Cosplayin’ like a villain

Cebu cosplayers bare secrets of the craft, share thoughts on the season of scares

By Patricia May P. Catan

 

MAKING costumes and playing dress up has always been a well-loved tradition during Halloween season. It’s enjoyed by both children and adults alike. Not only is this art form popular during the spookiest time of the year, but costume making is something that people like avid cosplayers enjoy doing for most days of the year. Cosplayers are no strangers to playing dress up, which make them the right people to run to for Halloween costume ideas. If you have zero knowledge what’s best to wear and where to look for costumes on Halloween night, six of Cebu’s prominent cosplayers share some tips on the art of costume making that might fuel your creativity.

Joebert Cimafranca as Reaper from Overwatch

Joebert Jude Cimafranca, 33
Freelance Graphic Designer

Who are you cosplaying and why?

This is Reaper from Overwatch. His design looks powerful, dark and bad-ass. On the surface, he is a villain that only knows vengeance, but peel it away you see he is a suffering soul yet methodical and efficient. I like characters that have layers behind their visual appeal. It makes one appreciate them more and gives me that crazy push to make a full costume out of him.

What got you into cosplaying?

The people you meet, the challenge it brings and the wonder it creates. Cosplaying is a great medium to show one’s creativity in events or photography.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from the characters I admire, other cosplayers abroad and my friends. Many have shown great talent (here and abroad) in the craft and this is what gets me inspired.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

Ninety percent of the time in Colon. I dare say it is Cebu’s Divisoria. From fabrics, foam, leather, school supplies to electronics, there is not an end to what surprises you might find around its busy streets.

Where do you get your costumes made?

I make them myself.

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

A full week’s worth minimum to a month or two for very elaborate costumes.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

You can transform yourself into a mafia lord with coats and vest found in most thrift shops. Add a fedora for extra flair. There are also characters with simple outfits like Luffy from One Piece, Pokemon characters and Fin from Adventure Time. There are many great examples, you just need to look around.

Do you have some make up tricks?

If you plan to change your eyebrows, hide them first by using glue stick before applying foundation or concealer and then the eyeshadow.

To attach a fake beard, mustache or basically anything to your face, use spirit gum. It is like make up glue.

You can also use transparent medical tapes as make up tapes. This is used to reshape your chin or jawline by stretching your cheeks.

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Engr. Alan Villarias as “Junkrat” from Overwatch

Engr. Alan D. Villarias Jr., 29
Electronics and Communications Engineer
Props Maker

Who are you cosplaying and why?

I’m cosplaying? Jamison Fawkes a.k.a “Junkrat” from the game Overwatch. I cosplayed him because he’s one of my favorite characters to use in the game and based on his appearance and characteristics, we have some in common.

What got you into cosplaying?

I got into cosplay through an unexpected invite by a college friend. They said they were forming a group dressing up as characters from the anime One Piece (one of my favorite animes). I said, “Count me in” without second thought. After that first experience, I was able to meet new friends who share a common interest and hobby. The best part was that I was able to express myself through the character I portrayed. Also, I got hooked in props making. I practiced and learned through the years up until today, which now became a favorite hobby of mine.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from my fellow cosplayers. We tend to help each other by sharing and teaching each other techniques on how to make props, do make up and how to perform on stage. Seeing how we are so into the hobby makes me want to improve and do better on each of my following cosplay.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

I generally buy materials for my costumes in downtown Cebu, Freedom Park and Colon. It’s a treasure trove for props maker like me. There are a lot of potential materials for props found in these areas. I also buy some stuff online like wigs, contact lens, and other materials not available in store here in Cebu.

Where do you get your costumes made?

It depends on the type of costume. If cloth related, I sometimes have it commissioned or sew it myself or scavenge the “ukay-ukay” shops in downtown and modify it. For props and accessories of the costume, I usually make them myself or buy them online

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

I roughly spend around P500 to P3,000 depending on the type of costume. But if you have a creative and innovative mind, you can budget your costume using alternative materials and techniques.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

There is this what we call a Closet Cosplay. It’s using clothes found in your closet. You add a little something like a wig, good make up, an iconic accessory or item that will make it look like the character you want to portray but in casual attire. For example, you can wear baggy clothes then get round glasses and draw a lightning scar on your forehead.

Do you have some make up tricks?

