Interview with Riko

It’s time for another interview, this time with Riko! She’s a lovely cosplayer from Malaysia, who is a very talented gal!

Riko as Kazuki from Getbackers, photo by Kiwira

What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I am known as Riko and it’s a computer-generated name I got from the internet, LOL.

How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying since 2006. Well.. it started when I was studying in Australia and I just so happened to attend the AVCON in Adelaide in 2005. I watched the cosplay competition there and was amazed that the cosplayers there sew their own costumes… That got me inspired to sew my own cosplay costumes (despite my apparent lack of tailoring skills @__@). Initially, I thought it was impossible for me to cosplay and to imitate the characters… but after attending AVCON, I got the confidence needed to start on my 1st cosplay project. ^__^ I love manga and anime and cosplaying is an extension of my interests in them. ^__^ I have never looked back ever since, haha!

What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Oooh, plenty! I love working with various types of cloths because I am better at sewing than I am at prop-making. *orz*  I love to work with jumping clay because it doesn’t crack like paper clay and lighter (UHU does help in some ways as well LOL!).

What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Fur, haha! I have never worked with fur before and it’s pretty hard to find fur cloth in Malaysia, so I lugged back 2 meters of fur cloth during my trip to Singapore last year. I am pretty excited at the thought of working with fur but I can’t stand those stray strands of fur flying everywhere (it’s choking @__@).

What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
Lesser-known series being cosplayed and more retro series cosplays! It’s kinda sad to see such older series being forgotten, so I hope to see more of it. Anyone can do it, be it an experienced cosplayer or a newcomer.

Riko as Lady Gaga from Bad Romance MV, photo by Relyss

What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It’s evolving at a breakneck speed compared to the time when I first started out. The scene used to be so much smaller where we know each other and not many people know what cosplay is. Nowadays, cosplay has gone mainstream and so many new faces! It’s good in a sense that it’s now easier to source for cosplay materials compared to a couple of years ago.

It’s great to see an improvement in the standard of cosplay here and the standard of workmanship here has improved as well. It’s a great honor for my country to be selected for the World Cosplay Summit and this year was the first time my country has participated in it.

Cosplay politics/drama? You bet!

What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
Less cosplay politics/drama and more cosplays please. Cosplay here has gotten pretty competitive where I sensed that each cosplayer is out to outdo another cosplayer, which is kinda sad (Not all cosplayers are like that but I fear we are heading towards that direction). While I am not against competition, when it goes overboard it’s another story altogether.

I would love to see more varieties of cosplays in the scene, instead of just seeing the same old, popular cosplays at practically every cosplay event/convention I go to. Variety is the spice of life, so to speak!

Riko as Hisashi from Glay, photo by Tsu

What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Remember why you cosplay in the first place! Because along the line, there will be times where you will question yourself why you cosplay and always remember why you do it in the first place. I remember an event I went to where one event-goer asked me why I cosplay a lesser-known character which nobody knows. Hence, nobody would wanna snap a photo of me. >.< It kinda shocked me because I cosplay out of love for the character, not whether the character is popular or not! This incident reminded me to remember the reason why I started cosplaying in the first place.

Start with simple costumes and slowly work your way towards more complicated cosplays. Have an open heart to learning things along the way because you will learn so many things you would have never learned had you not gone into cosplaying.

Cosplay is fun and fun is cosplay! XD

What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I would say GACC 2008 in Malaysia and AFA 2010 in Singapore.

GACC in 2008 was very special to me because it was the first time I cosplayed together with my close friend (aka a sister I never had), Hito. We have been cosplaying together ever since, haha!

For AFA 2010, it was because it was my first overseas convention and it was indeed an eye-opening experience. I had a lot of fun cosplaying with Hito, with Xanthe as the photog. and there were so many activities there! We got to watch the Regional Cosplay Championship live and the standard of cosplay during the competition was mind-blowing!

Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
My first costume was Gundam Seed’s Murrue Ramias EAF costume. Back then, I had no idea what sewing patterns were and my sewing knowledge was just limited to sewing buttons, LOL.

So what I did was find a shirt I had with similar design to the EAF’s jacket and traced the shirt’s pattern directly onto tracing paper, LOL. I didn’t know how to piece together the parts of the jacket, so I overturned my shirt to see how the seams were joined together and figured it out from there, LOL.

I wasn’t that proud of the quality of workmanship but hey, it’s my first costume I sewed from scratch! XD

Last but not least, thanks Yunie-chan for giving me this chance to be interviewed. It’s so welcoming to read the first line of your message that says, “Anyone and everyone are welcome.” ^__^

Riko as Sheryl from Macross Frontier, photo by Xanthe

Thanks for the interview, Riko! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart and her Cure page!

About Yunie

I am a cosplayer, a nerd, a geek. I am whatever you call me. However, I have a brain and tend to use it.
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