Tl;Dr: I'm a 22 years old French Maker that makes Cosplays and Props since early 2016 that went through a weird studies path and dedicated himself to art, science, perfectionism, GMing and Cthulhu. Owner and Creator of Arkan Cosplay.
First resolution of 2020 for our company is to get you to know us better. While our YouTube Channel is getting content out at a slow pace and Socials Medias doing their things, what's best to tell a story other than from our own mind and a keyboard?
Greetings everyone, Arkan is here! My full name is Guilhem Couderc and you are more than welcome to call me by my first name! I live in France near Toulouse in the South where I have always been living. I am 22 years old at the moment and the owner of Arkan Cosplay SARL.
I went through weird and strangely rewarding studies back in 2013 when we had to choose which degree we wanted to focus on. I went with Literrature. My easyness and fluency in english made me chose that path but I also did to remain with my close friends. I learned a lot about myself and my will to communicate with people regardless the language barrier. Speaking english is part of who I am. I use it daily and more than French sometimes which can be hard to deal with. In 2014 when we moved to a new house I switched from Litterature to Technichal Studies in durable devlopment.
There I learned and specialized my electronic and electrical skills. Within the 2014-2016 span I learned a lot and gained interest in cosplaying. Part of me always wanted to make costumes and build stuff I liked, and in a new home this is what I wanted to make. Eventually I became confident enough to believe my work had value and that I could try selling to get my first small side income. Eventually in march 2016 I created my Etsy Shop.
This was a huge deal for me. I have always been an artsy person. I took classes very young with Maryvonne Constant and had an huge interest in filmaking and DIY sciences as a teenager (still am thanks to Indy Mogul!). So I took the leap.
First order was a custom build I had never done but was sure I could make. It was two weeks after the shop opened and I could not be happier at that time. Behold, a very messy and experimentive Medic's Festive Bonewaw from Team Fortress 2!
I will not lie this experience wired my mind into making more props and cosplays (and TF2 items because it is a timely masterpiece) getting to the point where I dedicated my time to making things to run the shop and learn how to live out of it.
My studies were doing great and with insomnia you can cheat on how much time you have avaible in a day. More on that later on a future post but TL;DR don't do this or your health will be miserable and you will spend unecessary years to catch up.
Later on I've started making Fallout cosplays. I'm born on October 23 so it is more than fitting to justify my need to craft items from one of my favorite license. I've made several versions of the Kremvh's Tooth, the Sacrificial Blade from Fallout 4 with a name you get to hate writing after a certain amount of time, and it became my most sold item for a good year.
I dedicated more time to my crafts and less to my studies once I moved out to start my degree on Electrical and Computer Sciences in Tarbes. I lacked the will to pursue a goal and a life that would not suit me not working on anything as a craftman. And the shop was still running fine on its own and even helped me pay the rent and food so it was at that time I decided to aknoweldge what I wanted to do in life.
Making Nick Valentine's cosplay at that time was not the wisest decisions I had made but it sure helped me affirm what I trully wanted to be and do as an individual. So after giving up on studies because of my lack of motivation in classes and hugely because of my depression I went back home and dedicated myself into making a living out of that ever growing passion.
I quickly started to build a full NCR Ranger cosplay and made more Team Fortress 2 items as well as some Undertale props. The Shop was going fine and I was doing mostly great in my creations. 2017 and 2018 were strange years. They went by very quickly and creation-wise they were wonderful years, I've made so much stuff but I am not happy on how I lived at that time. Nonetheless, arrived a time where I could make things for myself, take a break and I had a blast at Japan Expo on July 2018 as Ciel Phantomhive. I went there with and thanks to my friends to this edition and it gave me a spark I trully needed passion-wise. Pictures for awesomeness. (Shout out to @miniflow_96, @elizia_cosplay and @emidodie for the memories as well as Manticore Pictures for the shoots!)
On December 7th of 2018 I made my business official and it took less than an evening with our lovely Kao's (that you will hear all about in the future!) to help me with applying copper on some Übersaws to settle that we had to work together at some point. Orders adding up and me crunching on countless sleepless nights to get everything out later on encouraged me even more toward that decision. Which eventualy lead to late talks to plan things out after her shifts before crashing for the night on her side. I can't thank her enough for that.
One of the most decisive and uplifting project of 2018 was Ralsei's Cosplay. I discovered embroidery and it opened a whole new world to me even if I sucked at it at first. The little quirky timelapse video of the first version is still on YouTube as well as our updated one by the way! Anyway, embroidering lead to bigger projects and ambitions. I got to build one of our D&D campaign PC Evy the Necromancer and Kurion's Godchosen (love you J you Emo'nancer!) mage robe for my best friend. I've made Dusters with military grade canvas embroided with emblems that I know the thread's pathes by heart. I wanted to make more complicated piece of clothing and it gave me a new motivational boost. That's when I decided to get the best out of my work with being as close as screen accurate as I could. Perfection is in the details and this technique was one of the many that I needed to use to step up my standards.
Kao's joined me in June 2019 to try and see if she was fit for the job and workload. It went AMAZINGLY well. We then worked on projects until we created our 2 persons business on November 7th later that year. We know each other very well. We are very close intimate friends (not a couple) and we share an artsy bond that allow us to work together efficiently while still enjoying ourselves. She is still learning as I teach her along the way but she is more than capable and has a vision that allows me to see through another perspective. Now as associates we share Arkan Cosplay SARL and will work together again by March once she's back!
And that's it for the business story and how my development as a person lead to all of this. What do I do on my free time when I have any?
Well I'm an almost forever GM. I started with Call of Cthulhu 7th french edition thank to Globtopus, then later moved to a still-going-but-on-hiatus one year and a half D&D 5e campaign, then a Delta Green oneshot and as of late a oneshot heist on Cyberpunk 2020 while I wait for Cyberpunk Red to come out and grab as soon as possible. We try to play each week but work and life happens sometimes but I have two lovely groups to play with so that's nice!
I'm a fan of H.P.Lovecraft's work, The Color Out of Space being my all time favorite. I end up spending most of my free time on reading rule books and monster manuals over and over again when prepping sessions and writting scenarios while in search of inspiration. New books are always appreciated to save me from reading the same pages a hundred times a year and it happens sometimes!
Otherwise I play video games. I'm a RPGs fan and Obsidian Entertainement's franchise lover overall. Also I lose my mind on Darkest Dungeon since Christmas of 2017 and I could not be happier! I don't spend much time playing however though I enjoy multiplayer games with co-op mechanics.
I like hiking and we go with my close friends on trips 2 to 4 times a year! My health condition have not been that great after some events so it's hard sometimes to keep up but still enjoyable. And the memories are priceless so it's always worth it.
Lately I've picked up drawing after a huge pause and it's going well! There is not enough hours in a day to fulfil all my artsy itches though!
That's it for now! I hope you learned a little bit more about me as a person! I love meeting new people so feel free to send messages! Have a wonderful day!