I'm honored to have a lot of good friends who share the same love for cosplay, anime and manga. One of them is Erin Yang. We knew each other back in High School and College and we bonded over Harry Potter. I'm so proud of her and her cosplays. Here's an interview I had with her:
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO COSPLAYING?
The main reason is I get to be my favorite character and portray him or her even for just one day. It wasn't enough that I just watch the character from the series or games because I want to feel as if I am him/her and, at the same time, I know I am giving tribute to my favorite character---which is, for me, the core of cosplay. And also, I know cosplay will help me enhance my skills in arts of crafts. :)
WHEN DID YOU START COSPLAYING?
I started cosplaying in ToyCon 2011 with my boyfriend where we cosplayed Kenpachi and Yachiru from Bleach. You can find out more of our experience in my . I just gave a Kenpachi coat as a Christmas gift to my boyfriend and, I guess, that started it all. We decided to cosplay these two because we were watching Bleach and we loved their tandem. I was a bit worried at first because I was too big for Yachiru, but I told myself "What the heck, I love Yachiru!", so we went through with it. This started our trend of cosplaying pair characters as much as possible and since then, we never regretted getting into the cosplay world.
Kenpachi and Yachiru from Bleach
In crossplaying, that started in Best of Anime 2011 where I cosplayed Toushiro Hitsugaya. Hahaha, yeah, I crossplay too because I like cosplaying my favorite guy characters.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH CHARACTER TO COSPLAY?
As I said awhile ago, I cosplay my favorite characters yet I am actually very picky at choosing who to cosplay.I am not the type who cosplays a character because he/she is very popular. Even before watching the series or playing the games, I already have a "criteria" as to who my favorite character is and then I usually end up cosplaying/want to cosplay him or her.
For instance, most of my male cosplays wear glasses, are very smart/prodigies and mysterious (Ken Murata of Kyou Kara Maou, Shinra Kishitani of DRRR, Toushiro Hitsugaya from Bleach and Kaworu Nagisa from Neon Genesis Evangelion).For my female cosplays, they are usually fighters, independent, bad-asses, know how to defend themselves, love their loved ones, and someone I can relate too (Asami Sato from Legend of Korra, Saeko Busujima from High School of the Dead, Sarah Kerrigan from Starcraft, Tifa Lockhart from Advent Children, and Irisviel von Einzbern from Fate/Zero).
Toushiro Hitsugaya from Bleach
Hehehe, it's very rare that I cosplay a protagonist unless he or she matched my "criteria". XD
Want to see more of Erin's cosplays? Please visit her blog ,and .
ARE YOU A PART OF A COSPLAY GROUP? WHICH IS BETTER, BEING A SOLO COSPLAYER OR BEING A PART OF A COSPLAY GROUP?
Yup, I am part of a cosplay group and they compose of my very close friends in the cosplay world that I just met from 2011 onwards.Before I answer your second question, I would like to emphasize that this is not just any cosplay group that stops hanging out after cosplay. This is the next best group I ever had since my HS friends and I cherish them because we hang out and bond in AND out of cosplay and conventions. I just want to add a quote here from one of my close cosplay friends: "I'm happy with the people in my group, kasi kahit (because even) outside cosplay events and without the costume, they're real people and I can trust them. :')" and I believe in that---which is related to your second question.
Ever since my bf and I cosplayed together and ever since I met my cosplay friends, I would rather be part of a cosplay group than being a solo cosplayer. Not only do I bond with them, but it makes cosplaying fun and I am more at ease in portraying my character. It's like when my friends and I cosplay characters from the same series, I feel my character more and I can portray him or her well. :D
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT COSPLAY?
Aside from what I mentioned earlier about having to bond with friends, I love cosplay because I learn and experience stuffs that I think I would never experience if I wasn't cosplaying. Like for example, I am proud to say I experienced getting Grecco (glue used for rubber foam) in my skin and feeling the pain hahaha. I also learned the following: hand-sewing (even if just the basics), making simple props, being meticulous, selecting the right wig styles and colors, wearing various make-up styles (both male and female), going to ukay-ukays (thrift stores), looking for prop materials and more. Every cosplay, I learn something new and it helps me enhance my skills in arts and crafts. Hopefully, I can become a better cosplayer in the future. :D
Starcraft II - Sarah Kerrigan Ghost Version
Photogaphy: Rina Vallejo Lappay
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE COSPLAY PLANS?
I still have 3 cosplay plans for this year, which I won't tell for now because I am still nervous about it hahaha (I don't know if I can pull it off). Sorry I can't divulge what they are for now because I have this belief that if I tell my cosplay plans early on, I may not pull it off (especially when I'm still planning). But for next year, expect more cosplays that match my "criteria" and---hahaha---it will be my "manly year" in 2014 as I will be crossplaying more than my usual.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN COSPLAYING?
For those interested in cosplay, here are some advices I can give:
* Always watch the series or play the games first because I can assure you, you will have a favorite character that you want to cosplay.
* Don't cosplay someone just because he or she is popular---always cosplay your favorite character because that is the basis of how you will portray him or her well. This is the also best way to give tribute to them.
* While there are online shops and stores out there that cater to cosplay stuffs, always learn to be resourceful and research. The Internet is right at your fingertips, you can find anything you need there. And being resourceful also helps in lessening your expenses, especially when you're on a budget.
* Don't rush your cosplays and plan early as much as possible so you can make your cosplay perfect and exact.
* And lastly, enjoy! Cosplay is a hobby where you should be having fun, not being too stressed about it.
High School of the Dead - Saeko Busujima
Photography by Rina Vallejo Lappay
To get know more about Erin, please visit her blog , and .