The 1st ladies of Cosplay
What is Cosplay ?
Cosplay is a portmanteau of costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character or idea that is usually identified with a unique name. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play. A broader use of the term "cosplay" applies to any costumed role-play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.
This months Sights Locked ON an exclusive interview with 4 mavens of Cosplay
that have displayed artwork featuring Girls with Guns here at Gunsexy
The beautiful photowork focuses upon our women as the subject often costumed as
a popular video game warrior or comic hero in action pose situations
The Line up
From Germany Lena Lara as Lara Croft www.facebook.com/lenalaramodel…
From France Miss Croft Cosplay as Lara Croft misscroftcosplay.deviantart.co…
From Germany Rayi-kun as Black Widow rayi-kun.deviantart.com/
From Italy its Giorgiacosplay as Fujiko giorgiacosplay.deviantart.com/
Gunsexy: What got you started in the relm of character cosplay?
Lena Lara: Once I was a very shy and plain girl... dressing up as someone else made me feel happier and more self-confident. Lara Croft was the heroine of my childhood, that's why my cosplay etc. began all with her...
Miss Croft Cosplay:I had discovered Tomb Raider in 2004, it's one year later that I decided to try cosplay inspired by former Lara Croft cosplayers.
Rayi-kun : It's simple really. I got into Anime/Manga first and then in 2005 a friend asked me to go to convention with her. There I saw Cosplayers for the first time and was amazed!
Giorgiacosplay: I had been attending to comic conventions for a while when I first saw people attending those very same conventions with costumes from Star Trek and fantasy novels (Elves, Dwarves and the like) so I said to myself "if they can do that with their characters, I can do the same with the characters I love".
At the time I didn't know I was cosplaying and I came to know that this kind of hobby had a name only later.
Gunsexy: What made you join DA ?
Lena Lara : One of the photographers who took the first pictures of me told me from DA.
Miss Croft Cosplay
A was reputed to be "the place to be" to share its own arts and to find anothers.
Rayi-kun : Phew, I'm not sure anymore to be honest. I probably found other cosplayers, as well as beautiful art here and decided to join myself. ^^
Giorgiacosplay: First of all the content has always been great, there are a lot of good pictures and you can browse them literaly for hours.
And it was a good way to make myself and my passion known to the world.
Gunsexy: you fabricate your own costumes ?
Rayi-kun : Yes, I make all my costumes myself.
f course I do.
Miss Croft Cosplay:All my costumes are entirely made by myself.
Giorgiacosplay: While recently I've happened to ask some props to friends and fellow cosplayers, all my costumes are made by me with the help of my mother (who's a very good seamtress) and my father (who works with wood and metal)
Gunsexy:Approximate cost for each costume and time to fabricate?
Lena Lara : Hard to tell... it differs from costume to costume.
Miss Croft Cosplay:It depends the costume but in average 70€, I think. I always take my time to find the bests accessories, so I can take one year to make a costume. Then the conception of a Lara Croft outfit is generally quickly made.
Rayi-kun : It varies a lot depending on how complicated the costume is and if I have to try out new things etc. The cheapest costume I made was about 20 € (but that was really an exception) and the most expensive was around 350 €
I'd say the usual would be around 100 €. As for time it's varies just as much. From 5 hours to 6 months, it has all happened.
Giorgiacosplay: It varies wildly depending on the costume.
I might be able to score a simple one with just a few buck, but the more complicate one can easily go in the thousand range.
Gunsexy: What is your favorite character or genre to "put on"?
Lena Lara :Generally I would say fantasy and science-fiction.
Miss Croft Cosplay
nly Lara Croft. Usually, cosplayers do cosplay for cosplay, but in my case, I do cosplay only for Tomb Raider.
isney. Which anyone can see, since I've done 13 Disney cosplays already haha But I also like Games, Comics, Sci-fi and Anime. I like to try different things now and then.
Giorgiacosplay: I started cosplaying to don the costumes of the characters I like and those are the ones I used to like when I was a kid.
So, more than a genre, I'm able to identify a period of time from which the characters I like to "put on" are from: the 80s. That said, it might come as a surprise, but I like to wear Baron Ashura.
I see the character as completely insane, so I enjoy laughing as I'm on the verge to conquer the world and I make funny faces, just a few seconds after to convey the insanity.
Q:If you could be that character 24/7, would you do it ?
Miss Croft Cosplay: No, I don't think so. Let's not exaggerate.
Rayi-kun : Uuuhm, no. I like my life. I love Cosplay, but it's just my hobby. And as much as I love some of those characters, I wouldn't want to be them ALL the time. ^^
Giorgiacosplay: I like to think that cosplay is cosplay and life is life.
