Get To Know Our Master Crafters: Erin of Foam Corps
Photographer: Breakpoint Z
Favorite current anime/game/movie/show:
In general, I’m a huge fan of horror and post-apocalyptic games and shows, so I’m really into franchises like Silent Hill, Bioshock, Fallout, Diablo, etc.
But right now, I am low-key obsessed with Doki Doki Literature Club! I am so completely sucked into weird fan theories, wiki information, and all that. I also was lucky enough to play it for the first time at a convention in a group of friends who voice acted the entire game, which made for an extra level of awesomeness. If you haven’t played it, don’t read anything about it!! Just go get it and join me in my crazy theory spiral. (And yeah before anybody wonders, I already have begun getting my cosplay materials to go as Yuri.)
Favorite nostalgic anime/game/movie/show:
My absolute favorite nostalgic game is Final Fantasy 8. It’s never been as popular as 7 or 10, but the atmosphere, the characters, the music--it just really strikes a chord with me. My very first cosplay was Selfie from Final Fantasy 8, and in the spirit of nostalgia I also cosplayed as Sorceress Edea a few years ago and I just loved it.
There are so many awesome cons, but my #1 love will always be GenCon in Indianapolis. It’s way more board game focused but that means that everybody games into the wee hours of the night. It has such a friendly atmosphere. I’m pretty sure if you walked into any random gaming room, you’d be able to find enough total strangers willing to sit down and game with you. I’m really grateful that GenCon is so activity-centered particularly because I broke my leg earlier this year and had major surgery 3 days before the con (I am officially part cyborg now!!) but I still made it to GenCon and had a great time despite the fact that my plans were obviously majorly changed.
Close runner up is DaishoCon in Wisconsin Dells. It’s at the Kalahari in November so right when it’s really getting cold out, there’s something magical about the combo of indoor waterpark plus anime con.
Favorite cosplay I’ve made:
Honestly I don’t know that I can pick one, so I’ll cheat here and pick a few that have particular meaning to me!
My Warhammer 40k costume is the one that I think suits me the most as a person. I dreamed about wearing this armor back before I even knew what cosplay was. I built a version in 2011 and completely re-built it in 2015 because the Sisters of Battle mean so much to me.
My costuming/crafting strengths:
I’m strongest in armor-making, and specifically sculpting and painting. I can’t bring myself to hop on the 3D printing train even though it’s super cool because I love to sculpt so much! I’d really miss the hands-on aspect of getting involved with clay and plastic. And painting is so relaxing to me. The moment when your cosplay piece starts to look actually finished and weathered, like a real piece of armor, is just so satisfying to me.
If I could improve one cosplay skill, it would be:
Definitely sewing. I am more or less competent, but not amazing, and it can be a real struggle with complicated pieces. I’m also not the most patient person in the world, so I can have a bit of a short fuse when my machine misbehaves (which is constantly). It doesn’t help that since I’ve always been so much more focused on armor-making tools, my sewing machine is… well, let’s just say “possessed by a malicious poltergeist.” I’ll budget for a new one…. someday. But I always try to keep my temper and keep trying until I get it right!
A quote that inspires me to keep going:
“When I am dust, this is what they’ll point to!”
Sander Cohen from Bioshock may not exactly be the type of artist I’d like to be seen as, but I do find a bit of attitude goes a long way for me when I’m feeling discouraged. You have to admit, the man is dedicated to his art.
One thing I can’t live without at a convention:
Well, the first thing that pops to mind is my amazing friends! I have met dozens of people through cosplay, and the #1 thing that keeps me going to cons is getting to see them, dress up with them, and just generally have a goofy time.
More practically, I am SUPER picky about my pillows and blankets so I *always* bring my own. It’s a bit of a pain to carry, especially when you also have a ton of armor and props to lug around, but knowing that I’ll be able to sleep with my own stuff is a huge deal to me. Just don’t try to take my blankets, anybody else--I WILL pull it off of you and take it back, no matter how late it is!
Weirdest thing to happen during a convention:
I’ve been going to cons since 2002 so there are plenty of things I’ve seen, but the coolest random coincidence happened at Anime Central in 2012. My friends and I had a 4-person Soul Calibur group and, while backstage at the costume contest, discovered another HUGE 7-person Soul Calibur group. That wouldn’t necessarily be all that strange, but we realized that we all were dressed as completely unique characters--no overlap! When you consider the chances of 11 people who hadn’t coordinated together managing to pull that off, it’s pretty awesome and unlikely. We did an impromptu photo shoot after the contest, hung out for the rest of the weekend, and had a great time.
The best part is, the people from the other group (Verssen Werks and House of Teplin Cosplay) are still some of my best friends in the world 5 years later. We’ve cosplayed together several times since then, including a 10-person Valkyria Chronicles squad that we made together. It was one of the best cosplay experiences I’ve ever had!