Today,Kapalaka join in our cosplayer interviews,glad to meet her, a really talent cosplayer!
- Introduce yourself first.
Hi there! 😀 My name is Cristine, but I am also known as “Kapalaka” in the cosplay community. I am a veteran cosplayer from Florida who has earned 4 “Best in Show” trophies and several smaller awards. I enjoy spreading the fun of cosplay and sharing her craftsmanship knowledge through panels and online tutorials. Most of my skills are self-taught and my strengths lie in technical sewing, wig crafting, and armor/prop making.
How did you get started in with cosplay, what was your first cosplay?
My love for video games and anime led me to the cosplay community in 2005. It was my senior year of high school and I thought the regular “vote for me” signs were lame when I ran for Homecoming Court. In response to this thought, I pursued a different type of campaign by making silly ads with my face over the bodies of my favorite Final Fantasy girls. I thought to myself, “Hmm… I wonder if people actually make these outfits and wear them…” When I saw people cosplaying online, I immediately started researching upcoming conventions and looking up cosplay photos of my favorite characters. CosplayLab was particularly helpful and I still look up to a lot of the cosplayers that were featured in the CosplayLab Spotlights and Look-Alikes. Also, just in case you are wondering, the campaign was very successful and I made it onto Court.
What has been your favourite cosplay?
Sailor Mars was the first anime character I fell in love with and I am elated to have made the costume. I love that despite her thick skin she maintains a high level of class when confronting other characters. She does not put up with petulance and strives hard to pursue her ambitious life-goals, a true inspiration to an architecture graduate student like myself. I made this senshi suit to be modular so all I have to do is make other senshi accessories in the future, but I wanted to make sure to make this costume the best it could be for Mars.
Describe your creative process for starting a costume through completion!
The first thing I do when I sit down to create a costume is to think of what materials I would approach a cosplay with on my own. After brainstorming a little I check online to see if the costume has been attempted before or if the materials I’d like to use have been used before in other costumes. Sometimes seeing other cosplays can prove very inspirational and answer questions. Once I actually start I usually have several costumes in-progress at the same time. Doing this is a good way to combat frustration with one costume after staring at it all day and facilitates a mini-break from it. When I work on a different costume for a while it usually helps me figure out something on the first costume and I switch off on both of them. Also, I have a lot of fitting issues if I use store-bought patterns, so I just draft my own patterns these days. It was a lot of work to learn this skill but the payoff was certainly worth it. After I have the pattern I make a mock-up out of muslin to work some kinks out and figure out where things like applique’s go, and then I cut into my good fabrics. Even the assembly of a costume can require extra attention since it will usually be better to sew up certain seams before others, like the pant leg seam before the crotch seams. I learned the importance of the order of sewing seams the hard way, but it really makes a difference in sewing cleanly. 🙁 So don’t be discouraged if you have to redo an occasional seam, it is part of the learning process! 🙂
Do you have any favorite Asian films?
One of my all-time favorite movies is Shaolin Soccer. Steven Chow is so funny and I love how he isn’t afraid to be out-there with his comedic writing. He usually works with the same cast in most of his films and they are also unafraid of being offensive. The jokes were silly yet relatable.
What is the biggest learning curve you have learned about the hobby in the past eight years?
How to make armor. I used to be so so intimidated by armor costumes but the fear went away when I just dove right in and started doing it. My first armor costume wasn’t very good and was unwearable after the first use, but I learned a lot from it and I was able to produce bigger and better costumes afterwards. My favorite material to use for making armor and props is styrene. Styrene is a thin sheet of plastic available in different sizes and reacts well to heat. It bonds very well with super-glue and makes for some high quality armor costumes because of the smooth paint-ready surface.
Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?
Don’t give up. 🙂 <3 Cosplay is a very challenging hobby because it is the ultimate form of fanart. It will put your sewing, sculpting, drawing, casting, basically any kind of crafting skills to the test, each of which could take people years to master. I believe that people who really grapple with learning an ability have a tendency to produce excellent work because they have tempered their skills.
Lastly, what is your con schedule looking like through early 2013?
My convention schedule looks like it will be SwampCon, KatsuCon, MegaCon, Fanime, SuperCon, AFO, and Dragon*Con. It is quite a full schedule indeed, but 2013 feels like it will be a good year. 😀 Please look forward to all of the upcoming new work, and thank you for reading!
If you want to know more about Kapalaka, please check her facebook page at :https://www.facebook.com/Kapalaka.cosplay