JavaScript is required to use

Community Focus - Omni Props

You may be looking at this Community Focus and thinking to yourself, “Self, that’s a lot of words. Ain’t nobody got time to read all that.” Let me just say: 1) stop it 2) trust me, it’s worth it. Omni Props, as an entity, has made a name for itself in the Destiny community for impressive builds, creative takes on the game, and it doesn’t hurt that the creator behind the masks is a precious cinnamon bun that must be protected at all costs. So, it’s a cosplayer lover’s delight for us to introduce you to Javier Martinez, the creative soul behind some wildly impressive contributions to our lovely microcosm of incredible people.  

Without further ado, let’s dive right in and talk about the creative cycle of translating digital love into real-life works of art while also paying special tributes to those that helped him find his style along the way:  

First off! How the heck are ya?! Go ahead and introduce yourself to the Destiny community. Who are you, what do you do, what is the answer to life? 

Hiya everyone! My name is Javier Martinez (everybody just calls Javi) and I run a cosplay project called Omni Props. I'm a costume/prop fabricator that loves to bring famous cosplays and props from video games and movies to life. My work includes building battle-worn foam armor, 3D printed weapons of destruction, and ornate stitch work on fabrics. I also dabble into digital art from time to time! I like to think of myself as a one-man army, especially when dressed up like my boy Variks.  

As for the answer to life? Depends on how I feel. Playing video games is a good on-brand answer, but chocolate milk is always a good solution for anything.  

I’ll get back to you on that one.  

The things people will do for choccy milk, I swear. Speaking of- in a segue that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever - I absolutely adore your cosplay! It's so functional and transformative, when and why did you decide to start honing your craft? 

Ever since I was a kid (and, well, to this day), I've always played with Legos. Sure, yeah, sometimes I would follow the instructions, but I usually just let my imagination run wild and ended up building some wild stuff like a robotic dinosaur that shoots studs out of its tiny arms inspired by one of my favorite movies: Jurassic Park. Of course, I grew up watching fantasy and sci-fi classics, but the one that stood out to me was the one about cloned dinosaurs, apparently. Just watching these giant life-like dinos on-screen made mini-Javi go, "How did they build that?!"

Since then, I wanted to let my creative juices run wild, but I was stumped on how to do so. Then, around my time in high school, I came across some YouTube videos that all talked about this "cosplay" thing. So, I jumped in and instantaneously, I was hooked. My parents were super supportive about it and helped me buy my first batch of cardboard and EVA foam to get started. 

In my freshman year, I built a custom Halo ODST cosplay out of everyday materials and I thought I was an actual Hell Jumper of the UNSC. I told myself, "I want to do something even cooler next. Like, something really cool." Then, I heard about this little game called Destiny coming out the next year and once I saw the Hunter in the live-action Law of the Jungle trailer, I told myself this is it: I'm going to build Destiny stuff. In my my sophomore year, I built my first Destiny-related cosplay, which you might already have guessed was a Hunter.

When my high school had a costume day, I decided to walk around in full Hunter glory. And let me tell you, it was amazing! Not just seeing people's creations, but actually feeling like I was walking around the Tower and nobody could even think about going toe-to-toe with me. On that day, Omni Props was born. 

Since then, I graduated high school in Florida and moved to Virginia where I obtained my degree in Technical Theater at JMU and built many ambitious things such as my Cayde-6 and Variks cosplays! 

I can't imagine the process of learning to create entire builds to be easy. Can you tell us some of the more challenging aspects of cosplay creation? What about some of the more rewarding aspects? 

Well, when it comes to cosplay and prop fabrication, you get into a sort of groove, right? At least, I do. The first step is to just get started, know what you're hoping to get out of cosplay. Then, make the template, cut the foam, paint it, and then call it day. (I'm going to go ahead and say sorry for making other builders cringe by making it sound so simple but hear me out!) The crux of it? When you keep repeating the same steps over and over (and over and over) again, it's possible to just... get bored of the process. The creativity is still there, sure, but where's the room for improvement? Where is the spice to it? 

Because of that, I started making it a personal goal to always add something new or different for the next build. Whether that be LEDs, fabric, metal bits, latex, etc. It didn't matter; it just had to challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. My Variks cosplay is an excellent example of this, where I went from my usual EVA foam armor comfort zone to a wide variety of new (to me) materials like LED eyes, 3D prints, and fabrics (oh, my!). 

I also must mention when all that hard work finally pays off! Back in Guardian Con 2019, I was in my Cayde-6 cosplay and I was in line to meet the loremaster himself, My Name is Byf. Suddenly, the showroom's lights went out due to an outage. I was confused, but then I noticed Byf and everyone else turned around to face me in this sort of awe-like manner. That's when I realized, the LED lights I challenged myself to build were the only things lighting up in the building! Moments like that, although one hundred percent not planned, are truly rewarding. 

You are really heckin' cool, you know that? With Community Focus pieces that highlight cosplay, I love giving cosplayers the opportunity to pay it forward a bit to those just starting out: do you have any advice for newbie cosplayers hoping to leave their own mark on the world?

Oh boy, I love this question! Oftentimes, people turn away from cosplay because they see the professionals out there and think, "Bro, what?! I could never. No time and no money." And I won't lie, I still feel like that sometimes. But here's the thing: when you get up in the morning and put on your favorite t-shirt and a pair of jeans, surprise! You are cosplaying! You are portraying how you want others to perceive you, how you want your look to impact those around you. How you look - how you walk, talk, act - you are your own character! And you should be heckin' proud of how you look, but why not take that one step further? 

