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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 already famous members from the world of cosplay.
About Riyuka Cosplay
My name is Alex, I’m 22 years old and currently trying to find a new apprenticeship as a photographer! I’m from Germany, born in Bavaria but currently living in NRW, and I’m a huge dork according to my bf x)
How did you first get into cosplay?
Back in 2011, I visited my first “convention” ever: Japantag in Düsseldorf. I wore a simple lolita dress to that occasion, and the positive feedback and amazing costumes of the other cosplayers there just amazed me … that day lit the spark inside of me, and it took me 4 years to finally start working on my own cosplays from scratch 🙂
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
I’m cosplaying just for fun at the moment; of course, everyone dreams big and I too would love to make a living from my beloved hobby one day, but right now, it’s all just for fun 🙂
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
I prefer to make them from scratch, but I also already bought some parts for some of my cosplays, like my D.Va suit. I made the headset and gun myself but just didn’t have a clue on how to imitate the suits’ design in a way I’d be satisfied with – so I bought the suit.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
That depends. I usually prefer big armors over fabric costumes, so it usually takes quite some time for me to finish the cosplay. But my San, for example, only took me around 2-4 days (it was my first self-made cosplay). My Warrior Red Riding Hood, on the other hand, took around 280 hours of work, so it really depends.
What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?
My Warrior Red Riding Hood! It was my first armor ever, and I just LOVE the design Gladzy-Kei came up with for me! I feel so badass wearing it 😀
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Tough question! I think it was the day I wore my Elsa cosplay at a convention, and this cute little girl in an Elsa dress came up to me, hiding shyly behind her mother, and asked me whether she could take a picture with “Queen Elsa” (so adorable!!) – that moment made my heart jump with joy and it’s the best experience I had so far! 🙂
How do you feel about group cosplays?
I’m definitely a fan of group cosplays! I’m in a cosplay group for an upcoming convention myself, and I think it’s a great experience to share your progress, your love for a certain game/series/movie/comic etc. with fellow cosplayers 🙂
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m currently working on Valkyrie Jolteon (Design by Gladzy-Kei & Becka Noel) for a cosplay group. And I really want to make a Harley Quinn and Mercy (Overwatch) cosplay this year too! Other than that, I’ll just see where this year will take me to 😀
What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think there is some kind of “cosplay elitism” existing in our community; some cosplayers think that your cosplay is only valid if you made it 100% on your own or look down on people who just buy their costumes because they just want to have fun without having to spend that much money on all the expensive tools, materials, etc. I feel like those people forget what cosplay really is about: having fun. So no matter whether you bought your cosplay or not, your cosplaying is valid.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I like crazy and quirky characters, like Jinx from League of Legends or Harley Quinn. Because they’re so much unlike me, so I can be someone else for a day when visiting a convention. That’s always super fun! But I also like the characters who have a dramatic background, who are shy and silent but kind-hearted and loving. Overall, I’d say that I draw inspiration from a lot of different characters.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
I think my favourite parts of my cosplay process are painting and shooting my costumes! I’ve always loved art classes in school and painting in general, so painting my armors, weapons etc is super relaxing for me. I also love to think of cool poses when shooting with the many amazing photographers we have!
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
MyCostumes – definitely MyCostumes 😀 You can get a lot of stuff for your cosplays there if you’re from Germany, Austria or Switzerland!
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
I think my self-doubt. I was never 100% happy with who I am, so oftentimes I was placing unnecessary obstacles in my own way that dragged me down.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
If you really want to do something, then don’t wait! Start as soon as possible, and don’t let anybody stand in your way!
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Never think that you can rush your costume within two or three days before a con xD
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
That one’s hard to answer for me, as I’ve only been cosplaying actively since early 2015. One thing I’ve noticed since then is that there are not as many free tutorials around as there were when I started. Some cosplayers want to make money off their knowledge, so they only share their tips via Patreon.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Honestly, I cannot think of one right now. Maybe Nami from League of Legends, or one of the many many amazing armors from Guild Wars 2.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Not exactly. Of course, I always try to keep it as cheap as possible, but if I cannot make it without spending a little more money, that usually won’t stop me from making the costume anyway 😀
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means a lot of things. Artistic freedom, fun, constant exploring and learning of new materials, new franchises, etc. and meeting new friends! Cosplay means a whole lot to me, and I can’t think of ever stopping!
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
Hell NO! Cosplay is my one great passion, and I’m planning to still cosplay when I’m old and grey!
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