It’s time for another interview, this time with Semashke! She’s a talented cosplayer from Lithuania, who is quite devoted to the hobby!
1. What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
My cosplay alias is Semashke. It is originally made out of my surname. I had a difficulty to find a suitable one about 4 years ago, so I took my name and surname and tried to make something more interesting. That‘s how my surname- Semaškaitė – became an alias – Semashke. I use it almost everywhere. :3
2. How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been cosplaying for about 3-4 years. Everything started when my friend NarLt (Deviantart), also known as Narya, took me to OTAKA anime festival in Vilnius, Lithuania, 2008 December. That was the first time when I saw Sasuke and Naruto cosplay and was really amazed by it. And what do you know – 2 months later we were coslaying for the first time in one of the biggest conventions in Lithuania, called KOI cosplay :3; now it is called NowJapan. I was Anbu from Naruto and she was Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist.
Now I am one of the members of a cosplayer group called Blackout, we are cosplayers who have united to make performances together at different anime conventions. Here‘s our page: http://blackoutlt.deviantart.com/
3. What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
The thing which I like to work with is foam and fur, although I haven‘t got much experience with it. Making fur costumes is fun, but really inconvenient. Foam makes wonders, especially while making props.
4. What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Some day I would like to try out different kinds of make-up. Especially those which make wounds, blood, help attach horns and bones on the skin. Every time I see this kind of make-up, it makes me want to try it out as soon as I can, and you must agree – it looks amazing.
5. What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
In my coplays, I would like to see more detailed work. I think my cosplays are rough and I always look up to one of my favorite cosplayer – Cvy. Also, Narlt. Their costumes have something that mine don‘t and that is detail. I try to learn that from them and still have a long way to go. Here is their pages:
6. What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
Cosplay is an interesting phenomenon and sometimes it makes my childish dreams come true. I always wanted to be Gohan from DragonBallZ when I was a kid, now I can do it easily.
If you‘re asking about cosplay scene as a performance then I think that performance is one of the most important things in the whole thing. I always think that a cosplayer must make it interesting for the audience to watch. Good performance, in my opinion, is 60% of the success in cosplay.
7. What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
That cosplayers would think not how to slip through the performance, they should think about the audience also and try to make it interesting. This year I used a smoke machne for the first time, just to make it nice.
8. What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
The main thing that I would recommend for those who have just started cosplaying – do not rush to take and make all of the cosplays, choose wisely, every costume requires a lot of money, patience and time. Some of them require skill. Do not grab the most difficult ones at the beginning and get used to cosplay by starting with easier ones. Remember that cosplay looks good when it fits you by nature, try to choose those characters who fit you not only by your looks but also by your character. Cospaly is not only costume, it is also acting. I remember ruining some good coplays by just rushing and making them, back then I thought I could make anything and I failed. :D. Also – every detail is important, if you have a wig it doesn‘t mean that you already look like that character, you need to style it too. And hell yes, make-up is magic. 😀 I only realized this half a year ago. ^///^
Don‘t think that cosplay is difficult in any way now, it is fun and awesome, it only requires time, money and patience, skills come with time. 🙂
9. What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
I could mention 3 of my favorites:
1) One of the biggest or maybe biggest anime and Japanese cultural conventions in Baltic countries – NowJapan. It is always held in late summer every year inVilnius,Lithuania. This one is big, it is near and lasts for one week. Also – after this convention we always have after-party with everyone. You can see it here:
This convention has everything: cosplay, anime stuff, Japanese cultural programming, karaoke, games, sushi bar, art avenue and so on. It would be difficult to list everything. The fun fact- our brother and sister Latvians always come here to visit us, not to mention Russians, people from Belarus, Poland, Estonia, also- Sweden.
2) Latvian AnimeFest. I have been there 3 times, and in one month I will be going for the 4th time. As Latvians come to our conventions, we Lithuanians go to theirs and keep a bond between us. This fest is based on cosplay and anime only. Latvians have nice range of costumes, which have good quality, remember Gundam from EuroCosplay in 2011? Well, it was fromLatvia. :3
3) The third one and one of the biggest conventions I have ever been to is Russia’s Animatsuri, which was held in 2011 December 2-3. This one was the biggest and most interesting I could say; there were a lot of awesome cosplays, tons of anime merchandise. Cosplay performances were well-made and fun to look at. I went there with two companions, and it was amazing, Russians are really nice people, we ended up sleeping at one of the cosplayer’s house with 14 other cosplayers because we had no place to stay and one girl invited us over. 😀
10. Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I am really proud of both of my Moogle and King Kazuma cosplays. Last year was bunny year so I had a dream of making three bunny cosplays. I got late with the third one, but my dream has come true. I have written a journal entry about it so you can read more about it here and it has photos. :3
Thanks for the interview, Semashke! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart!