Our Cosplayer Of The Month for August 2015 is Shevaun Chester, also known as Giantshev Cosplay. Shevaun is both a cosplayer and photographer, and she is known for her keen eye for detail. The first time I saw Shevaun was at rAge 2014 and my first thought was “geez check how tall this girl is!!”. Let’s hear more from Shevaun herself on her passion for cosplay and her thoughts on the SA cosplay scene…
Profile : Shevaun Chester (Giantshev Cosplay)
Location : JHB, Gauteng
Facebook page: Giantshev Cosplay
Deviant Art: GiantShev
Background: Tell us a bit more of yourself?
I’m a 22-year-old cosplayer and cosplay Photographer from South Africa.
How and when did you get started in Cosplay and why you Love it?
I heard about cosplay at rAge in 2011 through a local cosplayer (Kinpatsu) that I followed on Facebook, and I decided to take what was then just a Halloween costume idea the following year a bit more seriously and the rest is history.
What was the first Costume you wore for Cosplay and did you make it yourself?
My first cosplay was Mad Moxxi from Borderlands, and I made the entire costume myself.
What is your most difficult challenge in creating a costume?
Definitely sewing. I do have trouble with other aspects, like armor making etc, from time to time, but sewing is consistently the most difficult aspect for me.
What type of genre is your favorite to Cosplay, and why?
I tend to gravitate more towards gaming characters, as I do prefer working on badass, strong willed and/or armored characters, but it doesn’t limit me at all. I’ve made costumes from TV shows and anime, too.
Your best Cosplay moment so far?
I don’t really have a single favorite moment, but wearing a costume out at events and people stopping me for photos, or just telling me that they love the character I’m cosplaying, or that I’ve brought their favorite character to life. It really makes all the hard work worth it for me.
Every Cosplayer has a favorite part of creating a costume or something they are really good at, what is yours?
For me it’s definitely armor and prop making, I love working with foam and thermoplastic.
What costume are you planning on making or wearing next?
I am currently working on Officer Jinx and Morgana, both from the game League of Legends, for the rAge expo in October later this year.
How do you decide on which character to cosplay?
It isn’t really a very logical process, if I like a character enough, it goes on the eternal cosplay list of doom.
What Cosplay events do you attend and what do you expect from them? At conventions, events and locations are you usually approachable?
I try to attend as many as I can, even if I can’t have a new costume ready for the event. I am usually very approachable! I’m a little shy, so I struggle to approach other people sometimes, but I do love interacting with people at conventions, so I hope I don’t come across as unapproachable at all
Do you like it when people want to talk and discuss your art form?
I do! I love talking to people about cosplay, answering questions, or even just speaking about mutual fandoms.
What is your involvement in the local Cosplay community and where do you see gaps that need to be filled?
I’m a professional photographer, and I specialize in cosplay photography, to make exceptional cosplay photos easily accessible and affordable to our amazing local talent.
Who are your favorite South African Cosplayers and why?
In no particular order:
Cywiel cosplay – I’ve actually been friends with this lovely lady for a few years longer than I’ve been cosplaying. I introduced her to the scene in 2012, and we’ve been to so many events together, and she’s grown so much in both the community and in her skillset, I can’t wait to see how she grows in the future.
Justine Kosuplay – I first met her at rAge 2014, and I had an instant cosplay crush on her (shh, don’t tell her I said that!). We’ve recently become very close friends beyond the cosplay community, and she means the world to me, She always embodies the most badass characters flawlessly, and I think she will very soon be one of South Africa’s best cosplayers, if not already.
Kinpatsu cosplay – Not only is she immensely talented, but endlessly kind and helpful. She’s always willing to help with any questions I have, no matter how incessant they might be, and she’s been so supportive of my photography, if it weren’t for her, I’d probably still be working in retail.
How do you feel about Cosplay in South Africa in general ?
In the short time I’ve been involved in the community, everything has grown exponentially, from the availability of craft supplies like EVA foam and thermoplastics, to the skill level of the cosplayers, to the events catering to cosplayers. I look forward to the coming years, and I really hope that our community keeps growing at this rate, to the point where our community is on par with the huge international cosplay communities, where having international cosplay guests are the norm, or even having our local cosplayers invited to international conventions as guests, I really hope that it becomes a not so distant reality.