Avianna's Silent Hill Cosplay
Every so often we at Konami Blog UK come across a cosplayer whose sheer talent and dedication completely blows us away. US based cosplayer Emily, who goes by the online alias Avianna, has managed to do just that. A true Konami fan at heart, Avianna lists her top two favourite video games as Silent Hill and Suikoden II. Her fun loving personality and all-round artistic nature make it easy to see why she is so good at what she does.
“To me, cosplay means three things: a means of crafting something beautiful with my hands, a venture that celebrates my favorite things, and a beacon that brings my friends and I together.” – Avianna (read more here).
Avianna’s Silent Hill cosplays have included: Robbie Rabbit, Claudia Wolf, George Sewell, Dahlia Mason, Dahlia Gillespie, Demon Nurse, Siam & “Female Prep” (Silent Hill: Book of Memories). With so many characters under her belt we were keen to get to know the real Avianna and pick her brain about her Konami affinity and her cosplaying career.
“Blood, Guts, Gore and More!”
Interview with Silent Hill Cosplayer – Avianna:
What made you decide to start cosplaying?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved dressing up. Halloween was the greatest time of year because I was encouraged to do it. When it wasn’t October I would be dressing up myself, my little sister and the neighbours in costume to put on shows in my garage. So costuming has been in my blood for a long time.
During high school I got into table top gaming. After high school I was told there was a game you could play where you dressed up and it was at a local college. It really intrigued me so I went to my first LARP (Live Action Role Play) and fell in love with costuming all over again. I followed one of my fellow gamers to a gaming convention called GenCon and discovered it was ANOTHER venue that I could dress up at. At the time I didn’t know it was called cosplay but I went back with a Silent Hill nurse costume the next year and I haven’t looked back since.
How long have you been cosplaying for?
I have been cosplaying since 2008. I wore my first costume at GenCon in 2006 but I don’t really count that one because I wasn’t serious about the community and the craft until 2008. Everyone starts somewhere but that’s when I really started getting into it.
Would you consider yourself a big Silent Hill fan in general?
Huge! I played Silent Hill 2 when it first came out but at the time I was into RPGs (like Suikoden and Final Fantasy) and so I got scared by just the environments and atmosphere. It wasn’t until Silent Hill 4 that I played a game all the way through and was hooked. After that I went back and replayed all the games made by “Team Silent” and was ecstatic about the next generation games. It was fun that there were a ton of new games coming out right at the time I was really diving into the series. There was a 5 year period where I was never without something Silent Hill either because I was catching up or something new was coming out.
Because of my love for the games I’ve made 8 Silent Hill costumes from scratch, bought 2, and have fabric to make 3 more. Silent Hill cosplay is something I always love to be making or wearing. I also have a pretty extensive collection of games, merchandise, figures, shirts, soundtracks and autographs. I am also a huge supporter of other fan films, art, costumes and fiction. I love people who show their fandom in artistic ways and showing my support for them is my way of showing my love for the series
Which one of the Silent Hill characters was your favourite to cosplay?
Tough call. I like the Demon Nurse because she creeps people out but cosplaying Dahlia Mason from Shattered Memories just felt right to me. I slide right into that character very well. A lot of people say I look the most like her. I also really like my Robbie: it’s a comfortable costume and fans at conventions seem to get super passionate about that one as it’s easy to approach me and just start talking about Silent Hill.
Have you attended any conventions as a Silent Hill character? If not, do you intend to?
Quite a few actually. In 2008, Daguru and I made the Siam costume and competed. We won Best Walk-On Runner Up. After that we wore it one more time to another convention in Ohio called Ohayocon. After that year’s Ohayocon, I was so thrilled about the size of the Silent Hill cosplay crowd that attended the con, that for the next 5 years I helped organize a meet up and looked forward to making new costumes for the people I met there.
I don’t go to as many conventions now-a-days so instead I get together with friends and we go to locations and take photos in our Silent Hill costumes. Every year a huge group of us meet up at the Mansfield Reformatory in Ohio –the same place they shot Shawshank Redemption- and take photos in costume.
Which costume took the longest to create? How much time did you spend on it?
Siam has, thus far, taken the longest time to create. When we were making the costume we lived five hours apart. It was a lot of correspondence. When I would get a few days off I would head to Chicago, where Daguru lived, and we would spend a weekend taped to each other, covered in paint and latex, giving our thumbs callouses. In total it took about 6 months.
However, I do have a few costumes planned for the future that could take me more time to complete. Especially because they are single person costumes being made by just little old me.
Are you planning on cosplaying any other Silent Hill characters in the future?
Recently I bought a Maria costume from a fellow Silent Hill-loving cosplayer. I am going to alter that a bit and really go to town on the details. I also have plans for a Mira costume and am still gathering materials for an Awinita costume, based off of a monster from the Silent Hill comic “Past Life” (which was the best Silent Hill comic, so everyone should go check it out).
Do you have any tips, tricks or advice for aspiring cosplayers?
Do whatever you want and learn as you go. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are too old to cosplay a character, or too skinny, or not the right gender. The internet is full of people who would rather see you not have fun so why give them that satisfaction?
Also, start out slow and give yourself either a lot of time to learn how to do one big project or give yourself one costume at a time that teaches you a new skill. My Demon Nurse costume was the first one I ever put together by myself. My Dahlia Gillespie costume was the first one I really put more effort into accurate details. My Dahlia Mason was the first time I had made jewellery, styled a wig or used fabric paint on a shirt. Every costume I do I try to teach myself something new. Then one day I will be able to make anything I want!
Finally, as a horror loving Konami fan, what did you think of P.T.?
I finally got to play it recently after watching multiple play-throughs online. I don’t own a Playstation 4, so that was holding me back.
However, only hours after I found out about it I was watching Twitch Feeds ‘round the clock. I spent 3 nights in a row after I got off work just watching feeds until all hours of the morning. I made some really cool Twitch friends that way as well.
I’m REALLY excited about the game. Kojima makes some pretty nice looking games and he has a style I think will be interesting to see incorporated into the upcoming game. Not only that, I am a HUGE Del Toro fan, I have been since “Devil’s Backbone”. If he’s involved with story and monster design I will flip out. And last but not least, I am a Walking Dead fan, so Reedus is a fun choice. He gets casted a lot of the time in the same types of roles but he takes his work super seriously and he’s very responsive and sweet to his fans. I’ve met him and he was great.
Regardless, I love the game play. There’s something about doing a teaser that doesn’t include combat that felt right. My favourite survival horror games are the ones that focus first on survival from the horror and second on the gore of that horror. I felt the playable trailer really put me in that place, so I am eager to play the full game. I also have materials to make a P.T. Lisa costume. I’m pumped for that because it’s been a long time since I’ve done a big makeup project.
If you’d like to know more about Avianna’s amazing cosplay visit her website where she provides an online portfolio with detailed descriptions of her creative process for each costume. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and DeviantART.
Let us know what you thought of Avianna’s Silent Hill cosplay in the comments section below!