This year, we had the honour of being part of the media team present for The Game Plan 2015, which happened at KDU University College, Utropolis Glenmarie campus. It’s main focus was on gaming, with a wide variety of gaming competitions including Dota 2 and FIFA Online 3. You can read our coverage post of the event here.
Naturally, it isn’t an ACG convention without cosplayers, and Game Plan managed to invite two overseas cosplayers – Pugoffka from Ukraine and Onnies from Thailand. We got the chance to sit down with both of them, and we’re sharing those interviews with you!
Pugoffka, if you don’t know her already, is a renowned cosplayer and cosplay photographer. Over her 7 years of experience as a photographer, she has completed more than 450 cosplay photoshoots and has worked with cosplayers from across the world such as Reika and Kaname✰ from Japan, Miyo from Korea, Astarohime from Russia and more. On the other hand, she has 4 years of cosplay experience under her belt with approximately 20 characters in her resume, and surely more to come!
Interviewer: For our readers whom are not familiar with you, can you introduce yourself and what you do?
Pugoffka: My name is Pugoffka, I’m a cosplayer and photographer, but I do more photography than cosplay. I’m from Ukraine. I started photography as a career about 5 years ago, and throughout these years I’ve done about 500 photo shoots, with about 100 to 150 photo shoots in a year. Among those, I do about 10 cosplay photo shoot, or maybe more [laughs].
I: How did you first begin cosplay photography?
P: Oh, it’s because of my cat! [laughs] I first began to take photos of my cat, then my friends, and after that I ran out of ideas for casual photo shoots and needed something more. Soon, I began doing photo shoots on demand. My first cosplay photo shoot, however, came from one of Ukraine’s social gatherings. I left a message in one of the groups about cosplay photo shoots and I got a response from one team. After that, I decided I wanted to become a cosplayer too.
I: As a cosplay photographer, do you have any tips to share with other photographers in Malaysia?
P: I know some photographers from Malaysia, such as Thomas and Alice. They are very good photographers. In general, I think it helps to find interesting locations for your photo shoot. I don’t know if it’s possible in Malaysia because I don’t know much about your city here and its interesting places or attractions.
Pugoffka’s Husband: There will be more tips on photo shoots for cosplayers in your session later.
I: Great! Moving on to some cosplay questions, you’ve done an incredibly wide range from anime and western series. What inspires you to choose your next cosplay project?
P: When I first started cosplaying, I chose characters that I liked and uh…
H: That have face similarity?
P: Uh, no. [laughs] It depended on their costumes, and the character’s emotions. After that, in the past 1 or 2 years, I have been trying to choose characters who look like me.
I: What was the hardest thing you’ve ever done for a photo shoot?
P: The hardest photo shoot I’ve ever done was with animals. [laughs] I once did a shoot with 3 horses, and they were very nervous. They [the horses] were afraid the cosplayers and their props.
I: Speaking of props, how long does it usually take for you to complete sewing or prop-making for cosplay?
P: It depends on the complexity. Sometimes it’ll take about one week, but for Blade & Soul it took about half a year. That process ate all my time. [laughs]
I: Do you think being a photographer improves your cosplaying? Or maybe being a cosplayer improves your photography?
P: I think my cosplay improves my photography. In fact, that is one of the reasons I became a cosplayer, to feel what the cosplayers feel when they stand and pose. One of the things I learnt is that wearing costumes can be very difficult and uncomfortable. After that, I tried to make all my photo shoots faster. For example, usually one photo shoot would take about one hour, but I’ve done a very quick photo shoot of 15 minutes, and it was good enough.
I: You’ve been on both side as a photographer and cosplayer, which do you prefer?
P: I prefer to be photographer because I’m shy and don’t like to go on-stage. [laughs] I prefer and like to be a model for photo shoots, but I become nervous on-stage.
I: I’ve read that you’re a young mother. Would you ever consider introducing your kids to photography or cosplay?
P: I’m waiting for the day when my daughter comes to me and says: “I want to be cosplayer!” Now she is already slowly wanting to cosplay, so maybe this will become a reality soon.
H: Today is her birthday, 7 years old.
I: That is nice to hear. Next question, you have a lot of fans especially in Ukraine and from the WorldCosplay ranking. Do you have anyone from the cosplay or cosplay photography that you admire?
P: My favorite photographer is from China “35ryo”, and one more from Moscow “JustMoolti” which is good. [Editor’s note: We couldn’t retrieve the audio for her favourite cosplayers/models, sorry!]
I: Lastly, do you have anything you want to say to your fans?
P: I really appreciate that my fans stay with me and follow my works with likes and support because I don’t have such a big fanbase in Russia. I have a bigger fanbase in Europe. I hope in Malaysia I will find new friends and new fans, and I’m very happy to be here.
You can find Pugoffka here:
World Cosplay: http://worldcosplay.net/member/pugoffka
Cure No. 381451
For our interview with Onnies, click here.
For more images from the event, check out our Facebook album here.
For a compilation of videos from the cosplay competition, check out our Youtube playlist here.
For our coverage of the both Day One & Two of the event, click here.