Group Exposure: 4 Itchy Tasty Cosplay

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4 Itchy Tasty Cosplay is a small Cosplay group with outrageous Cosplay potential. From One Piece to Legend of Dragoon to the Sonic Crew, this group does some amazing work. A tight knit crew that has a variety of Cosplays to use within their arsenal. I was able to gt the crew to squeeze into the hot seat long enough to answer some questions for us at CCU.

Jack Nickelz: So tell us the reason behind starting 4 Itchy Tasty! Cosplay.

4iT Manager Brett: 4 itchy Tasty was started so that our close knit group of friends could share in doing something we all love. It was as simple as that. However, it has become something much more for our group. As life becomes increasingly hectic for each of us, it becomes harder to find time to get together as we did in our youth. 4 itchy Tasty! Cosplay has become our excuse to do so. It is a chance for us to not only come together, but to do something productive as well. For us, conventions are the excuse to share what we’ve created with other people who love what we love… but mostly it’s just an excuse for our crew to do what we love together.

Jack Nickelz: Did you recruit the members or was it a case or things just coming together?

4iT Member Dani : The original 4 members decided to start the Cosplay group. Then as other awesome and amazing people came into our lives and had interest in Cosplaying we would incorporate them and or seek them out if we liked them. That was the case with Sam Jones and us. Also, once our friends see how much fun we have when we Cosplay, it’s hard for them to not want to participate. 992783_10151847151767985_2146026568_n

4iT Member Sam : I actually was approached by Brett to guest Cosplay with the team. Brett and I met in an online Cosplay group and started to chat. I saw him post a status about needing a female to do a group Cosplay with him and some buddies, and as a joke I commented ‘well what size is the costume…’ NEVER expecting him to address me. His work was always so rad, I always view Brett as so high above me talent wise! The next day he approached me and started talking measurements and if we could meet in person. My heart stopped! I couldn’t believe I was being asked to Cosplay with him, I was a nobody! I met Brett and Howard in Little Tokyo the next day where they gave me the Rouge costume from the Sonic Crew to try on. It needed a few adjustments, so we all worked together and fixed it up for my size. Then I Cosplayed with the Sonic group at Comikaze 2012 and had a great time! A few days after the event I messaged Brett about returning the costume and thanked him for allowing me to join that wonderful opportunity. Brett told me to keep the costume, as long as I was will to become a member of 4iT! I am so lucky and blessed to be part of this group; they have taught me so much. And it all started with a stupid Facebook comment.

Jack Nickelz: Why did you ladies decided to be a part of 4IT?

4iT Member Dani: I am an original member of 4iT. These are my boys and I do everything with them. It didn’t take them long to convince me to dress up with them back in 2008, and it took an even shorter amount of time to convince me to make it something bigger with them. I am so proud to have helped get our projects off the ground. And I am so honored to represent our accomplishments.

4iT Member Sam: Honestly, friends! When I met this rad group, I had very few friends in general. This group of talented people welcomed me in as one of their own and treated me like we had already been friends for a lifetime. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by these guys, they are family. This come comradely isn’t something you can force. We just work.

4iT Member Nicole: At first, it was because of my curiosity. I never imagined myself getting into Cosplay, but when I met this group of amazing people I felt right at home. I truly consider everyone to be my family because they are so supportive and always encourage me to be whatever I want to be. I also love the concept of group Cosplay. You don’t see that as often and I truly believe that is what sets 4iT apart from any other Cosplayers.

4iT Member Marianne: For me, it’s about inspiration and creativity. Everyone in 4iT brings something different to the table. Its fun sitting down with everyone and coming up with all sorts of crazy ideas. I also love the idea of being able to Cosplay with your friends and that is exactly what we get to do in 4iT. It’s a blast!

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Jack Nickelz: What are your views on how it seems that Cosplay is becoming more accepted in the main stream world?

4IT Member Collin “The Hat”: Many of us in 4iT had the luxury of growing up together so we always had (and still have) a great support system for each other. So whenever we got any push back from people who thought us weird or strange we were always able to roll with the punches and come out on top. But now a day everyone has at least one common tie or understanding of Cosplay or Pop Culture in general that we can all relate to. In turn this is making the new generation of Pop Culture enthusiasts. This new generation has been a driving force of inspiration for 4iT’s creativity and goals.

4iT Member James: I think it’s great that Cosplay is being more widely accepted in main stream view! It’s difficult to get excited or passionate about a hobby if you receive nothing but negative feedback for it. The fact that it’s being more commonly accepted by the general populace means that Cosplayers who normally would shy away from their hobby for fear of public ridicule or prejudice are now free to pursue this creative outlet with less fear of public backlash. It’s allowing people to unleash their creativity in a constructive, healthy and manner. And that is inspiring the imaginations of all those who view their craft.

Jack Nickelz: What has been some of the events that 4iT have been a part of?

4iT Member Brett: LoL Worlds, Machinima Video Shoots, Music Videos, Cons- AX, Comikaze, ALA, PAXs, Independent Youtube videos, Filler Footage on Heroes of Cosplay. 10527398_10152705854922985_5258414919425089888_n

Jack Nickelz: What is the convention experience like for you?

