Years of Cosplay: 5
Ukraine already has a 6 year-long tradition in cosplay. It is fast growing; it likes cosplay competitions, masquerades, etudes and performances. Numerous conventions already have brought recognition to a global costume spree extravaganza that is reaching far and deep. A happy cosplayer is a happy creator, one that partakes in the lives and excitements of a fabled cartoon that is brought to life in the real world. Bellatrix Aiden tells us about the true rewards and inner lifetime of a living and kicking character.
Cosplay Gen: What can you tell us about how cosplay is regarded in Ukraine, in comparison with other European countries?
Bellatrix Aiden: Cosplay in Ukraine is a new wave, it has just started. This winter we had an anniversary meeting dedicated to the 5 years of cosplay in our country, and the line-up of the event was represented by the best cosplayers and photographers. The number of conventions has increased a lot in the last few years. The most popular kinds of cosplay competitions are masquerades, and cosplay etudes or performances, where cosplayers try their best to show and act the way their character would do. I am really glad that the level of cosplay has been really soaring, and I am happy to see great costumes at our conventions. The Japanese who visited us were really surprised that our anime fans are not only interested in cosplay, but also sing Japanese songs, dance and try to learn their language. They said that we are a wide-opened nation.
Cosplay Gen: To you, what was the most challenging character to cosplay? Can you detail a little the costume-making process?
Bellatrix Aiden: The most difficult costume I have ever done is the costume I am working on right now. I have started this costume nearly half a year ago and I’ve spent all my spare time to improve it and make it more elaborate. I had to buy an embroidery machine, many meters of fabric, beads and other materials. I even had to use the method of printing pictures on T-shirts. I have to think about every little detail, sometimes I have no idea how to do this or that, I fall into despair, and in the end the answer just comes to me. It’s like magic.
Cosplay Gen:Do you have your mind set on a particular character you’d like to cosplay in the future? If yes, which one and why?
Bellatrix Aiden: When I was a child, and had no idea about cosplay, I used to play the well known game Final Fantasy VIII. When I first saw Edea, I fell in love with her personality and her costume. I simply adore this character, and it’s a pity I’m not able to play as her throughout the whole game. She is beautiful and her costume is just magnificent. Time passed, and later I met a few people who told me about cosplay and that my dream can become reality, but I was scared to cosplay her, as I was not a professional props maker. Now I have friends who cheer for me and can help me if I get stuck somewhere while making her helmet. I hope you will like my cosplay of her when I finish it.
Cosplay Gen:What is your opinion about the challenge of cosplaying a various range of characters?
Bellatrix Aiden: I think that all the characters I have ever portrayed are different in the way they express their emotions, opinions and themselves; they also look different. I try to give life to the cartoon, and I am really glad when people say that I look and act just like my character. It is the most important reward for a cosplayer. Every cosplayer is a little creator, and we have to do it wholeheartedly. I think it is really exciting and I challenge myself as well. Sometimes, it is very difficult to act like those characters. So it is a challenge for my inner actress.
Cosplay Gen:What has been the most rewarding thing you have gotten out of cosplay since you’ve started?
Bellatrix Aiden: I am very grateful to cosplay. I have met a lot of different people; visited places; became friends with people I didn’t know before, from various cities. I became more sociable and self-confident. And I have accomplished a part of my dream. When I was a little girl my dream was to become an actress and a model, and cosplay helped me to combine them both.