All Ages of Geek Erika Algarin

We Interviewed Artist & Cosplayer Erika Algarin!

1. What started your artistic journey? 

I started drawing at a really young age, I always thought I would be an artist of some kind but I never expected to be a textile one. I drew all the time in middle and high school.

When I was around 12 I saw a flyer at a local used game store for an anime convention at the University in town, I didn’t even know they were a thing at that time so I was really excited to go. My parents let me go with a friend and seeing all the people in costumes and artists selling their work just blew my mind. It was shortly after that I started trying to sew costumes for myself, although it was a few years before I could do it on my own.

It was a few years after I had gotten decent at making costumes that I started making plush. I’m totally dating myself here but that was back when merchandise was a lot harder to come by in Canada/USA. There wasn’t a plush of my favorite anime character so I made my own. Surprisingly when I posted it online someone offered to buy it and it just went from there.

2. What is your favorite piece you made? 

My most recent piece that I’ve made that’s been my favorite has to be a small human Quetzalcoatl from Fate: Babylonia. I love Fate and I have one lovely client who has been commissioning me for a lot of characters from the different shows and games. They’re fun to make since I know the characters, especially Quetz since she is one of my favorites from Babylonia.

3. What advice would you tell other artists who are new? 

Don’t be afraid to use tutorials, there are tons of free patterns and advice for beginners available on the internet. Even I buy tutorials and patterns from people occasionally, it’s a great way to learn how to do different techniques you may not have thought of. 

Don’t be afraid to use cheaper materials to start off as well, not everyone has to use minky or expensive embroidery machines to make nice plush. The same goes for costumes, you don’t need expensive sewing machines or 3D printers, just a basic sewing machine can go far.

Most importantly have fun and be kind to yourself, starting out can be frustrating but with practise you will get better!

4. Favorite cosplay you’ve done? 

It was hard to choose but I think my favorite costume I’ve made to date is my final armor Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth. I did armor making for the first time with worbla, as well as used different techniques like resin casting and foam carving/prop making. It was a dream costume of mine for a while but I never thought I’d have the skills to make it on my own.

Of course the lovely photos I got from Photos by Krista Cher helped too, they’re probably one of my favorite cosplay photo sets I’ve gotten. I’d like to wear it again but re-make my belt since I feel like I can do a lot better with Worbla now.

5. Plans for 2021

I don’t really have many plans for this year, I won’t be doing conventions again until at least 2022. I’d like to do a new costume this year at some point for next year, but other than that I’m concentrating on my online shop at the moment and building my online presence.

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