His instagram may read as armoured idiot, and he may well say that he is an amateur cosplayer, but the fact is Mikhael is extremely talented and his latest costume Red X quite frankly blew us away. Mikhael was awesome in granting us an interview, here’s what he had to say:
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Sure! I’m 22, and live in LA. I enjoy working with my hands, which is pretty helpful considering my favorite hobby.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I really fell into cosplaying accidentally, or at least, the scene itself. It was right after the animated Under the Red Hood movie that I decided that I’d put a costume together for Anime Expo that year. After I did that though, I started to look around online, and saw people like Nathan Deluca, DynamiteWebber, And BBoySpiderman, and thought, “Oh, I’m sure I can make my Red Hood look that good”. 3 years later, I’m still trying!
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I definitely lean towards members of the Bat Family, but I’m working on branching out to some Marvel characters soon.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Red Hood has got to be the most challenging cosplay I’ve built. Mostly because its the one I’ve spent the most time on, and spent time learning on. Now, when I start to approach a new project, I end up using techniques or skills that I learned working on some aspect of Red Hood over the last 2 or 3 years.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
For me, I try to put myself in the character’s shoes before doing anything else, and work from there. For Red X, I figured, he’s robin, trying to apprentice under Slade. So I started with a ‘dual eye’ deathstroke helmet, and built it up from there.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
For me, AX and Wondercon are my two favorites, if only for nostalgia value. AX was the first con I went to, and Wondercon was where I cosplayed for the first time, so they both have a special place in my heart.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
I remember, at SDCC in 2014, I was hanging out in a rest area with my brother and some friends. We were trying to catch our breath from walking around and posing. Now, I’m dressed as Red Hood, my brother is Spiderman, and our friends are all in disney and DC related costumes. This young boy, maybe 10-13, comes walking up and starts waving. I assumed he was waving anyone else our small group, because I’ve never been flagged down by anyone younger than 15. But he comes up to me, and tells me that my Red Hood costume looks like it came right out of a Nolan film, and that all I was missing was the Nolan Batman belt. We ended up chatting for maybe 10 minutes before we snapped a couple pictures together, and he went off with his dad. I’ll always remember that interaction, because that kid was just so happy to talk to someone who appreciates the character as much as he did.
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
I love posing in costume, and honestly, if a photographer wants a picture, all he/she has to do is ask. Even if I’m sitting down, I’m more than happy to get up. It does get tiring, posing for extended periods of time, but its part of the nature of the hobby, to an extent.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It’s undeniably made me more sociable, and its also pushed me into taking better care of my body. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, because I figure, if I’m putting hundreds of hours into building a costume, I can put a comparable amount of time into my physique and have the end result look that much better.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
I’ve gotten a lot of messages from people who want to break into the hobby, but are afraid of not having top notch costumes. The truth is, everyone started there. Its one of those things where you just have to throw yourself at it, and develop the skills. Its super rewarding to see people appreciate something that you’ve put countless hours into. And dont hesitate to ask cosplayers you like/look up to for advice! Its how I learned half the stuff I know! Just be respectful about it, and most everyone will try and help you out as much as they can!
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/armored_idiot/