"I'm Jill Cope, a digital freelance artist and prop maker"
I've always been an artist for as long as I can remember. While my sisters were busy playing softball, I was sketching or making paper sculptures. It was pretty much a no-brainer that I would pursue a career in art.
After cramming as many art electives as I physically could into my schedule in high school, I decided to farther my education at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the Entertainment Design program. There I learned many advanced and new (to me at the time) fabrication techniques from mold making, resin casting, special effects make up, animatronics, and more. Upon having no creative outlet after graduation, I was exposed to the cosplay and convention scene where I was immediately hooked on the idea of being able to fabricate and wear my own suits of armor without being limited to one day a year. I wanted to apply my crafting knowledge from college to my costuming and tried my hand at cosplay competitions, where I managed to win a few awards from runner up to best in show over the years.
Apparently my craftsmanship didn't go unnoticed, because I was asked if I took commissions at the very first convention I went to in my first costume. That one request got the ball rolling on what would lead to become my full time job. I started taking small prop commissions here and there, but wound up moving to California in order to work in a foam fabrication studio for a couple of years. There, I was reintroduced to digital modeling, and started making pop culture prop replicas at home as a hobby. My 3D printable models began picking up enough steam to the point that I chose to leave the studio and begin a path doing freelance work.
Now I do freelance digital commissions full time with the occasional prop replica here and there (and even rarer suit of armor for myself). I've since done colabs with companies such as Funimation, Nintendo, Blizzard, and Activision. My digital models have been used by cosplayers and other artists all around the world from props to trophies.