Saturday, 29 June 2013

Cosmo Youth Parade 2013: King x Mon, Misa,Yui & Saffron (Interview)

From Left: Misa, Saffron, Yui, Mon, King

KingxMon FB Page:

As part of Cosmo Youth Parade's International Cosplay Exchange and Meet and Greet segments, cosplay guests King x Mon, Misa, Yui & Saffron were in Singapore for the weekend. We were lucky to score a group interview with all five of them recently. 

If you haven't heard of these international guests (KingxMon and Misa are from Taiwan, while Yui and Saffron are from Hong Kong), do check out their FB pages for awesome cosplays and news about their stay in SG! 

The interview was conducted in a mix of English and Chinese, so we have translated it into English for the ease of our readers. 


Q: There are frequent updates on your facebook pages, may we ask, how long does it take for you guys to prepare for each photoshoot – from the selection of the character to the photoshoot itself?

King: Actually, we don’t do shoots very often. Most of the pictures we post are from backlogs or previous photo shoots. The selection of cloth for our characters takes around 2-3 months, and then the selection of location for photo shoots take around another 2-3 months. As for the selection of the photographer, it depends on our location and the series that we plan to shoot for as each photographer has their own strengths. To say the truth, we don’t post many of our pictures as they are not well taken. Out of 2-3 different photo shoots (for the same series), we may end up choosing only 1-2 pictures. While the time we take is significantly longer than others, it allows us to come up with new ideas during discussions, which makes it our shoot more accurate and more to the character/series.

For Shingeki no Kyojin (SnK) though, it took a shorter time as the both of us really love the series. The whole process took us approximately 1 month to complete (from the making of the props to the costumes). As we make our own costumes and props, it really saves a lot of time and speeds up the process.  I think in the future, we may be able to create tutorials on how to make your own costumes and props so that others will be able to pick up some tips from us.


Q: Your makeup skills are really good; when did you start to learn makeup and from where?
Mon: I started from books and magazines, then moved on to asking people who have more experience in makeup for tips. For my first cosplay, all I did for makeup was to draw a line of eyeliner, and now looking back at it, all I can think is: “Ahhhh! How could I have only drawn eyeliner and nothing else!”  For certain characters, I will take samples from their character reference drawings and check what kind of makeup can be applied for those characters. I also take reference from puppet shows where they have exaggerated makeup like flicked up cat eyes and such. The more you practice, the more you would be familiar with how to draw your own makeup.

King: Yes, as everyone’s eye shape is different. I have friends that are very experience in make up artistry, so we would get together to share tips on makeup, and the different brands of makeup that are good. We also discuss what characters are more suited to which type of makeup, where should the false eyelashes be positioned, should we draw the eyebrows lower to suit the character, and what are the key features of that character and if we should put in special effects makeup for it.


Q: What are your views on photoshop? (to what extent is photoshop acceptable)
Misa: I think photoshop is definitely acceptable as long as you don’t PS yourself to the point where you are not recognisable. For example, if your makeup that day cannot be picked up on the camera, or it turns up too light in the pictures, it’s alright to touch it up digitally. Some characters have special effects that cannot be done in real life, so it’s alright to add those in during post processing. Another thing that happens to cosplayers frequently during events is flyaway/frizzy hair, so I think it’s alright to remove those strands of hair digitally too. I think photoshop is a good thing.

Saffron: My stand on photoshop is about the same as Misa. I wouldn’t mind using photoshop to enhance the feeling of the picture to make it more outstanding/similar to the original series. Altering your face to the point where it’s not recognisable is a big no no. To me, PS is a tool of creation.

Mon: Adding special effects using PS is alright if it brings out a more authentic feeling to the pictures. For example, Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid is a fictitious singer, so she has very wide range of special stage effects that can only be added in via PS.

King: I think what Mon means is that, PS is a tool that can be used to enhance our pictures. Using PS to enhance certain effects or parts of the picture is alright. For some pictures, it would be need an alignment of many different factors such as the lighting, the weather, the position and many more to capture. If the picture requires a sunset but we are unable to capture one, it’s alright to PS it into the picture. PS brings out the desired effect to pictures that enables the viewer to enjoy it better.


Q: Why do you list your Facebook fanpage as a Comedian rather than Public Figure?
King: Don’t you feel that Cosplayers can be placed as Public Figures, but we are more of entertainers/comedians? We entertain people with our pictures to make them feel happy/good. To say the truth, we didn’t start our page with the intention of becoming public figures/idols; it’s just a part of our life, alongside studies and work. If we could entertain people with our pictures, it would make us feel happy about it too, so being a ‘comedian’ as compared to a ‘Public Figure’ is better.

-King & Mon-

Q: Do you take note of your diet?
Saffron: Yes I do. I tend to get fat easily, so I would choose healthier choices when I eat. I would avoid spicy foods too, as they tend to cause pimples on my face, and would not look good on the camera, especially if the photographers are using flash.

Mon: My entire family have skinny genes, so we don’t get fat easily. I love to snack though, so I always keep sugar biscuits in my handbag when I go out and snack on them constantly. My friends always catch me when I snack and go: “Why are you having snack time again!” If I have photo shoots, I would try to snack less in the week before.


Q: What are your Horoscopes?
Yui: Libra
Saffron: Gemini
Misa: Aquarius
King: Gemini
Mon: Aquarius


Q: How long have you been working together?
Saffron: I’ve known Yui for 7-8 years now, but we’ve only collaborated in these 2 years. Previously we haven’t had any common anime series that we both liked, but we found a common love for the series “Durarara!”. That’s when we started to work together.

Mon: I’ve known King for as long as I’ve cosplayed! Previously I would follow King’s pictures and thought that she looked really cool and handsome in those pictures. I started knowing more people though Cosplay and one of my friends happened to know King. King asked to collaborate with me, and from then on we started cosplaying together. We would call each other frequently at night and talk about random stuff. Many of my friends and my family all know King very well.

King: Mon and I aren’t only just Cosplay friends, but we are friends in life too. My family knows Mon well, as do my friends. I think we would still be good friends even if we have not met in cosplay. Mon is one friend that I would never regret getting to know, even though we have not known each other for a long time.

Last selca of me with Saffron! *squeee*

-Transcription/Translation/Commentary by Emi
-Layout/Posting by Emi
-Pictures by Seren

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