It all began about 20 years ago…
Okay, so I’ve been dressing up ever since I learned how to dress myself, but I made my first cosplay costume just over 20 years ago.
I’d fallen in love with Indiana Jones and knew exactly who I wanted to be for Halloween.
At the time, most people thought I was dressed up as a cowboy, but that didn’t matter to me. What mattered to me was that I wanted to become Indiana Jones, and with a little time and creativity (and a very accommodating mother), I was Indiana Jones.
And so it all began.
Taking Things to the Next Level
For me and my two brothers, it was never enough simply to read about our favorite characters. It wasn’t even enough to watch their adventures unfold on a screen.
We wanted to be our heroes—or at least be a part of the universe they lived in.
Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Legend of Zelda, we loved all the classic tales of adventure and courage. We spent countless hours on our trampoline creating our own adventures in those worlds and—when the weather was too cold to play outside—we created costumes to help us become part of the worlds we loved so much.
I can’t tell you how many bows, swords, lightsabers, shields and cloaks we made over the years. Like my Indiana Jones costume, a lot of our first attempts were rudimentary at best, but we kept at it. And, with time, we got a lot better.
Thankfully, I had a mother who loved costumes and was a skilled seamstress, so we got a lot of coaching along the way. Between her tutelage and our own incessant need to create, we developed a range of skills that would make any Renaissance Man proud.
Ingenius Designs is Born
And then, we grew up. My brother Austin and I both earned doctoral degrees. I moved to Florida, he moved to Washington State. For a time, it seemed like the adventures and costuming pursuits of our youth would be nothing more than happy memories.
But, you can’t keep a good creator down.
As we found ourselves with more free time, the old creative juices started flowing again. To make things even better, we now had money, which meant we could go far beyond trying to cosplay with whatever sticks, plywood or fabric we happened to have around.
Almost without realizing what was happening, we found ourselves cosplaying again. Only this time, we were finally producing the sorts of costumes we had always dreamed of.
To make things even better, we had gotten pretty good at a few other handy things like photography and Photoshop along the way. That meant we not only had the ability to become the characters we loved, we could also build the worlds that they lived in.
It was magical.
More importantly, we also discovered that there was an entire community of people out there just like us. Like us, they were kids who never really grew up. They still hung on to their imaginations. They were willing to put time and effort into turning their dreams into reality.
They were something special—something that deserved to be celebrated.
With all that in mind, we decided to create Ingenius Designs. On this site, we’ll share our creative passions…and we hope you’ll share yours with us, too. In time, we hope that Ingenius Designs becomes a place where cosplayers from around the globe can meet, exchange ideas and share their passion for worlds far beyond our own.
So, that’s us in a nutshell. Over the coming months and years, we’ll share the games, movies, books, artwork and shows that inspire us, our works-in-progress, our finished projects and the lessons we learn along the way.
But this site isn’t about us. We want to hear from you, too. If you’ve got a great costume you’d like to show off, let us know! If you’re working on a project and want share your progress, we’d be happy to have you. Or, if you’ve got great tips to offer, this is the place to do it.
We love guest authors, so if you’re interested in sharing your work with the rest of the cosplaying world, click here to let us know you’re interested. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
If you’re a little intimidated at the prospect of blogging, don’t worry, they call me the “blog post fairy godmother” at my day job. I’m a great editor and I would love to help you turn your ideas into a brilliant blog post.
Need I say more?
Without any further ado, then, welcome to Ingenius Designs!