Calix

For this year's International Photography Contest DomoDomo has Invited the Korean Cosplayer Calix Freeman!

Excited by this news, Clara has gone ahead and taken the time to interview her:

1.   Hello clothes wearing human, can you tell us something about yourself, why you dress up like other people or animals and also, why do you wear clothes?

Hi Clara, my name is Calix Freeman and I’m from Korea. I’ve been cosplaying about 15 years. Why am I doing this?  Well, it’s because it gives me so much fun. Actually, cosplaying takes lots of money, energy and time, so I’ve been asked the same question from time to time. But the fun and relaxation it gives me is irreplaceable. I think most of people who enjoy cosplay would agree with me. You can make clothes and props, arrange photoshoot, model as diverse characters, and edit photos all yourself. Don’t you think it’s awesome?

2. What is the image of The Netherlands in your country? 

To be honest, I don’t know much about the Netherlands. I can say the windmills, flowers, and Miffy? I once dropped by the Schiphol airport, and at that time I was surprised because I could find Miffy in every shop. Sorry that I can give you the answer you might satisfied with. Well why don’t you teach me about your country?

 

 

  


3. We heard you were a famous human in your habitat. What have you achieved in your clothes wearing profession? I myself was chosen Cow of the Year, due to my immaculate spot pattern on my body for four years in a row.

I don’t havemuch things to show off. Maybe being invited by you guys? (lol) If I should give you something, I would say I had been a cover story of a cosplay magazine in Rumania, invited to a few foreign conventions. That’s all I got. I didn’t win any awards nor worldwide fame. I’d rather say what I achieved from this hobby is people who like my cosplays and cheer me up continuously. It’s quite awesome to have someone who support you. They give me energy to go on. 

 

4. Think big grassy meadow with nice and crisp leaves and of course, no other human smelly things in the area. What would you bring to ruminate for a weekend? You may choose 4 items.

Haha I don’t understand why you are asking this question because it doesn’t seem related to cosplay. But anyway, I would bring my cellphone with wi-fi function. It’s hard to imagine a nice weekend without it. I need to keep in touch with my friends. Yeah you can say I’m an SNS addict. And what else... nice food and my close friends? Would you come with me?

5.  What are your favourite 5 items from Japan?

It’s very easy to find Japanese stuff in my country because of the geographical location and historical background. About my favorite, I would say sushi the first lol. I know it’s not familiar for you to have raw fish, but it tastes so much good. And the Japanese traditional patterned fabric…? Japanese culture has lots of attractive items, so I can’t put my finger on which I like better than others.

6. When I go to Japan people often assume I am from Kobe because of the way I look. Do people ever make mistaken assumptions about you because of the way you look and what can you do about it.

I can’t think of any bad experience about my appearance. Well people in cosplay field in Korea often think I’m very unfriendly and cold because I cosplay those characters a lot. But usually once they get to meet me in person, they would chance the view how they see me. 

7. When I went on stage for the first time I was really nervous. Then somelone gave me some milk and that helped to calm me down. It wrecked havoc with my digestion afterwards as I am lactose intolerant, but since then I learned that some freshly squeezed afalfa juice with straw willdo the trick whenever I am nervous. Do you have similar tricks for when you and/or your co-actors are nervous?

I don’t’ get nervous easily when I’m cosplaying and so do my cosplay partners, so there’s no tip that I can give you sorry. What about just enjoying the moment?

8. When I just started out cosplaying sometimes cows in my herd looked down on me and my passion. This really hurt me at the time. Did you have any similar experiences when you started? What did you say to them? Do you think cosplay is becoming more accepted both as a hobby and as a profession?

I think it’s the problem all the cosplayers face at least once. It’s especially very harsh in Korea because there’re still lots of political issues between Japan and Korea, so there are lots of people who doesn’t like Japanese culture. Since cosplay we enjoy these days is originated from Japan, cosplayers in Korea often get blamed, treated as betrayers by some people. Korea and Japan are friends and at the same time we are rivals who has many things to deal with. Anyway even though we have to fight to those sceptical opinions, it’s becoming more popular in Korea, and the public opinion is slowly getting better thanks to lots of cosplayers’ effort in Korea. I’ve been enjoying cosplay for almost 15 years, so I can feel that it’s changing and it makes me smile. I believe cosplay is general art. You should do many thing yourself like making costumes and props, arranging shooting, posing for photos, setting lighting and even photo editing. All cosplayers deserve applause on their talent.

9. In my third year as a cosplayer I built a mecha using duct tape and recycled firelighters. Of course the whole thing looked pretty ridiculous and I wouldn't want to wear it now, but I do have really fun memories of it. Do you have some similar cosplay from way back when?

When I made Kael’thas’ red armor from WoW, I realised that there’s no proper space to color them with spray paint outside. We don’t usually have a garage, backyard or garden in Korea. We usually live in apartment unless you’re super rich to have a mansion. Anyway so I covered all the floors of my living room with plastic vinyl, and painted in inside. I thought it was successful, but since then I had to wipe red dust in my house for almost 2 months. It won’t go away.

10. Have you ever done a horned cosplay? If so don't you agree a horned live is better? (If not how do you clean your hooves without horns?)

What a funny question, well of course several times and I likes them a lot. They give you unique atmosphere.

11. My partner Marieke sometimes acts as if she is the only AnimeCon mascot. I hate it when she does that. How do you handle partners hogging all the attention? 

Luckily I’ve never had such an experience before. I only cosplay with my close friends who I can totally rely on, so we help each other, do not try to take attention alone. As you can see my photos, I prefer duet cosplay to solo ones, so we’ve been in shoots together a lot of times. I know that to make good cosplay photos, not only my appearance matters but also my partner’s. And my friends know that. So try to get along with your partner Clara.)

 

12. When doing bipadel cosplays you have to stand on your hind legs the whole day. This can get pretty tiresome. Do you have any tips on how to prepare for cosplays when you have to use your body in unnatural ways? 

I guess you are talking about genderbend cosplay. Well yes I cosplay male characters more than female, so I have to use my body in unnatural ways a lot. Male characters are usually much taller than average height of Korean, so we have to wear high platform shoes. But it often ruins the atmosphere of the costume, so you should be careful when choosing shoes. And also so-called ‘heel insert’ is very popular in Korea, so we cosplayers often use them. It hurts your feet, but will give you better look. I guess people in the Netherlands are tall, so you don’t need to worry about your height. And man’s body line and woman’s are quite different, so I use other tricks like cotton shoulder pad for wider shoulder, sports muscle tape for flattening chest and so on.

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