“I don’t claim to be a professional, nor will I ever be. I am a continuous learner.” These are the words spoken by humble cosplayers Berg and Nadine, who well versed in costume making, make-up, and realistic character portrayels, make up Celtic Ruins Designs. I have another opinion about these two. Quite possibly one of the most dedicated and talented Cosplaying couples out there, I have seen first hand how passionate about Cosplaying they really are. A first in the Cosplay Corner, we sit down with a couple and get the low-down on everything Cosplay. Read below for the full interview…
They say couples that cosplay together, stay together, any truth to that? Has this hobby strengthened the bond between you two?
It’s a mixture really. Costuming/cosplay can be VERY stressful and expensive. There’s a constant struggle to make sure that both of us have all we need for whatever costumes we’re working on. Once that’s out of the way, it definitely lends strength to our common bond. We met when we were dressed as Legolas and Arwen at Dragon*con 2004. So cosplay will always have a special place and is something that we’ll always have!
Many are claiming that your Gambit is one of the most realistic portrayals of the character. When you set out to do this costume, what were the most important features to pay attention too?
We honestly had no intention of it being such a hit. We had both grown up loving X-Men, especially the 90’s cartoon. I had action figures of both Rogue and Gambit. Gambit had been my favorite X-Men since I was little. When I met Nadine, I found out Rogue was her favorite. We had many friends begging us to make them our costume counterparts for a few years! It was meant to be!
We tried to make sure that all features of the old 90’s Gambit, (our personal favorite), stayed intact. It also helps that we try to cosplay characters that have similar features we have, who also happen to be personal favorites!
It is no secret that you both are fans of LOTR/Hobbit. What can we expect to see from you two as the film gets closer to release?
We’re currently working on screen accurate versions of Legolas and Arwen from the Fellowship of the Ring! Mike Cook of Studio Kensai is currently working on a screen accurate weapons kit for Legolas. We’ll be premiering them at Dragon*con this year. These were the costumes we met in, and they deserve a face lift! It is definitely exciting for us to have Tolkien back in the media and on the big screen again. We can’t wait!
Nadine, your abilities range from realistic make-up effects to making costumes from scratch. Let’s start with make-up. It is a bigger world than most people realize. Since you use cream based, is face primer necessary with it in order to wear the liquid foundations?
I try to use a range of makeups, not only cream-based. Face primer is always a must in most cases, especially if you’re using regular foundation and you’ll be wearing it outside for a photo-shoot, or all day at a convention. For FX makeup, like the Joker, zombies, or any other makeup look that requires full coverage of a color other than skin tone, definitely make sure you cover it with setting powder or spray. Alcohol-based body paint is best for all-over wear, especially for arms! Trust me, I’ve left body paint smeared on chairs at conventions before…and on my costume! Not pretty!
And could you take us through a bit of your creative process when making a costume. Do you pay more attention to realism, comfort, or accessibility or materials?
Ideally it’s all four! I’m (Nadine) a detail fanatic, so when I start piecing together costumes, I try to make sure I have high res images close at hand. I scour sites and fabric stores. If I can’t find what I need already made, I try my hardest to replicate it the best way I know how, and closest to the original prop or costume. I’ve sacrificed comfort in both of our costumes in the past, and it’s not fun, but most costumes aren’t meant for comfort. Movie costumes are only meant to be worn for a brief amount of time. Comic book and cartoon/anime costumes are so far off from being comfortable most times, that you have to take liberties!
How do you both decide who to cosplay? Having to keep in mind it is ideal to cosplay two characters that relation to each other, do you find yourselves in a position of compromise? Or are you guys both usually on the same page?
Berg is very big on cosplaying characters that look similar to him. Nadine tries to go for that sometimes as well, but has a love for too many costumes to just stick to face-characters! Being that we have so many things in common and like most of the same movies, anime, video games and comic series, it isn’t too hard to pick and choose. We usually do end up on the same page!
Give us some of your favorite anime!
We are HUGE Miyazaki fans! We have Princess Mononoke and Ashitaka costumes in the works, and have talked about Howl and Sophie in the past. More recently we have enjoyed High School of the Dead and Paprika, just to name a few.
What is a costume you two have wanted to do but have been putting off, either due to time, money, or ability?
There are too many to possibly count, but the top ones are Kerrigan from Star Craft and The Rocketeer for Berg. We’re slowly learning prop building. It’s been something we’ve looked into for the past few years and is a realm we really need to explore, but haven’t had the time or money to really get into it. We are definitely getting there though!
Dragon-Con, SDCC, and many more events are coming up, any plans you can reveal for upcoming costumes or appearances?
Dragon*con is our “hometown” con, It’s where we met, and we go every year. Nadine does run costuming panels for the Tolkien Track, and we’ve been staff for the Tolkien Track in the past. We are unveiling a few new costumes at D*Con, including Lord of the Rings costumes, the Evil Queen and Sheriff Graham from ABC’s “Once Upon a Time”, and Zelda and Link from Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword!
Lastly, would you recommend cosplaying with your significant other? Or is it a hobby that takes extreme patience, love, and understanding between each other before tackling? What is your take on it?
We definitely would! Make sure that the significant other does have the patience, love, and understanding that you do. We’ve watched relationships in the past where one person tries to get their partner to cosplay with them, and it never works out. Make sure that they understand the costuming/cosplay boundaries before entering into the world of costuming and conventions. We’ve seen couples try to bring another couple in who takes it a little too far or doesn’t have a full understanding of the hobby. It can create unneeded drama for you and those around you. Remember, it’s all in good fun!
If you can overcome drama, see past it and just have fun with the one you love, you’ll be happy and you’ll never look back!
Want to keep tabs on these Cosplay lovebirds? Follow their cookie crumb trail below:
Berg and Nadine also want to point you in the direction of this donation fund. This is an official account set up to go to all the families of the Colorado theater shooting victims: