October 3, 2014 by brennon
Tabitha Lyons of Artyfakes has recently been appearing more on the wargaming radar thanks to her work with Corvus Belli in re-creating NeoTerra Bolt from Infinity in cosplay form. So, with Halloween just around the corner and people already thinking about costumes we thought it would be cool to find out a little more about her and what tips she could offer to budding cosplayers!
BoW: How did you get into cosplay/larping?
Tabitha: I got into Larping when I was 8 years old. I saw an advert for a system called Lorien Trust in White Dwarf magazine that I got from Games Workshop. Live Action Role-play then led me to the world of Cosplay in 2012 when Artyfakes made a awesome Skyrim inspired range!
What is that makes cosplay such an interesting hobby to pursue?
It takes my love of fandoms to another level! Not only can I make new friends that have the same interests as me but it also pushes me creatively. I also get to be more involved with the things I love, whether if it’s watching a show, playing a game or making props.
How long does it take on average to create a piece?
It really does depend on what the piece is. For example a sword from start to finish can take as little as two days. My Skyrim armour on the other hand took two weeks!
Fortunately for my dad and I we are used to working to high pressure, short turn around time frames for Artyfakes, so we have learned to make props quickly!
Do you ever find yourself giving up on a project and starting again from scratch?
It can happen! If we are not happy with a product and don’t think it has that Artyfakes stamp of approval, we will scrap it and start again! Especially if it’s for a customer rather than for ourselves. We only want them to have the best.
What are the best materials to work with?
Different jobs require different materials. Most of the props we make need to be durable to take a “bashing” but also are light to hold and be comfortable to wear as you’ll be using them all day. That’s why we prefer to use foam and latex. We know it won’t break if the customer needs to put their cosplay in a suitcase or wants to use the item over and over again.
Which has been your favourite cosplay piece to work on?
It’s very hard to choose! I have done quite a few now, and whatever piece I’m working on at the time is the one I favour. If you are not loving and wanting to make a cosplay it probably won’t get completed!
Do you think there’s too much reliance on accuracy with some cosplay pieces and there could be more focus on original takes on existing characters (for example Steampunk, Sci-Fi, Fantasy versions of characters from other genres)?
I think people love to try and get the correct accuracy but also love to be creative so its kind of a balance! It’s always such a pleasure to attend convention and see peoples twists on existing characters. For instance I love the whole post-apocalyptic feel and think Red Sonja is so badass – that’s why I had to join the two together.
Which has been your favourite event to attend?
I honestly can’t chose!! They are each great in the own way. I had such a great time going to America for the first time and attending Gen Con so that will always sit in my top three.
If you could ‘horror-fy’ one character for cosplay who would it be and why?
I always see Halloween as being a time when it’s all about having fun, and wearing a silly costume. If I had to horror-fy an existing character I would probably choose something that is seen to be a bit more innocent like the Stay Puf Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters! I was brought up with Garfield, I had them everywhere! So maybe a demonic Garfield could be fun too! Those are the first two that popped into my head!
What cool cosplay would you love to do for Halloween?
No Idea! Cosplays not a problem, Halloween is always harder! Like I said something fun! I love buying cheap costumes that are already online and then just adjusting them so that would probably be what I’d go for.
With Halloween around the corner what tips would you give to people just getting started (easy cosplay outfits, cool characters they might want to recreate etc)?
Witches, vampires, zombies and cats are always great first starters and fun too! Like I said buying costumes online and fixing them up is a great tip for someone starting out as it breaks you in slowly.
A big thanks once again to Tabitha for taking some time out from a very, very busy working week to answer some of our questions. Hopefully taking a look at some of her work and checking out our Q&A will inspire you to create something awesome.
Will you be doing anything cool costume wise for Halloween?
"...maybe a demonic Garfield could be fun too!"