If I told you, I would have to have my minions kidnap you.
Oh, what the heck, I need more minions, anyway. 'Guess you'll have to do. 😉
I was born in Tucson, AZ, USA on January 2nd of 1990. My family wasn't rich, but I still ended up with a closet full of dolls and doll accessories. My little kid brain couldn't understand why all my toys were miniature. For instance, I had a plastic genie lamp smaller than my thumb, and a little plastic doll whom I was supposed to make rub the lamp for three wishes from the genie. Ideally, I thought, shouldn't the lamp be my size, so that I could pretend to be the character, myself, instead of just awkwardly puppeteering the dumb doll? This, I believe, was the inception of my interest in cosplay.
A decade later, I finally learned how to paper-mache correctly, and began making life-size replicas of weapons from videogames. (Out of, basically, paper garbage.) This spiraled into a kind of addiction. I loved bringing those amazing fantasies to life! Before I knew it, my room was buried under an avalanche of swords and giant keys. This actually was amazing, because paper-mache is a slow process and each prop took me months and months to make. Selling them was out of the question, because, at the going price for such things, I'd end up working for only a few cents per hour. Just parting with them was also hard for me.
Then, in 2009, I tried to quit cosplay. Even scraped together from odds and ends, cosplay gets immensely expensive. Within a few months of that, I stumbled upon a couple of bloggers who hacked into videogames, extracted the 3D character models, used a Japanese program to "unfold" each of the geometric faces of the 3D models onto page layouts, printed the layouts, and built the character models in real life! I couldn't believe my eyes! My mind was blown like a TNT warehouse. Though these bloggers hadn't done it themselves, I immediately realized that I could use this method to make those life-size weapon replicas that I love so much, easilly, affordably, and above all else, with definitive accuracy of detail compared to how they looked on the TV screen.
In the few years since then, 3D-printing has taken technology news by storm. 3D-printing is basically what this art of "papercrafting" really is, but papercrafing uses common inkjet/laser printers, which (if you're reading this) you probably already have acess to, instead of big, fancy, expensive 3D-printers.
It took me over a year to learn the technical side of designing my own papercraft templates. During that time, I scoured the internet for people who were able and willing to teach me the trade, but of the startlingly sparse few who were able, I found none who were willing. In time, as I amassed an impressive collection of various kinds of 3D freeware, by pure trial and error I forged my own way. Perseverance really does pay off, but I wouldn't wish that particular journey on anyone. So, I've always done my best to share what I know about papercrafting, even if it doesn't seem like much from my point of view.
What I claim as my crown in the realm of papercrafting, for now there are many, many other such designers, is what any sculptor claims among other sculptors: creative originality and skill with my tools though even if they're as humble as chisels and stone. I.e. for the most part, I'm still using freeware!
Other than papercrafting and 3D-printing, I have little interest in 3D, such as the CGI renders used in movies and games. I can't help but feel about CGI the way that I did about that little doll with his little lamp—-I’d rather be doing than observing like a creepy fly on the wall. Now, with papercrafting and 3D-printed cosplays, I can (more or less) materialize that vaporous CGI dreamworld piece by piece for all of us.