Cosplaying 24/7 would probably take the fun out of it. It would be normal and probably as boring as normal life. Christmas is special because it comes once a year. If everyday was Christmas, it wouldn't be special and magic, a lesson Bart Simpson had to learn the hard way
Gunsexy: Do you have a fave cosplay artists (like Ya Ya Han) ?
Lena Lara : I always was a big fan of Illyne and Kamui's work is absolutly impressive, too.
Miss Croft Cosplay:I don't have a fav cosplayer but a lot inspire me
Rayi-kun : I like a lot of cosplayers and I'm amazed by a lot of their works, but I don't have a definite favourite, no.
Giorgiacosplay: There's this Japanese guy, Goldy AKA Gaogaigar who specializes in armors and robots. You might have never heard of him, because he's not usually "on the edge of the scene", but his works are truly amazing and they range from a Gundam with lights and smoke to an excellent Alphonse Elric from Full Metal Alchemist
Gunsexy: Are you an art major college educated, or an
entertainment industry professional ?
Lena Lara :In real life I'm a digital media designer and study print and media technology.
Miss Croft Cosplay:I have my own business in food sector
Rayi-kun : Nope. I am a programmer and I study bioinformatics in college
Giorgiacosplay: Well, if you are talking about an art accademy like Juilliard, no, I've never attended anything even comparable, but I do have a degree in acting and another one in voice dubbing
Q:Favorite ComiCon and the one Con you avoid ?
Miss Croft Cosplay: I don't have a fav con because of two things.I don't need to find a new or a good photographer, all shoots are done by my boyfriend. And if I make a shoot, it's only to recreat the sceneries from the games. So I can't find a good one in a crowd lol.
Rayi-kun : I love Connichi (Kassel, Germany) and the London Comic Con. ^^ I don't reall hate an.
Giorgiacosplay: There are always "but" and "if" in every Convention; I like Lucca Comics & Games (Italy's biggest and one of the biggest in the world), but it is becoming too crowded. I also like Paris' Japan Expo and I would like to go to Atlanta's Dragon*Con or San Diego's Comicon, from the youtube videos I've seen they look like a blast. I try to avoid some conventions where I had some trouble with the organization not paying for services I had provided but I think it won't be professional to tell names.
Gunsexy: Walking in public dressed in character, Do you have any funny
or weird situation stories that you can share ? Especialy for female costumes that are sexy, suggestive, and revealing ?
Lena Lara : Well a few times I got asked for an autograph... I can't lie, this felt a little bit strange
Miss Croft Cosplay: Places where I make my shoots are generally desert. So we are never really in public, excepted this summer for my underwater shooting. We started from the beach, the lifeguards were in panic about "weapons and harpoon" and people stay voiceless. kind of funny. But the interesting facts about my shoots were the "conditions". Like for the Nevada series, the temperature was so high that I have paid 5€ for a Soda !! But it was soooo refreshing. Or oppositely, for the Tibet series. We had come on place for the shoot and suddenly the snow soon began falling, the temp dropped and... I was in hot pants! The Core Design devs were crazy to let Lara climb mountains with those hot pants!
Rayi-kun : Well, you get weird looks and people shouting nonesense at you all the time, but I can't think of a particular story right now, sorry. ^^
Giorgiacosplay: Once in a while I attend special events in malls or in public parks where I wear Flora from WinX Club. And everytime I do that, at some point the same scene happens: there's this father who starts to ask his kids if they want to "take a pciture together with the fairy". Then he pushes, then he pushes harder even trying to bribe his kids with ice creams or other treats and when everything fails they drop the mask and run towards me saying "ok, then daddy is going to have the picture".
It's always very funny.
Gunsexy: What advice would you give for someone entering the cosplay for the first time ?
Lena Lara : As with everything, each project starts out small, with the dream of growing into something beautiful and big. Hang on to that
Miss Croft Cosplay: Like the firsts generations (or like me), do everything by yourself, don't come in a community to ask how to make easy stuff, it's really annoying. You have a brain so use it, you have hands and you know how they work. If you succeed, you will be really proud of yourself. If you failed, now the others cosplayers will be okay to help you and find where the problem would be.
Rayi-kun : Try lots of different things, never give up and have as much fun as you can! Also - don't be afraid to ask other cosplayers for advice.
Giorgiacosplay: Start simple, with something you can pull off using things from your closet or by modifying exisisting clothes. It will help you get the hang of it and you won't be discouraged by the first failures. Find a group of friends and go to the convention in group, with a group cosplay, it will help you overcome the "stage fear" and you will have a good time.
Once the first compliments arrive, you'll feel the motivation to go on and venture into something more difficult and complex.