GameStart 2014: Yuegene Fay interview
By Jedd Jong
At the press event ahead of the convention's launch tomorrow, I got to talk to Thai cosplayer Yuegene Fay, one of the special guests attending the inaugural GameStart convention. She began cosplaying in 2000 and through her cosplays of characters from anime and manga has garnered many fans. Since English isn't her first language, she had some difficulty during the interview but it was really fun getting to talk to her.
When you cosplay as video game characters, do you find that there’s a difference between that and cosplaying characters from other mediums because you’ve been in the character’s shoes, controlling them?
Yes. Game character is quite…easier to do but because the game character they make is more imagine, sometimes it’s quite hard to make the hair, the eyes…
Because it’s more fantasy-driven.
What’s the first game you remember playing, the one that got you into gaming?
Mario? Let me think, long, long time ago [laughs]. Do you know the GameBoy? The pink one…Kirby! And PacMan.
What are some of the best and worst experiences you’ve had doing location shoots for cosplay?
Let me think [pause]. It was about the animation cosplay. Have one time I go to the sea…no, not sea.
No, not beach. Tank. Water, the first time I had to take photo under the water is like a challenge. Because every part in the water, you must be very fast. The photographer is maybe have only two second to capture that picture. Quite hard.
Before you have to go up again for air?
Yeah. Because in the water, my cloth, my hair, very trouble. So it’s only seconds I have to go down, then up.
What has been some of the most difficult materials to find?
In Thailand have many, many kind of material, quite easy to find, but it’s hard to make them with the photo.
To match it?
Yeah, to match. Sometimes like a dragon? Dragon is have the…how you call it…dragon skin…
Yeah. You must make it. Sometimes you cannot find the material so sometimes you need to make it by own self. Sometimes we use the EVA or lumber foam to make it look like. Don’t need the real material.
What are some experiences that you’ve had meeting cosplayers from other countries?
Every country I go is different culture. So, when I meet them, I get a lot of experience and I can learn many many…
Yeah, something like that. However, cosplay is quite start from the same, love of the game, anime, manga, something like that, so we are in the cosplay event, in the cosplay community, we think quite same.
How important do you think it is to understand a character before you cosplay as that character? Some cosplayers will choose to cosplay a character based on how they like the look and design and not necessarily their personality.
I see, I see. Because now, cosplay culture now has been a little bit changed. Many new cosplayers make me feel that cosplay feel like a fashion. So when they go to an event, every event they buy new clothes, look like fashion. But for me, I will look at the background of the character first. I don’t like to see only the photo and cosplay, I love to read the background and learn what this character look like, something like that. I like to see the relationship of every character.
Have you done characters from Western media and if not, are you considering that?
Not yet…oh! I have one, but not finished yet. Elsa.
But gender-bent. Sometimes, cosplay is not only look like the characters. Now, the new way…because cosplay is for fun. Maybe gender-bend or you can imagine, but is still this character.
To put your own spin on it.
Yeah. That’s more fun. But not finished yet.
What are some of your favourite games that have come out in the last several years?
Favourite games? Final Fantasy VII. Yes, I love it very much. My favourite character is Zack [Fair]. Crisis Core.
Do you have interesting stories about meeting fans, like if they’ve come up to say they’ve been inspired by your work?
I see. Everytime I go to cosplay event, will have some people come to talk with me like “thank you so much for your cosplay, inspire me very much” and I will say “Me? Inspire you?” [Laughs] Because I just do what I want, what I love. But when have some people come to talk with me, then they say my cosplay is very good, make me feel exciting and very happy.
So it’s rewarding experience.
You can see more of Yuegene's work at her DeviantArt account here.