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About Yuu The Chibi
Hii! I’m Yuu (or Chibi, when you call I turn around for both). I’m 19 y.o from the Czech Republic (central Europe, not next to Russia). I love anime, manga, computer and phone games and of course food (you don’t want to pay for my food bills I assure you)
How did you first get into cosplay?
My best friend and I watched anime and listened to Vocaloid songs. She got interested in cosplay so she started working on one (which is not finished up to this day, haha) and I wanted to do dance covers. But soon enough we switched our interests and now my friend does very beautiful dance covers and I cosplay. So I can say she got me into cosplay. Also about a year before I started trying to somehow have my first cosplay I made a friend who was already cosplaying so she encouraged me.
Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?
Both. I try to have as much fun as possible while slowly trying to make it a career. I still have a loooong way to go (honestly I need to level up my skills) but the fun I have while cosplaying is what I love the most.
Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?
Weird hybrid honestly. Because some costumes I make completely from scratch (of course except for contact lenses and wigs, but yeah), some cosplays are bought (it’s usually for characters that would be otherwise too expensive for me so it’s better to just buy it), some have bought parts (and remade or adjusted) and some parts are commissioned. I used to commission in the past when I was way younger, didn’t have that many resources or skills, now I don’t commission that often.
How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?
About 30 – 40 working hours depending on how intricate cosplay is. I’m also including my panic phases when I’m crying before my sewing machine because I’ve sewn something wrong for the third time or I just don’t like the way it turned out.
What is your favorite cosplay you have done so far?
Hmm, that’s a bit hard because I love every cosplay that I made with my hand. It’s like picking a “favourite child” for me. But hey Irene Belserion from FT was pretty fun.
What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?
Maybe my first contest? I’ve experienced so many emotions and tried something new, stepped out of my comfort zone which is something which I definitely should do more often. After the contest, some people came to me and told me how amazing I was. Honestly, I didn’t expect anyone to remember me so I was very happy.
How do you feel about group cosplays?
Can be pretty cool but very hard to organize. I don’t do group cosplay often because anytime I’ve tried someone quit on us in anger so for me it’s been way better to rely on myself.
What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?
I’m doing 2 versions of Hatsune Miku (Clockworker’s doll and her typical uniform) and also 2 commissioned cosplays for my friend. I would like to also begin to work on a 3rd version of Hatsune Miku for next year cosplay event.
What issues do you see as being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?
I think it’s the issues of “making cosplay for fun” or “seriously” – at least that is in our smaller community. Also, people who take a little bit of shade too seriously and then people who borderline bully. I don’t care about little shade, but I don’t like when someone harshly criticizes someone who you can see he/she’s literally there to have fun and not to be number one cosplay craftsman/seamstress/stylist.
What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?
I like a mix of shounen and magic. But honestly, any character that catches my attention will do, haha.
What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?
Finishing the costume and being content. Because then the hard work, tears, stress and other negative emotions reverse into happiness – that my work has paid off and I look simply gorgeous, lol. But conventions are also one of my favourites, I get to see the hard work of others – it’s a nice feeling in me which I can’t describe properly.
What are your best resources for cosplay materials?
Ebay and 2 other local websites – one is for buying fabrics, the other is basically second-hand shop online. I don’t do armors that often but even then I can find pretty nicely prized EVA foam on eBay.
What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer?
My shyness, introverted character and social awkwardness. I fight this up to this day. When I started out, I had only one friend in cosplay community and I didn’t know anyone. I was pretty young too. I was so painfully shy and up to this day, I cling on that friend like a koala. It’s my insecurities and timidness that hold me back.
Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?
Rely on yourself in 95% cases. Now that sounds edgy but I learned that people don’t keep their promises when it comes to helping you, bringing you something – I learned to assess if I can make it by myself and if not I commission – that’s the only way to get someone to do something for you (for record tho, I don’t expect people to give me free stuff or do me bunch of favors). Also don’t do cosplays because of group cosplay your friend is doing and by chance they need this character who you really don’t care about… Make/purchase/do cosplays that YOU want to do and that you know that you will ENJOY wearing.
What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?
Always check if there’s some kind of tutorial on Youtube or other sites. If my dumb self-checked before jumping into action without knowing how the hell I am going to make this I would’ve saved myself so much money, patience, and tears. -_-
How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?
At least where I live things don’t really change that quickly. What changed is the “outside world”. When I started people would berate me on the streets or give me borderline disgusted looks just because I had a pair of contact lenses and a black wig with pigtails. Now I still get the stares but they’re more curious than hurtful.
If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over-ambitious cosplay you want to do?
Hmm, it’s more about a time tho, then it would be Hatsune Miku version Synchronicity. I don’t have any outrageous plans so I’ll be probably able to make all of my plans become reality.
Do you set a budget for each cosplay?
Kind of (about 100$) but that depends on the type of cosplay I’m doing. I usually calculate beforehand – how much for the fabrics, I search through the internet for the cheapest parts possible, watch some tutorials to learn maybe some useful tricks that’ll save a lot of money for me. So technically yeah but I just don’t do the cosplay now if I don’t have money and do the cheaper one first. Or spread the parts between my salaries.
What does cosplay mean to you?
It means a lot to me (said no one ever, lol). It changed my life and for some time it has been almost the only thing that kept me alive. It means that I can forget my everyday worries, I can be someone else for a moment, I’m stronger. Also, I learned skills which I’ve never dreamed of learning. I made new friends – I changed. If I haven’t discovered cosplay and this beautiful world I don’t even know what would I become.
How do you see the cosplay community 10 years from now?
It may be a little bit surprising, but I don’t see anything really changing. People will stay the same way they are, maybe just new materials will appear.
What is your favorite con to attend?
Animefest – it’s very large conventions with a plenty of things to do.
Is there another cosplayer who inspires you or is your role model?
There’re a few cosplayers that I watch pretty frequently. One of them is Reika, but my wig senpai is cosplayer called Burrito (her wigs and makeup..and just her whole cosplays are perfect T^T). And I admire Reika for any male cosplay she does – she just looks so perfect. Q…Q
Do you consider yourself an inspiration to other cosplayers?
Not really, I am a walking joke.
What advice would you give someone about meeting cosplayers and taking their pictures? How do you like to be approached?
Don’t yell at the cosplayer, don’t come for a photo when the cosplayer eats or looks obviously distressed. But if you want the photo, please ask them for it, don’t just randomly take a photo because you see a “weirdly dressed dude/chick” (happened to me way too many times). Don’t touch parts of the cosplay – some may be fragile or the cosplay just hates being touched. So like a normal human being come up to the cosplay, say something like: “Hey, I like your cosplay, can I please take a photo/take a selfie with you?” do the photo and if the cosplayer is not busy, you can chat with them for a bit about the costume or you can thank and be on your merry way.
What is one thing you wish your fans knew about you?
I don’t have fans. 😐 I don’t even know what my potential fans should know about me. Maybe that I cherish each and every one of them that decided to support my random self? I don’t know. 😀
Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?
I think death..or very bad sickness. Otherwise, nope, I don’t want to stop.
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