Earlier this year I had created a cyberpunk costume inspired by the anime film AKIRA with a mechanical prosthetic arm. I enjoy the aesthetic of that film and that it takes place in 2019. Shortly after cosplaying as “CyberPunk AKIRA” at the Megacon Orlando in May, it was announced that Keanu Reeves would be in CyberPunk 2077 as Johnny Silverhand, and that there would be a big Cyberpunk 2077 cosplay contest. From the debut announcement at E3 I just thought Johnny Silverhand was such an awesome character to cosplay as next!
When I was creating this costume back in July, there were only 2 photos and a short 15 second clip of Johnny Silverhand at the time so I used those as reference. For the arm I created a template by wrapping plastic wrap and duct tape around my arm and then built the structure with EVA foam. I layered 6mm and 2mm craft foam to create the shapes and hot glued a bunch of wires to it. For the hand, I downloaded an “IronMan” Pepakura PDO template from online and used a Cricut machine to cut the finger shapes out of 2mm foam. I then hot glued these small finger pieces to a glove and pained the arm and hand with silver and black paints. I purchased the tactical biker vest online and used the Cricut machine to cut out the 2-tone Samurai stencil on Heat Transfer vinyl. I then applied the stencil to the vest with a hot iron. The vest was additionally weathered by scratching and cutting it with tools and covering it with black pants and dirt. Overall, it took about 3 weekends to create the arm and vest.
I debuted my Johnny Silverhand at Tampa Bay Comic Con in early August (less than 2 months after the E3 announcement). Most people did not recognize who I was, and just thought I was Winter Soldier from The Avengers. The few people who did recognize me thought the costume was great and would yell “Wake the fuck up Samauri – we got a city to burn!”
I have only been doing cosplay for about 1.5 years now, but have been creating wearable art / glass fashion with my Mirror Visionwear project since 2012. As an artist, I’m learning new ways to create realistic sculptures with EVA Foam, papercrafting, and mold making. Cosplay has been a motivational factor for me to also live a healthier lifestyle to attain the heroic physique of the characters I want to portray. This past year I have lost 50 lbs through consistent diet, exercise and supplementation! Setting those non-fictional heroes as role models and then becoming them through cosplay is a very rewarding experience.