George Estreich, an artist and photographer in New York City and a father of Beau, 5, and Kaya, 3, knows a thing or two when it comes to designing the perfect Halloween costumes for his children — and preparing for the big night is no joke.
"We need to start researching and gathering materials about a month before Halloween," Estreich told POPSUGAR. "Once they've decided on a character, we do lots of research with the kids online and in books, finding images of the character in different poses and outfits to find the exact model for our costume."
Believe it or not, it's not all play for Beau and Kaya — they help their dad along every step of the way. "I try to include them on the process as much as possible because to me, that's the most valuable part of the whole thing," he said. "What I try to share with these costumes is more than just the cool result. It's the idea that anything is possible with careful research, planning, and the skills one earns from practice."
Turns out, the hardest part isn't actually the building of the costumes.
"The biggest challenge [is] being sure that what you're making is what they really want. Up until now, we're talking about costumes for kids 5 and under, so they can change their minds 100 times before committing. We ask a lot leading up to Halloween, since once we start, going back isn't easy."
Estreich admits that some of his best work has been inspired by his kids, even if that wasn't their intention: "When my son Beau and I were done planning his Optimus Prime Transformer costume, he said to me off-handedly, 'It's gonna transform right?' In my mind I thought, 'Uh, no,' given the huge increase in complexity, but in the next couple of seconds, I realized he was totally right. It had to transform, otherwise it wasn't really a transformer!"