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Armor ON: Getting to know Dayna the Sloth

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(Toronto, 26th June. Yakuza Webzine) Toronto ComiCon was a great place to meet new people. Dayna Kenworthy, a.k.a Dayna the Sloth is one of them. This young cosplayer gently accepted an interview with us so we can get to know a little inside info from the cosplayer world!

How did it start?

Well, I was a drama kid growing up, so I did a lot of theater and stuff, and my grandma was a seamstress, a professional seamstress so we used to do costumes when I was in younger grades and things like that.

When I was in highschool I always being very creative. I stated doing costumes for my own plays in school and I’m also a geek and my friends were like “hey, you should come with me to this convention, people dress up” and I was like “ok” and that’s how I get started I guess.  So I already knew how to do cosumes so I only applied this to the geek side.

First convention?

The first one was AnimeNorth 2014 just down the street in Etobicoke. That was my first convention ever and I had no idea what conventions were really like and that one was huge, it is one of the biggest conventions in Canada. It was a bit overwhelming.

Which cosplay did you take?

I just threw something together like a quick closet cosplay. I think it was Fionna from Adventure time… I just went through my closet with my mom and “I guess I can wear this” because I really didn’t know what it was about, how insane people went, how big the costumes were.

Last minute #adventuretime #cosplay #animenorth #fiona

Una publicación compartida de Dayna (@daynathesloth) el

How many time does it take you to make a costume?

Like an armour build kind of thing?it depends on what I am making but I am pretty fast. I put a TV show and I just work on it day and night – no sleep- until I finish it. If is a time com- I can finish it in roughly four days. I already did one of my biggest armor builds and it was almost that amount of time, straight days, no stop.

Which cosplay was that?

That was my Samus cosplay, from Metroid. I did the power suit so yeah. I wear that to FanExpo last year and that was one of my biggest builts like in record time.

It was a lot of work, but I had so much fun wearing it, making it, it was a big project so, it was worth it.  I plan to do all of her costumes for good.

What kind of materials do you use?

I am on a budget: I use many cheap materials that you can find around your house or in a hardware store. My favorite materials are EVA foam, labor format that you heat and shape and craft foam. After Toronto ComiCon I was introduced to the world of worbla  and thibra (brand names for thermoplastic materials) I just started using that because it’s really expensive so I’m using the minimum amount.

How do you keep a cosplay clean?

Honestly for the longest time I didn’t know until I went to this panel with Yaya-Han and she said some words that are so true: Every cosplay has a life time. When it starts to smell, you just retire it. Because it’s so hard to wash this costumes, you just don’t. You just kind of wear them until you cannot stand the smell of it anymore.

Especially with EVA foam, it gets so dirty inside and sweat and make up if I’m wearing full body paint. You can take a cloth and wipe it down but you can’t throw them in the washing machine so eventually it will be time to throw it away.

Have you ever sold any of your cosplays?

Yes, that’s how I can pay to continue cosplay and it’s the only way: I do commissions and I sell my older pieces, because I tend to never re-wear a costume, unless I really really like it or is very easy to put on for lazy cosplay days. But on my bigger armour builds, like a lot of my World of Warcraft stuff that I know that I can’t keep or I know I can’t travel with or that I know it was just a big factor of “WOW” at once and I’m not gonna re-wear it,  so I sell it, pass it down to the line to another cosplay.

A lot of people also buy individual pieces: if they see a sword that they really like, to put it on their wall. From my Samus cosplay somebody just bought the arm cannon. They wanted the cannon, so I sold them that.

So it’s a business, the crafting-and-selling?

Yes! I always wear them once, to get good pictures for me. I made the costumes for myself unless is a commission, and then I sell it to whoever is willing to buy.

How much do you charge?

20$ the hour because they take so much time. I do pretty reasonable prices because I know that there are some much people who cannot afford this big crazy extravaganza so I charge that flat rate for my work and an extra rate for materials and however that works out it depends and the items. It varies I guess.

I know people who charges and amount per cosplay, that’s why I am asking

I guess that will be easier for seamstress and people who do the sewing, but I don’t do the sewing. I just do armors so every piece is gonna be different and you can put a lot of details and and if they want me to use EVA foam or foam is gonna be way less expensive or say they want to put lights on them say LEDS it will be another cost.

Do you have help with the LED part?

I learnt from YouTube – I don’t wire them. I prefer to buy them pre-wired so to whoever I’m gonna sell it, they just have to replace the battery.

Which one has been the most difficult commission so far?

The most difficult costume… they’re all pretty difficult on their own way. My Maiev Shadowsong from WoW for last fan expo was very challenging because I had to figure out how to rig this big shoulder pieces that had this blades coming out of it. I had to figure it out how to put them on so they’ll stay on and they were heavy. I was in full body paint and I have this huge weapon… that was very hard, to figure it all.

Also, that was very hard because I never made a shoulder piece like that or the neck piece yet. That was a learning experience and a very stressful one.

Which part is the most enjoyable one?

I love the painting. I’m not very good at it but I really love doing the shading and using all the techniques. I got pretty good at doing the highlighting and shadows. I used all that over the Kida I was wearing at the Toronto ComiCon. I feel like the paint job is the finishing touch and when is all on you put the clear coat and you’re like “OMG It looks just like it!” It is not a piece of foam anymore, it’s an armor!.

Any suggestion to new cosplayers?

Yes! You don’t need very expensive tools, or materials. Your best friend is going to be making templates. You’ll use them for everything. I don’t really hear a lot about that but when yu have templates you can do a lot of cosplays and any costume. It’s just about cutting u the pieces and sticking them together. So wrap yourself in plastic wrap and make a template of your own body and then you can just make the armor pieces that fit your body.

You don’t need a big mannequin, you don’t need a big dresser. As long as you can make templates, you can make anything.

What do you think about cosplay positivity?

I’m on for it I guess, because Cosplay is for fun. It is art, it can be interpreted in so many ways. Just have fun with it. People tend to take it so seriously, there is no rules. As long as you’re having fun and nobody is getting hurt, what’s the harm in that, right?

Just do it for you. If you’re not gonna wear something because you think is not going to flatter you, fair enough, but not restrict yourself from wearing a costume because you thing you’re not gonna fit the character.

Nobody is gonna fit this characters from animes and videogames. Nobody, no matter how many make up do you put on, nobody is gonna look like that. There is no standard in my opinion

Dayna Top’s fav.

Dream cosplay:

  • Legolas
  • All the Samus power suits
  • Princess Zelda twilight princess
  • Morrigan Aensland

Favorite Cosplayers

  • Evil Ted – Youtuber, EVA Foam-Smith.
  • Jessica Nigri – Before judging her, look up her armors builds.
  • Kamui Cosplay – Armor icon
  • Kenkatsu Cosplay.

Maria Caterina Bruciapaglia

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