Today Serpentorslair brings you our first in a series of featured interviews with Professional Cosplayers. This month we have the privilege to speak with cosplayer,Lil Sophie. Lil Sophie is a cosplayer and model who hails from Moscow, Russia. She has a plethora of cosplays to her name and rocks the camera every time she is in front of the lens.
Sorry if I make mistakes, English is not my native language.
No worries Sophie.
1. How did you get started modeling and cosplaying.
First I started cosplaying.
One of my favorite photographers posted an announcement on her post in social net, where she was looking for a model of special appearance. And I thought – yes, that`s my chance, because I looked like something she needed. And I wrote her a message, and she noticed me. That was a big surprise. That was my first cosplay of Mirana from Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton. It was not a cosplay from the beginning, but I send these photos to some cosplay publics and got lots of positive feedbacks. From that moment I can`t stop
2. What is like to be a cosplayer in Russia?
It is… good on the one hand and not really on the other (in my opinion, of course). I start from the bad side: we have lots of “sofa-critics”, who comment cosplayers` photos with negative shades, like “your face is not same, your shape, you are fat/too slim, the colour of the button is wrong, etc” and the only thing you want to say is “oh, really, my face is not the same as the DRAWN character has? Really, that`s the problem?” You know, when I post my pics somewhere on the international sites, I receive much more positive words, and less negative, that in out Russian community. But. Then comes the positive side. Because of these critics our Russian cosplayers try to do their best, they really work hard, trying to make everything the way no one can say a bad word. Not everytime I can do it, but at least I am trying) and also, if in Russia you receive positive comments – you really did well.
3. In the US cosplay has become very popular and with it, some people’s behavior brought about the “cosplay is not consent” education. Is this a problem in Russia as well? Have you ever had a problem or bad experience?
In Russia cosplay is also popular, but unfortunately I cant compare this fact with US situation to tell where cosplay is more popular. Some years ago media and people used to present cosplayers as some kind of freaks. But nowadays we have some big festivals, like Comic Con Moscow, Igromir (Gameworld), Starcon, J-fest (japan fest) and cosplayers work there, level of cosplay is higher than some years before, that’s why being a cosplayer is kind of… respectful, I think.
4. Have you traveled to different conventions, and if so, were they any different than in your country?
I have never visited convents in other countries. One day I was in Japan that there was kind of a convent, I didn’t enter, but saw from the outside lots of positive people in colorful costumes, they also cosplay their singers, because I recognized some of them. In Russia I have never heard of anyone cosplaying Russian singer)
5. You have worked with some wonderful photographers, did they find you or did you seek them out?
It depends on the situation, sometimes a photographer wants to take a photo of my costume, sometimes they need my type of appearance. Or sometimes I like some photographer`s style and ask him/her to take a photo of my costume.
6. You have a wide variety of characters from Bioshock to Game of Thrones to Fight Club you have played. How do you decide who you want to be?
In cosplay I have two moments of excitement and pleasure: the first is when I play a game/watch a film/etc and see a character I NEED TO BE NOW! Then I start constructing the costume and finally HERE I AM, I am this character, I see her in the mirror and it is me.
7. Conventions in the United States have many rules. What kind of rules are there at conventions in Russia?
There are two types of cosplayers on cons in Russia: competitive (if you take part in the competition on the stage)/accredit (if the convent allow you to present the festival, then you walk in the crowd of visitors with a special badge and they can take photos of you) and non-competitive. First situation: you don`t pay for the ticket, but your costume need to be of high quality, you need to look as the character you present, makeup and the wig need to be good also.
The second situation, your costume may be of any quality you want, because you are just a visitor in a costume, you paid money for the ticket and you just have fun.
8. Is it ever difficult to make a costume? Why?
For me it is difficult, because I have no special skills in making costumes. It is easier for me to sew, that to craft. My dream is to make a full armor myself, so maybe one day)
9. You recently graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in Geography and Research. What are your plans?
I have been working for already 5 months as an ecologist in a generating company.
10. What photoshoot do you plan to do next?
It will be Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite. I`ve already made a noir version, it`s time for a classic one. Next we`ll shoot a cosplay calendar.
11. What was your most fun photoshoot?
The most fun – Shirahoshi the Mermaid from One Piece, because I liked the tail so much, and it was really cool to swim in warm water, also the photographer was my friend and the atmosphere was very comfortable. The most epic and memorable – Fight Club, I felt so bad ass D
12. Have you made many friends through cosplay?
Yep, I think most of my friends are because of cosplay.
13. Is cosplay very popular in Russia?
Yes, I think it is really popular. But I can be subjective because I only follow cosplay-news and cosplayers.
14. Would you ever act in a film?
That’s my another dream, I even think about taking part in some casting session one day. Also I used to play in a theatre for 5 years.
15. If you had a jet pack what would you do with it?
I would…. don’t know… sell it?
Thank you so much for being so kind as to answer a few questions Sophie!
We have mirrored some of her work below, but to see even more of her talent you can find that at these links below. Be sure and make the JUMP to the Serpentorslair Forums and join in the discussion!