Happy Friday heroes! New cosplay cafe coming at you, this week I sat down with the wonderful Kimidori Cosplay and picked her brain a bit. Getting someone so creative is always a blast and Kimidori I feel represents that to the fullest. Check out our interview down below.
1. What were you like growing up? What were some of the things you were into as a child/teenager?
Like most cosplayers, I started off as just a fan of manga and anime. Being half-Japanese and a speaker of the language, I had easy access to books and videotapes since I was little. I was a fairly sociable, normal kid whose mom encouraged them to dabble in many things, including drawing and martial arts. I had several phases in terms of hobbies as I grew older, but cosplay is probably the one that has stuck with me the longest. (But I should note, I wasn’t considered “skinny” and had many insecurities just like others.)
2. Who or what got you into cosplaying?
Cosplay didn’t come into the picture until high school, when our drama teacher invited me to help make costumes for that year’s production. A volunteer mom used to make costumes for the department all on her own, so she showed me the basics of sewing so that I might lend a hand. Several friends joined me throughout that year, and eventually one of them suggested that we dress up for our local con. I was apprehensive leading up to the event, but I’ve been making outfits ever since!
3.First off, I wish I saw you at Katsucon this year. That said, way to go on your Stella Glow group, Madoka Magica group,Fire Emblem group, and casual Voltron group. What made you decide to do so many group cosplays for a convention?
I think many cosplayers might agree, that half the experience of this hobby is made by the people who engage in it with you. I MAKE costumes for my own enjoyment and to learn new things, but I WEAR costumes to socialize and meet new friends. While I’m happy to wear the things I worked hard on, I’ve found that the experience is infinitely better when I feel like I’m wearing it to be part of a team!
4.Will you be doing more photography and digital editing? I’ve decided to learn this as well and it’s not easy but I enjoy it.
My husband often jokes that I dabble in too many things (and I agree)– but I’ve found that learning a little bit about photography / digital editing has helped me in multiple ways. Getting behind the camera has helped me understand what poses and compositions look good in the context of a frame. I’ve also begun to notice what make-up techniques (such as contouring) help achieve a flattering look. It has also made me anal about checking for loose hairs on wigs, annoying background elements, etc, enough that I feel helpful when spotting for friends while they do their photo shoots. I don’t foresee being good enough to call myself a “photographer” or a “digital artist,” but I certainly would like to keep practicing so that I might reap the benefits of learning new things!
5.Do you have a favorite costume you’ve made?
“Favorite” is a hard term to use as a criteria, because every costume was made with the intend of trying out a new skill or method. But with that, I think one of the most educational projects was Baron Humbert von Gikkingen from Studio Ghibli’s “The Cat Returns.” It was my first time making a facial prosthetic, and to this day I consider it one of the most challenging things I’ve ever tried. While I was somewhat pleased with the result, I have full intention of remaking him in the very near future–now that I know a little more about the process!
6.Off topic, favorite food?
Avocados, goat cheese, caramel pudding, bubble tea, and noodles. (I love a hearty bowl of ramen, but pho remains king in my book!)
7.What is one thing you feel as though the cosplay community needs to improve on?
I feel a little weird saying this, because I am one of MANY people who rely on social media to keep my hobby going. But there are also many, many days when I wish the community could step away from what is on our news feeds, so that we could focus more on enjoying the craft, or meeting up with other cosplayers. I feel like our focus on the virtual world kind of detracts from our ability to appreciate things IN PERSON, where you could admire all the textures so-and-so used, or make friends out of strangers.
8.Second off topic question, how was your trip to Japan?
Amazing! I got to explore many other regions outside of Tokyo (and take it from me– southern Japan is charming and gorgeous.) I also came home with a big haul of traditional Japanese print fabrics, which are hard to source in the States!
9.Favorite memory while in cosplay?
While walking from our hotel to the convention center, my friend and I overheard a conversation between a mom and her child. We heard him ask why there were people dressed up in the city that day. Her response? “I don’t know honey, maybe it’s a Jewish holiday.” I am still trying to find Jewish friends who could confirm for me if they dress up, too.
10.What upcoming cosplays are you working on? I noticed that Ubume is currently in the works as your long term project.
Yes! I’m currently riding the wave that is sweeping through Asia with a mobile game called Onmyouji, who Ubume is from. While that slowly progresses, my plan is to finish Prince Ferio from the nostalgic title Magic Knight Rayearth, first. I also plan on whipping up Alibaba from the series Magi, so I can be part of another cosplay group!
11.What conventions can people find you at this year?
My attendance at cons is admittedly waning… but this year, I will be at Project A-Kon in Texas, this coming June. Beyond that, my two go-to events tend to be Sakura-con and Katsu-con (although the latter is starting to become debatable!).
12.Final question, anything you want to say to your fans?
I’m laughing a little bit because I don’t think I have FANS so much as I do friends! But to them, I want to say thank you for always commenting, encouraging, and giving me feedback both online and in person. I truly believe I wouldn’t still be cosplaying if it weren’t for the kindness and positivity that I encounter regularly. I hear about nightmarish stories on the web all the time…and while it breaks my heart, the people that I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to have given me a lot of hope these last few years. Thank you so much!
Be sure to give Kimidori Cosplay a follow on her social media platforms. An amazing person who I do hope to run into a convention one day.
Coming next week is….
You’ll just have to tune in and find out. Until next time, I’m still XBen3000 and I’m out!