Our last member of the week before Planet ComiCon hits is none other than Calen Hoffman. While he is one of the most talented cosplayers in the area, Calen is not one to rest on his laurels. He consistently works to hone his skills in order to make costumes and props his sole business. Read up on his beginnings into cosplay and check him out this weekend at Planet Comicon!
How did you get into cosplay?
For as long as I can remember, I have been into making things. Even as a kid, I was always building little trinkets and things. So much so that it got me in trouble several times in school. Then as I got older, I started using the majority of my free time making things. Quality is a BIG importance of mine and I always strive to make everything the best that I can. I am always learning, growing, and experimenting. It is to the point now, that I would love to do it full-time and making my living this way. It would be awesome to do what you have a passion for as a living.
How many characters are you currently cosplaying and what are they?
The main full suit that I have are:
Baird, from Gears of War Judgement.
Groot, from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Founder Soldier, from Bioshock Infinite.
Gladiator, inspired by the styles in Spartacus.
Jorge, from Halo Reach.
Also a brand new one that will make its debut at this years Planet Comicon.
What’s your favorite cosplay you’ve done so far and why?
Picking a favorite is hard for me because I put so much time into each suit that I love each one. So it is like choosing your favorite son or daughter. But if I had to choose, I would say that I like the gladiator armor the most. Only because it is all real materials; real leather, real fur, real linen, etc. It is also just a mash-up of my favorite pieces, so the suit is an original. Also, all of the materials are what would have been used back then(besides the hardware used to put it together).
What’s your favorite way to craft?
In my garage, nice weather, with the Spotify cranking to Jonathan Coulton.
What’s your favorite crafting item to work with and why?
My favorite crafting items are: My dremel, EVA, and leather. For a couple reasons.
My Dremel is my right hand man, I don’t make ANY project without it, hands down. By far my favorite tool, period!
Eva is just a wonderful median to work with as it is super versatile and easy to work with. It is also very lightweight, which as people who wear costumes know, is a wonderful thing.
Leather is great because it is extremely strong and resilient. I use it any time I can and I absolutely love the way it looks. It can be expensive, so if it need a ton of it for a project I can just make EVA look like leather 😀
What are your cosplay goals?
Right now, I do it as a hobby and take on commission when they come in. However, I want to work full time doing this. I want to have enough commissions coming in that I can have this be my primary job.
What’s your dream cosplay and why?
Songbird From Bioshock Infinite. It WILL happen….Eventually.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get into cosplay?
Do lots and lots of research and tons of practice. Take your time and make it how you want it to be. To me, it is worth the extra time for the finest of details, even if just one person notices it. Because I know it is there.
What other interests do you have outside of cosplay?
I really enjoy movies, video game(of course), and spending time with my family and fiance’.
If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
Ironman, because I would get him to give me a suit.