Name: Stephen Herron aka Invictus Cosplay
City: Henderson Kentucky
Photographer(s): Wes: @ThePortraitDude https://m.facebook.com/theportraitdudecosplay
The PortraitDude has done some of my best Photos, Most of my pictures are taken by myself with the help of friends. I used to be a graphic designer and a photographer.
What was your first Cosplay Experience?
I would have to say that my first cosplay experience started with my sophomore year of high school and it actually had nothing to do with comic characters or movies!
In early 2009 I was approached by my principal and asked if I would be our schools mascot. That started me on my 3 year run as mascot for HCHS and my love for becoming a character that could bring joy, laughter, excitement, and happiness to children and parents!
What got me started on my passion for becoming a recognizable charter was my brother who not only inspires me but also pushes me to do my best in everything I make/wear/do.
My brother and I were involved were involved in a car accidental involving a semi that did not see our car. To make a very long and sad story short we made it out but my brother was seriously hurt and had to be flown to the Cincinnati children’s hospital.
He (Andrew) started to recover and one day a gentlemen dressed as Ronald McDonald showed up and visited the children and their families. That’s when I knew I could take my passion for entertaining people and use it to help bring joy and peace to people and children who might be going through a rough time or situation.
It is my goal to help take everyone’s minds off the pain and sorrow that they are going through and get to all enjoy themselves without having to be held back by any troubles they may be facing.
My brother is now 18, he has graduated high school, walks without a cane and even drives himself everywhere he wants to go. Last year I got to take him with me to our first ever Comic Convention in Lexington Ky (Lexington comic and toy convention) and I even got to put together a deadpool suit and props for him. He loves to cosplay now and when he is dressed up he knows that when people look at him they see the Character he wants them to see and not a young man who has had a difficult journey. He isn’t letting anything stop him and he isn’t going to let anything stop me from speading the same joy and hope.
How long have you been Cosplaying?
I have been doing costumes from movies, games, and TV shows since 2011 but if you count my career as my high school mascot you could say I’ve been at it since 2009!
Who or What inspired you to take up Cosplaying?
My brother inspires me and to know that nothing can or will stop him from doing what he loves helps me know that what I’m doing can and does make a difference in the lives of others.
This year I will be able to be a part of my first big charity event in Dayton Ohio where we will be doing “Fighters Cause” which will be a collection of incredibly talented Cosplayers (Knightmage, Griffin Cosplay, Bio Cosplay, Ect..) that will all be meeting up for a large photo-shoot and raising money for various charities!
Helping others is why I love what I do.
If you had to pick a favorite Cosplay you have worn or see someone else where What would it be?
Ahhh that is a very tough question! I love all of my costumes that I have done and every time i finish a cosplay it becomes my favorite (for a little while)
I would have to say I think my Captain America Winter Soldier Stealth suit (which im currently wearing while answering these questions) but I also really love how detailed my Arrow Cosplay is!
It’s really a tossup between those two, I will say that the Arrow suit might be a hair more comfortable though!
If you had unlimited funds and resources, what Cosplay would you create?
Well on my cosplay bucket list I have two cosplays that I want to do.
1. Iron man- not a foam suit. Id want it to be a vacformed suit. With all the LEDs, electronics, moving parts and whistles!
2. C3-PO – full metallized suit with that perfect shine, voice changer, lights, and the inability to walk up or down stairs!
(I guess I don’t enjoy sitting or being able to go to the bathroom without someone helping me un suit!)
What advice would you offer others who are aspiring Cosplayers?
My advice is to find the guys and girls out there that are building what you want to build. See if they have video tutorials or even books for sale. I have learned a lot of what I know from Bill Doran of Punished Props (aka @Chinbeard) and his videos and books are incredible.
My second piece of advice is to shoot for the moon! Just because you may be new to this does not mean that you will not be good or inspire others to get started! There is no right or wrong way to build things or cosplay! Put you into your designs. By that I mean make your costume reflect some of you in it. I am a magician so I try to add a little bit of magic in every costume I do. Why? Because I like to be unique and why not!
My last piece of advice is to start with things you have if you are unsure! It may be better to try to build an iron man helmet out of foam instead of going straight for the whole hulkbuster suit! I’m not saying don’t go for it, I am saying for myself personally having a small victory with a helmet confirmed in myself that I could do the rest of the suit and that the only person that could stop me was me.
I believe that Cosplay is for everyone! If you love what you do and you see that it brings a smile to someone’s face then that will help you through any hard time ahead. Sometimes it gets stressful but in the end we are all just a bunch of creative people expressing our passions.
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