Interview Begona F Martin aka @shirakcosplay
What first got you interested in doing cosplay, and when did you combine cosplay and SFX make up?
It happened when I went to my very first comic con, in the year 2000. I saw these people dressed up as their favourite “Slayers” characters and I thought, “I wanna do that!”. So I made my first cosplay in 2001 and I haven’t stopped cosplaying since!
I first used prosthetics in cosplay with my Teen Wolf costume. I had literally no idea about special effects, I purchased an SFX book and I applied all the sculpting and mouldings skills I acquired during my fine arts studies at university. I have learned so much since that first prosthetic mask!
What is the hardest part when you put on your cosplay?
Everything! It depends on the cosplay, but they all have challenges. Wigs and self-applied prosthetics are especially difficult.
What is your favourite part of putting on your cosplay?
My favourite part is when I have finished putting everything on and I look in the mirror, and I see the character I’m cosplaying. It’s just simply cool!
What are the three most essential things to have with you when you cosplay at a convention?
Water, safety pins and a makeup kit with the products I’ve used to create the makeup.
What is the most expensive part of your cosplays?
This also depends on the costume. It’s usually the prosthetics I create and the fabrics I use to make the costumes, as I like high-quality fabrics. I don’t mind spending a bit more on a piece of fabric if it’s going to be the perfect type and super accurate to the character’s design.
How do you save money on your cosplay costumes?
I believe in recycling for cosplay! However, I usually save money by creating and crafting as much as I can (if I can save by making the shoes instead of buying a specific brand of shoes, I’ll make it!).
What is the biggest mistake see new cosplayers frequently make with their make up?
There are no mistakes in practice when you are a beginner. I would recommend to make a few tests at home before doing it for the character/photoshoot/convention and learn from the weak spots. I’d also recommend a sealer and to avoid water-based heavy body paint, as that brushes off quicker than other makeup, because of perspiration (aka sweat!).
What are some of the best things you’ve learned about yourself since you started cosplaying?
It was thanks to cosplay that I found my true calling in special effects! It was when I created Dracula that I realised “wait, this is exactly what I wanna do for a living”. I will always be very grateful to cosplay and to all the people that gave me advice and help with Dracula (especially Adelaide, Katie and Emily ❤️).
Where can we find you online?
I have my professional special effects account on Instagram, also a cosplayer Instagram account and a Facebook cosplay page.
Is there a current cosplay artist you admire yourself?
There are so many I admire! My mate Valentine Costumes, Alyssa aka Joker’s Harley, Yurai, The Danish Lupin, Kinpatsu, Nomes, Maul Cosplay, and a looooong etc
Do you have a final tip for our participants in the make-up cosplay competition?
Take your time! Practice your make up as many times as you need, be confident and take as long as you need to apply your makeup. Makeup takes hours and hours, don’t rush it and enjoy the process 🙂
Deadline: June 8 @ 8PM GMT+2 (20:00 for locals)!