"But Javi, I want to look like a Titan or a four-armed alien!" Well then, I challenge you with this: go get some carboard. Yes, the cardboard that you have in your closet or the trash. Get some duct tape and go ham. The cardboard can be a full raid armor set if you look at it through a creative lens, or even something as small as a Ghost. Watch videos online, learn from them, and then, send me your creations! I want to help, because the cosplay world is amazing and anyone that wants to be a part of it should be. My DMs are always open for anyone interested in how to get started, advice, or just wants to talk about the craft. 

If you could build your dream cosplay, what would it be and why should it be Taniks just so we have an excuse to bring him back again? 

"TaNiKs HaS nO hOuSe. He-" Sorry. Force of habit. Building Taniks would be a meme-love-letter to the Destiny community, I'll give you that. But memes aside, if I had to pick one, phew - ever since Variks, I realized that I really liked the challenge of making more non-Guardian cosplays. If it's going to be in the Destiny universe, I have always had my eye on the Vex. Perhaps a Minotaur? They just look so imposing! But I'm trying to have the patience to wait and see what Lightfall delivers, so much opportunity awaits! 

OK, OK, Destiny, right, focus, Hippy - let's talk gaming! What is your go-to class and what's your build like? 

I need to treat lightly here, don't I? Well, I've been running Hunter since the Destiny 1 beta, but ever since Beyond Light I've been switching it up every Season with my Warlock and my Titan. They need love too, OK!? I just like playing all three. Guess you could call me an Omni Guardian (aye, get it, puns!). One thing all of my Guardians have in common is their love for Arc. You'll find my Arcstrider Hunter flowing like lightning, chaining arc throughout enemies and clearing rooms in seconds. Chaos rains from my fingertips as a Stormcaller Warlock and nothing is too big for my earth-shattering, Thundercrashing Titan. 

Whenever the opportunity allows it, Trinity Ghoul is my go-to Exotic. Though, I do have a notorious reputation with Tractor Cannon in the Crucible... Needless to say, I am very excited for Arc 3.0. I'm sure that's totally isn't obvious with my gushing, [laughs].

Speaking of your own personal tailoring of the Destiny experience with a build that feels cozy: if you could add anything to Destiny 2 - even a brand-new subclass - what would it be? And no worries, no judgement here, I've said I wanted pettable animals in the past and body pillows, so go nuts [laughs]. 

The day I can pet my Ghost, that'll be the day! He's gone through so much. If I could add anything, it's got to be a room for our Guardians at the Tower. Where do they sleep? What's their setup? Do they have an obscene amount of RGB lights to gamerfy their sweet digs? I need answers! Just a small space to show off the trophies we've obtained out in the wilds of space. Whether that be the head of Taniks or a framed expired ramen coupon on the wall. (Bungie, I refuse to dismantle mine.) Also... can I just hug Variks, please? Is that too much to ask? 

You've talked about The Witch Queen on your channels, looking back at how the game has evolved since launch, what are your thoughts on how the game has changed? Any changes you'd like to see implemented in future updates? 

I've pretty much grown up with Destiny, it's been my go-to since the start of high school and now as a college graduate. The future looks bright for Omni Props, and I just have to think Destiny (and the team at Bungie!) for helping me find my spark. Seeing the game grow from a shooter with story elements on the side to now having its story front and center without sacrificing the fun of hacking and slashing aliens is truly remarkable. I always grab some popcorn for the raid races and love actively feeling the sense of excitement as a secret mission has been discovered by the community. I also noticed a big change with our Guardians and how they are actively participating in the story as it goes on. It was something I really wanted, and I hope it can be expanded on even further in the future!

But the best part, crossplay! Playing with longtime friends and not needing to worry about what playform they play on is so special to me.

If you could say one thing to the Destiny community at large, what would it be? 

Keep on forging fantasy into reality, Guardians. Continue to make the difference in people's lives that I've seen you all do time and time again, be it with charity initiatives like the Bungie Foundation, or just helping others feel at home. And if you can spread some creativity and kindness, go wild! Just keep being you, that's all I have to say. 

Thank you so much for hanging out with us, Javi! We definitely need to do it again in the future. Before we let you go forth and create even more epicness, is there anyone you want to shout out in your Community Focus? Also, where can folks find you to support your future work? 

I want to firstly thank my family and loved ones for cheering me on and supporting me ever since I started building Lego sets. You know who you are! Thank you to the Destiny cosplay community for the support and new friendships that I've made along the way; let's keep crafting some crazy stuff! 

And, of course, thank you to everyone at Bungie for allowing me to live my sci-fi fantasies, and thank you Liana for taking the time to set up this Community Focus. This seriously one of my biggest dreams being fulfilled, and little Javi with his Hunter cosplay back in 2014 would be freaking out right now! 

As to where people can find me, I'm on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. I post progress shots, completed work, videos, and more of my projects from all types of video games. Stop on by and let's forge fantasy into reality together. 

If you couldn’t tell already, we are absolutely enthralled by the creative passion that the Destiny 2 community has. Y’all are truly something special and we’re going to keep saying it until you believe us. Every single Guardian that leads life with an open heart, an inquisitive mind, and a kind soul is vital to making life just a little more beautiful. So, thank you for continuing to share your beautiful creations and inspiration with us, because let me tell you: you all never fail to surprise us. And more than that, you inspire us to keep reaching for the beauty of human connection and finding those things that spark joy and self-betterment.  

Don’t forget to check out Javi’s work and show him some love! While you’re at it, be sure to scope out last week’s Community Focus that highlighted another sweet soul, CaseyRoo, right here.  

Until next time, be kind, kick butt, and never stop chasing your happiness. 

“I should go,” 
<3 Hippy 

You are not allowed to view this content.
preload icon
preload icon
preload icon