Today we're bringing another amazing Canadian cosplayer to the table. He's an incredible crafter, and full of great words. Read his interview below!
My name is Micheal or Mike, I'm sort of the Edmonton Halo Guy I guess. I go by Foam Forge Cosplay. I was born and raised in Ft McMurray Alberta, and have always been a huge nerd. I love to build and create stuff, and enjoy a solid first person shooter, and long walks on the beach? I'm bad at this talk about me thing. Sorry.
How and when did you get into cosplay?
I first got into cosplay when I was in high school probably 2004-ish but had no real ideas what it was about. My Aunt Cary gifted me my first ever set of Jedi apparel and we headed out to Worldcon in San Jose. I visited a few others here and there with her before finding my footing and making my first set of armour. It started with me seeing other Halo cosplayers at cons and wanting to be a part of that. Star Wars was the fandom that I was born into, but Halo is the fandom I grew into.
How did you come up with your cosplay name?
It was a collaborative effort to name who I was between myself and some folks I used to podcast with at Press Start to Join. People who build foam armour and props are foam smiths, and a necessary tool for a black smith is the all mighty forge. Plus I mean, it's got that alliteration that I love so much.
What do you do when you're not in cosplay or geeking out?
There's life outside Nerd stuff? That sounds like a joke but I mean I love table top war games, video games, and am super passionate about aviation. Specifically the kind of aviation that goes fast and makes things explode, but that's a different story.
For my day job I'm a(the) purchaser for a locally run distributor of Chapman's Ice cream. So that's a thing. Not super exciting but pays my bills, and lets me cosplay.
What is your proudest cosplay accomplishment?
Winning the Journeyman category at Northern Fan Con with my Master Chief build. I don't consider myself the best at cosplay. By any stretch. That sounds asinine but the thing is people poo poo so much out there about how something gets done, they tend to not care that it GETS DONE. Earlier that same year there was a bit of a melt down on a local cosplay forum. It started when someone talked trash about my wip (work in progress) stating that it looked like junk etc. It went a little nuclear from there and I wasn't even in the thread. I tried to shrug it off as best I could but it still sort of nags at me every now and again.
The win however feels a little like redemption. Bill Doran of Punished Props, Ali Williams, Pig Tails and Power Tools, and heck even Lane from Alpha Nerd said my build was good enough for that first place spot. So. Feather meet cap.
What cosplay(s) are you working on right now?
Shhh. It's a secret. Mostly because I have no idea what I'm really doing.
Who is your cosplay idol/inspiration?
I'm in it for the build. The makers. I don't really have just one. The fabricators that got me into this thing deeper are people like Bill and Brit Doran of Punished Props, Harrison Krix of Volpin Props, and for good measure Gabe Schulz of Lost viking props.
Because Halo. Their constant advancement of their skill, and tips and tricks of the trade pushes me to do better. That coupled with their willingness to talk shop, and help others just makes me remember the roots of what a community is. A rising tide raises all ships.
What is your dream cosplay?
As dumb as this may sound, I did it already in my ODST. It's rough around the edges but my first is the one I wanted the most. More than anything. So I jumped that shark. I keep changing stuff on it, trying to make it better or replacing things now that my skills have grown.
What is your favorite convention to attend and why?
It's hard to choose just one! Going and seeing all the cosplays that hardworking, talented people make is my favourite part of any convention and I've found that anywhere I go you will find that sense of cosplay community. I would have to give it to the local conventions (Calgary and Edmonton) though just because that's where I've met most of my friends.
Do you have any cosplay or convention pet peeves?
Prop check. The lack of consistency between cons and what is/isn't deemed safe. I feel like I take a spin of a roulette wheel every time I go. Even some things that are blatant violations manage to clear the desk while others don't.
Do you have any horror stories or mistakes you've made that others can learn from?
When I first started making Master Chief, it was my first foray into foam armour building. I looked for advice from anyone that would give it and did a lot of research. All that being said, when it came to sealing my armour for the first time, I used Mod Podge (a clear coating agent that dries hard) and learned that mod podge and foam DO NOT mix. The rigidity of the coating mixed with the flexibility of the foam left cracks in my armour. So my biggest tip, if you're trying something new, try it on something you don't care about.
Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for other cosplayers?
Do it. Don't over think it. Just find your feet and start walking. Research stuff. If you need help, then ask. If you need guidance, then plan and schedule. Don't cut that corner, don't say oh well. I don't care if it takes you a year, make the cosplay you want to make. Make the cosplay that you in the end are happiest with.
Do you have anything else you want to say, or add to this interview?
First if you ever see me out and about, I'm awful with names. I'm sorry. Secondly, I'm super shy. Sorry again. But seriously Please just say Hi. I like getting to meet new people.
And most importantly.
We are a community. You don't always have to get along with everyone, but don't hate needlessly.
Where can we find you on all things social?
Twitter but I'm almost never on there. I think I have like, 20 followers...
Vero: Foam Forge Cosplay.
I like to keep it consistent.
Photos for this interview provided by Hybrid Concepts Imagery, Greg Motti Photography; sourced from Foam Forge Cosplay's Facebook page.
I'm constantly blown away by his talent, and some of the advice he gives is so important for anyone to remember. Go give him a follow and watch him do more great things!!
If you or someone you know deserves a #FeatureFriday, then send me a message! All skill levels and people welcome!