One of the features we do here at Comic Impact is the monthly Cosplay Spotlight. The idea is to showcase people from every facet of this wonderful world of fandom we call, “Cosplay.” We believe in the fun of dressing up and want everyone who plays a part to be recognized.
Who are you and how many people are a part of your team?
I’m Jessie Melero of JDT productions and there are three of us..
How many years of experience do you have and what got you into the cosplay world?
i’ve been a professional production artist for almost 30 years and I was making costumes back in the 80s and then got involved with other things jobs projects and then many years later I started making props for my body paint photo shoots. So people began to recognize my talent and began to commission me to make helmets weapons and props and one thing led to another and here I am a full-time prop and costume maker…
What character/design are you most well known for?
As of now I think my red hood helmets and my Harley hammers are about the most popular thing I make among many other things..
Which is your favorite character/design?
Well I’m a fan of just about everything but I would say Star Wars and superheroes.
Did you know how to sew/fabricate before you started professionally?
I was always creative even as a kid drawing sculpting building models and my father got me into carpentry so at an early age I was building stuff…
How have your techniques improved over the years?
Everyone learns anything better by practicing but I have also been fortunate to of had jobs related to prop making and was privileged to learn from some of the best in the industry mostly in advanced materials and very very large scale production. So me being a very self driven individual I took a little bit from all of my experiences and just continued to build and learn and to this day I’m still learning new ways to do things every day..
How long does it usually take and what’s your typical process to complete a costume?
That depends on the particular project.. sculpting a helmet and molding it and casting can take weeks but I’ve been known to make a mask or prop in 1 to 2 days or even in a few hours
depending on complexity of the sculpt or if it’s a rush order..
Is there a particular fabric/pattern/accessory that you consider your Achilles’ heel?
Well I have years of experience working with all kinds of material and there are certain materials that present challenges depending on what the costume or prop has to do.. And did I mention I can’t sew to save my life.
Have you met any of the artists or writers where your costume is based on their work?
Interestingly enough not really but I am meeting a lot of new comic artists that are commissioning me to do representations of their characters such as weapons and sculpted busts which I find very flattering that they feel I can do justice to their work.
Are you involved in the convention scene because of your work or own interest?
Yes I am. I have been to many cons as a vendor prop maker and have been extremely well received and have a very large fan base and people look forward to seeing me and whatever new crazy thing I’m working on in person..and I also love seeing all the great costumes and ideas that people come up with.
What is one of your best memories involving your work?
I think the best thing is when a customer receives something that I made and to see how much they like it is the best feeling.. And when I do a Body paint for someone at a Con You can see how they become the character that I helped make happen..
Do you read comics and if so, what are your favorite titles?
That’s funny I did read comics as a kid and I think the first comic that I remember being a fan of was Swamp thing and death lock..
Who is your favorite comic book character?
And now I guess my favorite characters would be ironman Batman and Superman pretty straightforward I guess..
Who are your inspirations?
I’m inspired by I think almost everything that I see there are so many amazing people in the film industry creating all of these characters to begin with that we all aspire to be like whether it’s science fiction or superheroes or Anime and my world is larger than just cosplay so I’m a fan of everything..
Have you ever participated in any cosplay events or fund raisers because of your work?
I have been invited to several events and truly wish to be part of more but working for myself full time doesn’t allow me as much free time as I would like…
What do you like to do when you’re not creating, such as other hobbies?
I’ve always had a passion for sculpting and painting and probably would be building some of the dozens of model kits I have collecting dust in my closet..
Do you have any advice for others wanting to learn how to make their own costumes?
The best advice is just go for it..talk to people watch the videos don’t be afraid to experiment with products and paints if you can afford it that is and do what you love..
Every 10th of every month, we will be feature a new Cosplay Spotlight. If you’re interested in having your hard work featured, contact me.