Cosplay Confidential – Brian J

A few weeks ago I profiled one half of one of my favorite Maryland area cosplayers, Danah D., and now this week’s CC spotlights her boyfriend, Brian, one of the coolest guys I’ve met on the cosplay circuit. If you’re in Baltimore this fall make sure to keep your eye out for them at the Baltimore Comic Convention.

Name? Brian J
How did you get into cosplay? I guess I would be lying if I didn’t say I was one of those kids guilty of jumping around in the basement dressed up with makeshift costumes and props pretending to be whoever I saw on TV. This is probably where my love of dressing up began before I could find a name for it.
How long have you been doing it? Well, I officially began cosplaying around 8 years ago, when I went to my first convention.
What was your first costume? My first convention costume was at the age of 16 or 17 and I dressed up as Ash Ketchum.
What’s been your favorite? My favorite costume has got to be my Iron Superman (for lack of a better name). It is basically Iron Man armor with a Superman paint job – hair swiggle and all! It was the first time I ever tried making armor but I just kind of jumped right into it and had a blast!
What was the hardest costume you’ve done? The hardest costume I have done so far has got to be my Legion cosplay from X-Men Legacy. I am normally great with shapes and piecing things together, but this was my first sewing project where I did not have any patterns or physical references, especially on a ready-to-wear piece (a puffer vest).
How much money do your costumes take to make? My costumes all vary in prices but it is pretty safe to say that they remain within the $70-250 range (including the times I have messed up and had to restock on supplies).
How much time does it take to make an average costume? I suppose the normal time it takes for me to make a costume with the pains of having to snap back into my daily work and academics would be a little over a month. The Iron Man costume is an exception, taking me about two and a half months to complete. What I found kind of awesome though was that I decided to remake the costume (still sitting in my closet waiting to be worn at a convention) and I managed to complete it within a week!
What makes it so rewarding? While having your pictures taken and everything is great, what I find most rewarding about cosplaying – the reason I spend weeks to months making a costume I am only going to wear for one weekend – is the amount of enthusiasm I get from the comic creators or the fans of the characters that I come across. I don’t really cosplay anybody that popular but seeing people come up who actually recognizes who I am and show such passion for the character definitely makes all of that work worth it.
Do you have a regular group you partner up with for costumes? Danah, my girlfriend of four years now, is someone who I have loved to cosplay with. We always brainstorm costumes together and cosplay has just become something that we have always shared. When I met her, I discovered her love for fashion – styling clients, writing in her fashion blog, watching all the fashion week runway shows religiously, and casually modelling on the side. While myself – between playing video games, watching anime, and reading comic books – the character design has always been something that amazed me the most. I suppose you can say cosplay is a great hobby that the both of us could share together.
What would you say to people who have thought about doing cosplay, but haven’t quite worked up the nerve yet? Honestly, just do it. Cosplay is something you do for yourself. As intimidating as it may seem with the thoughts of what people may say on the internet or something, we cosplay because it is fun.
We all gather in these conventions because of a common interest and that is our love for things that many are afraid of talking about around friends, family, or people who may just not understand. Though we are not perfect, we are still part of a community who can sympathize and empathize with one another. One where there are still many people out there who look to make it a more accepting and non-judgmental atmosphere for everyone.
Do you have a website people can check out more of your costumes? I do not actually have a portfolio or website of any kind. The best way for someone to see my cosplays would be to follow me by my Instagram: Kneepawn – if they do not mind seeing a bunch of pictures of food, selfies, and cats as well!