We’re just a few days away from Japanizam’s tenth birthday, and what kind of birthday party would it be without Okkido? For those of you who may not know her, Okkido is our good friend from Hungary who’s recently won first place at the most prestigious cosplay convention of the world – C2E2! In this interview she’ll tell us about her experience in the US, what does cosplay mean to her and what keeps on motivating her.
AR: You’re a well-known guest of ours and one of our favorite foreign cosplayers; still, the public would like to know a bit more about you. Could you share us some details?
O: Thank you so much, it is my pleasure to come back each year and meet all the warm-hearted Serbian people, cosplayers and friends. Well, about me… My name is Ildiko, and in my private life I work as an HR associate for a multi-national automotive company. The Gothic subculture – with its philosophy, visuality, aesthetics and art – defines my everyday life.I always say, that gothic is my life, cosplay is my hobby. Besides cosplay I am interested in lots of things, like history, languages, LARP, gaming and so on, and I take sports very seriously (horse-riding, crossfit, running etc.)
AR: When did you decide that you wanted to be a professional cosplayer?
O: I don’t think that I am a professional cosplayer. I cannot make a living from it, I do it only for the pleasure of creating something out of nothing. But to tell you the truth, I would be happy if cosplay could be my job.
AR: Your cosplays are most famous for your armor and impressive make-up skills: how long has it taken you to perfect them?
O: I made my first costume more than 10 years ago. I have learnt a lot since then. I think cosplay is a never-ending learning process as newer and newer materials appear and there are lots of techniques out there to master. I think my skills are still far from perfect, but this is one thing I enjoy about cosplaying: becoming better and better.
AR: You’ve recently attended and won C2E2 – the most prestigious cosplay competition of the world! How was that experience?
O: It was my very first time in the US and I was overwhelmed by the atmosphere of the country. Actually, I was pleasantly disappointed. The people were lovely and the city was amazing. C2E2 was the biggest convention I have ever attended, and unlike many conventions in Europe, it was mostly centered around comic books. The competition was also different from all my experiences in Europe. Everyone was very friendly and helpful – so I did not feel the stress of the contest. What is more, everything was so punctual, there were no delays at all. I was really honored to be able to show my work to the prominent jury. Even if I hadn’t won the global final, this experience would be amazing.
Okkido will surely have a lot of interesting stories for her grandkids one day…
AR: Do you think that it’s harder for cosplayers from Central Europe to reach world fame than it is for cosplayers from other parts of the world?
O: First of all, I have to point out that cosplaying is not about gaining world fame and recognition. Sometimes it just happens if you are at the right place in the right time – you do not even need really good cosplays for that. But absolutely, it is much harder to be a successful cosplayer in the eastern part of Europe, simply because we do not have the opportunities to enter international cosplay competitions.
AR: What motivates you to keep on doing what you’re doing?
O: I want to become better and better, to improve my skills and to be able to defeat greater and greater challenges while I can be creative and inventive.
AR: A few words before we say goodbye…?
O: I would like to express my gratitude to all my Serbian friends and the visitors of the convention for the love I get from them! And thank you for this opportunity!