Guest Interview with Cauldron of Mischief
Hi! I’m Adrian, known online by ‘Cauldron Of Mischief’! I am a cosplayer, freelance costume & prop maker, digital artist & game host. I have a 2:1 BA degree in 3D computer animation & special effects, trained in intensive special effects & make up with Hybrid FX studios and have experience completing various sewing courses as well as being self-taught.
Why did you start cosplaying?
I have been cosplaying for over 10 years, I started when I was 15 years old, I loved the characters from the various shows & games I enjoyed so much, that I wanted to step into their shoes and see what it would be like!
I’ve made many friends and met many wonderful people through cosplay, one of the things I love so much about the community is we are like a family in a way, looking out for each other, giving each other tips, borrowing cosplays, working together in groups, cosplaying a group of characters from a series, etc. It’s fantastic and so much fun to be able to join in!
Cauldron soon found a love for annoying physics…
I make both costumes and props but tend to specialize in complex costumes with annoying physics (e.g. Elphelt Valentine’s gravity defying skirt from Guilty Gear or wigs with ginormous drill curls!) I try to mimic the silhouette of the character and translate their proportions to how they would look in reality as close as I can; I adore the over-exaggerated cartoon look you can achieve with some costumes! It really helps them to stand out, bringing the character to life.
So talk to me about some of the crazy costumes you have made, I want to learn more!
One of my best costumes is the RPG Ice mage Viktor Nikiforov from the Rage of Bahamut & Yuri!!! On Ice crossover game, this costume has also placed in two competitions, including the International Cosplay League solo entry. I used a variety of materials to create this, these included: two-toned purple & pink taffeta fabric, black velour, spandex, foiled fabrics and faux fur. I worked on this for roughly four months, there were many pieces to this costume that made it complex, the shape of the jacket was one as this had to be custom made and shaped with a pattern from scratch, smaller pieces had to be sculpted and cast, piping was made from scratch, trim had to be custom braided, leather was cut and dyed to make a custom belt, it was a long process but worth every hour for the outcome!
There are various techniques to use, but because this piece required a lot of ‘one off’ pieces, I decided to use my skills with Hybrid Fx and sculpt, mould and cast the pieces. 3D printing was also an option, but at the time I did not own or have access to a 3D printer with the 3D model software and really wanted to add my own personal touch to each part.
Over the years I’ve made a good variety of costumes, Elphelt Valentine was another complicated costume because this costume also came close to ‘engineering’ in a way, there were so many individual parts that needed making and the physics of the skirt was the most difficult part, I had to be able to create a hoop skirt with a slit inside of it and balance a belt with four small prop pieces hanging from the ends on top, all while making sure the skirt retrained it’s shape and structure.
Kingdom Hearts 3 Sora and Izuku Midoriya from My Hero Academia are more examples of costume that I had to scale proportions to match mine in real life. These costumes appeared a little more ‘simple’ but the scale of each piece had to be translated to ‘real world’ proportions, e.g. The belt and pouches for Izuku I wanted to make large and cartoon-like to match the reference while still being practical and scale to suit me, rather than standard, flat pouches. For Sora, I had to scale the size of his shoes to match my height and proportions of the rest of how I made the costume.
What is it that connects you to become an active voice in the cosplay community?
I have a lot of knowledge and help to offer the community, I also try to make my costumes as accurate as I can and work very hard on each one, researching specific materials to match as close as possible in colour and texture. I also take commissions, I have been taking commissions for the last three years, I love to create and make costumes for others, if I can help and make them happy then I am happy!
What are your greatest cosplay victories?
Over the 10 years I’ve been cosplaying I have had multiple cosplay victories both in competition and completing a costume / overcoming something difficult about it!
In terms of making things, I think getting the structure of Sora’s costume was a big accomplishment, Kingdom Hearts games are wonderful for character design but also for spikey, gravity defying wigs and costumes, they always present great challenges. The embroidery on my RPG Viktor costume was also another accomplishment, I did not own an embroidery machine so I made a ‘make-shift’ one using a hand embroidery ring from my sewing machine and the satin stitch setting, I constantly adjusted the stitch lengths while I was sewing to create the pattern I need, I was so happy with the result of this because I improvised and still had the outcome I wanted!
I have won a total of 10 awards at various conventions across the UK, four of which were at MCM London & Birmingham events, featured twice in NEO magazine and once in Sci-fi Now magazine. All of these I worked hard to achieve and had many losses before my first win, I’ll never stop trying and learning, learning new things is something I love the most and the great thing about making costumes is that you’re always learning something new!