Cosplay interviews! A weekly feature on Animetion where we talk to UK cosplayers on what motivates them, plus a cool gallery showcasing their cosplays.  Here we talk to cosplayer:

Darrin Farmer
(a.k.a. grayskull8)

Q: When did you start cosplaying and how long for?

I started cosplay round about 2 years ago when my friends from Uni were talking about the cosplayers they saw on the internet.  One of my friends mentioned that they had made costumes before.  They wanted to get back into it, which was intriguing to me and I wanted to know more.  So thanks to my friends Iím well and truly engrossed in to cosplay.  My very first costume I made was Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.  But it has had many remakes since then, as I was unhappy with the first attempt and felt it needed an overhaul.  One of my first experiences with cons was Tokyopop Recon, I was there with some of my friends.  I wore my remade Cloud Strife costume with a 6 foot sword so you can imagine how many people wanted a picture that day!  I was totally stuck with the first place I won at Recon.  During this con I met Tab Kimpton, who is a great cosplayer.  She has done a cosplay interview as well which mentioned me (shakes fist!)  LOLS Itís all a bit of fun! 

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

Iíve always loved dressing up at Halloween and parties, but cosplay gave me a chance to wear costume all year round and to take some of my favourite videogame characters and bring them to life =D

Iíve always liked making things from a very early age and I am a very hands-on person.  Being a massive fan of video games helps a lot and when I heard you could combine video games with crafting costumes, there was no stopping me.

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

I think to date my favourite cosplay as got to be my Haseo cosplay (from .hack//Roots - ed.) as it was a big step to me in cosplay.  Before my costumes were not too difficult to construct and I really wanted a challenge.

I always strive to challenge myself when picking a character as to me that makes it all that more fun; and Haseo was definitely that.  There were so many components to this costume and lots of problems with how to construct it and also even with just getting the damn thing on lol.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

My most memorable moment when cosplaying, was when I first won a prize - at Amecon 2007 - in my Vincent Valentine costume (from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - ed.) and was presented with the ďJudges choice awardĒ for my prop.  I was so happy that I was shocked in to silence which is really odd for me XD

Q:  Have you had any cosplays go wrong/encountered problems whilst making cosplays?

I have encountered many problems on the road of costume making.  My hardest one was working out the wiring for my Haseo blades as I wanted to make them light up.  The construction of my Darcia wig (from Wolf's Rain - ed.) was a pain to devise. Iím not so skilled with wig making, but I have received some great help and advice from an overseas Darcia cosplayer. 

To me cosplay will always have these difficult components of a costume, that you might have to spend weeks working out, but that makes it all the more fun. 

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

Never ever ever ever.  I love cosplaying and the feeling of being in a costume that you spent ages to construct - it's brilliant.  Itís not every day you get to carry around a six foot sword or walk around in pointy boots XD

Q:  Have you ever done group cosplay? If so how did you find that experience?

I try to do group cosplay a lot, but sometimes it can be hard to arrange that many people in one place at one time =S  But there is only one thing better than cosplay..... and thatís cosplaying with your friends.

No matter how stressful it can get to try to arrange that many people, in the end itís totally worth it to see all your friends in the same group picture.  So if you and your friends like the same anime,game,manga or film whatever, go for it your have loads of fun I promise =p

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

Iím working on a secret cosplay at the moment so canít really go in to much details as Itís a surprise, but it is totally different to what Iím used to doing so fingers crossed it all goes well.

Iím also going to be starting work on Chaos from Dirge of Cerberus at the moment.  Iím on the planning stage, working out wings and muscle suits so lots of fun to be had there.

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

Yes I do.  My dream cosplay is Chaos from Dirge of Cerberus which Iím so eager to start.  He is going to be my biggest challenge to date with so many details such as wings, body suit, makeup, armour, frame work, electronics, lighting all sorts of stuff. I really canít wait ^____^

Q:  Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

Just go for it! Make it! Wear it! Flaunt it! Enjoy it!

Q:  Do you have an account with the website Cosplay island/other social networking sites?

I do have a cosplay island account look me up under grayskull8 ^_^

I'm also on cosplay.com

(click any picture for a larger image)

grayskull8 as Aaroniero Arruruerie - The 9th from Bleachgrayskull8 as Haseo from .hack//Roots grayskull8 as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
grayskull8 as Darcia from Wolf's Rain

grayskull8 (left) as Houndoom from Pokemongrayskull8 (second from right, rear) as Aaroniero Arruruerie - The 9th from Bleach

Jareth (left) as Jared from Labyrinth - photo by ManyLemonsgrayskull8 as Eric Draven from The Crowgrayskull8 as Vincent Valentine from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

grayskull8 as Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Childrengrayskull8 (right) as Captain Jack Sparrowish