Hi all, I am the famous Clara Cow, you know, the great looking, Kobe approved Bovine Super Hero Reporter and Idol singer from Animecon in The Netherlands and who else in the bovine world can say that she has her own Cosplay show?
RIGHT! Nobody. However, today I had a nice chat with Etaru, a cosplayer, originating from Russia, but living in the USA.
We heard you are famed in your stables as well, can you tell us a bit of who you are and why bovines and maybe the lowly humans recognise your skill?
Hi Clara! I’m definitely not as famed as you are, but I have been creating costumes for over 10 years, many that have won craftsmanship and performance awards, and found my works in several international publications. I’ve been a judge for WCS, ECG, ECC, in Denmark, Norway and the United States competitions, as well as a panellist to share my knowledge and experiences in helping new and aspiring hobbyists in the community. I’m so excited to visit everyone in my first time in the Netherlands!
My human servants at Animecon massage me every day and if the weather is nice, I enjoy ruminating in the sun in our great pastures. What is your favourite way to relax and what do you consider a great day out?
That sounds splendid! I’ve never seen the pastures of western Europe, but where I grew up there were quite a lot of mountains, so I love going hiking, skiing, basically anything outdoors on a fair weather day, then hibernating through all the cold months haha.
Humans have this weird compulsion to wear clothes, we heard you like to dress up too. I've tried it once and made myself look just like Bertha 1, the famous milk cow, I even made my own strap-on udders. Do you make your own costumes? And what do you find the most challenging to create, costume wise?
You sound like a very talented cos-cow! I also make 99% of all my costumes, and it’s taken a lot of years of skill building through trial and error, but seeing a pile of fabrics turn into a wearable art piece is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, I especially adore working with feathers. I’ve built a lot of sewing expertise, but armour crafting and men’s tailoring continue to present a challenge for me.
Say you are on a un inhabited pasture with me, we would have some food and stuff and have great meaningful discussions. What would you bring (5 things) and what would we talk about, other than me?
I would probably bring my leather jacket, helmet, gloves and a motorcycle to learn to be a better and safer rider. And a metric ton of delicious BBQ (so I won’t eat you Clara!). And I would probably rant about Tekken the entire time because it’s the greatest arcade fighter series ever created and if you have a problem with that we NEED to have a talk!
This costume make thing, what is your favourite one that you made your self, and what did you consider a total failure and why?
Would you re-make it if you had the opportunity? (pictures please)
My absolute favorite costume is probably still Siren Summon from Final Fantasy VIII, I made it back in 2011 but it was truly a labor of love that was the culmination of years of building skills and testing crafting techniques, so it was a realization of a pipe dream.
My worst costume experience was making Amila from Magna Carta: Tears of Blood, which is, in fact, misleading because I received back beautiful photos from the event, but the construction itself was a disaster! The costume was far more overwhelming than what I originally had scoped it to be, and now have zero desire to remake it.
Aside from me, of course, whom do you consider great cosplayers and why?
I’ve known Yaya Han for a number of years and have the utmost respect for her (and her fiancé Brian) for the business they’ve built out of what was just a hobby for many. I also hold a lot of admiration for the work from Omi Gibson (Japan), R&R Group (Russia), and Li Kovacs (USA). It should also be said that there are so many incredibly talented costumers across all countries who don’t receive the recognition for their work that they fully deserve, and I want to meet all of them!
If I would come to your pastures, which food would we eat? I would feed you Berta 1's best cheese and only premium grass if you came to mine.
I love cheese! Especially on pizza, I could probably live on pizza if given the option. And sushi.
As a Cow, I worry about climate change and try to reduce my CO2 footprint by trying to exude less methane. Aside from that, I worry about those humans planting cheaper grass types. What things do you worry about?
That’s a very admirable effort, I also try to reduce my footprint on the planet by recycling, minimizing bottled water purchases, and being selective of what food products I buy. I personally feel strong about domestic issues in the USA, especially women’s rights, as well as animal welfare.
Animecon is rather unique on the northern part of the European main land, as it runs 52 hours non-stop and has night programming. Do they have events like that on your pastures?
We do! Many anime and comic conventions in the USA run all weekend, usually with late night (adult) cosplay contests, raves/dances, video screenings, parties and sometimes late panels.
Which event or events would you recommend and why?
My favorite is Dragoncon in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a weekend-long party that caters to all genres and geek culture.
Being the beautiful specimen that I am, I often encounter jealousy, do you encounter this too and how do you deal with it? I just put my hoof down on their head and sometimes even use my horns. It makes me really angry.
Don’t be angry! If someone is jealous of you, even if they’re unkind to you, it usually means you’re doing something right in life, because it gives them reason to turn their attention to you. That said, you’ll never please everyone, so focus instead on the opinion of people around you who matter!
If you require some peace and quiet but have flies zooming around you, what do you do about that? I use my tail to swat at them, but sometimes that is just not enough. My peers suggested just dropping one and move away from it, but I do consider that rather vulgar. Can you think of a more elegant solution for me?
There’s an American saying that “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”…!
When posing for the camera, especially after I have been ruminating, I sometimes drool a bit from the corner of my mouth. How do you work with photo opportunities and especially with those camera people that think they know what your best side is or how you should pose?
I personally respect the opinion of photographers I’m working with because they can see things through the lens that I might miss – how would I know if a certain pose makes my arm look strange until I see the photo? Sometimes, it’s helpful having a photo assistant to the photographer to adjust the hair or pose of the model, because even the photographer will be too busy playing with the aperture or light exposure to notice small flaws. It all comes down to being a mutual respect and understanding, it’s a collaboration and no matter what, both parties must be comfortable and on the same page.
When I went to Nagoya with Marieke to compete in the World Cosplay Summit, some parts of our costumes fell off because due to the temperature, the hot glue melted. Marieke immediately got all attention because most of her chest piece fell off (I think she did it on purpose to get more attention than me). What would you consider the best construction method for armour pieces when it's really hot?
You should probably look into using contact cement!
Some of my herd think that sewn costumes can't compare to armours. If you had to judge sewn costumes and armours, what would be the points you would look at and how would you find a way to equally score a sewn costume and an armour?
It’s perhaps an unpopular opinion, but with easy to create armor techniques using foam and thermoplastics largely available now, most people can become efficient with making at least basic armor within hours of picking it up. Sewing and pattern making takes many months to become proficient in, especially because there are so many skills and fabric manipulation practices, especially in tailoring. Complicated armor is a difficult craft to master, but there are several ways of making the same gauntlet – there is only one way to sew a French seam.
A recent trend for female cosplayers is to dress up in daring outfits to become more popular. Some of them went so far as to cosplay as me. As a result of this, cosplayers who sometimes wear a daring outfit because they really like the character or creating that particular outfit is a big challenge for them are being called names. What would you recommend these young ladies to do?
It takes a lot of courage to wear a sexy or revealing outfit, and ladies (and gentlemen) do it for a number of reasons: sometimes they really love the character or design, and sometimes it’s a lot simpler than that and they want to feel attractive. No one should ever be dehumanized or call nasty names for choosing to wear a costume, especially since most of those provocative outfits were designed by game or comic creators with a shock appeal in mind.
In the US, there have been quite some incidents of cosplayers getting molested by people, mostly at Comic Cons. An awareness program, Cosplay is not Con Scent was launched. Would you molest cosplayers that smell bad?
Violence is never the answer, Clara! However, that’s not to say I wouldn’t find a way to throw them into a body of water to rinse off.
Milk or Dark?
Neither: coconut milk is my favorite!