4IT Member- Collin “The Hat”: When it comes to going to Cons we have an ongoing joke that is every convention is like Christmas for 4IT. All of our Nakama is together for those glorious 3 to 4 days, having nice family meals together, getting awesome nerd swag at the exhibition hall/ artist ally, and just spending quality time together! It is what we all look forward to. But when it comes to Cosplaying at the Con it is a bit more of an awesome nerdy hurricane. For some reason we at 4IT thrive on making projects and events that are larger than life. Be it a hoard of Pokémon and their trainers going off on random adventures or our awesome Cosplay Support team trying to wrangle an 11 foot monster of the void. Needless to say it is a rush prepping and arriving at convention with someone on the team always ready to jump in and help one another at any given moment. All the crazy time crunches and all nighters become worthwhile when we hit the “Eye of the Storm” and arrive on the con floor and receive such awesome receptions and recognition from fellow Cosplayers and enthusiasts. Finally after the usual blood, sweat, and photo shoots we are exhausted, extremely satisfied, and ready for a “Street Hot Dog” (it’s a tradition). And as we much on delicious noms and reflect on the con we inevitably start brainstorming for our next Cosplay… and so resets the clock to get ready for the next convention!

Jack Nickelz: Will we be seeing any print work or calendars from 4IT?

4iT Member Brett: Prints have been something we have considered and continue to consider. We are in talks with some amazing photographers at the moment… and hopefully you’ll see some good stuff in the future. But as of now that avenue is still up in the air.

Jack Nickelz: How do you go about picking which events to go to?

4iT Member Howard: Well there is a staple in our agenda… we ALWAYS GO to Anime Expo! Reason for attending any event boils down to the facts: Can coordinate our group? Is going to be fun? Is the crowd that this con brings going to have fun with the costumes we can provide? We do our best to surprise and entice those that may be veterans to our regular cons, bringing out new costumes in an attempt to impress those we may know us already. However on another note we want to inspire and mystify those that may be seeing us for the very first time, which is why we often bring out costumes that we have worn many times. We wish to always appeal to the “nerd community” as we are a little community of our own. Staying local is what comes natural to us, but we’re going to spread our wings and soar to multiple locations in this new year so keep an eye out for us! Big things are headed our way. We can’t wait to take you on this journey and epic as it unfolds.

4iTMember James: Availability mostly. Travel and lodging cost also play a big factor in deciding what events we to go as well. One of the challenges of being a Cosplay troupe is that everyone involved has their own schedule; a job, school, etc. This can make planning to attend an event a little more challenging than if you were to Cosplay alone. It’s difficult to prepare for a con when it’s just one person, now imagine having to that but with 10+ other people’s schedules. It can become quite the headache let me tell you. Also because we are a troupe it can be logistically and financially difficult to organize and execute getting ourselves and our Cosplays to the events we attend. Many of our Cosplays are very intricate and difficult to transport, which is one of the factors as to why we mostly attend local cons, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t willing or ready to travel for a con if need be. Still, availability is the biggest factor because at the end of the day if we all can’t be there to share in our hobby together, well it’s just not worth it.

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Jack Nickelz: How do you decide which Cosplays to do?

4iT Members Zack and Sam: With over 10 members in 4iT there is no shortage of ideas. That said it’s a feeling you get when you think about the character. When I’m deciding costumes, I get excited when I think about it. If I think about a character design and my heart rate doesn’t speed up, then it isn’t the costume for me. There is a feeling you get thinking about making something you know everyone will adore. Becoming another person, or even a creature, brings you this fire in your gut to start hashing out plans and bringing it to motion.

Jack Nickelz: What are some of the things you hope to accomplish with 4IT?

4IT Member- Collin “The Hat”: Well I think that I speak for everyone when I say that we are very proud of everything that we have accomplished thus far in both Cosplay and events that we have attended. That being said I know we would love to do a lot more traveling not only around the country but around the world. While the So Cal Convention circuit is our stomping grounds we know there is a much wider range of the Cosplay community that we would love to participate with. In regards to the development of our Cosplay we pride ourselves on undertaking impossible tasks and making them a reality. With that mentality the quality and ingenuity of our Cosplays has improved by leaps and bounds every year and we are only just starting to gain momentum. At the end of the day we just hope that people enjoy our craft as much as we do and if we can inspire the next generation of young Cosplayers do to even greater works than we have, that would truly be incredible.

Jack Nickelz: How did you come up with the name? 1175359_10151986988482985_2015578585_n

4iT Member Howard: 4 itchy Tasty Cosplay. Drop the Cosplay portion and you have the name of what was once video game/yu-gi-oh card game team! When we would go to competitive card game or video game tournaments we would always stay together as friends do. Then one fateful day we were asked by a little lad passing by at one of these tournaments if we had a name for our group/team. Our group always made video game jokes and for some reason we were on a big Resident Evil kick, we had joked all day about the 4 itchy tasty! It was the excerpt from Keeper’s Diary in Resident Evil, the final entry simple: 4 itchy Tasty! After being asked what we stood for; one of our friends replied and we all just agreed on 4 itchy Tasty. Following suit, it just kind of became our groups name for everything.

Jack Nickelz: What can we expect from you in the future?

4iT Member Brett: 2015 has some very ambitious goals! However we always leave our Cosplays as a surprise, so you’ll all just have to wait and see!! What we can tell you is that there are going to be more Pokémon, new League of Legends Cosplays and a possible One Piece project. As well, we hope to involve more of the community with the appearance of more guest Cosplays as we have tried that in the last year and enjoyed it thoroughly.

Jack Nickelz: Thank you for taking time to do this. Is there anything else you want to say to the fans and readers?

Team 4iT: We are so passionate about and humbled by our fans every day. We meet incredibly cool people at every event and convention we attend. What started out as a creative outlet has turned into a great network and some of the greatest opportunities. We want our fans to know that we would love to have them approach us and get to know us the next time they see us. Meeting people at conventions is always a highlight for us. We started this for ourselves but it sure does add another level of fun to know so many people are supporting and following us.

For more on 4 itchy Tasty Cosplay, check out:

https://www.facebook.com/4itchytastyCosplay

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Photo credit: Michael Amos, The Headshot Truck

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