We are going to the other side of the 'Pond' and visit a lovely lady named Cairdiuil. She is a wonderful cosplayer that I first started to notice due to her Rei cosplay. I mean, she really took Rei to a whole other level and brought her to life in so many different aspects.
She also did a zombie version of Rin Tohsaka which I thought was cool for a Zombie Walk event they had in Dublin. She takes cosplay outside the box if you will and adapts it to a variety of things. We have seen zombie walks, but to cosplay a character not a zombie, is a pretty cool idea.
With all the cosplay she does, she still has time for some fashion photography as well. As always, I talk to much, so lets get to our Cosplay Guest today:
What is your name, where do you reside and what is your age?
Well hello, I am Amy King I go by my cosplay name Cairdiuil which is Irish for warm and friendly. You can call me Amy if you want. I am from Dublin Ireland and I am 26.
What first started you on the road to cosplay and why?
Throughout my teen years and older I have always been into fancy dress. Halloween was one of my favourite times of the year because it was that one time you get to be somebody else! At every occasion which was fancy dress or costume related I would always go way out and dress up, I would never miss a fancy dress event. I even had a fancy dress 21st ( In Ireland being 21 is a big deal similar to the Coming of Age in Japan).
It was in 2006, an anime and manga convention named Tomodaichi in the North of Ireland was taken place and my friend told me about "cosplay" which I never heard of. Tomodaichi was my very first and most memoriable anime convention and was how I got into the magical culture cosplay. I cosplayed as Rip Van Wrinkle from Hellsing and I was in shock that when I got to the convention it was not like your ordinary fancy dress party! People put alot of time and effort into their costumes and actually acted out the characters. Giving I am so big into roleplaying I looked up more about cosplay online and then I was hooked! Cosplay.com opened a new world of cosplay to me. The artistic photography and expressive modelling which really got me into cosplay and the craftmenship that went into the costumes. I knew this was an interest I seriously wanted to get into.
How do you choose which characters you will Cosplay?
Em.. I tend to choose characters that I like or who I identify with or I like the costume like with Rin Toshaka from Fate Stay Night. I only watched two episodes of FTN so far which I am enjoying but I was really attracted to Rin's costume. It is the same with Miku Hatsune, I am no fan of Vocaloid but I love Miku’s costume because it is really cyber and I am a big fan of cyberpunk so I would like to cosplay as Miku sometime just because I love the costume and her look!
I would also go for someone totally different to me like Asuka Langely because I say it is really fun playing a character who is not like you at all. It is a really a transformation. A few years ago I use to hate the cute look but I am very much drawn to "moe" characters who have cute, pretty costumes. Then I would go for characters who I could pull of and who I identify with. That's the thing I love about cosplay, it can very personal. I spend a lot of time looking at fan art images so if I come across a character that could make an interesting shoot I would go for that character if the costs are low. :p
I see that you really enjoy cosplaying Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion. What drew you to her and why so many different variations?
That is quite a long story. :p
Well back when I was 21 when I really started getting into anime I was introduced to Neon Genesis Evangelion. I was really attracted to Rei, firstly because of her look the blue hair and red eyes. I have always been into alternative Goth like characters like Wednesday Adams from the Adams Family, not your everyday popular girl types and that was why Rei really appealed to me. Her looks were quite alternative and I loved the red eyes.
I also love the way she is fragile and kind natured and is the character I strive to be. I love playing her cold, distanced personality yet capturing her suttle sweetness. Rei is a very mysterious character and there is a lot more to her then meets the eye which makes her a fascinating character to cosplay as. I have been cosplaying as Rei for a few years and I am still learning new things about her. I also love when at a convention or a photo shoot you are completely transformed not yourself at all and it can be really surreal looking at my cosplay photos seeing me wearing big red eyes. It is amazing.
I love doing different variations because again I enjoy looking at fan art images and many of them would show Rei in different and cute outfits and some would show Rei being out of character, so I think it is fun to go way out and experiment! I have lots of ideas to play around with.
What conventions or shows have you cosplayed at and is there a big turn out?
Well I firstly cosplayed at Tomodaichi which I mentioned back at 2006. I think at that convention there were 150 to 200 people and a few cosplayers. At that time anime and manga was very new in Ireland. Then at Eirtakon which I am on the committee for running the cosplay events which I cosplay at every year, back in 2006 there were around 500 roughly then the numbers greatly increased! Nowadays over 1500 people attend Eirtakon which is a large amount for Ireland giving we are a smaller country and the anime, manga community is a lot smaller.
