Up Close with Cosplay Phenom Kelton

It's October and that means that Halloween is right around the corner! It also means that this is a good time to bust out an article on cosplay! Cosplay (Short for "Costume play") is all the rage at conventions. You'll see various characters brought to life wandering around the convention floor. posing for photos and just plain being awesome. I follow various cosplayers on Facebook, but one that always stood out to me was Kelton. Just take a glimpse at his work and you can see why! Every picture, every project (And even his gracious response for an interview) BLEEDS professionalism and a drive for perfection. Let's meet him!

Charlie: Hi there! First, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Kelton: I'm Kelton and I am 24 years old. I recently graduated from Cinema Makeup School and I'm an aspiring FX makeup artist. I was actually born in Greensboro, North Carolina but moved to Singapore at a young age and only recently moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in makeup. Before going to CMS, I graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore with a diploma in Fine Arts. I started teaching myself to sew at the age of 14 because I made clothes for my dolls and 12 inch figures. Then I got into Japanese Rock bands and wanted to make my own clothes. Eventually I discovered cosplay and I've never looked back since!

Charlie: You've got a very wide range of costumes. Do you make them all yourself?Dracula from Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2

Kelton: Yes I make all my costumes myself! That's the best part besides actually wearing them and seeing everything put together! You learn so much from making your own costumes and I can't imagine not making my own costumes especially since I am really picky with details.

Charlie: What would you say the hardest costume that you've worked on has been?

Kelton: I would say all of my costumes have their own challenges but the most challenging is probably my Maleficent costume, based on a design by artist, Sakimi Chan. I had to learn to work with new materials like Worbla and I had to sculpt, mold and cast ears, a collar and horns! Also I had to teach myself how to make articulated wings that would work with a lever mechanic.

Charlie: What one is your favorite?

Kelton: It's so hard to choose a favorite because each one of my costumes is a labor of love but if I REALLY had to, I would say my Dracula costume from Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 since it's really intricate and it also incorporates a lot of makeup!

Charlie: With all the creating and conventions, do you ever have any time to yourself? Family, friends, gaming, dating? You seem like you're swamped at all times!

Kelton: Yes I am always really busy with projects because I hate not being able to work on props or costumes! I always make time for family and friends though because they're the most important people in my life. I used to be a really hardcore gamer in my early teens but now I game once in a while when I need a break from crafting or work on makeups. I still love games though especially survival horror and fighting games!

Charlie: You dabble quite a bit in gender bent costuming (Taking a female character and making them male or vice-versa.) Is it difficult to sometimes visualize a female character as male?Maleficent2

Kelton: I believe 'genderbending' is the term that's most commonly used or it's referred to as 'Rule 63' which is an internet meme that states that every character has an opposite gender counterpart. Honestly I only started getting into genderbend cosplays this year! I've been seeing girls do female versions of male characters and a lot of fan art of genderbend characters I like. So I thought it'd be an awesome way for me to be able to pay homage to characters I'd otherwise never get to do. My first actual genderbend cosplay was Elsa from Disney's Frozen based off of a design by Juhaihai on Tumblr. I've designed a couple of my own genderbends since then like Mileena from Mortal Kombat and Morrigan from Darkstalkers but I haven't done any photo shoots with those costumes yet. I don't think it's that hard to visualize the female characters as the opposite gender since I just take elements of their costume/character and make it more masculine.

Charlie: Some of your costumes show off a decent amount of skin. What do you do to prepare for this?

Kelton: I was never really good at sports as a kid and cosplay gave me a reason to start working out and it allows me to embody a completely different character from the real me. If I know I have a costume that requires a little skin showing, I make sure I cut sugar and processed foods out of my diet, gym 3-4 days a week and do cardio every 2 days. I haven't exactly reached my fitness goals yet but I'm working towards getting there!

Charlie: What advice would you give to a beginning cosplayer?

Kelton: Do LOTS of research. If you plan on making your own costume and you don't have any sewing skills yet, take sewing classes or read books and teach yourself to sew. I learned from reading Japanese magazines like Goth Loli and studying the patterns that were included. Choose characters you can identify with and that you really like and ask yourself if you're willing to fork out a couple hundred dollars to make this costume. Cosplay isn't a cheap hobby so that's why I only choose costumes that I know I am willing to invest in and spend the time making. Makeup is also extremely important to sell the character and it makes a world of a difference so basic knowledge of makeup is useful! If you're just looking to have fun at a con and see what it's like to dress up, there's no shame in wearing a store bought costume because after all, having fun is what this hobby is about.

Charlie: Do you have any favorite cosplayers that you look up to? saintclaire3low

Kelton: Yes! Some of my favorite cosplayers are Vampybitme, Yaya Han, Rick Boer of RBFProductions, and Omi Gibson! Those are just some I can think of off the top of my head. I really admire them for their crafting, sewing and makeup skills!

Charlie: If money were no object, what would be your dream project?

Kelton: That's a tough one! But I would LOVE to do Nemesis Type II from Resident Evil 3! I'm sure there are lots more but that's probably the first one I can think of right now. I helped sculpt a giant body suit for Lee Joyner's (the director of Cinema Makeup School) Apocalypse from X-men makeup we did for San Diego Comic Con this year. And after doing that I feel like I can do much bigger makeups/costumes than I've done before!

Charlie: Where can our readers find out more about you, your work, or cosplay in general?

Kelton: I'm currently working on a proper website that should be up soon but most of my work is on my Facebook page http://facebook.com/kerukeruuu , my Instagram - keltoncos or my DeviantArt page - http://keruuu.deviantart.com

My work can also be found on the pages of the photographers I've worked with!

Reinier Tinapay (no website)
Vaxzone - http://vaxzone.deviantart.com
Muze Ezum - https://www.facebook.com/muzephotoncosplay
When was this taken photography - http://facebook.com/whenwasthistaken

A special thanks to Kelton and his amazing photographers for the images! Were you guys impressed? If so, go hit him up on his Facebook page and let him know! And from all of us here at #Boom Have a happy and safe Halloween!