The Cosplayer Feature is a series of interviews done by HappyCosplayer featuring cosplayers from around the world who would like to share their story. Two cosplayers are featured a week both here on my blog and on my Facebook pages: HappyCosplayer, JustCosplay, CosplayingCommunity
“May you be inspired by them!” -HappyCosplayer
Featured cosplayer: Rocha Kuuno!
Cosplay Page: Link 1 | Country: US | Gender: Female|
Happy: When did you begin cosplaying and what got you interested in the hobby?
Rocha: I began cosplay in September of 2015. I had never been to a convention before and I had made plans to go to one, which I was VERY excited about. I decided to invite my best friend who is also my cosplay partner. I didn’t think about cosplaying until I talked to her about the con and she asked me “Should we dress up?”
I don’t know where I heard the term “cosplay” but we both agreed to it. Thing is we had only THREE weeks before the con. I remember staying up the night before, hemming sleeves and sewing on buttons at about eleven o’ clock at night by hand.
Happy: What do you remember about your first day cosplaying at a convention?
Rocha: I remember getting a rush of adrenaline out of it and being so excited be in this new and unfamiliar environment filled with people I have never met before and the opportunity that presented itself of making new friends and receiving advice from other cosplayers to better ourselves.
Happy: Would you consider yourself more of a seamstress or a builder?
Rocha: I dabble in both areas. I have both sewn clothing items and created props. The most complicated clothing piece I’ve made is a tailcoat and the most complicated prop I’ve made is a scythe.
Happy: Is their anyone who really inspires you and why?
Rocha: A lot of my friends inspire me. A lot of my friends have been at this a lot longer than I have and they have managed to create very complex and intricate pieces that are so beautiful. I aspire to reach their level of skill. Many are very humble about it but I see no reason for them to be. They’re amazing and they should be allowed to be proud of their work.
Happy: Have you ever-experienced harassment or bullying while cosplaying?
Rocha: I personally have never experienced direct harassment or bullying due to cosplaying. Many people are rather accepting of it and simply view it as another creative outlet similar to writing or drawing. So I’ve been very fortunate in that regard which I’m very grateful for.
Happy: A lot of people get overwhelmed or ‘brunt out’ over time with this hobby called cosplaying. Have you ever felt that way, or do you feel like you ever would? What would you say to those that maybe feeling burnt out now?
Rocha: When making my first ever cosplay, I became incredibly frustrated at times. I would be suffering from a lack of sleep which only made it worse. Nowadays, I make myself take breaks even if I want to keep going because I know that my physical and mental health is more important than if a prop is going to stay together.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying that you love?
Rocha: Cosplaying is a very open and welcoming hobby. You have people from around the world that are of all different races, sexualities, all ages, both sexes, all religious affiliations, political affiliations. I find it wonderful that something like this able to bring people together in a society that tries so hard to separate us and point out our differences.
So yeah, there’s my Miss America speech.
Happy: What is it about cosplaying you dislike?
Rocha: I dislike that there is a lot of judgement in the community if something is not absolutely up to a random person’s standards. A lot of the items we see in TV series and films are created by a costume department that are given certain details and instructions to create pieces unique to a character which can make it very hard to create for a real life situation. So, of course it’s not going to be absolutely perfect and that’s alright. You worked hard to bring something from a fictional world to life and you should take pride in that.
Happy: Why do you cosplay? Why do you keep coming back to it?
Rocha: I cosplay because it’s an outlet for me to express myself in a way that I can’t do normally. I live in a small town that is very demure and not very exciting. It’s a not a town that really encourages individuality or creativity.
I enjoy cosplay because it allows me to live vicariously through these characters that have such exciting lives or life changing destinies. Cosplay gives me a gratification that I can’t get out of day to day life. It also makes me happy to find people who see me and are excited to see their favorite character brought to life.
Happy: Over all how would you rate the cosplay community as a whole?
Rocha: Cosplay is very open and welcoming but, of course there are going to be those people who believe they are above everyone else because of their cosplay. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to want attention and to receive appreciation for the work you put into it. I mean, I’ll admit that I have moments like that too.
I’m human and I have an ego. But to want to be practically worshipped is a whole different thing. Then there are those who point out the flaws and mistakes in, not just your cosplay but also your appearance. Saying things like “You can’t be that character! That character is white!” or “You’re too fat to be that character!” Cosplay does have it’s negative members but overall it is a welcoming community that can be very much like a family.
Happy: What are some of your favorite cosplays you have worn?
Rocha: I have quite a few that I’ll say are my favorites. First, is my Claude Faustus from Black Butler II cosplay. I worked very hard on it and made the entire tailcoat myself. Second, would be my Professor Franken Stein from Soul Eater cosplay. He’s one of my extravagant cosplays that I save for certain cons since I have to carry a giant scythe with me. Thirdly, it’s a tie between my Fem! Castiel and my Umbreon cosplay. They are both very comfortable to wear and move around in which I enjoy.
Happy: Do you have a dream cosplay you would love to do one day?
Rocha: I would absolutely love to be able to accomplish cosplays like Joker or Beast from Black Butler: Book of Circus or Austria from Hetalia.
Happy: Has cosplaying presented you with challenges? If so what sort of challenges, and were they hard to overcome?
Rocha: Cosplay has challenged my patience as well as my ability to problem solve. It’s also challenged by creativity with materials convenient to me and finding substitutes for those that are not.
Happy: What is your favorite convention right now to attend?
Rocha: My favorite to attend is Ramencon. It used to be located in Merrillville, Indiana but now it has been moved to South Bend, Indiana which I am really looking forward to. It was my first ever convention and it was where I met so many amazing people who I view as family. It’s a rather small convention but it’s ideal for meeting new people and interacting directly.
Happy: What is a convention you would REALLY like to attend one day and why?
Rocha: I would absolutely love to be able to attend Daisho Con in Wisconsin and Katsucon in Maryland. I have several friends that attend these cons and they all speak of wonderful things.
Happy: What are your future goals with cosplaying? Rocha: My future goals regarding cosplay are to find a career in the field or find something related to a tool of the trade. If I could do it professionally and as a job, I would absolutely love it. I would never tire of it. I hope to accomplish more complex things and to inspire others to do the same and to take the chance to try it out.
You can find Rocha Kuuno at the following links! Please leave some love for them via a like/follow and so on and help continue to make the cosplaying community better by encouraging and inspiring others!
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