1. Since cosplay becomes more and more popular, how do you think about the good things and also bad things on this performance art?
I am really excited that cosplay has gotten a great amount of attention recently, and I know this will shine a lot of light on cosplay as a hobby and as art. We are constantly using our imagination, our body, and our skills to portray the characters and the series that we admire. Cosplay is a form of fandom, and like every fandom, it brings people together. I’ve met so many wonderful people through cosplay, and they are all extremely talented in their craftsmanship and photography. There is a great amount of satisfaction in making something that I am proud enough to wear. Although there are so many great things about cosplay, there is a negative stereotype on cosplayers that many people believe. Cosplayers sometimes have an image of “ruining” series and characters because they are not “accurate” enough. The negative critiques come from a variety of sources, but mostly from other fellow fans.
2. Do you consider yourself a “cosplayer” year round, or only when participating in certain activities?
So far I have only worn my cosplays at gatherings and conventions. Since events occur all the time and all year round, it is arguable that I cosplay all the time. I am in constant contact with my friends who are also cosplayers and cosplay photographers, so I am a cosplayer year round.
3. Going to a venue with many people to watch you in costume and simply taking a photograph, which one is more meaningful?
To gain the full experience, I like to wear my costumes. I feel more involved when I dress up. I always bring a camera with me, so I take pictures of other cosplayers while I get my pictures taken as well!
4. Is the creation of the costume or characters more valuable than the actual acting or vice versa, or is it a mix? As well, how much of the do-it-yourself mentality is admired? If someone just bought their whole costume, are they still a true cosplayer?
There are many ways to answer this. There has always been an invisible checklist of what a good cosplay is. That list continues to grow as more people get involved with cosplay: accuracy of the character, portrayal of the character, and simple looking like the character. I always remembered the term “cosplay” as a combination of the two words, “costume” and “play.” Both words are so light-hearted and playful. It makes me wonder: when did cosplay become so serious? If you take it from the literal term of “cosplay”, by wearing a costume and pretending to be that character even for just a second, you are cosplaying. I do value cosplays more when they are hand made by the person who wears them; because I understand the appreciation and hard work it takes to achieve the look. I feel that there is a lot more personalization you can do to the costume to truly make it yours. It doesn’t mean that they are more superior to those who buy cosplay. Some cosplayers cannot sew or make their own costume and I respect that.
5. Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?
Be brave! Don’t be afraid to mess up or look foolish! I know I have done enough of both and I have accomplished much success because of my failures. No one really gains overnight success, so it’s completely fine to take your time to get where you want to be.
6. Which contest theme do you mostly want to see at Miccostumes.com?
I would like to see a contest theme is “apocalyptic.” Cosplayers in pictures at the end of the world. It could be any kind of apocalypse!