Many men, many ways to make costume. Interview with a cosplay show judge – Oksana [Moon-ka] Sherstyuk07 March 2019
Oksana [Moon-ka] Sherstyuk, a judge of the WEGAME 5.0 cosplay show, started as a contest participant. Oksana told us in an interview how it was, what it led to, and how many costumes she designed as of today.
Oksana [Moon-ka] Sherstyuk is a cosplayer, a crafting specialist, and a professional sewer who produces customized costumes. She has been focusing on the fabrication of unique clothes for 15 years and has been professionally engaged in crafting since 2015. Moon-ka has been working for Fenindom as a costume crafter over the past year.
Becoming a winner of the WEGAME 3.0 cosplay show, she will be a judge of the contest this year. We talked to Oksana to discover the concept of high-quality crafting and the way she made from costume sewing to professional cosplays.
Respondent: Oksana [Moon-ka] Sherstyuk (hereinafter – Moon-ka).
WEGAME: Could you please define crafting in cosplays? What are its types? What is good crafting?
Moon-ka: It’s hard to give a certain definition, as crafting means everything hand made. Crafting can be divided into materials: plastic molding, PVC operations, coating and smoothing, EVA, and painting.
There is crafting of clothes and accessories and even of decorations. Sewing can also be crafted: one can sew on some manually created elements, for instance, of leather, to costumes. Crafting is just limited to imagination. You should remember the following: many men, many ways to make a costume. There is no specific and single method of creating costumes. This is the common mistake. You can sew even an armor if it looks perfect.
Good crafting means the understanding of what it is made of simply by touching it. When you look at a reference, realize that it is pretty similar, but fail to visually define what it is made of. In this case, it doesn’t matter what materials are used if they look excellent: whether this be iron, PVC, leather, or trash bags.
WEGAME: Why did you get into your own cosplays after so many years of sewing for others? What did inspire you to try this aspect?
Moon-ka: Having graduated from the institute, I studied sewing. I’ve been tailoring since my childhood, and now, I make it to order. I learned more about this issue: corsets, complex things, complicated cutting, cutting for substandard figures. But I got bored at some point. Then, I saw an article about cosplays and crafting. Eventually, I found and bought plastics and started cutting it at home, trying to turn it into something interesting. I found great favor with combining sewing parts of costumes, attaching armors to them, or any other elements. I realized that was it. I did want to make such stuff manually.
I didn’t think then about becoming a cosplayer. I cared about searching for people interested in this trend, as I joined the cosplay sector not as a part of fandom, but while enjoying my hobby and looking for my place in the world. As the result, I found the first customers ordering these costumes when Ukraine began to host Comic-Cons. I attended one of them and saw my costume on a model. It was such a pleasure. Thus, I decided to try my hand at this activity, but a bit later.
Afterwards, one hold the Necronomicon festival, and we had a completed costume of Maleficent, which took great pains and efforts. We came up with an idea: what if I visit the festival in this costume… Someone could like it and buy. It would be a kind of promotion. I attended the festival and occupied the first place. It was awesome. I decided to try this once again.
WEGAME: What was your first costume for a customer? How complicated it was?
Moon-ka: It was a costume of Chandra Nalaar, a character of the Magic: The Gathering game, for my friends from the Bergamot table game club. It was quite difficult because I did not know how to produce such things. Nevertheless, I took on a job. People in tutorials often say, “I have no idea of what I’m doing.”
I just polished and glued something, and the results were satisfied. It was an experiment that turned out to be rather good. That’s what it looks like for the first time. And now, I know exactly what to do when preparing costumes.
WEGAME: What amount of costumes have you already produced? Which are your favorite ones?
Moon-ka: I have created ten costumes over the recent year. However, I have not so many of my own cosplays, because I select an image for a long time, approach the subject in a roundabout way, as well as make it slowly and intently. In general, I have prepared more than twenty comprehensive costumes and a myriad of details such as crowns, swords, and guns.
I like all the costumes despite the fact that some of them were extremely complicated and required a lot of elaborations. Consequently, all of them are favorite, as I complete them and achieve the desired quality and look.
WEGAME: Did you face any mega-complex project in your practice, a so-called costume challenge that leveled you up?
Moon-ka: Sure. Completing my own costume of Pharah allowing me to win the WEGAME cosplay, I thought that everything would be in my power. And next moment, I received an order for Genji from the same game – Overwatch. It was then that I realized Pharah’s costume was easy breezy in comparison with this one. Genji’s costume was white and difficult to paint. Everything had to be thorough and seamless.
I took a great deal of measurements. There were gazillion aspects, which could be miscalculated and could mess everything up. We needed a perfect, Sci-Fi, smooth, and seamless costume. It was intricate in terms of assembling and painting. As the result, it appeared to be detailed and incredibly wonderful.
WEGAME: What do you feel when giving costumes to customers: satisfaction or sadness that you have to let them go?
Moon-ka: I feel sad when I know that a client won’t provide me with photos. But a lot of our customers even share their Instagram accounts with us. In this case, I can appreciate their costumes on photos. I grieve a bit while sending the order, but I do know how to leave costumes. It’s just a time for the next projects. The previous one have advanced our skills and will make somebody happy. Completing the order, you should always let the project go and move forward. Otherwise, you won’t grow.
WEGAME: What are the most popular costumes in Ukraine? Are there any based on your observations?
Moon-ka: People always ask about Overwatch because costumes of its characters are complicated. It is impossible to produce them immediately. You should have certain skills and imagine how to implement them. With this game being extremely popular in Ukraine, many cosplayers prefer its characters.
Anime characters are also in-demand and are present at events. Sometimes we receive such orders. It is caused by the fact that anime characters frequently feature difficult drawing. Therefore, we should thoroughly elaborate the construction and details in order to turn the image into a real life.
Poof! The interview suddenly ends up, but only the first part. Wait awhile, as well as subscribe to the WEGAME news, and find out what Oksana [Moon-ka] Sherstyuk reveals in the second part.