I have also cosplayed at Q-con which is a gaming, anime and manga convention held in Belfast. Similar to Eirtakon, Q-con gets a large crowd and has lots of cosplayers, especially lots of video game cosplay and they are excellent. Then back in March I cosplayed at a new mixed medium convention which specializes in anime, manga, comics, games and music called ArcadeCon, which was also held in Dublin. There were a good few people and cosplayers at that convention which was good for it’s first year. I also cosplayed at Nomcon for the first time back at August which is a new anime, manga convention in Dublin. There were lots of people at that and cosplayers.
I say there were the same amount of people at Eirtakon being around 1500 people which the majority being a younger crowd. It was funny that because Nomcon’s guest of honor was Veronica Taylor who is famous for doing the voice of Misty from Pokemon, the convention was full of Pokemon cosplayers which were amazing!
Cosplay has really gotten more popular and better in Ireland over the last few years and it is fantastic to see more anime, manga conventions popping up in the country. There is also new anime, manga convention called AkumaKon which is held in Galway in the West but I couldn’t make it, it is suppose to be very good!
I know that you are starting up Cosplay Ireland. Can you tell us a little about it and how people can join?
Yes, Cosplay Ireland will eventually be a social networking website for Irish cosplayers, photographers, prop makers, costume makers, make up artists and models to network, kinda similar to American Cosplay Paradise. It will be an organisation promoting the arts of cosplay in Ireland, working with costume organisations, the arts, anime manga clubs/societies, businesses and Japanese cultural groups. We aim to promote cosplay of all mediums, run events, educate and eventually if Cosplay Ireland becomes a successful business we hope to link up with other cosplay communities worldwide in educating and promoting this magical artform.
At the moment we only have a a homepage up which is http://cosplay-ireland.com/ and there you can find our facebook page and forums. We welcome all cosplayers of all kinds and nationalities.
When not cosplaying, what do you do?
Oh that is a hard one. :p
Well I am currently studying a Postgraduate Higher Diploma in Cultural and Business Event Management which is a year so when not cosplaying I would be doing assignments and studying. My other hobbies are watching anime, reading books and manga, going for walks, reading blogs. I enjoy going to the cinema but haven’t done so in awhile.
Oh forgot my other big hobby is photography! That was my first passion, I enjoy taking landscape photography and I am now getting into figurine photography because my figurines are piling up and I am inspired by wonderful photography, they can be so magical like cosplay photos. I also enjoy spending time with friends and family.
For any aspiring cosplayers a little shy, what words of wisdom do you have for them to get started?
I would say really don’t think too much about your first cosplay or about cosplay in general. A lot of people feel they are not good enough, pretty enough to cosplay or feel they are too old. People shouldn’t think too much about these things, cosplay in the end of the day is for fun and self enjoyment. When cosplaying at a convention nobody really cares about the amount of stress, pressure and craftsmanship one puts into their costume. Conventions are just social gatherings for people to bond and have a laugh of all ages.
The most silliest cosplay comes out as the most memorable and popular because it is all about a laugh. Cosplay is an art form but they are many people who just enjoy it for the fun so if you are cosplaying for the first time at a convention don’t stress or think too much about it. People will enjoy your cosplay no matter what! They are also many low cost “closet cosplays” one can do which can be very effective. I have listed a few examples in my cosplay educational blog which I need to update. :P Feel free to drop me a message if you have questions, I like to be helpful and I really find the cosplay community worldwide can be supportive and helpful too.
Go for a character you like, maybe identify with, have similar looks and build to and a big one do your research! As I already said I cosplayed as Rin because I liked her costume and look but I never watched Fate Stay Night. I watched two episodes of it to get an idea of Rin’s character and I learned that Archer, her companion is a real important character to her. When I cosplayed as Rin for the first time at ArcadeCon lots of people were asking me joking “where is your Archer?” Just as well I knew who Archer was! I would of looked really silly cosplaying as Rin and had no idea who Archer was. In the end of the day don’t worry too much about it just enjoy it and don’t let people tell you different.
Where can we catch more of your Cosplay at?
Yeah I am on a few sites:
Website/Blog | DeviantArt | Tumblr | Cure | Twitter | Cosplay.com
Violetta | David Kennedy | Mr Doagh | Annie | Steven Fox
Some Additional Cosplay Photographs
I want to thank Amy for taking the time to write to me and to the Photographers for the great photos that you get to see here today.
Want to be my next interviewed COSPLAY STAR?
Drop me a line a bluedrakon (at) gmail (dot) com!
Want to be my next interviewed COSPLAY STAR?
Drop me a line a bluedrakon (at) gmail (dot) com!