What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

Alexandra Filatova is an experienced cosplayer. She has more than one memorable image on her account, successful participation in many festivals and victory in one of the most famous cosplay competitions in the world in Germany. Sasha told us about how her passion for cosplay began, how much time can be spent on creating an image and how much it can cost.

Where did the passion for cosplay begin?

I don’t even know what can be called the start of my passion for cosplay. Possibly The Hobbit. But this is not fully cosplay, because it was not the costumes of any particular character.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

Perhaps it all started with meeting cosplayers. I was then amazed that people are doing something absolutely amazing. And I thought I could never do it myself. But then one of my friends persuaded me to try to make one image. I decided: why not? And I started my first cosplay. It was the Morrigan from Dragon Age.. I collected this image literally from what was at hand. Some friends helped. The most interesting thing is that this costume is still “alive”, relevant and I like it.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

Then I was invited to the cosplayer festival. It seemed interesting to me and I decided to take part in it. The costume for the festival was also made, in my current opinion, not perfect. But I won the festival. Received the Audience Choice Award. From that moment on, I became seriously interested in cosplay. And I was already preparing for the next festival more responsibly. I started making more crafty things.

In general, a cosplayer is a seamstress, electrician, welder, tanner, shoemaker, blacksmith, make-up artist, hairdresser, actor. Now I’m studying 3D modeling. The next goal is to learn how to work with metal. It’s forging.

How much does it take to create one costume

Differently. You can make a costume over the weekend. But this is not my choice. I like to do everything carefully. As close as possible to the original. You can create a costume in a couple of months. And maybe in a year. A year – this, of course, does not mean that you sit and do only this costume all year. For example, there may be several images in the work, and from time to time you return to one of them.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

My last costume – Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed – actually took me a year. A good acceleration can give a deadline. As which the beginning of the next festival or competition is not bad.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

We had a competition in December, the essence of which was to make a costume in 80 days. I took on a very complex image – the Soulless with the rank of Emperor of all Cyrodiil from The Elder Scrolls – and, of course, I knew that I would not be able to cope with this time. But I decided that I would try to give the best possible result for the competition. What for? The fact is that if it were not for the competition, I would have made this costume … Probably also a year. And so I managed to do it by almost 70-80% in 2 months.

Issue price and hobby monetization

You can keep within 10 thousand tenge, or you can swing for a million. It all depends on the materials. And, of course, from desire will come closer to perfection. There are no borders in cosplay. In fact, it’s like a constructor. Only the designer has instructions and details, and the cosplayer needs to create the details himself and understand how to “assemble” it too. And this is the most interesting.

As for monetization… In general, I make costumes for the soul. I enjoy the process itself. And yes, they can be sold. And you can perform at various events. Cosplayers are often invited to game conventions, various exhibitions and presentations. This is all paid for, of course.

Someone was able to monetize their hobby by opening their own workshop and making costumes to order – now, to participate in the festival, it is not necessary to make a costume with your own hands. There are no borders in cosplay. It’s just that, of course, more attention is paid to homemade costumes. And at festivals they are preferred.

Hobbies and family life

Everything is compatible. The husband is supportive. Cheers. Gives tools for the holidays. He knows that the best gift will not be flowers, but tools. Any technique is my weakness. I tell my husband: give me a renovator for March 8th. This is such a small grinder.

Ezio Auditore and world fame

Yes, with this costume, we took first place in the cosplay competition at the international gaming exhibition Gamescom in Germany this year. We won it in tandem with my husband. He posed and helped make the costume a little. We both really like this character and we tried to recreate the image as accurately as possible. The difficulty was that there are a lot of details in this costume. A lot of different techniques. Thanks to him, I have made great progress in terms of new skills. In particular, I tried leather stamping, photopolymer printing, and machine embroidery. The first time I did such a complicated sewing.

To be honest, we ourselves did not expect that we would win. The festival was held online, and when we started to announce the winners, we, of course, held our breath. They announced the third place, the second… We are not here. We were already upset and then the winners were announced – it was a shock. We did not even immediately believe that we had heard correctly.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

Favorite look

Francesca Findabair from The Witcher. This is an unnecessary and unknown character that was not in the game. But I really like this suit, I like the way I look in it. And yes, I really love this character. Now this is one of my favorite costumes.

Future plans

Biggest dream is to make Sarah Kerrigan from StarCraft. I actually got into cosplay to make her and Tyrael from Diablo. I saw these costumes from some guys from Korea. They just amazed me: how do people do it? I thought it was unrealistic. But after a couple of years, I thought that I could already do something. And now I am sure that these images are already on my shoulder.

By the way, Tyrael is already in the process. It’s just that other costumes are a priority right now, but I’ll finish it when I have time.

Kerrigan is a very complex suit. It uses latex, powerful sophisticated electronics, up to programming. I already started this costume.

In addition, my husband is a Star Wars fan, so I plan to make a couple of costumes for him from this universe. Well, I want to do something in the cyber-punk style. Last year, a game came out whose characters I really liked. I really like mechanized arms from cyberpunk. Mantis hands are implants that, according to the scenario, are implanted into human hands.

As for the festivals, I had a dream to participate in the BlizzCon festival, but so far it has been canceled for some reason. In general, the dream is for the festivals to be restored in principle. I would like to get back to the Moscow “IgroMir” and Comic Con Russia. There is no competition, but there is a completely unreal atmosphere.

What is it like to be a cosplayer in Kazakhstan and win a prestigious international competition

After written

Here we were talking about winning at Gamescom. It’s definitely cool. And this is something to be proud of. But in fact, winning the festival is not a reason to wear a crown in life. I don’t like it when people get arrogant. Sometimes there are characters in cosplay who look down on newcomers a little. I think that this is not possible. When I came to my first festival in 2015, still not really understanding what was going on, a girl came up to me and praised my costume and was very supportive. I only found out later that she was one of the coolest Kazakh cosplayers at that time. And that suit … I’m still ashamed of him and soon I took it apart. If I had been criticized, it might have been right, but I would most likely have given up. Oh, they supported me. And that means a lot. Now, when I meet newcomers, I also try to support them, help, suggest. And perhaps thanks to this, they will someday win their festival.

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