its con debut. The first version, which had been carefully cut and sanded wood, split when I was inserting its metal support core rod. Despite being a last second substitute, it came out much better than the wood version and lasted for several years.
Thanks for the interview, Grandus! You can see more of his work on his Etsy store he has with his wife!