It’s time for another interview, this time with Eridan! He’s a newer cosplayer from Washington, who loves cosplaying from Homestuck!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Haha, I love this story. If by “alias” you mean my signature or main cosplay, that would be Eridan from Homestuck. A couple years ago, the mspaintadventures forums used to own a Team Fortress 2 server and we would all play TF2 together on there. Since it was an MSPA server, many if not all of the players on the server at any given time had Homestuck-themed names and would trash-talk one another in character just for laughs. I wanted to get in on this, but I didn’t want to pick a character that anybody else played often, because I was a new guy and didn’t want to step on toes or cause confusion, so I read up on all the characters and said to myself “who is the absolute crappiest character in this web-comic that is so lame nobody would ever THINK to play him?” Eridan made that an easy decision. I am probably breaking a lot of fans’ hearts by saying I chose Eridan only because he’s so unfathomably bad that I would get a laugh out of putting him in a spotlight, but bear in mind this was back before 2011, when he was entirely an auxiliary character.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I officially began cosplaying in 2010, but I would attribute what got me into it as going much farther back, as far back as seven years. When I used to have a band, we would always strive to make ourselves visually unique, so our group wasn’t just the sound coming out the speakers, but the experience of seeing us on stage performing. We would perform in costumes like brightly colored military uniforms inspired by The Beatles, or dressed as a movie character or in a radiation suit. We even spent hundreds of dollars building our guitarist a custom guitar out of laser-cut plexiglass, neon wires, and LEDs that lit up on stage! It was a nightmare to maintain and weighed a ton but was certainly one of the most unique and memorable instruments I’ve ever seen. That thrill from dressing yourself up and putting yourself out there and amazing the people who watch you, that’s definitely where I found the urge to be a cosplayer. And it’s no surprise all my cosplays have been hybrid musical acts as well!
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
My friends. They are the most important aspect of any cosplay I set out to perform. It’s really intimidating starting a new cosplay and not knowing how to begin, how to create certain parts or materials or what tested methods work well. I have my own skill crafting and creating as well, but my friends always play an integral part. There is no cosplay I have performed to date that I can say didn’t involve working with my friends.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Experience! I look forward to when I’ve been cosplaying long enough to be able to help other people create their own cosplays and teach them any tricks I’ve learned over the years.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I like it when there’s character to the cosplay. Anybody can put on a ludicrously detailed costume and LOOK the part, but it takes a great cosplayer to walk the walk, and really make others feel like they are interacting with the character, not a guy in a costume.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Cosplaying isn’t much of a “scene” in my opinion. It’s something you do to show your appreciation for a work or art, or to showcase your costuming skill, or makeup skill, or other performing abilities. That’s an art form in its own right. It’s the same thing people do with fanart, but I don’t hear people talk about a fanart scene. Trying to make it into a “scene” or introduce competition or “rules” could ultimately have a negative effect on the community that enjoys it, and discourage new people from starting up.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Definitely what I said earlier: the “scene” concept. Fandoms that take things too seriously are quick to collapse into a bunch of little cliques outcasting people they don’t agree with, to perpetuate some arbitrary standards they feel everyone should be held to. That’s not what cosplaying is about. It’s about having a blast; not about hoping you did something “right” enough to get “accepted”.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t be afraid to show off! People will only put as much confidence into your cosplay as you put into it yourself. If you’re timid and hidey, you’ll never get the appreciation you deserve.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
PAX, Penny Arcade Expo, Pax Prime, whatever you choose to call it. By far my most attended con and my favorite. I used to love performing on the Rock Band stage until the Rock Band fad passed and they don’t set it up anymore. ;.;
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My Ahab’s Crosshairs is still a fully functional Nerf gun. ; P
Thanks for the interview, Eridan! You can see more of his work on his Tumblr!