The cosplay judges TinYasuo and Mitternacht sat down before me in beautiful cosplays for an interview about conventions, crafting and social media.
Can you tell us about yourselves as cosplayers?
TinYasuo: I have been cosplaying for around 9 years. I have always performed but in the beginning I would just find something and put it on and then that was fine. I did not focus that much on crafting but over the years I have begun to focus more on it. Performing and crafting are my main focus points.
Mitternacht: I have been cosplaying for around 9 years as well. I did a lot of competitions in my early years. I have been competing in the Nordic championship and the Swedish championship. Lately I have been more into judging competitions as well as giving lectures and having panels. I am also doing some cosplay review work for different companies. However, the craftmanship part and the judging part is still very important to me.
Can you tell us about your participation in Genki 2016 – experiences and thoughts?
TinYasuo: I used to do staff work for Genki so to be here as an invited guest is a first. Compared to the other places I have been invited to I think Genki is the place which treats the guests the best. There were a few mistakes here and there but they were easily fixed. I really enjoy how it all works together: If I got questions, they are easily answered and food is provided. Everything is as it should be. I really like it and believe that people invited in the future will enjoy it too.
The mood among the guests is good. People seem very relaxed and it seems there is no room for people to feel stressed. They are just having a good time, dancing outside and melting in the sun. A few people are like: “can we take a picture?” but compared to other countries the Danish cosplayers are not much like “can we take a picture?”. I think that is just how the country is.
Mitternacht: This is my first time at a Danish convention since I am from Sweden. I have a lot of friends who work here and have told me nice things about Genki so I was really excited to be invited. The way I have been treated has been really great.
The Danish cosplay community is quite different from the Swedish one. Everyone is talking to each other. In Sweden it is very clique based: you pretty much stay with your group and within that group only. It is also very nice to see people cosplaying from different series but still hanging out together. You pretty much never see that in Sweden. I was also impressed that there were so many cosplayers Friday. In Sweden there are only a few cosplayers on Fridays and then everyone are cosplaying Saturday and then pretty much no one are cosplaying Sunday. So you notice a lot of cultural differences. But everyone has been really kind. Some people have wanted to take photos, but not so much as in Sweden because there people want to take photos all the time.
What does the use of Facebook and other social media do for your craft?
TinYasou: I used to post photos of my cosplays on DeviantArt and only the finished pictures so I did not get to show people my progress. At some point DeviantArt started to die as a community for cosplayers. I really like the online social aspect of cosplaying: If people like what you are doing, you can talk to them and meet nice people that way. You can do this on Facebook so that is why I switched to it.
I decided to get a personal profile to keep in touch with people that I met at conventions and then a Facebook page so I could share my pictures. On Facebook it is easy to reach out to new people because people check it everyday. And when you are invited to a place, it is easy to keep in touch with people because you can always find their names. You don’t have to rely on them to check their e-mail. I want to inspire other people and on Facebook I can share not only pictures of the finished project but the whole proces. Teach and inspire people and sometimes learn from them.
Mitternacht: A big reason for why I continue with cosplay is because of the social media: The people that follow my Facebook page are super supportive and friendly. It feels like we are a little family: Whenever I get stuck or need advice on something I can always ask them and get great response. When they e.g. can choose which costume I should bring to an event, it feels more real and connected. On Facebook I post a lot of progress pictures to let people know that there are many steps behind a finished costume. Also to help people, like “If you want to start cosplaying, this is how I do at and you can also do it.”
Cosplay has given me so much throughout the years so I do a lot of tutorials on YouTube. I feel that is my way to pay the community back. I feel it is a ‘give and take’ thing with social media because my followers give their time and investment to look at my things and express their opinions. I value that a lot and try to use my tutorials to give something back to them.
Here ends the interview. Find more information on where to follow TinYasou and Mitternacht on 2016.genki.dk and follow me on Instagram and Twitter @louiseborumbech