First, you must learn basic make-up then try practicing contouring. It’s one of the make-up tricks that will make you look like the character you want to be.

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Mai Sasakura as “Orochimaru” from Naruto

Mai Sasakura, 29
Content Creator

Who are you cosplaying and why?

I’m cosplaying Orochimaru from the anime series Naruto. There’s no one answer to the reason I cosplay him but bear with me. When I cosplay, I naturally gravitate towards characters that aren’t the main or hero ones so I usually favor the side characters or the villains and Orochimaru was one of them. I loved this series so much growing up and in fact, I have cosplayed three other characters from it. Another reason is that I am into makeup as a hobby and sometimes a side gig, so I wanted to challenge myself by trying to copy Orochimaru’s whole look by using body paint and it really made me happy when I learned how to do it and achieved what I wanted to go for.

What got you into cosplaying?

It started as a natural progression from my love of Halloween and costumes as a child. I always saw these American shows and movies on television growing up and I was confused why kids dressed up in costumes during certain holidays. That’s how I knew of Halloween and trick-or-treating. I didn’t know about cosplay until the early 2000’s and I was hooked when I knew that you can dress up in anything no matter what time of the year.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

It’s mostly from shows that I grew up watching and series that I really love. I only cosplay characters that mean a lot to me, so I guess that’s why I still get inspired even after almost 10 years doing it.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

I buy from anywhere, really, depending on what I need. I scour fabric shops, accessories stores, and even go online.

Where do you get your costumes made?

I mostly make my costumes, but when the design is too complicated or when I’m pressed for time because of work obligations, I have it commissioned or made from dressmakers I trust.

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

For me, there are different levels of difficulty when it comes to a cosplay costume and your spending can depend on how much you want it to be as accurate to the character as possible. If you know how to sew parts of your costume or craft details, you’d be able to save money but you’ll need to spend effort and time to make up for it.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

There’s actually a lot to choose from and some of the pieces may already be in your closet. Cosplay is not exclusive to anime and cartoons so you can dress up as characters from live-action films, video games, manga, TV series, and comic books as well. A few great examples would be Luffy from One Piece, L from Death Note, and No Face from Spirited Away. If animated shows are not your thing, there’s Waldo from Where’s Waldo, Chloe from Life is Strange, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, and Tifa Lockhart from Final Fantasy VII.

Do you have some makeup tricks?

The best way to get familiar and be comfortable with makeup is to practice. I started dabbling in makeup in my late teens and I have never stopped learning. Maybe it helps that I genuinely love it and consider it as an art form. In fact, I’ve delved into special effects (SFX) makeup because of it. My fondness for horror and grisly movies and games had me curious enough to try to recreate specific cosmetic effects that involve blood and wounds. I actually have a Facebook page where I showcase all my works, but it’s not for the faint of heart: Siren and Carnage Makeup & SFX.

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Izarzuri Vidal as “Hela” from Thor Ragnarok

Izarzuri Vidal, 29
Government Employee & Classical Singer

Who are you cosplaying and why?

The Goddess of Death Hela, the villain of Marvel Studio’s Thor Ragnarok. Don’t get me wrong but I have a big love for particular villains because their respective story is exciting to know about and gives you the idea on what made them who they are. There are Villains who thought about themselves as heroes and there are other villains who do not intend to be an antagonist in the first place. Hela is a complex character. She used to be an obedient daughter of Odin yet was misunderstood for her ambition and conquests all for Asgard. Odin’s order for Hela’s imprisonment for many years made a turning point which then changed her and became the villain in the movie.

What got you into cosplaying?

As an artist, you appreciate a lot of things related to the field. I happen to be one of those people, which is why I got myself directly drawn to cosplaying. Other than that, I have a cousin of mine named Jazmyn Villalva who encouraged me to finally try cosplay on Otaku Fest 2016. and since then, I have been participating in events and contests.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Moral support from family and friends. They are the reasons I continue to pursue my love for this art.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

I buy them at certain textile and home material stores. I also search for materials at a thrift store like ukay-ukay. In my case, I always combine new and recycled materials for my costumes because it saves a lot of money and makes you resourceful in creating your costume.

Where do you get your costumes made?

