Interview with Vorian Cosplay

It’s time for another interview, this time with Vorian Cosplay! He’s a well-known charitable cosplayer from California, who enjoys detailed prop work and helping others!


Vorian Cosplay out of costume

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Vorian Cosplay is my alias and I’m afraid it’s not terribly creative. Vorian is my middle name. Back in 2013 when I started down this path, it seemed like the right name and it stuck.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I officially started in 2014 with my first convention appearance at Denver Comic Con. I had no idea what I was doing. I was terrified and excited at the same time.

What got me started… Early in 2013 I started following the scene on Twitter and became friends with a few notable cosplayers who encouraged me to cosplay. They told me I’d make a great Captain America and while this was intriguing (I always loved Cap. He was one of my all-time favorite superheroes), I didn’t think I’d ever devote time and money into actually doing cosplay. Then, sometime late in 2013, I ran across this story of Lenny Robinson, the Route 21 Batman. I learned how he would dress up as Batman and visit sick children in hospitals. His story touched me so much. I thought, if Batman can do this, why couldn’t Captain America do it too? And it began. I had to learn how to sew parts of my first costume together, do metal work to make my shield and much more. Years later, I have a growing charity and I’m having more fun in cosplay than ever.

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. I like working with so many mediums. I do enjoy foam work. Especially since my buddy Steven started up his own cosplay foam company, HD Foam  – since his stuff is so much easier to work with than floor mats, but I also enjoy 3D printing. I like taking something from a mere idea (such as my class-mod for my Borderlands Axton cosplay), drawing it and printing it and bringing something to life from nothing. That’s pretty fun. Metal work is also fun. I’ve made something several Captain America shields now and that work is always rewarding. But I think in terms of materials, I LOVE leather work. It’s SO easy to work with. It’s strong, doesn’t fray and there are a ton of ways to fasten or sew it.

In terms of the overall construction of a cosplay, it’s so neat to see a cosplay come together. Especially when you started with nothing but an idea and weeks later, you’re standing in your creation.


Vorian Cosplay as Captain America from Marvel Comics, photo by Leo Photography

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I’m just excited to keep growing my charity, Cap for Kids. Sponsoring more pediatric cancer-fighting families, doing more character visits as Cap or Batman or a few new characters as well. Just, generally making people’s lives a little bit better.

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
There’s so much to unpack here. First, I like originality and creativity. This is one of the main reasons I love Dragon Con every year. You see such creative cosplays – things you would have never thought to be a cosplay, yet is so awesome. Original designs, unlikely mashups, play-on-words characters, etc. It’s so much fun. I also get excited (like anyone else) when I see a character that I love done well. For example, there was an amazing Morpheus (Matrix) cosplay at Dragon Con this year and I kinda squealed because I LOVE that character and the guy looked straight-up like Laurence Fishburne. But my most favorite thing in a cosplay is when the cosplayer is just having so much fun. When you see that they let go of their inhibitions and embrace cosplaying and generally have fun. I love that. Doesn’t matter if the cosplay is duct tape and sticky notes or some $3000 monstrosity, if they’re having the time of their life, it makes me happy. In terms of who does it well, that’s tough to say. I know SO MANY killer cosplayers; some with a gagillion followers and some who fly under the radar but have equally amazing cosplays and some who pop out a new closet cosplay every few days. These guys are all amazing.

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Overall, my view is that it is what you make of it. I personally love it. It’s my global family. I have dear friends all over the world now because of cosplay. Also, compared to other communities out there, I’ve found the cosplay community to be the most accepting, friendly and kind community. I think this is because most of us are nerds who were picked on and made fun of a children and this allows us to see that commonality in other nerds like us. Additionally, being treated poorly by others growing up, I believe has created stronger empathy to be able to relate to other people who struggle. That said, I’ve seen people who surround themselves with negative people (every community has them) in our community and thus have a negative perspective on the cosplay scene.

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Increased empathy and a move towards more positivity. I’d like to see more cosplayers building each other up, encouraging them and cheering on their successes.


Vorian Cosplay as Strike Commander Morrison from Overwatch, costume by Seraph Cosplay, photo by Modified PhotoGraphics

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
First, please, I know it’s super hard and it’s a big ask, but DO NOT compare yourself to other cosplayers or use others as a judge for how good (or bad) of a cosplayer you are. First, cosplay in itself is not a contest or competition. There are, of course contests and competitions that you can get into but competing is a topic for another blog post. Overall, cosplay is about having fun, showing your love for characters and showing your artistic side. Whether that be through your craftmanship or by becoming a character through a cosplay made by someone else.

Also, give yourself time to learn and grow. I say this because I’ve met too many cosplayers who just give up on a cosplay because they aren’t an expert. Think about anything in your life that you’ve gotten really good at. Whether that’s something at your job or playing a musical instrument or expertly sniping elite gamers in Overwatch (as some examples), you didn’t wake up one day and having never done the thing before and were suddenly an expert. You learned over time. You made mistakes. You failed. But you kept at it and months or years later, you’re a pro. The same goes for cosplay. Be willing to forgive your mistakes and learn from them and most importantly, keep at it. Look at every cosplayer that you admire. They all started where you are.

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Dragon Con is my fav. It’s the world’s largest cosplay family reunion. Most of my friends (from East coast, West coast and everything in between) go. So getting to see all of them in person is a treat. Plus, I enjoy marching in the parade, plus as I mentioned, the cosplays are freaking amazing. Lastly, it’s not in a convention center and thus doesn’t have opening and closing hours. People start coming in on the Wednesday (some even on Tuesday now) before Labor Day and the party keeps going until Monday. It’s a bit insane but also wonderful.

Katsucon is probably my second favorite. It’s a lot like Dragon Con but a smaller scale. Also, as a cosplayer and a cosplay photographer, the natural lighting is fantastic for photos.

Blizzcon has been one of my favs because I’m a total Blizzard freak. I play Starcraft, Diablo and Hearthstone as often as I can so getting to be in that world is wonderful. That said, Blizzard has been doing some questionable things under the heavy hand of Activision lately and I don’t know. I hope it’s good this year but we’ll see. I remain skeptically optimistic.

One of my new favs is Wondercon. Like Blizzcon, it’s held in the Anaheim convention center, which I love (so much nicer than LA) and the con itself is actually really nice. Good people, fun cosplays. I went for my first time this year and now I plan to go every year.

Of course, the biggest convention for the charity is Denver Pop Culture Con as we have a booth and are the official charity for a few of the afterhours events there. And being my old hometown, it’s got a special place in my heart.

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
Hmm. Random. Perhaps I’ll answer with some answers I give at most conventions.
“Is your shield metal?” – “Yes. It’s metal.”
“Where did you get it?” – “From my garage.”
“How long did it take you to make?” – “Each one takes roughly 12 hours.”
“How many have you made?” – “I’m up to 12 now with more on the way.”

Another one might be that my Captain Lantern cosplay is an original design that myself and Or Hadar from GunHead Designs collaborated on and now that lycra suit can be purchased by anyone on Kinda fun. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Vorian Cosplay as Captain Lantern from an original concept, photo by Affliction Photos

Thanks for the interview, Vorian Cosplay! You can check out his charity’s website here and his Facebook page here!

About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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