“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton We love Cosplay, unabashedly so, and one of the cool things about hanging out at Cons is hearing why someone enjoys a character or genre. Cosplay is the biggest form of that flattery, and we aim to bring you the stories behind all those people in funky, fun dress up.
This weeks feature Chinako talks to Legacy D, cosplay, artist, and crafter extraordinaire:
Chinako: Who is Legacy D? Tell us what you like to cosplay.
Legacy D: I’m Legacy D., but I don’t mind being called Magena as well. I’m a leatherworker, armourer, and artist based in Ontario, Canada and I’ve been a cosplayer for about 15 years now. My cosplay interests have definitely changed a lot over the years – I started off with only anime characters, from there I migrated to video game characters, but these days I prefer to cosplay more film and television characters. I’m also a huge fan of anything historical or high fantasy in nature, so that’s always a main draw for me as well. I’m currently working on Thranduil from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug and Eowyn’s armour from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and planning a few more Tolkien cosplays for next year as well!
Chinako: You work well with leather and some of the most amazing pieces you have created have come from this material! Could you give any tips or tricks for leatherworking to people who may be new at it?
Legacy D: I’d say start small first and foremost. My first leather projects where both relatively big and complicated, and it didn’t work out in my favour, so start small and work your way up to the tough stuff from there. Don’t get discouraged! Keep in mind that there are different weights of leather – the thinnest ones (suede, for example) could possibly be sewn with the right attachments on your domestic sewing machine, while the heavier ones definitely require more specialized, expensive equipment and will just end up breaking your machine.
Chinako: How did you get your start and who is your biggest supporter?
Legacy D: I started out basically by seeing clips from local anime conventions on the news when I was 11 years old. I remember seeing all these people dressed up in such amazing costumes and thought about how I would love to try doing it too, so I decided to give it a shot. I started by ripping apart old clothes and teaching myself how to sew based on the pattern pieces from there to be honest, and I suppose the rest is history! I would have to say that my greatest supporters have always been my mom and my sister, they’ve both been amazingly encouraging of me and this crazy hobby over the years – be it helping me get to conventions or shoot locations, helping me finish things last minute, actually taking photos for me in my early cosplaying days… they’re both amazing, so a big thank you definitely goes out to them.
Chinako: What’s the cosplay culture like in Canada?
Legacy D: Not overwhelmingly big, but lovely all the same. I’ve made so many amazing friends in the cosplay community over the years and it seems like a lot of us have really grown together as both people and cosplayers. It’s wonderful. The community has really grown a lot over the past few years as well, so it’s always nice to welcome new faces and make new friends too!
Chinako: What are your hobbies outside of dressing up?
Legacy D: Outside of cosplay I have a bunch of other hobbies that I love doing. Although I am an artist I love drawing character, costume and environmental designs based off books and such. I’m also a huge gamer – I love all games regardless of what platform! I also love reading, movies, archery, photography, music, dance, writing… it’s a long list I’m afraid. There just aren’t enough hours in a day!
Chinako: Do you have any favorite photographers you’ve worked with? Throw in your favorite places to shoot!
Legacy D: I think Solar Tempest AKA Kevin Chan Photography would have to be it. He’s so great to work with and his photos are always fantastic. I’ve done two shoots with him as of now and hopefully there will be more in the future! As for favourite shooting locations (although it wasn’t a proper photoshoot), I would definitely have to say the old city in Jerusalem, Israel. I took my Altair cosplay from Assassin’s Creed with me to get on location photos – it was quite an experience!
Chinako: If you could design a cosplay that cost and time was not an issue for, what would be your epic cosplay?
Legacy D: That’s a tough one! Being that I’ve been at this for so long, I find I’ve been itching to do some original design cosplays. I’m a huge life-long Tolkien nut so lately I’ve been toying with the idea of making something based on The Silmarillion. There are other ones though, such as Corvo Attano from Dishonored, Garrett from Thief, and Lagertha Lothbrok from Vikings. I’d love to make those as well. Another dream of mine would be to eventually make all of Daenerys Targaryen’s outfits from Game of Thrones… I’ve got four done so far but the list grows with every new season! I’ll get them all done someday!
Chinako: You seem very heavily inspired by movies and television series for your designs. What types of characters would you say you are most attracted to? Do these characters mirror how you see yourself outside of cosplay?
Legacy D: I’d say I tend to choose characters that I find inspirational, or that I can really relate to or connect with based on aspects of my own life. Daenerys Targaryen is a huge one – she’s a massively significant character for me – as are Altair from Assassin’s Creed and Daryl Dixon from The Walking Dead.
Chinako: I’d like to see a change in the cosplay community as we stand together against bullying. What are your thoughts/experiences?
Legacy D: I think it’s wonderful to see the community rallying together against bullying the way it is. Bullying is a huge problem and it shouldn’t be allowed to take hold in a community that is based fundamentally on celebration of individuality and the freedom to be one’s self. I’ve experienced bullying from many different sources in my own life as well, be it in the form of high school bullying, bullying at home, and even cyber bullying more recently. I’d never wish it on anyone and I’m so happy to see the cosplay community taking such a stand against it now.
Chinako: Are there any cosplayers that have inspired you or that you look up to?
Legacy D: I think among the most notable ones would be Hildrhein and Dragonfly Cosplay. They’re both amazingly talented and inspirational cosplayers for me. Both are very sweet and helpful as well! I think others would probably include Fev Studios and – although not necessarily cosplay related – Prince Armories is definitely an inspiration for me as well.
If you’re a fan of cosplay make sure to follow Legacy D anywhere below: