Cosplayer Interview – Sketch McDraw

Sketch McDraw

Sketch McDraw, also known as Kyle Whittington has only been cosplaying for the past two and a half years. However he has shown such great skill in cosplay making that he has even started to make commissions. He has so far cosplayed as five different characters and is currently working on his sixth. He has also made two commissions. Kyle has made some amazing props such as the legendary Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII as well as an impressive M-98 Widow Rifle from Mass Effect.

Q: Firstly thank you Kyle for letting me interview you. To start off why did you start cosplaying?

Kyle: I started cosplaying back in 2010 when a friend told me about MCM Expo. I had never been to a convention at that point or knew what cosplay was till she told me. She said that I should go in costume so I decided to go as Zack Fair from Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core as he was one of my favourite characters, and I always wanted an excuse to make a Buster Sword.   

Q: What has been your most memorable experience whilst cosplaying?

Kyle: I’d say my most memorable experience whilst cosplaying has to be my first time entering the Masquerade with a couple of friends. We entered on the day and I was so nervous – but enjoyed it so much and I was really surprised with how warmly our entry was received and all the nice comments we got from everyone. 

Q: Why did you start making commissions?

Kyle: I started making stuff for my friends’ cosplays. Then when word got around I started getting quite a few people inquire about how I went about making things and if they could commission me to make stuff for their cosplays, as they had seen my work and liked what I had done.  

Q: Do you prefer making props for your own cosplays or for others?

Kyle: I like both, though I must admit that I found it hard once to part with a commissioned piece as I had spent a lot of time and effort to get it just right and was really happy with how it turned out and I kinda wanted to keep it, haha. 

Q: How did you learn how to make these props?

Kyle: I’ve always been a creative person. When I was a child I would always make things off the top of my head and I would always watch and help my dad when he did DIY. So I have picked up a lot of things from watching him as well as generally experimenting with tools and materials on my own.

Q: What has been your most challenging moment whilst making cosplay?

My most challenging moment to date was a commission I did earlier this year. It was of the ‘M-98 Widow Rifle’ from the Mass Effect games and was the first large scale commission that I had taken on. I made the whole thing from scratch and it took me three months to make, and was also the first prop that I did that featured electronics.  

Q: Would you like a career in prop making or is it just for a hobby?

Kyle: I am currently at university studying a prop making course and want to have a career as a prop maker in TV and the film industry. I managed to do some work during the summer on the movie ‘All You Need Is Kill’ at Leavesden Studios which was a great experience. I would also like to start up my own prop company in the near future as I’d love to be able to work for myself and have my own workshop. 

Q: Do you enjoy the construction of cosplay more than wearing the cosplay itself?

Kyle: I really enjoy both. I love making cosplays from scratch and the problem solving that goes with constructing it and seeing it all come together and that feeling of excitement you get when it’s finished and you put it all on for the first time. I also love wearing the cosplay when debuting it at a convention and seeing what everyone’s reaction is to it and if they like it or not. 

Q: What do your friends/family outside of the cosplay community think of your hobby?

Kyle: For the most part my family and friends are understanding and are really encouraging and see the enjoyment I get out of it and the amazing friends I have made through cosplay. There are a few friends that just don’t understand it and can’t get their head around the idea of spending up £100 – £200 on making a ‘fancy dress’ costume.  

Q: What has been your favourite costume to date and why?

Kyle: My favourite costume to date has to be my ‘Final Fantasy: Dissidia’ version of Squall Leonheart as I found it a challange to do. I’m not a fabric savvy person and have basic sewing skills and had to do a lot of modding to the jacket and trousers. I also really enjoyed making the Gunblade as I hadn’t made one before and felt that I naturally suited him. So overall it was a really enjoyable cosplay to make and wear, and has been one of my most well received cosplays.

Q: Do you have a ‘dream cosplay’?

Kyle: My dream cosplay is to do ‘Cyborg Ninja’ aka Grey Fox from the Metal Gear Solid games, I’ve always loved the character and his costume would be such a challenge to make, from trying to replicate the look and feel of the armour to the realistic paint job and adding the electronics.

Q: Are you attending the upcoming London MCM Expo in October? And if so, what are you cosplaying?

Kyle: I am attending all three days and I’m cosplaying as Kuma from Afro Samurai and will hopefully be entering it into the Masquerade if all goes well. 

Thank you for the great interview Kyle and I’m excited to see your Kuma at the upcoming MCM Expo.

 

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