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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.
About Siege Cosplays
My name is Jonathan. I work as a housekeeping employee at a hotel on the Las Vegas strip, which is the city I’m born and raised at. I’m 26 years old. Outside of cosplay, gaming is my thing as well as being a firearms enthusiast. I don’t watch much TV, but if I do like a series/movie, I try to find them on DVD. I also speak Spanish and I’m in the process of learning Portuguese.
How did you first get into cosplay?
I was graduated out of high school at the time and I was browsing gaming characters on search engines and I stumbled onto pictures of people dressed as characters I recognized.
After seeing them, I thought it looked cool and wondered how it was possible (I didn’t know anything about cosplay at that time) and I got into a new hobby.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’ll be honest about this. My intention isn’t to turn this into a career because my original intent is to have a good time working on cosplay projects and wearing my gear at conventions when possible, even Halloween is included (btw, my favorite holiday ever).
Even if I don’t become famous, I still continue what I intend it for, to have a good time and share my work with others.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I’m not much of a maker of cosplays, mainly b/c sewing and crafting isn’t much of my thing. I do buy my gear using various sources and go from there. Either way, we’re all investing time and money onto them.
My main goal whenever I buy my gear is to make sure the cosplay in question is as accurate as it can get.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
I tend to work on my projects when convention time is at a halt for me, that way I have plenty of time to work on whatever projects come to mind.
It goes from months to maybe at least two years. Even when it’s “supposedly” done, there’s always something that I didn’t add that I eventually add in the future. In the end, each of my projects have had changes that weren’t there originally.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
Demon Snake from Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
Demon Snake is actually Venom Snake (drenched in blood and a large shrapnel piece on his skull).
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
My most memorable would have to be when I wore my cosplay for Demon Snake at ALA 2016 (Anime Los Angeles). I wore that cosplay with the intent to wear it for day two only. Despite my intent, it got so much notoriety that I ended up wearing it again on the last day of the convention. I originally had another cosplay I was going to wear, but that changed after the results of day two of the convention.
I did get stopped a lot for day two, which I wasn’t expecting, but it got to me, which is good. I also was invited to a gathering that wasn’t originally arranged, and it did so well that I stayed longer than planned.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I do see the potential about group cosplays, especially for gaining additional notoriety since it does look good on pictures and gaining exposure from any media covering the events.
However, it’s not my thing b/c I’m more of an independent that works on own time when it comes to cosplays.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
Right now, projects are very limited since I worked on plenty of them last year. As of now, my only new project is Albert Wesker from Resident Evil in his STARS gear.
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
Unfortunately, whenever there’s a community, there’s always toxic people that ruin the hobby in all ways possible (Harassment, stalking, drama with others, you name it). For one, I don’t like to get involved in drama. However, I don’t condone harassment and I continue to raise awareness about this.
Social media is a great way to share our talents, but it’s also a poison that we’ll run into, no matter what. We just have to be prepared by either ignoring them or getting help from others..
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
Usually characters from games or movies with a military or law enforcement theme to them.
Many of my cosplays are based off of fictional works, while some are based on the real deals. However, I strictly wear them only on conventions or other events where putting on a costume is encouraged, such as Halloween for example.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Researching and searching for the supplies I need.
Before I get a project started, I do lots of research on how I want them done and see as to how I plan on getting them. My key thing is for as much accuracy as possible. Although, sometimes sources do get limited and I’m forced to work with what I have available.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Ebay has always been my biggest source for materials. I also check with local businesses as well. I try to shop local to be more supportive of local business.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
That’s a tough one, I’ll admit. It’s always bills to pay and car maintenance, but if I have to choose one, it’s cars since auto repair gets expensive. Luckily, I have my ways with them to keep the costs down. Either do it yourself or find somebody that can get it done w/out the high costs of an auto shop.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
You can’t always please everybody, there’s always those who are never happy. In the end, it’s not about what others think, but rather enjoying what you think suits you. Besides, if everyone was “normal” as they say, it’d be really boring.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
I’ve said this before and I will always say it.
Cosplay, is like a game with an “E” rating from the ESRB. It’s rated “E” for Everybody for enjoy. Don’t get discouraged by the jerks that ruin it.
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
As mentioned in my previous answers, it has its ups and downs. Despite the negativity that surrounds it, the bright side is we get more that join in to have fun and be with friends.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
My cosplay I’ve been meaning to work on is my Spetsnaz gear.
The problem with that… [is that] military gear from Russia isn’t cheap.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
It varies on how soon I try to get a project done. If it’s complex and costly, it’s going to take up more time to work on. It’s not much budgeting I’m worried about, it’s more of being able to get it done within a set amount of time and some projects had to get pulled b/c I couldn’t get them on time before a convention.
What does cosplay mean to you?
In my thoughts…It’s about escaping reality to become something I’m not and having a good time wearing what I’ve worked on.
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
It’s an answer that could change, but as of now, there is nothing. My activities may be limited, but I won’t be stopping just yet.
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