Pugoffka, “Ukraine has long reached a high level of cosplay”22 May 2019
According to Pugoffka, cosplay festivals can be a good opportunity to demonstrate yourself and improve acting skills.
Elena Kucheruk, well-known as Pugoffka in the cosplay world, is a professional photographer with approximately 800 portfolio transformation shootings. Besides, Pugoffka is a talented cosplayer who performed as a judge and a speaker on WEGAME 5.0.
During the WEGAME 5.0 interview, Pugoffka was telling how she went into cosplay, revealed her favorite characters and evaluated the level of Ukrainian cosplays.
Interviewer: WEGAME 5.0 (WEGAME).
Respondent: Elena Kucheruk, Pugoffka (E.K.).
WEGAME: Elena, can you tell us about the period when you got involved into cosplay and what prompted you to this?
E.K.: I started shooting cosplay in 2009. Everything began with the home shooting of my friend and the cats, when I realized I wanted more interesting locations as well as different images. Cosplay is just a place for implementing all of your ideas. That is how it appeared in my life.
WEGAME: When was the first time you decided to try on the image and why?
E.K.: After approximately 5 shootings of some cosplayers, I looked at nice photos willing to act in the same images – it was the step to create the costumes for myself.
I was not good at sewing at that time, so everything was done with the help of my friends. Then I started practicing more, and now I can completely make costumes for myself.
WEGAME: Today, what do you want to develop yourself in: embodying the images or improving the photo?
E.K: N ow, I am participating more in festivals as a guest and conducting workshops on photography. Still, it is important to combine photography and cosplay, since it is boring to visit the festival having no costume. I always have a camera and make some reports in order to take beautiful pics. Everything is essential and immediate.
WEGAME: Can you name the all-time favorite characters implemented by you? Are there any prospective images that can be transformed into?
E.K.: There are 2 favorite characters of sexually attractive gaming women – Chin Soyen from Blade&Soul and Bayonetta.
As for the prospective images, I am just working on my dream — an Elise costume from League of Legends, which is almost entirely made up of armor. I am very afraid of spiders, although this character personalizes them, so I take it as a challenge. Additionally, I am going to make an interesting shooting with decorations in the form of a web, thus I am working hard on it right now.
WEGAME: You have participated in the contest as a cosplayer and perform as a judge as well. What is more complicated and why?
E.K.: I was on stage in a group defile two times, when I realized that it was not my cup of tea: photography and craft are more exciting things. What is more, I am often invited to a cosplay event as a judge, so I have more experience in this particular case.
WEGAME: In your opinion, what’s the level of Ukrainian cosplayers compared with the foreign ones?
E.K.: In my mind, the first place goes to China due to its cosplay level following by Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Europe takes the last position.
Even five years ago, Ukraine reached a very high level of transformation art, however there were not many festivals where cosplayers could participate. Nowadays, this industry is developing in our country: major events have appeared letting cosplayers perform and strive for.
WEGAME: What do you discover as a photographer and a cosplayer through the festival participation? How do the events help cosplayers develop?
E.K.: For me personally, cosplay festivals are an opportunity to travel around the world, visited the countries that I would have never been to: Malaysia, Mexico and America for instance. With the help of cosplay, I find new acquaintances and friends, being together with some of them since 2009 and so far.
In general, such festivals give to cosplayers a way to show themselves, to improve their skills in tailoring and stage acting.
WEGAME: What images inspire you as a photographer? Who’s your favorite shooting objects and working images?
E.K.: Throughout my career, my preferences have changed. First, I was interested in anime shooting, then I switched to movies and books, and now games are the most interesting to me. Namely games allow you to take dynamic photos and show your skills more.
WEGAME: Comment on the level of WEGAME cosplay, please. What criteria do you pay attention to when evaluating participants?
E.K.: The level of cosplayers is quite high here, I saw a lot of complex and interesting costumes, from World of Warcraft for example.
I draw attention to two criteria: the costume and the stage, that is, the quality of performance. Since the judges cannot observe the costumes before the event in order to evaluate each seam, the platform performance plays the decisive role.
WEGAME: Couple of words concerning WEGAME 5.0?
A.K.: The chosen place is suitable, and the platform is comfortable as well - everything is organized perfectly.