What better way to get into the spirit of Halloween-y guise and trickery than for me to show you a collection of really awesome, beautiful, intricate, and scary creature costumes? Sit back in wonder and awe, for the following is a list of some of my favorite hand-made creations from talented single or two-party artists (with the exception of the dinosaur costumes) who make this stuff without the help of any big-shot Hollywood designers. Forget Weta Workshop, these artists give life to fantasy all by their onesies!
The Spirit of The Forest
An artist on Deviantart named Qarrezel is well known for her works of craftmanship in making bipedal animal costumes. Unlike some others you may catch sight of, Qarrezel seems to capture a realism often discarded during the making of said suits, allowing a more professional, theatrical piece of work in place of a cartoony "team mascot."
Her home-based company is called Clockwork Creature (sometimes referred to as Clockwork Creations by fans), and she makes a living by creating custom-made creature designs for people to wear.
Her costumes can range anywhere between $900 and well over $4000 depending on the complexity of design and the strictness of a commissioner's vision.
African Wild Dog
Another one of Quarrezel's masterpieces, used here to exemplify how closely she seems to capture the real animals her designs are often based off of. In this case, her inspiration was the African hunting dog, and the markings are uncannily similar. Sans the two-legged form and the glowing blue eyes (hey, you have to implement some sort of originality into your costumes), the design is superbly accurate.
Qarrezel typically uses faux fur of a single base color for the body of her costumes, before going back and airbrushing the intricate designs on top of the fur. In this way, the costume is a not a "patchwork" of different colored materials, but rather single pieces of dyed fur.
As one can guess, Qarrezel's work is in high demand, and her queue is difficult to gain entry into.
Guys, I have to be honest with you, Google.com is infuriating me by insisting that I want to search for the words "dark rush" each time I type Dar'rushk into the search bar. Google, you seriously give me a headache sometimes.
The lion man pictured at right was created by Lance Ikegawa, a little known costume designer who has some great work out there yet to be discovered. He is most known for Dar'rushk, a bipedal manticore with a penchant for shaking spears at people. The sheer size alone of this costume is intimidating, not to mention the fact that it includes 6 foot wings and a scorpion tail.
The concept art for this monster's original design was produced by Britt Martin, and Lance referenced his work to create a wearable carbon copy of it.
She calls herself Zhon online, and she is known for her skills in taxidermy displays. Her aspirations to be a costume designer, however, are not lost on her seemingly innate talents with pelts. She occasionally uses her expertise to create realistically unique "fur suits" made from real fur, horns, and other authentic animal parts, which she acquires through antique stores, hunters, commissioners, or her own wilderness travels.
The piece pictured to the right is one titled Julbocken, a personal project that Zhon created for fun out of Tibetan lamb and Angora goat. Complete with leather armor, an Eland-horn spear, and fashionable shawl, Julbocken is a brilliant culmination of taxidermy and costume design. Zhon spent over 200 hours creating this work of art, and has recently listed itfor sale. But I wouldn't get your hopes up. The asking price is $7,000!
So, these are some of my favorite costumes of all time, simply because of how easy it is to forget that someone is actually inside them. No picture does these things justice, I implore you to check out these crazy awesome dinosaur costume videos immediately!
And if that wasn't enough amazingness for you, wait 'til you hear that you can actually buy one of your own.
Quarupedal costumes are on the rise lately in the world of cosplay as more and more design techniques come into the light. This particular costume was fashioned after a targ, which is apparently some sort of boar-like creature revered by Klingons in the Star Trek universe. The suit was designed by Deanna "Beetlecat" Larsson, whose costume company can be found here.
The Targ suit was one of the first of its kind to be of quality design, and still remains one of the better amateur costumes at conventions today. A video of the thing in motion can be seen here. Trekkies and geek-nerds wordwide, eat your heart out.
People can create costumes out of any material imaginable, using any number of strange methods to create a unique creature totally worthy of a double-take. The majority of costumes are not this good, but every once in a while you come across something that you just have to stop and stare at.
Traffic-stopping costumes definitely have to include the Stilt Spirits, no doubt based off of the Dark Crystal's long-legged puppets that strode their way straight out of Jim Henson's mind. To see them in action check out this video, you will not be disappointed!
Though there are a small handful of people who made costumes of similar design, artist Melissa Irwin and her husband seemed to do it best.
Unicorn, Wolf Link, and Arcanine
All right, so here's where I bomb you with a ton of work by the same artist over and over again. This designer is simply referred to as Beastcub on the internet, and she specializes in complex, custom costumes for private commissioners. Her business website is, of course, Beastcub.com, and her work is in such high demand that her queue seems to be in a perpetual state of closure.
