I won’t beat about the bush here, Inuki Cosplay is one of my favourite horror cosplayers ever. Of all time. I was absolutely delighted to be able to interview him for this feature as he deserves much more recognition than he gets. If freaky and creepy isn’t your cup of tea, perhaps look away, but otherwise Inuki is certainly one to watch out for.
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Favourite food: Korean spicy BBQ chicken
Who or what first inspired you to start cosplaying?
Since I was a child I’ve been obsessed with Halloween and dressing up. I went to a local convention to help volunteer at a table and saw how much fun attendees were having in cosplay. Another event that helped inspire me was attending the local Zombie Walk every year.
What would you say is your favourite part of the costume making process?
For me it’s experimenting with, and learning to use different mediums. I cosplay a lot of creatures so I get to play with makeup and prosthetics, lots of different kinds of foam, thermoplastics, fabrics, paints, adhesives and electronics. One of the great things about horror and post-apocalyptic characters is all the weathering techniques involved, and you don’t have to worry about a clean or “perfect” looking product. It’s a bit like impressionistic painting, where the details are there to serve the whole. I also really like making things functional. For example, on my Keeper cosplay from The Evil Within, I used real door hinges on the helmet and backpack and on my Springtrap cosplay I used elastic to make the jaw move along with the movements of my mouth.
Photo by Juan Rostworowski
It all sounds rather complicated, but what would you say is your most complex build to date?
That’s a good question! It’s probably my Springtrap cosplay. It was my first time working with upholstery foam, and building something like a mascot outfit. When I made Springtrap other people had done Five Nights at Freddy’s cosplays from previous games, but nobody had done Springtrap as the third game hadn’t even been released. I had very few reference images. Aside from the moving jaw and soldering the electronics for the eyes, I was able to transfer a lot of building techniques over from EVA foam armour builds. For example, I used straps and buckles to connect the pieces together over a black bodysuit so they wouldn’t slide around. The gloves were a creative invention, I used fabric gloves as the base but then held the finger joints in place with wire so that they would be more proportionate to the rest of the body. I love looking at tips and tricks from haunters (people who design haunted houses), I think the wire thing was an idea from how haunters build what are known as “stalk-arounds” or lurkers, which often have PVC arm and wire hands. Another functional thing most people wouldn’t know from looking at it: I attached the ears to the head with Chicago screws so that they could easily be removed for transport without damaging them.
Do you have a dream cosplay you’d like to work towards? Could you use anything you’ve learned from past cosplays to help with this?
I have a lot of dream cosplays, though it seems like the list of what I want to do is constantly changing. I’ll name a few of the more ambitious ones. I’d love to do John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). There are several versions of that which would be really fun to make, including the mutating dog version. I think some of the work I’ve done with latex in the past could help, but I would have to pick up a lot of new skills. Another cosplay I’d love to make would be an Ohmu from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. I like it because it’s a creature but because of the insect’s exoskeleton, it has an armour-like quality. It’s a bit different from anything I’ve made previously. I had ideas to make it so the pieces all come apart since it’s segmented. I think some of the larger builds I’ve made would help inform how to structure something like that. I’d also love to do a Final Fantasy summon, maybe the Doomtrain from Final Fantasy 8 or one of the creepier versions of Bahamut. Who doesn’t want to make a Bahamut cosplay though?
If you could you back in time and give newbie Inuki any advice, what would it be?
My biggest piece of advice was a lesson I learned the hard way. I threw a lot of money and energy at too many different projects I was excited about, but did not have the time I needed to do a good job on them. I always do year-end review posts of what I made, and back in 2013 it was twelve cosplays. The following year I got that number down to eight, and last year it was only four new projects, two were more elaborate. I’m not saying there’s a gold standard for how many costumes someone should make per year, but if you’re wasting money on materials for costumes you don’t have time to make properly then it’s really important to reassess your choices. I’m at the point where I see it as more beneficial to only make one new project a year if I can wear it to a lot of events and I’m satisfied with the caliber of the work. My biggest weakness is when some themed event is announced or new game gets released and I end up frantically making that thing last minute. It stops being enjoyable and just becomes stressful at that point.