Known around in the con circuit as “That Garen Cosplayer”, Burning Soul Cosplay is more than the Demacian Warrior. He’s been a Gangplank, Detective Gumshoe, and is now working on Doctor Fate. We contacted him to ask a few questions about cosplay and on being a character.
Sticky Bunton (SB): What got you into cosplay?
Burning Soul Cosplay (BSC): A girl I dated in college got me into cosplay. It started as something to wear to a Halloween party and then she introduced me to conventions.
SB: Is cosplay your job or your hobby?
BSC: Cosplay to me is a definite hobby. I don’t have the kind of reach or followers some other coplayers have to turn it into a job.
SB: What do you like to do outside of cosplay?
BSC: Outside of cosplaying League of Legends, I love playing League of Legends! I do a lot of gaming in addition to cosplay and usually go through phases as to what game I’m addicted to.
SB: Where do you like to get your ideas for cosplay?
BSC: I get most of my ideas and inspiration from the games I play. As someone that avidly plays League, its not surprising that is where I usually look for my next costume. However, I enjoyed playing Injustice 2 so I have a costume planned for that game as well. I’m also offered many ideas from my friends a lot of the time for pair or group cosplays.
SB: What was the most rewarding cosplay you’ve done, and what’s one that you think you could have done better?
BSC: My most rewarding cosplay in my opinion is my Garen costume. It was a big challenge and the first costume I had ever made myself. It was rewarding to see how so many people loved it. A cosplay I feel I could have done better would probably be my Xin Zhao costume that I made for Colossalcon. I procrastinated pretty hard and didn’t give myself enough time to figure out how to attach everything to myself so there were a lot of flaws that bothered me that I plan on improving on.
SB: You’re very well known as “The Garen Cosplayer”. As such, you get a lot of Demacia’s from fans of League and your work. Is this tiring for you to hear catchphrases for your cosplays, or is that part of getting into character?
BSC: If I had a dollar for every time someone yelled “Demacia!” or “Spin to win!” I’d have enough money to fund all my costumes for the next 2 years haha. I don’t find it very annoying or tiring at all really. They come from people that appreciate my work and give me acknowledgment. Its that kind of lively enthusiasm that makes cosplaying him all the more fun and enjoyable. Nothing has ever really put a bigger smile on my face then the time I was walking down a road in Boston and having someone drive-by yell a drawn out “Demaciaaaaaaaa!” from their car window and hearing their voice fade as they continue down the road.
SB: Which cosplay of yours gives you the most joy to wear, or makes you feel powerful?
BSC: The choice is pretty obvious , I love my Garen costume and when I put on all that armor and carry that huge sword it makes me proud that my costume is doing justice to such a strong and powerful character that I love so much.
SB: How has cosplay and/or the con scene shaped your life?
BSC: Before cosplay I had very few friends and had a hard time meeting and talking to people I didn’t already know. The very first cosplay I ever made was Garen and I brought it to Pax East 2015. I made about five new friends and with every convention after that the number of friends I had just kept multiplying. Cosplay for me was a great gateway and icebreaker for meeting like-minded people. The anxiety dissolves away when you know they play league or want to know how they made a part of their costume. Cosplay has affected my life in many ways. I’ve visited many different places, taken part in events, Riot Games even flew me out to LA to participate in an exclusive cosplay event, but the main thing will always be that in the little over 2 years I’ve been cosplaying I’ve made more true friends then I have my entire life and that is how cosplay shaped my life.
SB: If you’ve planned ahead, what costumes do you have planned in 2017-2018?
BSC: I’m currently working on a Dr. Fate cosplay from Injustice 2, but the one I’m most excited for is the Warring Kingdoms Garen cosplay I have planned for Katsucon next year. I will be doing this as a group cosplay with two of my best friends who will be cosplaying Warring Kingdoms Azir and Warring Kingdoms Vi to complete the trio of this year’s Lunar Revel skins.
SB: Any final thoughts or words to the readers?
BSC: Some advice I would like to share with the readers is that if you ever take up cosplay to just make sure you’re having fun with it. People cosplay because it makes us happy, a kind of sanctuary from reality, for others it can be a form of empowerment. If you get obsessed over the likes and follows, or nitpick the accuracy of your costume you at times forget to enjoy yourself. Cosplay for yourself and no one else.
If you’d like to know more about Burning Soul Cosplay and to see his work follow him on Facebook.