Many people may think that cosplay in Poland is something quite fresh, but nothing could be further from the truth. The more it is worth listening to someone who has been dealing with this art for many years. When we are dealing with a nice person, the conversation can only be fun. So, with genuine fun, I invite you to familiarize yourself with the fruits of another interview with a representative of this artistic profession.
Before you – Lina Sakura!
The Last Tavern: The first idea, the first outfit, the first appearance, everything has a beginning. How was it for you?
Lina Sakura: When I went to the first convention, reAnimation4 in Bydgoszcz, in 2005, I thought it would be nice to take some clothes with me. The first one was made up of things found in a wardrobe, but it was very important to me and I felt fantastic wearing it. It was Mireille from the anime “Noir”.
OT: You have a really large collection of outfits in your credit. Is there any one you consider to be your favorite? If so, why this one?
LS: I love every outfit I made, although I should probably use a different time here – I loved everyone the moment I finished it, then it was different. If I had to pick one favorite now, it would be Anna’s outfit from the short film “Frozen.” Olaf’s Adventure ”. I embroidered it for over a hundred hours, learned a lot of new things while creating it, it took a lot of time and money, but it was worth it. She feels like a real princess Anna.
Photo author: https://www.instagram.com/foto.futura/
OT: This year, fifteen years have passed since you started into the art of cosplay. It’s really a long time. With such an experience, has stage fright ceased to be a problem for you, or do you sometimes feel stress before it occurs?
LS: I get terribly stressed every time I have to perform on stage or stand in front of the camera during a session. It is true that cosplay has taught me to fight my own weaknesses, including overwhelming stress, but stage fright can still catch me. It seems to me that the stress of public speaking never leaves us, but with time we replace its bad form with a good one that motivates to action. I always take a deep breath before I go onstage, count to ten and exhale, then tell myself and the people I’m performing with that everything will work out and be fine. It helps.
OT: Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you choose the characters that best visually suit you, or are you guided by your liking for them?
LS: Various. I used to choose characters by looking… at their shoes! It sounds ridiculous, but often it was the footwear that was a big problem for me. Over time, this has changed, and so have my reasons for choosing a particular outfit. If I’m not making a costume for a larger group, I try to choose outfits that will help me develop. Learning new things is an important factor in the development of any cosplayer. I try to keep trying new things.
OT: I know you like collective work where you collaborate with other cosplayers. Apart from the current situation in the world, is it difficult to organize a joint performance or photo session with other artists who have their own plans?
LS: It can be very hard, but I’ve learned to manage people and I feel wonderful as a leader. I love to plan photo sessions, arrange places for photos, invite people to cooperate, photographers and cosplayers. Every time I manage to meet for a group project, and also when I get my hands on the results of our hard work, I am so happy!
Photo author: https://www.instagram.com/ijido/
OT: During your artistic work you saw how Polish cosplay develops and matures. How much has it changed in the last fifteen years?
LS: First of all, it has developed in a wonderful way! Our level is brilliant and many of our compatriots stood on the podium of the most important cosplay competitions. Over the years, we have learned new things, obtained new materials, and our commitment has not decreased. The only thing that I don’t like about the cosplay world at the moment is that a lot of people prefer to buy outfits rather than make them. I always motivate others to do something themselves, because the joy of creating is extraordinary and indescribable.
OT: While working on one of my articles , based on entries in different language versions of Wikipedia, I noticed a lot of differences between the approach to cosplay in Poland and other countries. You also performed abroad. What are the differences in practice between the competitions within our country and beyond?
LS: Unfortunately, I am not able to say what the cosplay contests abroad look like as such, because I did not participate in them. I managed to represent Poland on the international stage three times, but the finals of such competitions differ from the standard, local ones. It seems to me that there are currently no major differences between what we see at our conventions and what our foreign neighbors have to offer. However, I cannot deny that the size of the stage or the back room can create a “wow” effect. The momentum with which such competitions are made, and although in Poland we already have fantastic stages, sound and lighting, we still lack space and commitment to such events. If, however, I were to compare foreign competitions to ours, the Masquerade at Pyrkon is of a very similar level.
OT: What is the cosplay activity like during the pandemic facing us? Do you use this time to calmly implement your next projects, are there any events you can participate in now?
LS: I’m trying to catch up on cosplay arrears. I finished three outfits, took part in several internet projects and planned the next groups for photos. A lot is happening despite the closure and I am very happy about it!
Photo author: https://www.instagram.com/knachte/
OT: Cosplay works on the imagination of many, so there are many people who would like to start an adventure with this art, but don’t quite know how. Do you have any tips for beginners?
LS: The most important piece of advice from me is … NEVER GIVE UP! It will not always work for you, you will not always be fully satisfied and will not always praise you, but it is worth trying, correcting mistakes and working on yourself and your outfits. Believe in yourself, love what you do, even if it is not perfect, and most of all, have as much fun as possible from it!
OT: Fifteen years in cosplay must have been full of great moments and events. What to wish you for the next fifteen?
LS: Patience and determination. I hope that the coming years will be even more interesting and exciting!
Title photo author: https://www.instagram.com/rieek_sol/