Yaya Han

Hi, I am Clara, the most famous Bovine Icon in the history of Cow-kind. I’ve taken time out of my busy schedule, promoting the Anime Festival in The Netherlands to ask you some questions. Of course, I am the only one with enough linguistic skills to do so.

Hello, Yaya, Please tell me something about yourself!

Hi Clara, it's awesome to meet you! I've never been interviewed by such a beautiful cow before! I'm just a girl who likes to make costumes and travel, I live in the USA now but I actually grew up in Europe (Germany)!

This cosplay thing you do, how long have you been doing this and why do you think you are more fabulous then I am?

I could never be more fabulous than you - I feel really lucky that I was introduced to cosplay over 14 years ago and still have the opportunity to make costumes.

Since my country has the greatest green pastures that produce the best milk and cheese, it’s obvious you would want to visit our country. What other reasons could you possibly have for visiting us? And, have you visited this great nation before?

I have always wanted to visit Holland, and indeed, the imagery of green pastures and delicious cheese is what I have in my head. But I also hear that you have an amazing cosplay community and a really awesome convention called Animecon. I have wanted to come to Animecon for a few years now, and since this is my first time to your country, I hope I also get to spend some time sightseeing, and eating! lol

You do like Milk and Cheese, don’t you?

Like I said, I grew up in Europe, so of course I love cheese, milk, and chocolate!

So, you want to talk about that cosplay thing, how many costumes have you made and have you been in any competitions or TV shows, like I have?

Oh, goodness, over the years I've made 265 or so costumes I think? Some were for special photoshoots, promotions, TV pilots and friends, but most of them are personal costumes of mine. I'm not counting costumes I made for others during the 2 years I did costume commissions lol. But if you divide the number between 14 years, it's actually not THAT much haha. I would rather measure my experience in cosplay by how many years I have been active in the community, how long I have been going to conventions and how much I have witness cosplay change over the years. I have also actively tried to influence how cosplay is viewed by convention organizers, media, and "muggles" haha. There used to be a time where cosplayers were viewed as the most obsessed creepy otakus and not as an artists. Thankfully, over the years, cosplay has become more popular, there are more resources, conventions appreciate cosplayers and understand the importance of having a cosplay presence at their events, and mainstream media is starting to celebrate cosplay as a cool artistic thing. Only due to these changes have I been able to continue running a cosplay business, and be a part of TV programs such as "Heroes of Cosplay" and "King of the Nerds". I'm also very proud  to be  featured in a wonderful thoughtful documentary about cosplay called "Cosplay: Crafting a Secret Identity".

What do you consider your best skills in cosplay and what will be the points you will be looking at most in costumes?

I try to be well-versed in a number of skills so I am not limited in what kind of costumes I can choose to make, and I'm always eager to learn more techniques and practice what I learn. Overall I still think my best skill is sewing, which is all self-taught over many years of making mistakes and experimenting. I am really enjoying prop making with materials such as Worbla and Wonderflex, and I am very very patient when it comes to adding details to costumes. I don't mind hand crafting something for many hours, it's actually very zen to me. I tend to fawn over well-fitted costumes with nice finishing, and lavish details. It's more impressive to me to see a clean, well-made simple costume than a flashy costume that was rushed. 

What if you could spend an evening with me, what would be your ideal evening type?

Shopping in Amsterdam and then a delicious dinner followed by a lot of desserts!!!

What was the best cosplay experience you have ever had?

Meeting George R.R. Martin and the cast of Game of Thrones while I was in my self-designed and made Daenerys costume at SDCC. So magical...

The Anime Festival has Summer Games as theme. What is your first thought that goes with the theme they have?

I keep thinking of Japanese summer festival games, such as scooping up fish with those rice paper paddles. I totally suck at that actually. lol

My favourite holiday destination is India, at least they treat me with proper respect there. What is your favourite holiday destination?

Haha I bet you have an amazing time in India getting pampered and flower wreathes put on you!!
For me, it's a toss-up between Tokyo and London, although I'm the most happy whenever I'm at my parent's house in Germany.

Say you would be stranded in a very remote barnyard with nothing but grassy fields and a water pump (My ideal location) which three things could you not do without?

Some sort of gummi candy, a jacket because I'm always cold, and a sketch pad/pencil!

Ma favourite motto is: To graze or not to graze. What is your favourite motto?

"Work hard, play hard!"

What food from your country should all of us have tried before we lay down on the field and ruminate?

Hmmm, well I'm originally from China, so definitely Soup Dumplings! In fact, all of DimSum! But I grew up in Germany, so.... my stepdad's homemade bread, which I have for breakfast every day I'm visiting!

Thank you Yaya!

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