PopCultHQ: Tim, thank you for being my Cosplay guest today. Let me start by saying all your cosplays I have seen so far have been nothing short of spectacular. So tell me what got you into Cosplay. What was your first inspiration to build?
Tim Harrison: I’ve been a tinkerer all my life and after college, I hadn’t really done too much. I’m not sure why, but one year I decided I wanted to do a steampunk costume for my girlfriend at the time and myself and build some side arm props. Well, that was the beginning of the end. I started making the props in August 2012. My two heavily modified Nerf maverick pistols, power packs, and battery meter were the first props I had made. They included paint, electrical work, and some custom fabrication. From there I was hooked. I had missed creating and dove in to see what else the steampunk world had to offer. For a few years, I was doing explicitly steampunk conventions and props. I then decided to branch out and do my own adaptation of the Final Fantasy Black Mage. A few friends joined me as White mage and Red mage and we went to a steampunk convention with them. The following year, I was looking to get to some other conventions and decided to enter the Crown Championship of Cosplay at C2E2 2016. I thought it would be a great time and I’d never done a big competition before. I revamped some things on the costume. Made a new waist belt from scratch and also a full staff to replace the cane I had modded. I ended up placing in the contest and [that] got me hooked in the regular cosplay scene. It’s a great community and has opened me up to meeting so many new and fantastic people.
PopCultHQ: Where do you see yourself going with the skills you have built since you started building your own cosplays?
TH: This year, I decided to actively pursue doing commission work. I’ve had an I.T business for some time and while I enjoy it, I’ve always felt like something was missing. Since I’ve gotten deeper into costume and prop fabrication, I’ve found a true passion in, not only creating, but also the constant state of learning and skill development. My goal is to get to a point where I can be an invited guest at conventions and also work towards supporting myself on the craft as well.
PopCultHQ: Cosplaying seems to be hard work but always seems fun as well. What is your best or most memorable thing dealing with cosplay so far in your life?
TH: This is a little hard to choose so I think I’ll mention two moments. The first being that initial Crown Championship. Without that, I’m confident that I wouldn’t be where I am with cosplay or know everyone that I have met in the community. It was such a stressful, nerve racking, eye opening, and amazing experience that it propelled my forward with an immense about of drive to put me where I am today. The second would be having some of my commission work published in an Internationally-distributed comic. I was asked to do a commission for a (now) good friend who wanted to do an armor set from a brand-new comic coming out at the time called Motor Crush [from Image Comics]. It’s a great comic and has a real Mad Max meets Speed Racer feel to it. I was posting progress on Instagram and the illustrator reached out and said feel free to ask any questions, which I thought was just damned cool to begin with. Well, I got the work done and she was so happy with it that she sent in the photoshoot to the creators and they absolutely loved it. This is the same team behind the Batgirl comics and many other great works. [They are now] in the 4th issue of the of the comic. My friend is now in constant contact with them and does booth work for them as the official Domino Swift of Motor Crush. The creators Babs [Tarr] and Brenden [Fletcher] are even looking forward to meeting me. It’s just a surreal experience that something that I made was published and coveted by its creators.
PopCultHQ: If you could go anywhere, to any Con in the world, where would you go and why?
TH: I think I would choose MCM London. It seems to bring a lot of the international costumers and I have seen some absolutely amazing work from people in Russia and the Philippines and met a few of them. I think it would be a great place to go to be exposed to more of that without having to fly to the other side of the world.
PopCultHQ: If you were given an open budget, what would you build and what would you do with it?
TH: With a complete, open budget, I think I would build [a] big hangout space with different themed rooms, Star Wars, Avengers, Fallout and such and have full costumes of the main characters available and a private bar to have friends over or host events and parties.
PopCultHQ: Every cosplayer seems to have that one project they are just waiting to build but the time just isn’t right just yet. What is that project for you?
TH: I think that project is my hyper-realistic Mega Man. I want to bring him to life in a similar way as to how I did my Black Mage. I had the idea a few years ago but some of the foam and molding techniques I hadn’t even begun to play with yet. There is also a lot of microcontroller, animatronic, and practical effect work that I want to include in the Mega Buster cannon that I didn’t have the skills for. I think 2018 might just be the year.
PopCultHQ: Okay, one last question: You are assembling a team of Heroes, but you can only have five on your team. Who do you chose?
TH: I think my Ultimate team would be Iron-Man for his tech and resources, Batman for his deductive skills and resources, Dr. Strange for his knowledge of the mystic, Expanded universe Luke Skywalker, and the 10th Doctor near the end of his cycle.