Few weeks back we got some teasers about an upcoming cosplay feat of epic proportions. Zoya was about to come to life and with a lot effort put into the smallest of details.
We caught up with Jina D (@JinaDModel) at the PAX Prime in Seattle and this is what she had to say.
– Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
Well, I was born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area. I went to college in Hawai’i and then lived in Australia for two years after I graduated. I got into modeling and costuming while living in Australia, but my love for the two didn’t really bloom until I moved back to Seattle. I, unfortunately, have a 9-5 day job. I’m a bank teller for a local bank, though it’s really not that bad of a job.
On the side; I model, design costumes, and gogo dance while trying to concoct a plan to start up my own business that will get me away from needing a day job.
– How did you come up with the idea of cosplaying Zoya from Trine?
My sister actually suggested it to me. In February I usually start brain storming what cosplays I’ll be doing for PAX (which is in August). I was looking for a specific challenge this year with my cosplays. I wanted to create pieces that hadn’t really been done and set the bar high for other cosplayers out there – I’m very much a “go big or go home” sort of girl with my costumes. My sister was playing Trine 2 at the time and mentioned Zoya’s character to me. After trying out the game myself, I knew I had to create the cosplay.
I’m not going to lie, I loved the “Assassin’s Creed” feel to the character. Plus – Zoya is a girl, which means I could have that bad-ass, hooded persona without cross-dressing or making a “Rule 63” Ezio. Not to mention, Zoya loves shiny things – what girl can’t relate to that?
– Why are you a fan of the Trine games?
It’s a challenging platform with lots of puzzles mixed in with the fighting and intriguing plot line. You can’t just numbly go through; jumping here and there, slaughtering this troll and that boss with just pounding one key. The game play makes you pay attention to the surroundings. Also, the art work in the game is awesome, and, yes, it is very pretty.
– What did it take to make a costume like your Zoya outfit? (time, materials etc.)
Well, first I had to decide what images to base my copslay off of. There are a few published art works of Zoya, but they have some minor inconsistencies such as what side her quiver is on, how many belts are attached to the bigger belt, how thick her corset is, etc. I based my Zoya off the talent tree art and the cover art for the game (not the collector’s edition). In March I had contacted and met with a number of local designers; being a model helps knowing who is good and reliable. For the leather pieces I went with Misfit Leather, whom I have walked for in a runway before.
The designer for the robe came as a recommendation from a model-friend, Idolatre Clothing Co. Once I knew who I was working with we poured over the images, taking in every detail we could and expressing how that would take physical form. There are often limitations between what an artist draws and what can actually be made. All of the executive decisions of “what is a must” and “what can be over-looked” falls on my shoulders.
We started in April and I got the last, finished piece in mid-August. The months between were filled with lots and lots of fittings and meetings; reiterating the details that were important and discovering roadblocks along the way. I also went to work on getting everything else together for the cosplay. I made the face mask, the shoes, the necklace and the bow. The gloves were purchased off Ebay and altered by myself. The earrings, bracelets and makeup were purchased at retail stores. The arrows were commissioned from an artist on Etsy.com. All-in-all the costume cost just under $1,500 (USD) to put together – becoming the most expensive costume I’ve done.
– The bow and arrows you had were very authentic looking, did you make them yourself (if yes, can you tell us a bit more about how they were made), and does the bow also work?
Thank you! As mentioned above, I did make the bow, however I commissioned someone to make the arrows.
My bow is fashioned after the one Zoya is holding in the art work featured on her talent tree. I first shaped the bow out of wonderflex – which is a heat activated synthetic polymer – using this as a core insures a solid structure and base as once it cools it’s impossible to reshape until it is heated up again. Once I had the shape I wanted; I covered the wonderflex in paper clay, let that dry and then sanded it smooth. I painted it with a few shades of brown to give it some dimension before tying on some braided string. The metal spades are actually just craft foam. I created a pattern, cut it out 4 times, painted it with a silver metallic spray paint, and worked it into the paper clay before it dried. The entire thing took about 20 man-hours to make. Sadly, the bow is not functional. Conventions are really strict about having any sort of functional weapons…they just aren’t allowed.
The arrows that I had commissioned were created by Warpath Archery where Goyaclé, a master bower with over 25 years of experience, crafted some prop arrows for me. Basically they’re just the feather-end portion of the arrows (cause again, functioning weapons aren’t allowed at conventions). For the design I sent the two images of Zoya to Goyaclé and told him to let the art work inspire him. He had offered to let me completely design the fletching (the feathers), but I know very little of arrows, so I gave him full reign over their apparence and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out – streamline black with silver highlights.
– What do you like most about cosplaying, and what has been your favourite cosplay so far?
That’s a hard question, haha! Actually both of those are hard questions. I guess I would have to say what I like most about cosplaying is getting to work with so many artists and getting to witness, first hand, how it all comes together. I pride myself in putting together very realistic, top quality costumes and it’s really fun to see others taking pride in accomplishing the same thing. Of course, I also really love encountering fans of the source of my cosplay, too. Seeing their reactions makes the months of dedication totally worth it.
I feel like asking me to pick a favourite cosplay is asking me to pick a favourite child – not that I have any children, haha. I’m going to have to pick 3 because they’re all a favourite for different reasons. I love my Vanille (Final Fantasy XIII) cosplay not only ’cause it was my first collaborative cosplay, but also ’cause she is from such a popular game. It’s really easy to find people cosplaying from the same game while at a convention and group poses are just way too much fun. My Emilia (Dance Central 2) cosplay is my most comfortable cosplay with being a loose fitting tank top, shorts and tennis shoes – making it a favourite ’cause I can easily wear it for hours and movement is not restricted in any way. And of course, Zoya (Trine 2) is a favourite cause it just feels so awesome to wear. It’s such a commanding costume with a big billowing hood, long flowing robe and some serious leather work; even though a lot of people think it’s from “Assassin’s Creed,” hahaha.
I’m also really excited for the next two cosplays I’m working on, which I’ll be debuting at Emerald City Comic-Con 2013 in March. I’m personifying a Dalek Supreme, from the TV series Doctor Who, in the form of a high-fashion, cyber goth and creating Katniss Everdeen’s 1st interview gown from the Hunger Games book, which looks nothing like the one they did in the Hunger Games movie.
– Any future plans for more Trine cosplay?
Um, I’ll most likely wear Zoya again, but I don’t see myself cosplaying either Amadeus or Pontius… Mainly ’cause they’re men and I tend to stick with my own gender. I’d really love to do a photo shoot with cosplayers portraying those two, though! How awesome would that be?!
…So there we have it folks, anyone ready to cosplay as Amadeus or Pontius will already have one third of the party ready and waiting for adventure.
-Mikael w/ JinaD