cosplayer from Poland who is a professional cosplayer since 2006!
Please introduce yourself – what’s your cosplay name, where are you from, how long have you been cosplaying?
Hi! My name’s Zel and since 2006 I’m spending most of my free time on cosplay related activities.
How did you start cosplaying? What was you first costume?
In 2006, with few of my friends we were getting ready to visit a polish convention. The only problem we’ve stumbled upon was that the event was cancelled in the end. Because of that we’ve started looking for something else and landed on anime&manga oriented NegiCon. Since one of the main attractions there was a Cosplay Gala we’ve decided we’ll give this whole cosplay thing a try. And the rest is a history.
And the costume I’ve made for this convention was Kuchiki Byakuya from Bleach – mostly because I had the long hair like the guy and it was a time when (at least in Poland) hardly anyone was using wigs in cosplay
Do you have your favorite costume? If yes – what is it and why?
That’s a very tough question. It’s a bit like asking a parent to pick his favorite child. I really like most of my projects and it’s hard to put a finger on the specific one.
What part of this hobby/life style do you like the most? Why?
I love the cosplay community! Thanks to cosplay – the competitions, being a judge etc. – I’ve traveled to a lot of countries and everywhere I go I’m having lots of friends. And if not, I’m pretty sure I’ll have some very soon. We’re all bonded by this strange hobby we’ve decided to dedicate our time/money/sweat/tears to and when you’re passionate about the same thing it’s really easy to break the ice. And since I’m a person that had some serious trouble talking to strangers, being in this colorful community helped me a lot.
Why cosplay is important for you?
Since I was a little kid I was always drawn to art, live entertainment and acting but never really pursued that. For me, cosplay can be all of those things. By working on a cosplay projects I’m, in a way, going after those childhood dreams. And it’s a ton of fun. So what’s important to me – to create something, have some fun along the way.
How do you choose characters that you cosplay?
Mostly it’s because I like the character. But sometimes, when it’s a group project I’m getting a very polite but strong suggestions from my friends that I should make this particular costume. And more often than not said heroes grow on me as well. So in the end, it’s mostly characters I like.
How much time do you usually spend on one costume? What was the longest time you spent on one costume and which costume it was?
There’s only one answers to this question a cosplayer can give – it all depends on a costume. But one of my more complex and time consuming costumes was Iorveth from Witcher 2. There was a lot or hand embroidery involved, I was also making a chainmail from scratch. It took about 2/2,5 months but I was working on it almost every day.
What would you consider to be the biggest achievement in you cosplay carrier?
That’s a tough one as well. I’ve been a part of a few international cosplay competitions. Landing a second place on Clara Cow’s Cosplay Cup 2016 with Kairi was a great moment. But I think the biggest achievement in my cosplay carrier is where I am now. When I started making costumes the thought of a day when some people will appreciate my craft so much they’d like me to travel abroad or even across my own country, to contribute to their events was mind boggling. And here I’m, over 10 years later, visited more places and met more amazing people because of cosplay than my vacations or any other trips.
Do you have any funny stories or accidents related to cosplay?
Of course, tons of them! 😉
What would you say for people who thinks that cosplay is pointless waste of time and money?
When you look at things from a certain perspective then absolutely everything can be pointless and a waste of time. I think, whatever you do if you’re having a good mind set you can turn it into a lesson. So yes, cosplay can teach you not only how to create realistic looking sword using foam but also planning a budget for your project. Or how to effectively work in a group. Maybe after a certain amount of stage performances you’ll overcome fear of public speaking? Cosplay, like most of the things that require more than lying down and looking at the ceiling, is an experience. And you can learn a lot from it.
What would you advice or whish for people who want to start cosplaying, but for unknown reasons are afraid or just don’t know where to start?
Just go for it! You have nothing to lose, and if you don’t like it nobody will force you to continue. But I’m pretty sure that the cosplay community will welcome you with open arms. Just give us, and yourself a chance!
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Thank you for reading through this! You’re awesome and have a great day 🙂