Walking through convention halls these days you are bombarded with cosplay, some good and some not so good. Then there are others that you can’t help but stop and take notice. Towards the end of Wondercon 2014 my family and I came across a cosplayer in an amazing Scarlet Witch costume. She piqued my interest at the time, but it wasn’t until I got home, emptied my pockets of business cards that I came across hers and decided to do a little research. I quickly learned that Alicia Bellamy (VertVixen) is a 3D designer, and has designed and fabricated her own costumes. Over the past month Geeks With Wives has had the opportunity to develop a working relationship with this amazing cosplayer. So on a beautiful spring day, joined by fellow “Geek” Natalie Atkins, and photographer Ed Stuart we set out on location and captured the images and the interview below. You get a little tease of Natalie as Rogue below, but stay tuned for the rest of her shoot in a future cosplay feature.
VertVixen is a name that I chose right as I was graduating college. I always thought it was important to have an “art handle” or online name so I wanted a name that was recognizable and memorable. I was graduating as a 3D game artist and the word Vert is short for vertices. For those of you that don’t know 3D, a 3D model is made of of faces or polygons and each face consist of 4 verts. Then Vixen kind of fell into place. VertVixen had a nice ring to it and helped signify that I was a female 3D artist. Well, now that I am exploring props and cosplay it kind of has just stuck and I don’t plan on changing it because 3D will always be apart of my life somehow and was the root of my career.
What is your favorite cosplay to date that you have done?
Ah favorite, that is actually a hard answer….I’m going to have to say Scarlet is because she was 100% mine from concept to creation. There is nothing like making something from start to finish. I also learned a lot…surprisingly I learned a lot about design specifically. Even though I had a concept, I found I was doing a lot of internal armor design as I was making it. Plus I learned to sew 4-way stretch material! That was an interesting experience for me lol!
Oh man yes…yes there is lol! As with most other cosplayers I have the problem of wanting to do too many things lol! I am in the middle of my Black Cat costume. I have a Wonder Woman concept in the works (gah I need to work on that! >.<). I REALLY want to make Selene from Underworld for Comikaze this year… but I can’t sew and I am debating on commissioning out the corset, or just going for it. AND I am most excited about my secret project that I want to have done and compete with at ECCC next year. 🙂 I want to keep that a secret though it will be a collaboration with the love of my life, and it’s from an amazing 80’s film. This one will be intense and I can not wait to start it!
What conventions can people expect to see you at this year?
Well I will be at LBCE as Scarlet. Then Phoenix Comicon as Scarlet and debuting Black Cat :). I will also be at SDCC most likely as Scarlet for one day and either Black cat or something else another. Then it’s LBCC and Comickaze :).
That’s a hard question because for me it’s so much more than just a word. It’s also so much more than just “Costume play”. I have always considered myself an artist, I just have explored so many different mediums. I’ve always found mediums that I have enjoyed but I have never felt the drive and passion I have felt for prop and costume making. It has become beyond fun for me, it drives and fuels me. I always want to make something bigger and better, and I always want to learn new things. On this last project I used a lot of Worbla, and as amazing as it is on my next armor I am going to try a new technique. For me cosplay is pushing myself to learn new skills and create more amazing works of art. Cosplay is that amazing feeling I get when I light up someone’s day, or when I am able to give advice to those around me. I want to become the best I can, but I also want to give back to the community that has given me so much. I have grown so much as a person doing this. It’s helping me work through my own personal demons, and hopefully in turn I can help someone else.
Do you plan on making a career out of cosplay?
Yes, yes and YES. This is my passion! I am spreading myself out as far as I can in this community and exploring as many adventures as possible! I want to promote myself more as a commissioner and prop builder. I also want to sell prints, host events, and be a spokes model. I want to try everything out in this community so I can truly find my home and make this my living.
If you had unlimited resources what is your dream cosplay?
My root is in video games, and there was one game that hit me on such the perfect artistic note that I want to re-create the main character as true to the games style as possible, Darksiders. I want to make a Fem-War, but I want to hand sculpt every armor piece. IF I had UNLIMITED resources I would sculpt all of the pieces in Zbrush so it looked as true to the game as possible and then 3D print them out for casting. Sadly though that would be insanely expensive….one day.
You can find Alicia and her work through the links below:
Photography: Ed Stuart