This isn’t the first time when I concentrate on answers from an excellent cosplayer. And like before, I’m inspired a lot from what cosplayers who accept our interview. Huge thanks, Aigue-Marine. We do look forward to more cooperation with you :P!
Q1. Please tell us something about yourself.
A: My name is Sina and I’m a 22-year-old girl from Stuttgart, Germany. I study advertising and market communication at Stuttgart Media University and work at an advertising agency. I’m interested in music, acting, fashion, languages, travelling and costume making, of course!
Q2. When did you begin to do cosplay? You like it or got into it by some other reasons?
A: I started cosplay in 2004 which means that I have been cosplaying for over 7 years now. It all started with a friend of mine who accompanied me to a convention close by. Some weeks before the event was going to take place, she told me that she would dress up as her favorite character from a video game and that this certain kind of dressing up was called “cosplay”. I had always been interested in costumes so I decided to ask my grandmother for help. Together we made my first costume.
Q3. What’s your favorite cosplay and why?
A: Oh, this is a really difficult question! It’s so hard to decide! I mean, there are costumes I really like – My Ranka Lee (Macross Frontier) and Hungary (Axis Power Hetalia) costume, for example. My favorite cosplay is my Batgirl [Stephanie Brown] costume though. Up to this point, it is the outfit I put the most effort in: I had to work with many materials I had never worked with before and had to figure out patterns for garments I had never even dreamed of wearing! To put it briefly: It is the costume I am the proudest of. That’s why it is my favorite.
Q4. Have you ever met some difficulties in cosplay? And how did you solve them?
A: Of course! I have encountered difficulties with almost every new costume I started to work on. Every time I met a problem I took a break first, because continuing to work on a costume in an upset state of mind is very counterproductive, in my opinion. Afterwards I asked friends for help or looked for tutorials on deviantArt.
Q5. I find you have so many stunning pictures displayed in the gallery. So, are you often photographed? Is there any suggestion for people? How can they look great while facing the lens?
A: To be honest I don’t get photographed at conventions that often. I just happen to have lovely friends who are really talented at taking pictures and editing them. We organize a lot of photo shootings to take pictures of our costumes.
When it comes to posing in front of a camera and looking good on a photograph there are many, many rules one should keep in mind – here are the three rules I consider the most important:
1. Don’t rush it! Taking great pictures takes time and patience. Sometimes you have to take 100 pictures to get out a single good one. If you’re at a convention, just ask a photographer for a 5-minute photo shooting! Convention snapshots are lovely souvenirs. But they lack quality and hardly ever look good.
2. Use make-up to cover skin blemishes or dark circles around your eyes! Properly applied make-up makes everybody look better. It can even help you to look more like the character you cosplay as! With the right make-up you can make a 20-year-old girl look like a 12-year-old child or like a 40-year-old man! There is a reason why it takes costume artists 1 ½ hours in the bathroom to get ready.
3. Prepare poses in front of your mirror at home! Every character has specific poses he/she always strikes. They look amazing in comics and movies, but they do not necessarily look good when a cosplayer adopts them for a picture. Find out which poses show yourself at your best and practice them.
Q6. Is there any suggestion for which convention cosplay beginners can go?
A: Well, first of all I have to point out that I am a cosplayer from Germany and therefore only familiar with German conventions. Basically there is no German convention cosplay beginners cannot go to. Every type of cosplayer is welcomed on German conventions – it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or a beginner.
My favorite German conventions – the ones I recommend attending are Dokomi in Duesseldorf in May and Connichi in Kassel in September.
Q7. We do think your Batgirl Stephanie Brown V cosplay seems ideal. So, how could you achieve this?
A: Wow! Thank you so much! I am really happy you like it. As I already mentioned before I put a real lot of effort into this costume. It took me some months to gather all materials I needed and to figure out how to make certain parts of it at all. To achieve this it took a lot of patience, persistence, motivation and love for the character Stephanie Brown.
Q8. Any new plan you can’t wait to do?
A: Oh, there are plenty of costumes coming up this year I cannot wait to start working on! I am planning to make costumes out of the DC and Marvel universe, from Star Wars and Trinity Blood and out of Disney movies! If you’re curious about the outfits I’m working on you should check out my Tumblr account! I post WIP pictures there regularly.
Q9. Are your costumes made by yourself or bought?
A: All costumes of mine are self-made.
Q10. What are the good things of cosplay? And also, what are the bad things?
A: Well, every activity has good and bad sides. The same goes for cosplay, of course. What I don’t like about this hobby is that a lot of people out of the scene make fun of you and don’t take your occupation as a costume artist seriously.
However the worst aspect about cosplay is that it is incredibly expensive. Being a university student with a small income, I cannot afford too expensive costumes or professional materials I would love to work with.
On the other hand a small budget makes a cosplayer inventive and being inventive is fun. I love sewing and working with different materials. I love to see a costume taking shape and I love wearing it on conventions, of course!
It’s amazing to escape from one’s daily life once in a while and to be able to slip into the role of a Japanese magical girl, an Indian prince or a mysterious superhero!