And it's no wonder why, just check out her shining jewel, a Wolf Link costume!
Some of her most common creations are those where the wearer is restricted to a four-legged shuffle. These so-called quadrupedal suits are unique, and carefully designed to imitate realistic movement and appearance (though understandably it is difficult to move in any full-body costume, much less one where you have to walk on all fours). As anyone who is a costume designer knows, quadrupedal suits are a frequently daunting challenge to accept, and it takes one of superb ability and knowledge of craftsmanship to pull it off successfully.
While much of her work is as unique as her commissioner's often outlandish visions, sometimes private parties will ask for characters from popular media instead. The three suits pictured to the right are some of her most well-known works, including one Pokémon (an Arcanine) and video game legend Link as a wolf.
The ins and outs of quadrupedal suiting is still being perfected it seems, and sadly, with the age of puppetry and costuming slowly dwindling in the face of society's love affair with modern computer generated fantasies, these artists may be a dying breed.
But there is still demand for these kind of artisan crafts, as can be clearly seen by visiting any of the websites for the artists mentioned on this list. Queues constantly full up, with prices well into the multiple thousands. These people make their livings out of costume design, and it just goes to show that it doesn't take a Hollywood concept artist to do something fantastic.
Yeah yeah, I'm not finished pimping Beastcub's work just yet. Here is quite possibly her scariest costume, a rendition of Alucard's dog form as seen in the hit anime series Hellsing. To see Beastcub's Alucard suit in action, check out this sinister link.
Not only is this her scariest costume, it's probably my personal favorite of the hundreds she's made. Who could say no to all of those shiny lil' eyes? He's like a big fuzzy spider!
With the recent release of Prometheus, it's no secret that Xenomorphs are still popular among sci-fi fans. H.R Giger's original drawings of these bizarre beasts have been forever immortalized in the sequels and prequels that make up the Alien series.
So let's totally be one for Halloween, guys! There are a few different styles of Xenomorph costumes out there, but this website tells you how to make one style in particular. If you have the time, the patience, and the artistic hand, I know there would be a lot of crazy, frothy-mouthed Alien fans who would love to see your work.
They are iconic for a reason. You'd be hard pressed to find a cooler costume.
And we end this list with yet another Qarrezel piece. This one is titled Genganger, or Breynz, and was originally just commissioned by a private party as a simple mask. But so far from simple, this original sculpture was cast in resin and fitted with horsehair, faux fur, and opaque, glass eyes to create the perfect "zombie werewolf." The fabricated skull is anatomically spot-on to a canine's actual cranial structure. Few things are scarier than a skull's smile, but the souless, colorless eyes just add to the creepiness factor of this thing.
With only a mask, you can turn any Halloween into a scare-ifying, terrifying, fun-filled night of howls.
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on July 02, 2018:
I have a couple of friends who are in to this kind of stuff.
Trouble on May 13, 2014:
Leslie from South Carolina on July 20, 2013:
How about those costumes? Wow, I need to get one for this Halloween. LOL. I enjoyed the hub and all the wacky photos.
Shaddie (author) from Washington state on April 29, 2013:
Agreed. I don't think I would ever wear one of these costumes around, but some are very cool to see. And that's interesting about the unicorn commissioner. Too bad she had to give it up, though I'm sure Beastcub found some other use/buyer for it.
Melissa A Smith from New York on April 28, 2013:
I'm an 'acquaintance' with the person who requested the design of the unicorn costume, she used to be an AMV maker on Youtube. Looks like she sent it back, probably because she had a new baby. That's how I found out about Beastcub, not really my thing, that costume wearing, but her work is amazing.
Shaddie (author) from Washington state on November 12, 2012:
I know, right?? What is up with Google on that one? :P Thanks for giving this Hub a look, I can't get enough of cool costumes either.
Nell Rose from England on November 11, 2012:
Oh my God these were amazing! lol! just my kind of thing! I love costumes, masks and any other type of spooky, weird or just downright odd stuff! my bedroom is filled with vamp skulls, Masks and monsters, so you can imagine I just want all of these! don't like the doggy spider look though! yuck! lol! great hub, and I learned something new, even if google did keep getting the darn name wrong! haha!
timewarnercablenc on October 15, 2012:
haha..those're definitely crazy and creative.
Shaddie (author) from Washington state on October 14, 2012:
Thanks billybuc. You rock :D
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 14, 2012:
Those are absolutely amazing! What a great collection of costumes! Thanks for the tour; great hub!