Chara Expo 2017 – Interview with Knitemaya & YUI

Chara Expo 2017 just ended, but our memories and experience still stay really fresh. This year is yet again a step up from last year as we managed to score not one interview, but THREE! THREEEEEEEE!!!!!!! (if you guys get all the reference in this one line, you’re awesome)

Our first interview was with two well known cosplayers – Knitemaya and YUI – from Australia and Hong Kong respectively.

knitemaya
Photo by pireze

Knitemaya is a Greek cosplayer residing in Australia with 7 years of make-up, sewing and crafting experience. She is well know for her bishounen cosplays from various anime series and video games.

Knitemeya’s page: https://knitemaya.wixsite.com/knitemaya

YUI
Photo by RU

YUI is a cosplayer from Hong Kong and has made multiple appearances as a special guest and a cosplay judge for several events. She is very passionate about making cosplay costumes, and pays very close attention to the finest details.

YUI’s page: https://www.facebook.com/yui930/

We got the chance to sit down and conduct an interview with them. Because this is the first interview that we’ve conducted with guest cosplayers, needless to say we were still very inexperienced, so we got Leon to lead the interview for us since he’s also a cosplayer himself and thus is more knowledgeable than ZaCaptain and myself when it comes to cosplay.

CV: What is your usual cosplay budget?
Knitemaya: It depends on the costume. My basic budget is around AUD 200 (SGD 216), but for more extravagant costumes it’ll be more than that.

YUI: For me, I make the costumes myself and I have high standards for the quality and the a keen eye for detail, so I will purchase a more expensive type of cloth. So a set consisting of the wig, the costume itself and the shoes will usually be around HKD 1000 (SGD 172).

CV: Who is your favorite cosplayer and character cosplay?
Knitemaya: Reika is someone I really look up to, because she was one of the first cosplayers that I found, and that’s how I got into cosplay. Reika is a very big influence to me because she makes her own costumes, and I find that to be very admirable. She’s been cosplaying for so many years that it’s just nice to see how she’s progressed over time. As for character cosplay, I like Genos from One Punch Man because I met the director for One Punch Man and also the voice actor for Saitama (Furukawa Makoto) and they both said that my cosplay is very nice and Genos would have looked like me in real life, so it’s something special to me.

YUI: Because I am a costume maker, I find myself following other cosplayers who also make their own costumes. The one cosplayer I like is Lenneth she puts in a lot of effort for every single costume that she makes, and she makes it stays true to the original character as much as possible. As for male cosplayer, I like KANAME☆ from Japan. As for characters I like to cosplay, other than Noctis from Final Fantasy XV it would have to be Ayanami Rei from Evangelion and Kusanagi Motoko from Ghost in the Shell.

CV: What do you feel is the most challenging part of making your costume?
Knitemaya: I think the most difficult part of making armour or sewing is making the patterns for a costume and also making sure that the costume is realistic and fits (to your body). For armour making like robotic arms, it’s very hard to make it movable and you have to figure out how to make the pattern will look like through a lot of trial and error, because what may seem nice on the character in the anime may not work as well in real life.

YUI: When I start making costumes from scratch, inevitably I will come across certain costumes that I have never done before because my costume making skills are self taught, so I would try to figure out how to work on the things that are new to me. But most of my challenges come from wigs. When I encounter characters whose hairstyles are more difficult, I will do some research online or ask more experienced people on how to better style the wigs. Another challenge that I’ve faced is during the photoshoot because you have to consider how to do the right pose and be able to capture the feeling of the character at the same time, so for that I feel that it’s important to be able to work with a photographer that we can both agree on when it comes to taking photos.

CV: This is not cosplay related, but have you guys tried chicken rice?
Knitemaya: I came to Singapore two years ago and that was the first time I had chicken rice, so this time when I’m back here I told myself that I need to eat the chicken rice here. We do have chicken rice in Australia, but it’s very different if it’s not made with the Singaporean recipe.

YUI: When we first landed in Singapore, the first thing Knitemaya asked me during dinner was if I wanted to eat chicken rice, and it was so good! We have chicken rice in Hong Kong too, but the taste is different because it is made by the local people there, and the soy sauce used in Singapore is very delicious and different from Hong Kong, so it’s still better to eat chicken rice here in Singapore.

CV: What are some of the anime or video games that you’re into currently?
Knitemaya: Persona 5!

YUI: Definitely Final Fantasy XV!

CV: Do you have any tips or advices for cosplayers who are just starting out?
Knitemaya: My advice is to never give up and continue doing what you love to do, and not to compare yourself with other cosplayers, especially when you begin because at the start you won’t be good so you have to keep practicing. I used to do this a lot when I first started cosplaying. I would look at other popular cosplayers and told myself that I wanted to be like them but I’ll always make myself look bad in a way because I’m not good enough, and that’s something a lot of younger cosplayers tend to do. You will make mistakes and you won’t get it right on the first try, but if you keep going, you can improve and have fun with it.

YUI: When I first started out cosplaying, I’m still new to costume making, so what I did was to take apart my old clothes and analyze how they are like since your clothes can fit you. This makes learning how to do everything from scratch a lot easier and more convenient than going for lessons since that takes time and money.

Thank you Knitemaya and YUI for your time!

The interview with Milky Holmes and Poppin’ Party will be up soon, so follow the blog if you want to be notified of it!

– Dempster

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Chara Expo 2017 – Interview with Knitemaya & YUI

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