Cosplayer from Hungary.

Please introduce yourself – what’s your cosplay name, where are you from, how long have you been cosplaying?

My Cosplay name is Okkido, that comes from the Japanized form of ‘orchid’. I’m from Hungary and I started cosplaying in 2006.

How did you start cosplaying? What was your first costume?

I went to my very first convention in the summer of 2006. That was the first time I saw a Cosplay competition live on stage. I was so blown away by the costumes, that I decided to wear a costume to the next event a couple of months later. I chose one of my favorite characters, Jin from Samurai Champloo – so my first cosplay was actually a cross play! It was a simple costume because I only had to do some reversible alterations to my kendo gi and hakama and borrow my sister’s glasses.

How do you choose who you are going to Cosplay?

I always choose characters I can relate to. If you look at my cosplays of strong – but sometimes crazy females, you may have a glimpse of my personality, too.

How many Cosplay competitions/conventions have you been to? What was your favorite and why?

To tell you the truth, as I have been doing Cosplay for 16 years, I have lost counting. I have been to several conventions in over 20 countries so far, and I have taken part in numerous competitions and represented my country in some international championships. The most memorable was my first time in the USA, when I was competing at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in Chicago and I became the Crowned Champion of Cosplay in 2017.

Do you have your favorite costume? If yes – what is it and why?

It is very difficult to choose, because my costumes are like my children to me. I like each one of them for different reasons. If I have to pick one, I would say that my favorite is my second Sister of Battle from Warhammer 40,000 made in 2018. I think that is my best quality armor so far, and I really enjoy wearing that gruesome make-up!

Do you have your favorite prop? If yes – what is it and why?

Again, it is difficult to name only one prop. I always put some extra effort into my props, like sound, lights and other special FX. I really enjoyed building Mad Moxxi’s megaphone as it also has voice amplifying effects, and the cel shaded painting technique was a great challenge.

What part of this hobby/lifestyle do you like the most? Why?

With Cosplay I can constantly improve. With every new project I learn new skills, techniques, try new materials and tools. Primarily, Cosplay is about continuous development for me. I also enjoy that I can create something out of nothing and express my feelings through my work.

Do you have any funny stories or accidents related to cosplay?

Well, this story did not seem very funny when I was in the middle of it, but now, as everything turned out right, I can laugh about it. When I was travelling to the Championships of Cosplay finals in Chicago in 2017, my flight from Budapest was delayed, so some of my luggage was left in Berlin when I changed flights. Of course, I only realized this at the Chicago airport, and as some of my Cosplay accessories were in those bags, I was totally freaked out. Fortunately, the most important parts of my Cosplay arrived, so I could enter the finals, and I was allowed to show pictures of my missing accessories to the judges. In the end, on my way home, I managed to retrieve the missing bags, and everything was intact. The cherry in top of the cake, of course, that I also won the Championship.

What is your dream photoshoot as a cosplayer?

I know that water is not really good for costumes, but I would really like to have a photoshoot with my Siren Alice in water or in an aquarium. The jellyfish effects of that Cosplay would look awesome underwater! I would also love to have photoshoots with horses. I have been horse-riding since the age of five, and I love those animals.

Why Cosplay is important for you?

Cosplay is a complex form of art, it embodies different sets of artistic skills from fine arts to performance arts. This is an ultimate means to express myself. Cosplay for me is not about being popular, I do not do my costumes for anyone else, but me. For me, cosplay is self-realization.

What would you consider to be the biggest achievement in you Cosplay career?

The biggest achievement would be if I could make a living out of cosplay. So that I would not need to have a full-time job, and I could spend all my time on creative projects.

What would you advise or whish for people who want to start cosplaying, but for unknown reasons are afraid or just don’t know where to start?

It does not matter if the Cosplay is small or big, simple or intricate – the most important thing is that you love the character you chose and you enjoy cosplaying them. Everyone starts small, so do not be afraid to make mistakes, you will learn a lot from them. Never rush a project, take your time to make your costumes, to be fully satisfied when you are wearing them. I always make detailed plans for cosplay building and I always stick to them. If you organize your work, you can prevent working on your cosplay late at night to finish everything by the convention next day.