Life of a Cosplayer – Part 2

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For our second part of ‘life of a cosplayer’ we met up with Sairu in a cozy local bar. A different setting than a convention is nice too from time to time. Sairu is a Belgian girl who might aswell made cosplay one of the most important things in her life.

1

Let’s pop the main question this interview is all about, namely when did you start your ‘life as a cosplayer?’

Well I’ve been active in the modeling business since I was about 6 years old and I’m used to dressing up for assignments. When I was younger, I actually had to do some cosplay shoots, without me actually realizing this kind of dressing up was named cosplay.

Only a few years back I started researching about the phenomena because I loved the shoots that required me to dress up this way. I spent a lot of time researching what it was all about and now you can easily say I’m hooked.

The fact that I used to create costumes and such in school gave me a decent background aswell.

All of this also opened a whole new world for me. I learned about conventions or even communities and got to know a lot of other people who shared the same interests.

Cosplay is often considered to go hand in hand with anime series. What do you find so fascinating about anime and the characters you represent?

Anime series and their characters tend to have a lot more possibilities than in regular movies. There is a lot of freedom and a lot more space for the imagination of the creators. Representing one of these characters and making it come to life is in essence a form of ‘art’.

Do you make your own costumes, or do you sometimes tend to buy parts or entire costumes?

I tend to make most of my costumes myself, but sometimes I add a bought item to the equation, because some of the items catch my eye on conventions and I simply can’t resist some pieces.

In conclusion I  can easily say costumes are a 50/50 match. A lot of my own work and a decent amount of things I simply love. Temptation is hard to overcome!

What kind of costumes do you prefer?

Personally I like ‘edgy’ costumes, meaning costumes that can be a little provocative but still within the boundaries.

I also tend to prefer costumes that revolve around characters I love. This does not mean I always pick characters from series I love. Sometimes series I don’t love, or don’t even watch can have great characters with their own great story.

What are the plus and downsides about cosplay?

The fun side about cosplay is simply the chance to enjoy my hobby and after some hard work to be able to please the fans of certain characters. Or even some compliments from those who aren’t familiar with the characters I represent.

The things I tend to ‘dislike’ are having to spend a lot of time and money in it. Well I love spending time making my costumes, but your daily life is already filled to the maximum which makes it simply harder. As for money, make-up, travel expenses and material don’t come cheap.

Another thing I tend to hate is the jealousy and drama between the different cosplayers who simply don’t want other cosplayers to do their own thing. In the end it’s an hobby, each and everyone deserves their own way of practicing it.

How do you deal with these kind of negative comments? Doesn’t it spoil your hobby?

Not really, in the end it’s my hobby and I’m happy for those who appreciate it.

Is there a certain goal you wish to reach or achieve with your cosplay?

Gosh, well I pretty much want to keep having fun practicing my hobby and want to make it more known to the public.

I also occupy myself with creating a community, for everyone who is interested in cosplay, called saigen. We offer guides and tips for everyone.

It seems you have greater ambitions?

Well I occupy myself daily with photoshoots (regular ones and cosplay) to save up to open my own ‘maid café’. In the end that’s my dream. This means the modeling career and such are simply a temporary thing to accomplish my life long dream.

It seems you are quite busy, do you have any other hobbies or what do you do in your ‘normal’ life?

Well, actually cosplay is my life. As in, the shoots and such are turning out to be a full time job and as stated before, I’m saving up to open a cosplay related shop.

It doesn’t mean I don’t do casual things like gaming, watching anime series or even design websites. I tend to lead a busy life.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Or who do you get your inspiration from?

To be honest I don’t really have a source where I get my inspiration from. It’s pretty random, when I see a character I like, I start investigating it. If it suits me, I go for it.

When is the right time to stop practicing your hobby?

If I’m able I will never stop practicing cosplay as a hobby. When I get older it will probably be more planning events and helping other people than actually dressing up.

If my children happen to be interested in cosplay I would spend loads of time helping them.

Also I hope I can still enlarge the community I represent and plan loads of events and conventions with them aswell.

Any tips you’d like to give to people interested in cosplay?

I can give the typical tips like just go for it and such. But there are some other factors people tend to forget. Keep a decent schedule to check public transportation, bring extra clothes, check who is actually attending the convention and such.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Barney
    February 6, 2013, 8:52 pm

    Great performance Sairu. Never let somebody get in the way of your passionate hobby. Cosplay is fun and a great way to escape for a moment in fantasy and hope. It keeps your mind open.

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