Hi Davence, Thank you for accepting the Interview with JustCosplay. Would you like to tell our Readers a little about yourself, for those who are not familiar with Who you are and what you do.
Hi, I am a long time lover of the arts in all its shapes and forms. I am also a trained artist. I use those skills and my love of building to create fantasy armours and props, you can some of my work here on Facebook
What got you into making armour? And your inspiration to start making your creations?
I have always had a love for special effects, I always loved watching behind the scenes stuff on how the movies where made. I ma very happy that more and more films today are showing a lot of behind the scenes movie making to even more inspire young folk the way i was inspired. I loved seeing the creations of masters like Stan Winston, and Steve Wang, truly 2 individuals that create breathtaking creature and armor suits among other Hollywood effects.
You’ve used both EVA and Wonderflex in your armour and prop making, but which is your favourite to use and why? Any favourite tools you like to use with these materials?
I actually love using both, each project i undertake whether it be personal or a commission can require different materials to build it to achieve different effects. Eva foam and L200 foam are the 2 foam types i like to work with since both are used by the fabrication shops that work for big movie productions. They are great for making armor due to the varying thickness and the amazingly light weight of it all. You can build it to look big and heavy, but in fact it can be very light. Wonderflex also is great when u want to build armor or props that are very thin, also when u have to get some crazy shapes and bends for an intricate look Wonderflex rocks. Surprisingly enough both work extremely well together.
As far as tools go , i always have my heat gun, exacto knives, Hot temp glue gun, Wood burning tool and rulers at the ready.
Some of your projects are huge! How do you ever know where to start?
When i work with any Full suit project i try to always work with the torso, it is a lot easier to make sure everything else fits/attaches to the torso better if i start there. I have no real preference over a big or small project. What i do like is when the project challenges me, makes me think and try new things over a simple commission.
Have you got any advice for anyone who would like to get started in armour making?
Hmm as far as advice goes, Practice, Patience, and Perseverance- the 3 P’s. Making armour takes a lot of time, even if it seems like it is a simple build, you would be surprised the sheer amount of work that goes into building it, then applying a realistic finish, as well as building a harness to make sure it fits proper on the client.
Do you have any favourite project you’ve worked on?
What’s your dream project to work on?
I do not have a particular single dream project, there are so many i want to do, one group one i do want to do soon, will be the 4 horsemen from the video game darksiders. I already built a war costume myself, a few yrs ago, but i want to redo him in his abyssal armor, i have a friend that wants to be death, just going to need to get a woman to model pestilence and one more guy for strife, and the epicness can happen!
If you could go back to the first thing you made now, is there anything you would change about it? Is there any advice you would tell yourself back then to do or change?
I would change everything lol! I have learned so much over the many years i have been doing this, also the materials that are available have changed too, allowing for better creations as well. More safe less toxic options.
One thing i do wish as a kid was that i had more options to learn form or alongside the great like kids have today. There where not special effects schools then like today, or you had to be real lucky to happen upon a person in the biz to really get exposed to it, not much luck of that growing up in the biz. I had to deal with fangoria books, library books, and the occasional video tape back in those days that briefly talked about it. I would’ve def encouraged myself to try to meet folks in the biz or to at least try to reach out to them to get an internship to get a solid skill set faster, and to make vital connects in the business quicker. I would’ve loved to of learned under the late great Stan Winston or Steve Wang.
Thank you again to finish up, is there anyone you would like to give a shout out to or special thanks?
Definitely wanna thank my family for putting up with my crazy costumes over the yrs lol. I also want to thank the studios out there for realizing the value of putting out behind the scenes video more often now, they are like liquid gold for folks like me, we learn so much from them.
Thank you so much Davence for some amazing Answers!
For our readers Don’t forget to go and like his page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fantasy-Armor-by-Davence/243736072377764