Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight. We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community. Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and famous members of the cosplay universe.
About Yoshu Cosplay
Hi everyone, my name is Josefine (or Yoshu Cosplay) and I’m a cosplayer from Denmark! I’m 26 and have been cosplaying since 2007 (wow… long time ago). When I’m not crafting I work with guest service, safety and security in Tivoli Copenhagen and hang out with my friends ~
How did you first get into cosplay?
Oh that was back in 8th or 9th grade, I already loved reading manga for quite a while and a classmate told me about this convention and that people would dress up as the characters. I was already a big fan of theatre and dressing up (though not with a lot of confident) but I decided to give this convention a try. I went to a thrift shop and had my mom help me a bit and after meeting a lot of talented and amazing people I really got hooked ~
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Cosplay is and forever will be a hobby for me. In Denmark, it can be really difficult to use it as to get a career and for me, it would not be as fun working 24/7 on projects – especially if the projects are not 100 % motivating. But I really do love it as a hobby and I have skills that I learned from cosplaying that I use in my normal daily life – working on a tight deadline, critical thinking, researching etc.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Since many of the characters I wanted to cosplay as were the more “unknown” of the series and when I started back in 2007 the market for bought costumes was not so big so I ended up learning to make my own costumes but I see no problem with people buying (as learning to use a sewing machine is not easy!) I also considered once or twice buying a special suit or school uniform but got away from it 🙂
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
Uuuuurg that really depends on three things; 1. deadline, 2. motivation, 3. materials. Some of my costumes have only taken a week or two where others were made in about a year on and off. Lack of motivation can really be the killer for me as I don’t get to make any progress at all and it also depends on how many details, what techniques that have to be used etc. So anywhere between a couple of weeks to a year.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
I have two right now that are very dear to me; Radagast the Brown from the Hobbit and Aveline de Granpré from Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. Both of them have been really time-consuming and cost both blood, sweat and a lot of tears but to wear them, hearing people’s reaction and even all the research that went into them makes me happy every time I look at them <3
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Uh, difficult… I would say it is more like the feeling I get every time I’m cosplaying together with good friends or taking part in a competition and see everyone support each other. I have gotten some really fantastic friends while cosplaying and I have so many good experiences with them and they are some of the most creative and incredible people I have ever met and all the memories with them are so great~
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I have not made group cosplay for some time but I think they are really fun! Of course, there can be challenges if not everyone agrees (but hey that will happen no matter what) but I love seeing groups with some awesome concept and where you can see they are just having fun~
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I have three projects that I hope to finish here in 2018.
– Cynthia from The Witcher II
– Cesare Borgia from The Borgias
– Fairy Godmother from the Cinderella movie (2015)
I have bought materials for all of them and currently switching between them to keep my motivation up~
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I noticed some time ago that there was the big debate between self-made or bought costumes, which one made you the “better” cosplayer. For me this was such a silly debate as there are so many different aspects of being a cosplayer; for some it is to create your own costume, maybe compete with it, for others it is just to have fun, hang out in a costume of one of your favourite characters. I see absolutely no problem with people buying costumes as some might not have the same skills, means or want to make it themselves as the ones who do craft everything themselves and that’s fair. I only have an issue if it is a craft competition where the rules clearly tell the costume need to be crafted by yourself, but that is a tiny aspect of the concept of being a cosplayer. Then there’s the talk about having the “right” body for the character. I don’t even know where to start. Again for many cosplayers this is a hobby, nothing else. No you might not have the complete right measures for a certain character… and so what? Many of the characters we see are two dimensional and some of the designs can be really tough to convey into a real-life costume. As long as you are having fun while wearing your costume that is really okay with me!
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
The last couple of years I have mostly cosplayed from Western series/game as the number of details and stories of the characters really called to me (especially if there was some historical background to it) It is sometimes the more quirky character that catches my eye – definitely if they have some weird humor 😀
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Oooooooh researching is one of my favourite things! I really love to sit an figure out what kind of fabric to buy – if it is from a certain age, what kind of materials would have been used back then~ also to figure out what techniques to use and try them out if I’m unsure about them. In process if there’s hand sewing or embroidery (until it gets to a point where I’m yelling at it and wants to throw it away) but I do enjoy sometimes crafting together with a friend or two because if you get to a halt there is somebody right beside you to motivate or maybe come up with a solution. Also performing, that is one of my favourite things, to hear the music begin and get into character, hearing the audience’s reactions and all the support and fun backstage with friends. Photoshoots are also a thing I enjoy (though I’m terrible to pull myself together and plan them in good time 8D ) But to get good pictures of a costume you have worked on for a while is really a great thing~
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
The fabric I usually buy at some local store if it is available but I have also bought things in London or mostly online on eBay~ All the tools and accessories either found local or online~ Wigs I tend to find on there as well but also on wigisfashion.com 🙂
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My self-confidence… Oh, it has been quite low at times – even at one point where I wanted to quit cosplaying before I felt like I could never be as good as my friends and my sewing skills were terrible. Luckily my friends helped get out of that black hole <3
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
It is okay to make mistakes – you are not a failure because of that. You can never satisfy everyone 100 % so create what makes YOU happy. Listen to constructive criticism and learn from it, you might be angry at first but it can help you develop your skills. Remember to take a break once in a while, it is okay.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Just have fun, really, it can really break your neck if you want to make a big detailed dress or armour yourself as your first cosplay, so start small, try out different things and ask if you are in doubt, there are lots of forums where you can seek out help~
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
I feel like it has become more “normal”. I mean back when I started in 2007 almost no one outside the community knew what cosplay was but throughout the year the media have become more focused and we got big conventions like Comic-Con where the audience suddenly became bigger. Today it is easier to get the materials or commission a costume and the forums have changed quite a lot, so it is not that “closed” as it was before.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Ooooooooh….. that would either be Mary Spencer from Trinity Blood in her uniform Or a Rohan rider in full armour from The Lord of the Rings triology~
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Ehehehehe… Well, I do try sometimes, not that I write down a specific budget, but I keep a list in my head on how much I want to use on a project, depending on its size, if I want to perform or compete with etc.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It is a way for me to be creative and test myself in many different ways and create a lot of good memories together with my friends And get to meet/talk with other cosplayers all over the world 😀
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
If I did not really feel the joy for it anymore no matter what I tried or did, if I could not see the meaning of making costumes any longer then it would be the sign for me to quit.
You can follow and view more of Yoshu Cosplay here
- Silas Staal Photography
- Hopyrion Kelevar Cosplay & Photography
- Michael la-Cour
- J-popcon Photographer
- Kennet Pedersen Videotography
- Lupin – Costume & Performance Artist
- Kelevar Cosplay & Photography
Check out our other cosplay features here
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