In terms of cosplaying in Romania, we do not lack cosplayers. Diana Streche and Irina Vișoiu are two Romanian cosplayers who participated in the previous edition of TGIFF. They shared some information from the inside of the cosplay world and told us what it means to be a cosplayer.
The beginning of cosplay and the creation of costumes
Diana started cosplaying in 2010 when she and one of her friends went to a convention in Romania. They both went dressed up as Black Butler, the main character from the anime series Black Butler. She’s been doing cosplay ever since because of the feeling of being able to be someone else; she likes representing a character she liked. Her favourite costumes are Vice Admiral Holdo from Star Wars: Episode VIII and the Monk from Diablo.3. She said those are costumes very easy to wear. Diana likes to create costumes that contain various elements; she likes costumes that are challenging.
As for Irina, she started in 2014. Irina finds cosplay activity as being a rewarding hobby; she likes being recognised and “be called by the character’s name”. It also makes her step out of her comfort zone while making costumes. Her favourite is Malthael from Diablo.3. It was her most ambitious project and the easiest costume to wear. Another one is Sylvanas Windrunner from Warcraft. She liked to create the costume “with all ups and downs and embodying the character.” Out of all types of costumes, she likes to create armours.
When asked what their preference is between the character or the costumes, the two cosplayers answered that it depends on the cosplayer per se. Some want to look like the character without caring much about its personality, while others care more about the character’s personality and less about the looks. Irina answered that she likes a mixture of the two, while Diana needs to be very attached to the character. Otherwise, she loses interest. Most costumes are made by the girls, but if Diana had the chance to buy them and the costumes were made correctly, she would.
Earning money, amateur vs. professional cosplayers
If you want to earn money from cosplaying, you may want to think twice. The two cosplayers mentioned that this goal depends on your implication and possibilities. Diana said that it needs “a significant amount of skills to be able to get to a point where you can start earning enough to make a living.” Also, it is much more difficult to do that during the pandemic. Professional cosplayers don’t stick only with cosplaying, especially during this period. They also branch out and earn money from activities such as selling books. If you want to do cosplay, you have to have a stable income.
The essential difference between amateurs and professionals? It depends. A professional cosplayer can be skilled in making costumes but not very good at embodying the character or not very competitive. In fact, they described a cosplayer, in general, as being a person who can have two different personalities. He or she can be an introverted individual. Still, once he or she puts the costume on, their personality can change immediately. The costumes give you a certain confidence.
They also do cosplay for charitable causes. They are part of the international organisation Rebel Legion. People can contact them via their site, and they can go to hospitals, children’s events, an initiative new in Romania.
You can see the entire discussion below.
TGIFF 3pm Zoom 2 Meeting
Moderator: Simona Hupov
Presenters: Irina Visoiu, Diana Streche