Evey Dantès’ skill as a cosplayer has got her to the place that many cosplayers wish they were at: Being paid to cosplay. Evey has tried her hand at several ways of earning money from her craft, from commission shoots to children’s parties. Nowadays, Evey not only sells prints at conventions, she is also sponsored by an online video game store, a clothing label and a dentist!
I’ve been meaning to get this cosplayer on the show since before Tropicon, and I’m proud to have her episode up a day before Evey’s next appearance at Sugar City Con in Mackay! But keep listening for Evey’s next venture – helping to organise a geek convention in her own neck of the woods, south of Sydney!
After taking photos of pets as a hobby for years, it took Ken Drake answering the dreaded, “What do you do for work?” question with what he wished he could be doing (instead of the software engineer work he’d been looking for) to start him down the path of getting Paid to Play.
Ken’s wife Beck had similarly been in business and marketing for years, and when her husband’s sideline began gathering steam, Beck herself saw an opportunity to start bringing meaning into the work she’d already been doing.
The result is Zoo Studio, which produces fantastic images of people’s pets! These two were a request of my wife Vickie, and I was very glad to chat with them about going Venkman on one of the most joyous hobbies possible!
In her handful of years in the hobby, Vicky-Vic has risen to the forefront of the Australian cosplay scene, a feat doubly impressive when she not only lives a little off the beaten track in Queensland, but also works as a registered nurse, a job that would take the spare energy out of anyone.
Nonetheless, Vicky-Vic’s enthusiasm and fantastic results have made her star rise so much that organisers of pop culture conventions across the region have begun inviting her as a guest and also a judge of their cosplay competitions. And she’s not even monetised her play (yet)!
It was a pleasure to chat with Vicky-Vic, who will be one of the three guest judges of Tropicon’s cosplay competition, about her love of the hobby, the fun folks in the scene and some of the unique difficulties of being not just an Australian cosplayer, but a slightly remote Australian cosplayer!
I also make a couple of exciting announcements on the Patreon front at the beginning of the episode!
Beethy is a photographer based in Australia who has chosen to focus his craft on portraits of cosplayers; people who not just make costumes based on fictional characters, but also go out in public and bring life to those characters. That focus has garnered him not just a living wage but also a fantastic reputation amongst the international cosplay community.
Cosplayers around the world know that the name Beethy means eminently sale-worthy portrait prints of their craft and art, but they also know it means a fun being who brings joy to the process of making great photos. I got to sample his warm personality in this chat, during which he tells his stories of the community and how he became so well known within it.
Beethy also gives a good chunk of practical photography of business advice, including a crash course in taking good cosplay photos and the rules that Beethy built his business around. You may find his experiment into who produces the best photo prints to be a real eye ear-opener!
Oh, and there’s some random geeking out about video games and consoles at the beginning too! I love asking folks what they’re digging right now!
I’m pretty sure that I said that Matt Bond puts the rest of us to shame when I first chatted with him at the beginning of 2013. At the time, Matt had successfully overcome the ongoing pain from a pair of broken legs that had put an end to his career in the music industry by becoming a freelance photographer.
Since then, Matt’s photography business has only flourished, but he’s also got back into music, returning to his beloved guitar and becoming a studio producer for local talent. On top of those, he’s added video shooting and editing to his already well-strung bow and is paying his success forward by helping community charities and fellow artists (not to mention the odd podcaster) out wherever he can. And he does all this while being a part-time Dad! I just had to get him back on the podcast for another chat.