Meet the Artist: AFKforCosplay

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“Meet the Artist” is a subsection of articles written by The Hidden Triforce administrator Hannah Fortney. Any reviews written have been authorized by the artist indicated in this article. If you would like to be featured in our “Meet the Artist” articles, please message the Facebook page directly.

Whether it be through cosplay or prop-making, it is always enjoyable to see our favorite characters or nostalgic items come to life. Residing in North Carolina, store owner Candace Phillips runs her store AFKforCosplay full-time in order to keep up with the demand for her geekery decor.

Phillips’ shop consists of ten Legend of Zelda-inspired crafts including a Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time treasure chest, the Hero’s Shield from the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, a Navi LED light, Young Link props, and more. Aside from the Legend of Zelda series, Phillips’ has also built Maka Albarn’s scythe from Soul Eater, San’s mask from “Princess Mononoke,” and an epic end table based off of the Nintendo 64 logo.

“I’ve been doing DIY crafts for quite a while for family and friends, but only started selling them since about 2014. At first I listed a few items on Etsy to start and only sold for fun, but demand grew and I had to decide if I was going to put more time and effort into it and make it a full time gig. My decision to sell my items comes from seeing other people happy, it’s my favorite thing to see the enjoyment people get from geekery. When someone receives a tangible item from their fandom, it makes them light up and bridges the gap between reality and fantasy. Something that adults don’t get to do too often, it’s a great escape.”

Phillips uses multiple crafting methods when building her props including foam fabrication, sculpting, molding, resin casting, woodworking, and plastic thermoforming. Her favorite building process would be foam fabrication. She uses a combination on electric filet knifes, wire brushes, hot wire tools, and heat guns to carve and sculpt different kinds of foam including EVA, Polystyrene, and Extruded Polystyrene. These items and processes are crucial in building high-quality props. Many artists and cosplayers spend extensive amounts of time finding just the right materials to create the perfect product as it is difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming. Kudos to those who have mastered the art of cosplay and prop-making.

On top of the many video game-related items AFKforCosplay has in their store, Phillips has many more planned for the future. These include a treasure chest-inspired toy box, rupee props, a Bombchu RC toy, and even a Zant build from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

A few words for fellow Legend of Zelda fans, from Phillips: “First of all, you guys are awesome. The Legend of Zelda franchise holds a very dear place in my heart. I think about it literally every day of my life and can’t imagine life another way. Life wouldn’t be the same without Wisdom, Power, and Courage.” Make sure to check out her Facebook page and direct website for more details on her wonderful props!

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About Author

Hannah is a 20-year-old college student, avid Nintendo fan, and video game enthusiast. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Education at the University of North Florida. She fell in love with the Legend of Zelda series when her aunt introduced both her and her brother to the Nintendo 64 and Ocarina of Time. She has been hooked on the series since.