Cosplayer Feature: Kelton C

Kelton Cosplay

Jackie Estacado from The Darkness II
Photographer: William Tjhin

I usually look through a bunch of cosplaying photos because I love cosplay. People have sent me images of their cosplay (which you can too here, Subject: Cosplayer Profile) and I have post them onto our Facebook page. But this time, I actually received a photo of this cosplayer from a friend and I knew, I had to talk to this guy.

His name is Kelton C. He’s cosplayed Raiden, Jackie Estacado, Pyramid Head, and a variety of amazing cosplays. So I contacted him and we had a little chat about his cosplay life.

NR: You’re an amazing cosplayer and artist. How long have you been cosplaying? How did you get into cosplay and makeup effects? 

Kelton: Thank you! I started in 2006 so that would be about 7 years of cosplaying I guess. When I first started, I didn’t know what cosplay was. I was very into Japanese Visual Kei rock bands and Goth/Industrial music so after I got my first sewing machine at the age of 13, I made lot of clothes for myself. And then when I started buying CURE magazine (which is a magazine that features interviews with JRock bands), I saw the section on cosplayers who dressed as their favorite band members so I started doing that too. I went to my first convention dressed as Shou from the band Alice Nine – which was pretty terrible looking back. I didn’t have much knowledge in makeup and a lot of things I did were just based on pictures I had seen and the mini tutorials in magazines. I’ve always had a love for splatter, slasher and monster films so getting started on doing my own FX makeup wasn’t too difficult.

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Raiden from Metal Gear Rising
Photographer: Reinier Tinapay

NR: What’s the process for you picking and creating your character? How long does it take you?

K:  Usually I pick a character to cosplay when I’m playing a videogame, or reading a comic and I really like the design for the character and can identify with them. It doesn’t take me that long but sometimes I will pick characters and end up dropping plans for them because I’m not passionate enough about the character to make the outfit. I don’t think it’s a very long process for me to decide on the character but of course once I’ve settled on the outfit to make I have to calculate the material cost involved and if I can finance the project.

NR: What is the most challenging process of cosplaying/creating a costume? Which costume was the hardest for you to create?

K: Every outfit has its own challenges – I usually pick new costumes that will allow me a way to expand my skills in crafting. But the hardest outfit for me to create would probably be Raiden from Metal Gear Rising because I had never done a cyborg/mecha type of cosplay before. I had to redo the shoes three times because the first few times I wanted to make the heel a movable joint (so that it could function like an extra hand as it does in the game) but I had to scrap the idea because it wasn’t stable enough for me to run around on.

Raiden from Metal Gear Rising Photographer: Brian Lim

Raiden from Metal Gear Rising
Photographer: Brian Lim

NR: What has been your favorite cosplay costume?

K: I think it’ll have to be Raiden from Metal Gear Rising because I haven’t had such a severe man crush on a videogame character since Dante from Devil May Cry. Also I really love his character design as well as his back story of growing up as a child soldier who had to suppress his lust for violence and bloodshed.

NR: What are you currently working on?

K: Currently I’m working on another Raiden costume – his old cyborg body from the intro of MGR and Dracula from the upcoming Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 game that’s out next year.

NR: You have so many awesome cosplays – have you ever been contacted by the creator or the actor of the character?

K: My cosplay of Jackie Estacado from The Darkness II game and comic series of the same name was featured by 2K Games on their page when they had a booth at a small gaming event in Singapore and eventually Marc Silvestri, the man behind the comics, noticed it and featured it on his Facebook page. That was a huge honor for me because I am such a huge fan! Also I posted a work in progress photo of my Raiden costume during its construction and it was featured on Konami’s official Facebook page too. Sadly it’s also hard to get noticed in Singapore because it’s a really small country we don’t get a lot of big names coming for conventions besides the annual Toys, Games and Comics Convention.

Kelton Cosplay 3

The Executioner from Alice Madness Returns
Photographer: Vaxzone

NR: You grew up in the US and now live in Singapore; do you notice a difference in cosplaying and cosplay lifestyle between here and there?

K: Actually I moved to Singapore at the age of three, so I spent most of my life here. My first American convention was Wonder Con this year and it’s really different from any convention I’ve ever been to. Firstly the scale of the event as well as the artists who attend. I was literally giddy from the experience because it was so surreal and I had a lot of fun. But based on my experiences interacting with cosplayers from Singapore and the US, people in the US tend to compliment others on their costumes a lot more. Even if they don’t know what character you’re doing, they’ll appreciate the craftsmanship that went into your work. In Singapore, people will only compliment you if they know what character you’re doing and are a bit more reserved when it comes to approaching you. Maybe it could be an Asian thing I don’t know. Also, Singaporean and American cosplayers don’t have access to the same kinds of materials so we have to find ways around it.

NR: Do you plan on attending more US conventions? Maybe Comic Con?

K: Yes definitely! I’m moving back to the US in February 2014 for school and for work so I’m really excited. Conventions that I’m definitely going for are San Diego Comic Con, Dragon Con and Anime Expo! I have a lot of costumes to pack now!

NR: Can you tell me more about your workshops?  How does one get to attend your workshop?

K: My workshops cover some basic things that cosplayers may not know or would like to improve on such as contouring which is especially useful for Asian cosplayers who have features that are not as sharp as American or European cosplayers. Contouring basically mean to ‘sculpt’ or give the illusion that your features are more defined than they actually are. It’s always easier to add to your features than to take away. Makeup for male cosplayers is also something I teach in my workshops because even if you’re a male, you need makeup to complete the look and take your costume one step further. I also give workshops on simple special effects makeup such as cuts, wounds, scars and such.

Details about my workshops are always up on my Facebook page, which I update regularly and they will also go up on my DeviantArt page.

NR: Do you have any advice to future or potential cosplayers?

K: If you’re starting out, it’s good to be ambitious but always remember to give yourself ample time – plan months before a con you intend to wear the costume to and do lots and lots of research. To me details are really important so I always make sure I have a ton of reference pictures for the costume and I do sketches before I start. When choosing a character, make sure it’s one you can identify with and you feel comfortable portraying. Remember that when you cosplay, you are putting yourself and your work on display, so don’t take negative comments too seriously. Most importantly, have fun!

For more of Kelton’s cosplay: Like him on his Facebook page,  and follow his DeviantArt page.

Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2
Photographer: Leonard Chua


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