In the ever-growing local cosplay community, there are few people who can claim that they've had literally a decade of experience. Ristelle is one of those rare veterans who discovered their passion at an early age, and continued to grow and create inspiring pieces year after year without slowing down.
2020 marks the 10th year that Ristelle has been cosplaying. From humble beginnings as a teenager trying to emulate her favourite characters, Ristelle has since expanded her empire to include her very own J-Pop and anime band, TRiNiTY BiTS, attained the coveted Twitch partner badge, as well as curate a thriving Patreon account where she releases exclusive content for her subscribers.
How and why did you get into cosplaying?
I started attending events like AniManGaki 2010 due to interest from watching anime, and it sparked something within me when I saw how people can portray their favourite characters so well - even performing the characters on stage! That moment, I realised that I want to become my favourite character too. So I first participated in AMG Idol back then as K-ON’s Mio, singing songs from K-ON ;’D
Which is your favourite cosplay so far and why?
Sakurajima Mai from Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai. I really like her personality in general, it is very unique and not your typical anime waifu that only supports the main character blindly - she's more than that. I also feel like I can portray her well in terms of looks and demeanour.
Tell us about your own cosplay process.
I choose characters that I love in terms of their personality and looks. For example, if the characters are too cute for me, I might not cosplay them because I don’t look cute enough. I also choose characters based on their hairstyles; if the character design exposes too much forehead, that character would probably not suit me in terms of facial features.
In the first few years of cosplay, I usually gathered fabrics and materials myself and passed them to a tailor to sew it for me. I would draft out the costume for the tailor and make my own props. But these days, I often go online and buy costumes from Taobao because it is way cheaper than doing it myself. If there are any imperfections or size fitting errors from the costumes, I will alter it myself.
I am not really talented in sewing or prop making, but I do have basic art skills to support my crafting skills for props. As long as I do research on the props that I am making, with some trial and error I can definitely produce it! *laughs*
How much time do you spend creating each cosplay?
If it is a self-made cosplay, it would probably take 1 to 2 weeks. If it is an LED-based costume or needs complicated wig styling, it will obviously take more time.
For me, I am really bad at styling wigs. Sometimes, characters' wigs come in odd shapes, and hair is really hard to deal with - especially since hair strands can go all over the place and get tangled easily, it is hard to control.
Who are your favourite cosplayers?
My favourite cosplayers are Ely Cosplay, Ying Tze and Ming Tao!
Finally, what advice would you give to an aspiring cosplayer?
Pay more attention to details of the characters, especially their personality and looks. It will reflect on your makeup of the cosplay and the way you portray them in photos!
Patience and creativity is always the best way if you want to achieve a next-level cosplay! Do more research and learn how to edit photos/videos yourself so you can get most of the tasks done just the way you want it!
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