where are you located: Kansas City
what is your day job: Contractor for the EPA (cause ‘dem bills)
What kinds of stuff do you make?
Mostly wearable art and elaborate costumes. I have become somewhat of a foam-smith lately, using materials like EVA foam as my medium to create armor pieces, costume props, and other accessories. It’s a sturdy, lightweight alternative to other materials that can have the same look as metal, wood, etc. once you perfect your shaping, texturing, and painting techniques.
How did you get started making stuff?
I have always been art-inclined, but a neighbor sparked my interest in building things when I was a kid. It started with him showing me how to make a wooden box with a velvet interior for my samurai sword.
What is something you’ve made that really stands out, that you’re proud of?
I like the hybrid Hussar armor I made recently because it pushed me past my limits, but I also like a helmet I made. The helmet’s references came from a bunch of historical armor photos I found online. I mixed them together and created this gothic, gargoyle lion helmet with lots of detail work. It’s pretty sturdy, so I can toss it around and it holds up just fine.
What pushes you to create?
My Valkyrie Britannia brand was created after several years of trying to make an online store doing art. The only difference is that back then I was trying to make things to sell that I thought people would like. I would make things I didn’t care for because I was trying to fit into a certain group. Valkyrie Britannia started out as a way to focus on making things that I liked without any outside input. I had absolutely no idea that people would start sending money for the pieces I made or start asking for commissions. It didn’t start out with that intention at all. Valkyrie Britannia was a love letter to myself. It still is, but now I get to share some of that love by making things for others too.
What do you have on the horizon?
Right now I’m bouncing between experimenting with different filaments on my 3D printer to make new pieces. I haven’t done a lot of cosplay projects for myself in a few years, so I messaged a fellow cosplayer online who I have been a fan of for a while about a possible team up project. That one will take me a while since I have to budget for it. There are two rolls of black Worbla set aside for it, currently sitting in the corner of my room.
Any advice for people reading this?
There will always be people out there who will doubt you and criticize your art no matter what. Stick to your guns, continue to create what you love, and make them eat their words.