Zoals vorige week al aangekondigd gaan we meer aandacht aan Cosplay besteden op 365Gaming en we zijn daarom erg blij met de gelegenheid voor dit interview met Tabitha Lyons! Tabitha is namelijk niet alleen een AWESOME cosplayer en larper maar ook één van de sturende krachten achter het Engelse bedrijf Artyfakes.

Artyfakes maakt al enige jaren erg mooie props en kostuums waarvan we alleen maar kunnen dromen. Begonnen als een eenmansbedrijf en inmiddels uitgegroeid tot een bedrijf met meerdere medewerkers en een portfolio die mijn mond met regelmatig laat open vallen. We zijn dan ook erg blij dat Tabitha Lyons ingestemd heeft met een interview om ons een kijkje te geven achter de schermen van deze kunstenaars.

Artyfakes

First let me start by thanking you for taking the time to do this interview with us, especially as we can see you are working on a MAJOR project now. The Kitiara’s Dragon is getting along greatly as we can follow on your Facebook pages. Are you and Chris doing all the sculpturing yourself or is the whole team working on this AMAZING dragon?

dragon

Our Dragon project is our biggest to date, well when it comes to scale any who, no one in the Artyfakes team has ever produced something quite this large. This is definitely a team effort. we have lots of challenges fighting against us time, money ect.. this is not a two man job – we need all the hands we can get. If we was making this in a hollywood studio this would at least be a 16 man job.

But first a step back to where it started, I’m getting way ahead due to the my personal interest for the dragon :), you and Artyfakes, can you tell us on how you joined in and what you do in the team (next to being an great Cosplay model yourself)?

Wow it depends how far you want to go back haha! I actually started working with my dad when I was 12. Artyfakes was created in 2007 with just the two of us we have come so far now, it’s nice to think back and see how far with grown 🙂 I wouldn’t say I’m a model, just a geek who like to show off our creations 😉 from working in the office to cutting my fingers and covering my self in latex it really is a full deck of cards kind of job.

There was a great expansion in the team the last few years, and the portfolio looks more then amazing, so one can say things are going pretty well? Is this mainly due to the Theater, Movie & TV props or also the private custom orders?

We have certainly come a long way from our back garden in Essex, we have slowly taken on people through the years and we now have a hard working team of 7 not including the directors. We are well know for our custom commissions as we can pretty much make anything. Cosplay has certainly opened us up to new things, but I also would like to think we have had a good business plan. Even though we love what we do, it’s not just a hobby for us.

ArtyfakesI look at the Minotaur pictures at least ones every week as it is a personal favorite of mine (even if the dragon probably with knock it of it’s first place once it’s done) can you give us an idea on how these big projects go? What kind of planning, how many phases etc?

Haha aww he’s one of my favorites too. It’s all about planning. Most orders we get are completely different so it’s very likely we haven’t made one before so we always make sure we thorough with this stage, as soon as we sketched out the costume and our customer was happy to go forward, we were itching to chuck our selves straight in! Our catalogue weapons have about 16 – 20 processes then add on all the fur ect.. we completed him in 2 weeks including his weapons 🙂 now I realise I should have given him a name!

ArtyfakesYou have your own Facebook page with great pictures, so we assume you are active on Cosplay and LARP? What about the rest of the team? Is there still time to enjoy your passion in free time or is work taking up all the time for it?

I do, I started my page last year.. I have always larped so it will always be apart of my page and since joining cosplay It really has taken up what free time I have left. Some of our team also larp and cosplay but don’t have any personal pages.

We have the Elfia (formally known as Elf Fantasy Fair) a big convention 2 times a year where many cosplayers and LARP-players come to participate. Did you ever visit that? If so, how did you like it? And if not, is there a chance that we might see you or Artyfakes there to show your amazing projects?

I have not heard of this convention before, but it does sound like something I would consider 🙂 If you send me a link I will definitely check it out – always try new things!

What would be THE project of your dreams? Or maybe, what is already?

Haha since starting cosplay I have always said Kitiara on a dragon. (Dragonlance) It’s crazy to think we are ACTUALLY doing this. When we decided to start this project we were all sitting around the camp fire.. worse thing we wasn’t even drunk! So we just need to complete this first!

ArtyfakesI saw you also gamed on the Xbox (in this case it was Diablo). Do games like Diablo & Elder Scrolls give you and the team extra stimulations to create props and costumes?

Absolutely! Skyrim is what got us into cosplay! we get so many ideas, inspirations from games, movies, comics it’s why we love our job so much 🙂 and why we don’t mind doing “research”.

Do you get many order from all over the world? And if so, do they order directly with Artyfakes or through a local store?

We currently don’t have a store all orders come through via the Internet, I would say nearly half our commissions our from all over the world, Italy, U.S.A., Australia everywhere! it’s nice to know we have fans from all over I just wish we could try out there events!

And to end this interview I always like to know what lies ahead, what are the plans for the near future. So where does Artyfake like to be in 5 years? Bigger team, extra workshops? Bigger projects, going global?

Total world domination. but I think we would all settle with better biscuits with our tea 🙂

Tabitha Lyons

365Gaming dankt Tabitha & Artyfakes voor het interview en natuurlijk voor de mooie foto’s! Houd 365Gaming in de gaten voor meer Cosplay nieuws!

(credit for pictures: Red Sonja, Skyrim and Tomb Raider: Andrew Dobell @ Infinities Edge Studios)