Cosplayer of the Month | February 2013 Yamaki Chiya

We have a special interview for you this month, she has been interviewed by international websites and she is very involved in building up the SA Cosplay community. GES proudly presents…

Profile: Yamaki Chiya
Age: 20
Location: Cape Town
Facebook Page: yamaki.cosplay
Website: worldcosplay.net | yamaki-chiya.deviantart.com

TheNasd: Background: when you first started cosplay? Inspiration? First Cosplay appearance at an event?

A: I first started cosplaying in 2006, originally I cosplayed “casually”, it’s only in the last 3 years that I’ve stepped up my game in cosplay.

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Portraying a character can be a great challenge, especially if the character you have chosen has a very different personality to you, or the character has a very different/extravagant outfit. To me, these challenges are what make cosplay so much fun and so exciting! I’ve also always had a huge interest in the arts, be it acting, make-up, etc. So what is there not to love about cosplay? It’s everything I enjoy put together!!

My very first cosplay was a friendly get together picnic in East London, Eastern Cape in 2007, I cosplayed as Ciel Phantomhive from Kuroshitsuji. My first appearance at a Convention was the 2011 rAge Expo, I cosplayed as Uchiha Sasuke from Naruto, and was extremely surprised to be placed 2nd in the Anime/Manga category during the competition!

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TheNasd: What is your most memorable moment in cosplay so far?

A: It must be rAge 2012, me and my fellow cosplayers from Neko Cosplay RU performed the Gangnam Style dance as the opening for the cosplay competition. It was such a great experience, the crowd joined in a bit and so did the judges! It really gave me a good laugh and I couldn’t stop smiling. It is one moment I’ll never forget.

Photo credit to © Ernst Späth
Photo credit to © Ernst Späth
Photo credit to © Ernst Späth
Photo credit to © Ernst Späth
Photo credit to ::Channel Rossouw Photography::
Photo credit to ::Channel Rossouw Photography::

TheNasd: Have you ever been in a group cosplay? If so what was the theme of the event?

A:Yes, quite a few times! Myself and a few fellow cosplay friends formed the Cosplay group Neko Cosplay RU in 2011, together we cosplayed characters from Naruto, Naruto Shippuden and Gintama.

Myself as Sasuke
Myself as Sasuke
Myself as Gintoki
Myself as Gintoki

As of 2013 I am also part of the Cosplay Studio X cosplay group. I am really excited to start working with my new cosplay teammates, our first cosplay together will be Vocaloid’s Panada Hero!

Recently myself and KomboKitten formed a team in hope of being selected as the very first South African Cosplay team to represent South Africa and participate at the World Cosplay Summit in Japan. Throughout the year we will be working closely together to bring you new exciting cosplays!

TheNasd: Q: What are your favourite materials and sources when choosing and crafting your outfits?

A: I really enjoy working with Cotton Twill fabric; it’s very easy to work with, doesn’t fray easily and is a sturdy material that doesn’t tear/rip easily. Air-dry clay and balsa wood are two of my favourite materials to use when making props, they are easy to work with and light in weight.

When looking for material for an outfit, or material for props, I will often look up other cosplays of the character to see what materials other cosplayers may have used, so that I might get an idea for what to look for and what to change. I also take with me a picture(s) of the character’s full outfit so I can match the colours properly in the fabric and prop materials.

TheNasd: What projects are you currently busy with?

A: Currently I am busy with Vocaloid Kaito’s Panada Hero and Fleeting Moon Flower outfit, as well as Tokiya Ichinose’s debut outfit from Uta no Prince Sama and finishing off the last bits and bobs of Fushimi Saruhiko from K Project.

TheNasd: Do you have any cosplayers as well as original costume designers that currently inspire you?

A: Definitely! I’m sure most cosplayers do. I really admire Arikawa REIKA and KANAME from Japan, Jesuke from Singapore, Yuegene from Thailand and Ryuichi Randoll from China. I find their work to be amazingly accurate and their humble opinion of their cosplays is what makes them such great cosplayers.

TheNasd: What for you is the most difficult aspect of cosplaying?

A: Usually the shoes are the most difficult aspect of a cosplay to get right for me, as well as the make-up. The make-up being challenging because most of the time I *crossplay, so doing the make-up in a way for me to look like the character and more like a boy is somewhat of a challenge at times.

* crossplay is when a cosplayer cosplay a character of the opposite gender.

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Myself as both Okita Souji and Toshizo Hijikata
Myself as both Okita Souji and Toshizo Hijikata

TheNasd: At conventions, events and locations are you usually approachable? Do you like it when people want to talk and discuss your art form?

A: I hope I’m approachable! But yes, I love it when people talk to me about cosplay, it’s a great way to exchange knowledge and tips, as well as to get to know other cosplayers.

TheNasd: What are your plans for this year in Cosplaying? Are there any events etc that you are looking forward to?

A: I’m planning on attending quite a few local events in Cape Town this year, as well as hoping to make it up to the rAge Expo again this year. I look forward to all events. No matter how big or small the events are it is always great fun to mingle with fellow cosplayers and meet the new comers to the cosplay scene.

TheNasd: What advice would you give to a future cosplay enthusiast that has never cosplayed or created their own costume?

A: I would definitely suggest that the first cosplay be a simple one, try and avoid characters with very elaborate outfits and props for your first time. I advise this in hope of avoiding disappointment as being a new cosplay enthusiast can sometimes mean you don’t really have an idea of what materials to use or how to go about making the outfit or prop, (assuming you make your own costume and don’t buy it online), so if you don’t have an idea of how to go about it sometimes the result can be disappointing and confidence shattering because the outfit/prop maybe didn’t turn out like you envisioned it.

Another thing to remember when choosing a cosplay is to bear in mind the type of character you are wanting to cosplay, for example, don’t choose a character who wears barely any clothes if you not comfortable walking around like that.

p>TheNasd: And lastly but not least how do you see the progression of Cosplay locally in Southern Africa?

 

A: The progress of South African cosplay over the last few years is truly mind blowing! Each year the cosplay scene just seems to grow and grow, it’s really fantastic! I find the South African cosplay community is one of the friendliest I’ve come across; the cosplayers I’ve met here are so welcoming, helpful and encouraging. I see even greater progress and development happening for the South African cosplay community in the years to come, and I wish all present, past and future cosplayers all the best of luck!

Let’s do it! :D

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Final Word:

Gaming Entertainment Solutions would like to thank Yamaki for taking time out of her busy schedule to take part in our interview.

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