Never posted this before, though I said I was going to last year and forgot! Working on several art pieces right now and trying to update my website, so I'll get to the chase!
- Please briefly tell us about yourself (include age, location, and occupation/studies).
My name is Dan Cattell. I'm 24 and a recent graduate from Rutgers University in Camden's animation department, though I enjoy working in all art media and especially mixing them together, which is a large part of what this series has been. I've come up with the name "CosPIX" for their identity, because they are at a new junction of several media with the most defining points being costume design and pixel art, which are the basis for the portmanteau. It's really a lot easier to say "It is something new!" and show people than trying to describe how they fit into the existing Art world, most of the time.
- What prompted you to create the pixelated Ridley costume after successfully designing the previous ones? How does it differ in scale and functionality?
Well, Samus was a hard act to follow! I wanted to do something crazy and really push the limits, and it had to be something popular so I figured that I'd do Ridley to-scale with her. They match up as perfectly as they do in Super Metroid, so our Ridley is 11 feet tall with his mouth open.
- Please describe the creation process. How long did it all take?
I had to apply for a research grant to make it, which was submitted last December and part of my application was a copy of the Nintendo Power article from my previous CosPIX! I received the $500 grant to reimburse costs in January and that's when I started looking into construction materials. It was made with coroplast (plastic cardboard) with canvas adhered on top for a painting surface. Because it was my last semester, I received a lot of help painting from my friends and fellow artists who were fans of the previous CosPIX and really excited to be involved. I made a time lapse video with my Nintendo 3DS, which was lots of fun but presented the new challenge of finding interesting angles for shooting that catch everyone who is working! [link]
The right side of Ridley was done and towering over everything else in the senior thesis show at the Stedman Gallery by May and the left side was done for the convention at the end of July, though it wasn't used due to time constraints and a lack of people to carry the parts. All-in-all it was about 6 months of work.
- What's it like actually wearing the costume? How maneuverable is it,and can you see very well?
It was made of very lightweight material, but because of the size it was still somewhat weighty. My friend Steve donned it for Otakon and my girlfriend Krystal and I did setup. It wasn't too maneuverable in the state it was in, but the potential is still built-in for a better internal design. Krystal solved several structural problems on the fly. We had a very scary incident where he boarded an escalator that had a low ceiling on the bottom that we noticed partway down! We angled it just right as we came to the drop and the people above us all applauded.
- What was the reaction like when you wore it to a convention?
It was amazing! The attendees were baffled and awestruck and not believing what they were seeing. It was a struggle to move it that was ever exacerbated by constant photo requests.
- What's next? Got any other plans for elaborate cosplay?
We've been tossing a few ideas around. I've been wanting to do Jumpman and Paper Mario for a while, but Krystal came up with the idea to do Doc Louis and Little Mac training which would be a lot of fun for everyone if I can figure out how to do the bicycle. We're very open to input and always looking for new ideas!