Somnacanth from Monster Hunter
I’ve been cosplaying for 9 years and every time I choose a cosplay I like to add something new to my skillset. Sometimes it’s from a franchise I’m deeply familiar with and sometimes it’s just something that catches my eye. Somnacanth was an example of the latter. I saw the concept art for the armor and was immediately drawn in by how different it was. The colors, the design, and the potential to add my own details to the armor was what attracted me. But I don’t like being ignorant of the source material and I hadn’t played Monster Hunter in years, so I started picked up Monster Hunter Rise. What I love about the game is the creature and world design, as well as the ability to craft materials into your own weapons and armor.
Although the world of Monster Hunter doesn’t technically have magic, there are similar qualities to the experience. The Somnacanth Armor reminded me of something inspired by mysticism and the creature itself has almost supernatural qualities that I wanted to capture in the amor and details. I love finding new technology and incorporating it into my cosplays. With a recent project I discovered tiny LCD screens that play back eyeball visual effects with movement. I knew I wanted to incorporate that into the monster head prop. However, I had never used that technology before and so it took some time to learn and master the coding needed to customize that effect as well as the wiring involved.
One of my favorite aspects of cosplay is connecting with other creators and “talking shop”. Each year, NYCC draws extremely talented individuals to compete in the Crown Champsionships of Cosplay. I’ve been able to meet some truly amazing makers who are so giving and passionate about sharing knowledge within the cosplay community. NYCC was one of the first conventions I returned to in a post pandemic world and so it’s special to me in that way.
This was my third time competing in the Crown Championships at NYCC and while I had won a category in the past, this was my first time placing in the contest. It’s truly an honor (and so humbling) to be recognized by such inspiring judges and stand alongside other cosplayers who are at the top of their game. I’ve never travelled to a convention that hasn’t been within driving distance from my home. The chance to attend C2E2 for the finals and meet other cosplayers from around the country and the world is thrilling! I hope to make the Monster Hunter community proud!
Something I really love about cosplay is seeing people’s reactions to something I’ve worked so hard on. With my Somnacanth Armor I was especially proud of all the details I added. From hand beading to lighting sfx and foam smithing to 3d modelling I am floored when people get to see the details I’ve added. There’s nothing more gratifying than someone saying “look at this…but then look at this….and then there’s this!”
I love sharing knowledge about making things. When someone reaches out with a question about how I did something, or how they can learn a new skill it feels good. I hope my passion for this craft and community comes across in what I share.
Cosplay has given me the opportunity to have a creative outlet among a group of likeminded people. Growing up, my father always taught me that age is just a number and if you love something you should embrace it. He passed away just before I started cosplay as a hobby and so I threw myself into it to deal with my grief. I was initially reluctant to share my hobby with those in my everyday life, but as I learned more about myself through crafting, I became more confident and proud of my creations. I realized I wanted to be the person that younger me would be proud of.
I know a lot of people find them creepy, but I really just love gnomes! I’m totally dating myself, but I grew up watching a cartoon called David the Gnome. Gnomes have always kind of followed me throughout my life. Friends and family give them to me as gifts. They’re all over my house in small and large ways. I even have two gnome tattoos!
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