anibee Cosplayer Focus: Yui & Saffron, Misa, King X Mon!
We were recently invited by COSMO Youth Parade to attend their International Cosplay Exchange session, and got to interview their esteemed guests!
Seated comfortably in a swanky café, we got to talk to none other than Yui & Saffron from Hong Kong, and Misa, King and Mon from Taiwan. Hang on tight folks - this is a meeting of immense proportions!
anibee: Welcome everyone to Singapore! How are you finding our country so far (and sorry for the recently poor weather due to the haze!)?
All (in Mandarin): Thank you so much!
Saffron: We are really having a great time here! The weather isn't bad at all, and is actually rather comfortable for us.
Yui: Yes! Because Singapore is so similar to Hong Kong in many ways, it's easy to get used to it. I like how clean your country is in comparison though - I am really impressed!
anibee: One of the biggest issues cosplayers have is choosing their characters. What dictates your choice: characters that suit you well, or characters you personally like?
Saffron: It varies a lot from person to person of course, and what one feels one is 'suitable' for is up to personal opinion naturally. But I try to like or at least, understand my character choices as much as possible.
King: Yes. There might be a character that many might think is perfect for you, but if you have no attachment to him/her, then there's no true meaning to it. If you try to force yourself into a character - it can sometimes end up disastrous!!
Mon: In the end - it's got to come from the heart!
Misa: Yup, I agree with them!
KING AND MON!
King: There's nothing wrong with sometimes doing a c haracter you really love, but feel you aren't suitable for. I myself, indulge in that once in a while... I just don't release the photos publicly (they're for me to treasure personally!).
anibee: One of the main points of debate when it comes to cosplay photography is the use of manipulation programs like Photoshop. What are your opinions on its usage?
Misa: Photoshop is really important! As much as everyone puts in all their efforts, sometimes mistakes do happen. Your wig might look funny in a shot, your make up might have smudged - Photoshop can help fix stuff like that with minimal fuss!
Saffron: Sometimes you need Photoshop to tweak a picture to really achieve that 'perfect' feel you want.
King: Indeed, sometimes Photoshop is the key to getting that exact feel, emotion and image you want from a photo. A perfect sunset, a special effect; as long as it's being used properly and with balance, Photoshop is really a wonderful tool.
anibee: There are some people who find that cosplay has become more commercialised, and feel it should just stay as an art. What do you feel about this?
Yui: I can understand why some people might feel that way, but I personally don't really mind as sometimes involvement from companies can be helpful.
Saffron: Yes. It sometimes takes a lot of time, effort and money to do a cosplay which I'm sure is the case for many people. When a company offers to help out with the cost, and if it helps you achieve your goal, then it's all good really. As long as you know you're doing it out of love for the series (and not just because of the money).
King: I personally feel it's not really a case of cosplay becoming "commercialised", but rather, there being more and more chances for a 'collaborations'. If you're doing a cosplay of a character from a particular series, being able to say, work together with the actual company that produces said series your character comes from can be a fun collaborative opportunity for a cosplayer. You can really learn lots of things from such a tie-up, and that to me, is a wonderful development.
anibee: What's the most important factor to a good photoshoot for you?
Mon: To have fun, definitely! During all our shoots, we're literally running about, laughing, screaming, and just looking stupid - and having fun while doing it (^o^)/!
King: It's really the comfort level that's the most important to any of us. While the skill level of the photographer is a factor, we very much prefer someone whom we're comfortable working with, and of course, who has a good understanding of the series we're cosplaying as. When these 2 factors come together, that's when it gets fun!
Misa: Yup! It's important that the photographer understands what you want; be it an angle you need, or even coming to a mutual agreement on how photos are handled. I like to edit my own photos for instance.
Saffron: Discussion and communication is really important in the end. It's only through this that we can really achieve the desired effect & message we want to convey from our cosplays.
anibee: Cosplay has exploded in popularity recently, and more young cosplayers have been picking up the hobby. With this however, comes the concern of parental approval. Have any of you experienced problems with this, and what advice do you have?
Misa: My mother was really concerned at first, and always asked me what I was shooting, whom I was shooting with and all that. She was also concerned with the cost of the hobby, thinking it was expensive (and it can be!). But there is always a logical, reasonable way to resolve such matters; such as letting your parents whom you're out with - and making your own costumes to save on cost!
Yui: It is a big concern, and one that should be taken seriously, yes. When I started cosplaying, my parents were naturally concerned as well. I constantly let them know what I was doing online, showing them the kinds of people I was meeting, and of course, 'educated' them on cosplay and what the hobby really was about.
King: It's not always going to be really straight forward, and sometimes you might even come across some great resistance from your parents - and understandably so as many parents don't understand this relatively new hobby.
When I started, my parents were quite against my cosplaying, to the extent that my father even threw away my props and costumes. But I worked hard at proving to them that I could balance my hobby with my real life commitments, and they eventually came to understand and accept it.
Many thanks to the COSMO Youth Parade team for the invite!
Check out COSMO Youth Parade's Facebook page for the latest happenings & events.
Don't forget the little video message Yui & Saffron, Misa and King & Mon left us!