I have a family friend named Imelda Igot Dilao, or Nang Emmy for short, whose skills in sewing costumes are amazing. She happens to create all of my basic suits and basic dress costumes. While for the detailing and gear, it’s a combined effort from me and my family.

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

My estimate would be more or less seven thousand, especially those grand type of costumes. But if on a budget scale, it’s less than two thousand.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

I would probably say a suit that is made of upper lycra and leggings. One time, I made a Negasonic Teenage Warhead costume for two hours using my old black lycras and an old yellow shirt which I attach to make the details of the costume. Resourcefulness comes handy on this part.

Do you have some make up tricks?

If you want to achieve a closer resemblance, it is important to study the character’s face and look. For Hela, I have to observe Cate Blanchett’s facial features and the grudge look eyeshadow. So, I follow the contouring make-up to adapt those facial features and adapt the eye colors to recreate the whole look.

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Kert Tabana as “Yomi” from Ghost Fighter

Kert-Jan Tabana, 26
Corporate Trainer

Who are you cosplaying and why?

I’m cosplaying Yomi from Ghost Fighter who is one of the most underrated villains in the series. I like him in particular because he has always been the most relaxed character with the biggest plan in execution. A lowkey genius.

What got you into cosplaying?

What really got me into cosplaying were my friends who were big anime fans back when I was in early college. One of them saw this event poster where someone was in a Zoro (One Piece) costume and suggested: “Hey Kert, let’s join and let’s all do what they’re doing!”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I mainly get my inspiration from a lot of foreign male cosplayers. One in particular is Kaname. There are more, but it has always been him since I got into this hobby.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

I buy majority of my costume’s materials from local stores here in the city. The wigs, I order them online. The props and accessories, I make them myself.

Where do you get your costumes made?

I usually have a seamstress ready to help me out for the costume parts that are made of fabric, and I just make the props and accessories myself.

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

I spend roughly P3,000 plus, depending on the costume’s complexity.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

Zombie costumes! You just make some fake blood, get dirty clothes, and probably buy some contact lenses that white out your pupil if you still have the budget.

Do you have some make up tricks?

I just know very little prosthetic make-up techniques. I haven’t fully incorporated them to my cosplays.

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Josh Andrino as “The Joker”

Joshua Andro Andrino, 32
Junior High School Art Teacher

Who are cosplaying and why?

I’m cosplaying The Joker. Although this isn’t the first time I’m cosplaying this character, this version is an amalgamation of different interpretations of the character from graphic novels (Killing Joke), games (Arkham Asylum) and from a TV Series (Batman: The Animated Series). Why cosplay him? He’s an interesting character. He is unpredictable, happy with chaos and he proves his points through “jokes” that only he can understand. He is the perfect villain to someone like Batman who is grim and serious, a polar opposite. Batman is for justice while Joker is for discord.

What got you into cosplaying?

What got me into cosplaying is being just a hardcore fan I guess. The first time I cosplayed was way back 2009. A friend told me about an event (ARCHCon), so I decided to join. I’ve been cosplaying ever since. I’ve joined competitions here and in Manila. But I’ve been an anime/comic/movie enthusiast ever since I was a kid.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m normally inspired by things I am a fan of like comic books and movies. I’m drawn to characters who are quirky and have visual appeal like villains. Not just any bad guy type but villains with compelling characterization, swagger and confidence inspire me to cosplay. Family is also a great source of inspiration and they would continue to support by attending the cons I’m in and my students as well who would watch the events I’m in or cosplay with me.

Where do you buy materials for your costume?

Sometimes I make the bits and pieces of my costumes using whatever that is I can find. As for my Joker make up, I bought some of the materials in the mall or anywhere that sells make up and lenses. I order the wigs online. Ukay-ukay spots are actually great places to find clothes for the character, and helps to save money.

Where do you get your costumes made?

There are times I would personally make the small parts of my costumes, but for the larger portions like weapons or armor, I would ask help from my friends who are props makers.

Roughly how much do you spend for a costume?

Around P3,000 to P6,000. I try my best to keep it within that amount and avoid buying materials in bulk.

What’s an easy DIY costume to make last minute?

An easy DIY for me would be armor platings and small weapons like prop daggers.

Do you have some make up tricks?

For my Joker look, I enhanced the “scary” aspect by wearing yellow contact lenses. It also helps to smear certain parts of the make-up, like on the lips to have that blood-like effect.

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