The Transformative Cosplay of Gladzy Kei

Calgary artist Gladzy Kei joins Otafest as part of our Canada 150 celebrations.

What is transformative art? You’ve seen it on TV in smash hits like Sherlock and Hannibal, classic art re-imagined with a creative flair to create something new and exciting. Around the world artists and cosplayers are taking up the gauntlet, and one of the most acclaimed is Calgary’s own Gladzy Kei.

Meet Gladzy in person at Otafest 2017, where she will be running panel workshops on Digital Illustration, Armor Fabrication, and Designing your own Cosplay, as well as signing autographs and selling prints at her booth.

Today we’ll be highlighting 4 of Gladzy’s transformative cosplay designs:
Battle Disney Princess Jasmine
Fantasy Armor Sailor Mercury (Sailor Moon)
Alpha Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon)
Valkyrie Eevee (Pokemon)

Battle Disney Princess Jasmine Cosplay

Featured on Cosmopolitan, io9, Kotaku, Fashionably Geek

Intricate cosplay armor created for video games like Diablo 3 first inspired Gladzy to create her own armor project. A professional illustrator by trade, she set to work re-imagining classic Disney Princesses, beginning with the design she would fabricate for herself, Jasmine (Aladdin)

Battle Princess Jasmine - design and cosplay
Photography: Vivid Vision

Response to her design illustration of Battle Princess Jasmine soon lead to Gladzy creating more designs. She formed collaborations to make them with local and international cosplayers, including fan favorites Andy Rae and Jessica Nigri, culminating a jaw-dropping Princess Army at Anime Revolution in Vancouver.

Check out Gladzy’s original designs for Elsa, Snow White, Mulan and more on Facebook

Fantasy Armor Sailor Mercury Cosplay (Sailor Moon)

Featured on: Rocket News, Fasionably Geek, Kotaku

The flagship magical girl anime, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon changed the game of Japanese Animation in North America in the 90’s. Now approaching its 25th anniversary, Sailor Moon is still beloved of cosplayers. Gladzy’s next transformational cosplay design gives the planetary protectors a fierce new makeover.

Fantasy Armor Sailor Mercury - design and cosplay
Photography: Vivid Vision

See all of Gladzy’s Sailor Moon Armor Designs on Facebook

Alpha Toothless Cosplay (How To Train Your Dragon)

Dreamworks cute and cuddly dragon? Gladzy re-imagined Toothless as a fierce warrior, in fantasy armor complete with LED lighting and fur details.

Alpha Toothless - design and cosplay
Photo editing: Sabrina Schmitt Art
Photography: William Tan Photography

See more photos of Alpha Toothless on Facebook

Valkyrie Eeveelutions – Sylveon Cosplay (Pokemon)

Featured on Anime News Network, Kotaku, Project Nerd

2016 brought a new challenge in design and craftsmanship – and a collaboration with fellow designers and artists Becka Noel and Zach Fisher. This time the subject was fan-favorite Pokemon, Eevee, along with the 8 different elemental “evolution” designs of the character.

The trio spent weeks of project planning for the themes and elements to assign to each character. Then Becka Noel completed the design sketches for Gladzy’s final colour concept art, with Zach Fisher rounding out the collaboration with weapon designs for each character.

Valkyree Sylveon - design and cosplay
Photography: Jeremiah Seymour Photography

See the design collaboration for all characters on Facebook, Then check out this fantastic cosplay video of all nine Valkyrie Eevee Cosplayers:

For more great cosplay, follow Gladzy on Instagram and Facebook


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Amy Pratt | Otafest Social Media Manager