As Japanizam is getting closer and closer, it’s time to meet our lovely cosplay guest – Shizca! In this interview, Shizca will tell us about her cosplay beginnings, her crafting skills, and she might also inspire you to try something new!
AR: You are one of the most talented cosplayers and crafters Europe has ever seen! Since Japanizam is around the corner, your Serbian fans would like to get to know you better, so, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?
S: Hello! I am Shizca Cosplay, or just Dodo as most people call me, as a nickname for my real first name, Doris. (yes, Dodo as the sadly extinct bird). I built my first cosplay in 2012, and since then, I’ve really caught fire for this hobby. I am studying Digital Arts in Upper Austria, heading to work in animation later. As I have always crafted aside from school and studying, cosplay really unites most of my interests. I can combine what I know about design withwhat I learned about physical materials.
AR: How did you discover the amazing world of cosplay?
S: I first discovered cosplay when I was around 15 by coming across Kamui Cosplay’s creations on the German platform Animexx. At that time I was rather interested in drawing and making little figurines of characters I loved. One day I decided to make those figurines lifesized and wearable. I thought: “If I can do it on a small scale, I can do the same on a big one, too“. So, I made my very first cosplay – the Insane Black Rock Shooter – in 2012, from empty juice boxes and toothpicks
AR: Your crafts are very impressive and unique! How did you master this amazing art and do you craft everything by yourself?
S: Coming from sculpting, painting and designing, it was not a difficult step for me to get into crafting cosplay at all. Especially my experience in painting, and also 3d modelling is until this day my favorite tool to analyse and create costumes in rather simplified ways. What was insanely tricky for me was wig styling and sewing. I had a hard time learning this to my current still not too advanced level. While armors and weapons came easily, I studied so many books about sewing, went to courses about pattern making etc. Therefore, the project I learned the most while making are not those impressive and big ones. I would say my biggest achievements lately were Tulip from Storks and Jinora from Legend of Korra. I further really love both characters and their stories. Though, I did not start cosplaying for portraying characters but for crafting. I started my first cosplay, without even planning to wear it. I just wanted to know whether I can craft this or not. This is why I still make my costumes mostly on my own. I sometimes buy clothes and alter them (such as the blouse and leggings of Priscilla), but I try to make as much as I can myself. I just feel way more as a maker than a model.
Shizca is living proof that you can do anything you put your mind to…
AR: What words of advice would you give to those who are afraid to craft and to cosplay because they don’t believe that they’re good enough as their cosplay idols.
S: Trying anyway and trying any way. When I first decided to make a cosplay I had around 50 € for a full armor cosplay and wig and shoes and everything. Friends said it was pointless unless “I made it out of waste cardboard“. And that was exactly my plan, and it worked out for me. I still love to work with cardboard and use it in nearly every project. I only can advise anyone to stick to their plans. Whoever might be your cosplay idol started small. For me it is always a big inspiration to compare old and new costumes of my favourite cosplayers. It shows me that cosplay, at the end of the day, is a craft, and, therefore, a field of study that can be learned, taught and improved like any other. You might feel bad sitting in front of a piece on which you failed, but when you can look back to this fail after finishing it as you wanted – that is an amazing feeling of success, I think. And sometimes I just did not care about a failed piece and just kept it. Sometimes, because of lack of time, sometimes just because there is nothing in this world that can tell you to care about such imperfections at all. I mean – a wonky shoe cover? That nothing that keeps a real cosplayer from having fun! And in the end that’s why we all do it, isn’t it?
AR: As this will be your first time in Serbia, what are your expectations?
S: Oh, the tricky questions in the end. I actually did not built up exact expectations yet (maybe because I did not have time for that due to my very busy last weeks at university). I am just really happy to get to see a new country and meeting people there. But having some friends of Serbian heritage what I mostly got to hear about Serbia so far is that you have legendarily good food.