The arts and entertainment convention industry has given the craft of cosplay greater appreciation, providing a more mainstream platform that has become a staple at niche events. Whether costumes are made from scratch, store-bought, or somewhere in between, cosplay artists have been encouraged to wear their favorite outfits on the show floor. Conventions have also tapped into the competitive elements of cosplay, and will often host competitions that will award prizes to winners. Others incorporate cosplay into their programming through interactive panels or invite industry professionals to appear at the event as official guests.
Fan Expo HQ has given a spotlight to cosplay artists at their conventions in each city that they visit. As Fan Expo Chicago prepares to return to the Chicagoland area for its 2023 show, they've collaborated with local talent to put their hard work on display as official Cosplay Masters at Fan Expo Chicago 2023. Each guest is hand-picked by an Expo HQ, who have recognized their dedication, skill, and passion for their craft. Now, convention attendees can meet leaders in the cosplay industry on the show floor, and learn more about the art form on an intimate level.
Papa Bear Cosplay has been judging cosplay competitions on a global level for the past eight years and he is an award-winning creator who has dedicated himself to spreading positivity throughout the cosplay community. His passion for helping others has inspired him to volunteer at charity events and host free cosplay workshops in hopes of sharing his love of costuming with others. Cee Kaye has had her work generate a massive online following, including features with Playbill, Hadestown, Resident Evil, Screen Rant, Cosplay Realm Magazine, and more. She has also worked in collaboration with partners such as Six! the Musical, Prime Video, Stranger Things, Dorian Live, DC Comics, and Marvel Entertainment. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, she started her cosplay journey in 2019, and has prided herself in constructing her work from scratch. In addition, she has been recognized as a cosplay contest winner at different events across the United States. RyroStudios started their 3D design business during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since, they've gone on to specialize in cosplay and prop-making. RyroStudios works on commission and creates tutorials for those who are interested in building their own cosplay or costume accessories.
Hailing from central Illinois, Lorebuilds is a LARPer and cosplayer who has focused their niche on creating original designs of popular characters. They work with fabric, foam, and other mediums while harnessing their craft, and have stood out as a resource for other members of the cosplay community when it comes to skill-sharing opportunities. CaffeineCraft has been cosplaying for over ten years and takes pride in being entirely self-taught. Their primary medium is sewing, but they have branched out to foam work and 3D printing during the extent of their career. Uniquely, CaffeineCraft only works on two cosplay builds a year, making sure they can perfect each project. Sharp Shot EFX has created over 200 cosplays throughout their time as a craftsperson and has been cosplaying since their childhood. They are a professionally trained special effects artist that has a concentration on creature creation and character transformations.
All Cosplay Masters will be in attendance at Fan Expo Chicago 2023 all four days of the convention. Tickets for Fan Expo Chicago 2023 are officially on sale. Fan Expo Chicago will return from August 10 to August 13, 2023, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. More information about Fan Expo Chicago 2023 will be shared through an official newsletter that can be subscribed to here, and new updates about the convention are accessible through their official Facebook Page.