Following on from naming her as the Japandaman Cosplayer Of The Month, we now have our interview with Vera Chimera which she kindly agreed to. Vera’s done some stunning cosplays from Tracer (Overwatch), Ada Wong (Resident Evil), Black Cat (Marvel), Katrina (League of Legends), Tifa (Final Fantasy) plus a whole swagload more!
Japandaman: When did you first discover cosplay & what inspired you to start cosplaying yourself?
Vera Chimera: Every time I answer this question, I’m reminded how long I’ve been cosplaying, and how much more I still have to learn haha!
I’ve been cosplaying for around 10 years now. Probably over the last 5 years I’ve tried to step thins up and learn new skills. Originally I began cosplaying to escape a not-so-nice reality, but these days I cosplay simply for the fun and exploration of self-identity.
J: Which of your cosplays is your favourite & why?
VC: My current favourite is Tracer from Overwatch, It took me a couple of months to pull her together, learning how to wire my own LEDs and understand the functionality of the suit. Wearing her gave me the opportunity to compose some really awesome photoshoots with friends, and even score several gigs with Blizzard Australia which were a real blast! I have plans for the future to create her Slipstream skin, now that I’ve literally worn the original costume to death.
Another favourite is Championship Riven from League of Legends. Took only 3 weeks to make and I learnt so much about armour and prop construction. I’ve worn her at Gamestart in Singapore and several local cons. She’s also currently retired from excessive damage. I go all-out in photoshoots, even if the end result doesn’t work.
J: Is there something you’re planning on making in the future that you’re really excited about?
VC: Honestly I am the worst when it comes to sticking to one cosplay idea! I have all these sick ideas, then a new game/skin will come out and I ditch everything! However these days I’ve tried to slow down and choose costumes I know I’ll suit AND make in time. PROJECT Katarina and genderbend Reaper are my two upcoming costumes, and have already started putting the budgets together. I have a bajillion other things I’m excited about but want to wait it out to see if it’s just a phase. Really should get Jessica Rabbit done, as well… It’s my most requested cosplay idea haha!
J: How do you find the Sydney Cosplay scene? Are people supportive of your work?
VC: The Sydney cosplay scene is great. Like every group there have been hiccups here and there, but these days the waters are smooth. I think it all has to do with age and personal life experiences that eventually mould us. Australia has an abundance of talented cosplayers that the world needs to discover. We’re all very supportive of each other and cheer on our champions.
J: Who is your cosplay idol?
VC: I have two idols: Lightning Cosplay and Maul Cosplay. Extremely talented cosplayers who perfectly transform into their character of choice. Lightning also has some fantastic tutorials on armour and crop construction.
J: Your cosplays are so intricate, how long does it take you to put one together?
VC: It all depends on 2 things: spare time and level of energy. Sometimes I can pop out a costume within a few days, other times it can take a few months! Back in the day it was easier since I had a casual job; I could shoot out several costumes in 1 year. Now that I have a full time job and am saving for a house, I’ve been a bit constrained. I hope to set up a schedule to work around though, as I’m getting the itch to make more and more haha!
J: What is your all time favourite anime or game?
VC: Anime: It’s hard to choose. Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion, Ergo Proxy, and One Punch Man are my top contenders. Sadly I don’t watch much anime these days as the Western comics and series have kidnapped me. Game: currently it’s Overwatch, But Halo, Deus Ex: HR, Abe’s Oddysee, Planetside 2, and Injustice are my top faves.
J: What draws you to a character? Personality, design?
VC: A bit of both. I like a costume that’s a mix of both fabric and armour, and try to work with some LEDs here and there. I also like to pick out characters that’s spunky or sensual, but need to keep in mind if they will suit me physically.
J: Is there a type of character you enjoy doing?
VC: I like strong, spunky, sexy, and charismatic characters who are iconic in their own way. I mainly aim for the “strong” trope, since my natural bitch-face works very well for photoshoots. Less work, great results, haha!
J: Do you have a Favourite convention in Australia or overseas?
VC: Sydney: Gotta say Supanova. I’ve been attending for many years and it’s still as fun as ever. Overseas: Gamestart Asia is fantastic, as is Blizzcon. Travelling to Singapore and America introduced me to a new kind of cosplay talent. Very inspiring!
Vera, thank you for your time! Everyone at Japandaman really appreciates you taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us! We wish you all the best in the future!