Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight. We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community. Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.
Von Vasser McClendon III
Location- Knoxville, Tennessee
Occupation- Ingredient Handler
How did you first get into cosplay?
Always loved dressing up on Halloween like many people and around late 2009 I discovered cosplay.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
For FUN! Always fun! No matter what! I do want to take it the next level with fan films and acting. I want to bring the characters to life.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I basically buy all my Cosplays and modify to my liking. I’m always striving to improve my old Cosplays while buy/modifying new ones.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Weeks and sometimes a few months. I planned ahead my cosplays way ahead of time.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Wang-Tang from Power Stone. Not only my Dream cosplay but also my only Obscure Cosplay.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Recently my Gender Bender Wonder Woman cosplay got featured on a magazine among others in honor of Wonder Woman and during the release of the Wonder Woman movie. I was ecstatic!
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Always fun! Especially for group photo shoots!
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I have 8 cosplays planned for 2018 and 8 planned for 2019. Basically, these are heavily requested from friends. You’ll see on my social media places.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Mainly it’s the competition aspect and the taking it too seriously. Not to mention discrimination, elitism, and more. It’s discouraging to many cosplayers and it shouldn’t be.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Gaming and comics mostly. I don’t mind anime as well. Not to mention I do celebrity cosplays which have been a huge hit for me.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
LOTS of persistent research! I’m always looking what I can find on cosplay sites and the like. It’s definitely helped in making all my cosplays a reality thus far.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Online websites mostly and a few local shops.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
Haven’t really had a big obstacle yet. But so far It’s the matter of getting all cosplays done in time for cons and events. Happened only two times.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Absolutely. Time management is the biggest thing and planning ahead.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Do any cosplay you want. New to cosplay? Start out with something simple and go from there. My biggest rule! HAVE FUN! encourage others to cosplay at least once.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
Became mainstream as expected for better or worse. Honestly, I don’t pay attention because I don’t consider myself a part of it for my own reasons. However, it’s amazing how many cosplayers are there around the world. So much talent and creativity.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Devil Kazuya from Tekken 7. I love the design and how much the devil form evolved from the previous games.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not really. I mainly figure the best deals with my cosplays and go from there. Most of all it’s the planning way ahead of time.
What does cosplay mean to you?
Cosplay is costume play as any character via a portrayal. You’re the very essence of said character.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Nothing. I’m a cosplayer until I die.
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- Totally Crystal Clear Photography
- Atomic City Photography
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