Photographer-Robert John Parker
By Ashe Youngs – It was Valentine ’s Day this Tuesday just gone and many of us were spending it with partners, or with our beloved consoles. Finding friends and partners who share the same love for games, cosplay and comics is a great feeling, to have people you don’t feel will judge you and in fact will get all your geeky references. A lot of cosplayers time is spent planning their costumes, making them and them going to conventions. To have someone get that and join you, and enjoy it with you is gold dust. Candy and Kieran are a couple of dorks who have that with each other.
Ashe –How did you guys meet?
Kieran and Candy – It’s actually a funny story, it was an old social media website called hi5. We had mutual friends and started talking to each other and it just went on from there. He had really nice eyes, she had a cheeky smile. Now here we are nearly 12 years later.
Ashe –12 years congrats! Did you both first meet at a con?
Kieran – We had already been dating for over 9 years before we went to our first con together.
Candy -I have always been really into games and films from a young age. Lara Croft, growing up, was my ultimate idol and my memorabilia collection proves how much of a fan I am.
Kieran and Candy cosplaying The Joker and Poison Ivy, photo by Phoenixlibra
Kieran -I have been introduced to most of this world from Candy. I’ve always been into my console games, since the days of the Mega Drive and had my childhood fandom like Star Wars and The Power Rangers. I never really expanded much further until recent years where I have really started to love the whole geek culture. Now I love it all; from gaming, to movies and comics.
Ashe – I think we were lucky with the era we grew up in, amazing cartoons and when video games were really coming into their own. What are your favourite games of all time?
Candy -Yes we really were!! I am forever championing the 90’s! Tomb Raider is obviously one of my all time favourites as well as Tekken and Crash Bandicoot. I seriously am looking forward to the reboot and also Tekken 7 when it drops.
Kieran -For me my earliest gaming memories has to be Sonic, I love that little guy. All time favourite is a difficult one, I would probably have to go with Call of Duty-World at War. That was my first game for the PS3, my friends and I would stay up all night playing the Zombie mode even though we had work the next day. We had some seriously fun nights with that game.
Ashe – Those were great days, my friends and I friends used to do split screen Left for Dead, so much fun! Can we expect any Tekken cosplays from you for the release?
Candy – That’s a good question, Nina Williams has always been my favourite character from the franchise. Will I rock a blonde headed character this year? Who knows.
Kieran – Candy keeps telling me that I should make Yoshimitsu, it may get added to my list. Other than that I would love to make King but wouldn’t know how to go about it.
Ashe- All that padding and fur
Kieran -I know, the thought alone scares me
Ashe –What are you currently making?
Candy – Currently I am finishing off my Ultraviolet Tracer from Overwatch. I find it so hard to choose what to cosplay next.
Kieran – Currently I am adding some finishing touches to Soldier 76 from Overwatch and also piecing stuff together for Gladiolus (FFXV) and the Red Power Ranger.
Candy’s original design of BB8, Kieran’s original design of medieval Batman. Photography by Justine-Louise Photography
Ashe – You have teamed up to do joint cosplays before do you have a favourite?
Kieran – We went to New York Comic Con last year and we took Rogue and Gambit from X-men because they were easy to travel with and manoeuvre around the con. What we didn’t expect was the overwhelming reaction we got from the other guests at how amazing we looked. Every aisle we walked down we would hear people shouting “Hey look, its Rogue and Gambit“. This came as quite a shock as we had taken what we thought were easy costumes. We started cosplaying because we had been following Jessica Nigri for some time and we saw that she was coming over to the UK. So we got tickets for MCM London and a week before the event we had a last minute panic that we should be dressed up to attend. We managed to throw something together in a few days, Candy went as Yoko Littner and I went as Wolverine all made from stuff we had lying around the house. Since then we got the bug for making costumes.
Ashe – You have both made very detailed and high quality costumes using a range of skills, and have won competitions and have gained a huge following. Notably Candys fabric and painting and Keirans Armour builds and you are both adept models. Any words of wisdom?
Candy – Gods honest truth, wing it. Every time I start a new costume I feel like I have the skills to complete it, and then I quickly realise that yet again I have no idea what I am doing because it needs a completely different skill set. As for the modelling side of things, embrace your character, learn their poses, mannerisms and facial expressions. Even pose in the mirror before your shoot/con to make sure you’re happy with what you see.
Kieran – I am a bit of a perfectionist, if I don’t think something is right I will literally either throw it in the bin or just sulk for the rest of the night and go play on my PS4 instead. I could complete costumes quicker if I was to sit and solve the problem there and then, but I have to walk away from it. That being said, I feel that sometimes a break is well needed. I have recently got myself a belt sander and Dremel, OMG they are the best things ever. They have helped me to create so much more detail in my recent work and I couldn’t live without them now. With modelling, I had a good teacher, Candy. Before cosplay I hated having my photo taken, I still do out of cosplay, but as soon as I’m wearing a costume I can’t get enough of them.
Photography by Justine-Louise Photography
Ashe – As it’s been Valentines this week, do you guys have a couple cosplay you really want to do in the future?
Candy – Is it bad that we don’t actually have a dream couple cosplay? We will both be part of a Power Ranger Group this year; Kieran will be the Red Ranger and Candy the Pink Ranger.
Ashe – Yes that counts, personally my couples cosplay includes Ferra/Torr from Mortal Kombat, I just need a guy that’s really, really, really tall and hench.
Candy – That would be a great couple!
Candy and Keiran are both very creative, and work amazingly together but also are very unique in their designs and cosplays. They have a very diverse range of costumes and characters; they challenge themselves and work hard doing it. They attend cons throughout the U.K so keep an eye out for them!