Before I even watched the show, I had friends telling me that I would love this one character, but they wouldn't tell me who he was, they only asked me to watch. And as soon as Coran literally jumped into the show I knew my fate was sealed! He's a weird and eccentric space uncle, and endearing in his oddities, and he has so much energy for such an old alien that he fits me a little too well.

Let's see... From top down I started with Arda Wigs, which is always my go to. I love working with them and their lace fronts, and was able to get a single lace piece to cut and style the mustache from. Though almost all of the hair was styled in the hotel room, just like the gloves which I had to hand sew there as well. Even the shoulder piece was patterned and sewn together hours before hitting the road for Youmacon.

Previously I've had no experience with body suits, and due to school, not the most time to make it from scratch either. So I commissioned the talented GunHead Design for the suit flat, and then had it printed by Zentai Zone. The last touch were the ears, which I have to admit, I have a lot of; these ones came from Mostly Dead.  

I debuted Coran at Youmacon, even though my group wasn't planned until several months later, I found myself adopted into every Voltron family that I passed by. Not only that, but I was invited to sit on for a panel as well, providing my views on the show as well as the character and cosplay.

Being a weeb, and being surrounded by others in junior high and high school lead to knowing a bit about cosplay until I finally decided to go to a con in January 2009, and not without a cosplay of course. At the time I already considered myself an artist, and my friends and I kept up on the weekly episodes of Shugo Chara, so ordering a Amulet Spade costume online was a no brainer.

I was only able to go on a Sunday, and despite not even having a pink wig, and instead, using my own brown hair, there were still quite a few kind people who reached out to talk and take a photo or two. I didn't know I was supposed to pose! I was instantly hooked on the atmosphere conventions, and the ease of meeting new people with the same odd interests.

After that, I reached out to my grandmother to learn to sew, she used to make us clothes to play dress up in when my sisters and I were younger. I hadn't had much in common with her until cosplaying, and soon I was spend hours in the basement with her and the sewing machine, learning how to read a pattern. I was able to make a bond with her that I never had before.

So in a way, it's a connection to her and to my childhood. But I also see it as a connection to my future. I'm currently enrolled at the Columbus College of Art and Design as a fashion major. And while what I've learned has bettered me at sewing... It also gives me way less time to work on cosplay.

Cosplay taught me that sewing can be a creative outlet, and that it can also be so much more than for just anime costumes too. It's opened up so many doors for me and has allowed me to expand my abilities to makeup, wig styling, prop making, and so much more. Which is something I find very essential to who I am. I'm constantly putting my hand in every pot, trying to learn as much of everything as I can.

Meeting people is really the highlight of any con and any cosplay experience. The most special of those are encounters from people who have been inspired by things I've done. It's the most humbling thing to hear, and being able to then befriend them, and talk is always something that makes a con that much better. Especially because everyone I meet is so talented in their own ways and has so much potential that I'm in turned inspired by them to work harder everyday.

-- ActualSharkBoi


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