Personally, I dont think Zuum cosplay gets as much recognition as she deserves. She’s competed for Denmark a few times and her costumes are just stunning. Especially her Bloody Mary costume which stunned me speechless the first time I saw it. I loved having the opportunity to ask her some questions and to find out a few of her secrets behind cell shading and what it was like to compete in the biggest cosplay contest in the world.
Age: 25 years old
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
What is your favourite food? That’s a really hard one since I really love all kinds of food!! But if I had to pick something I would say Italian food! Yum!
Firstly, a few years ago you went to CICAF and it looks like so much fun from your photos. Can you explain what CICAF is and what was it like to compete in it?
CICAF is one of the most amazing things I have ever tried! It was so fascinating to see up front how different the cosplay culture is in China compared to Denmark! CICAF is one of the biggest, if not the biggest convention in the entire world located in Hangzhou, China! As a part of the international cosplay competition (CCSS – China Cosplay Super Show) was very different from what I am use to! It was very laid back and the organizers took such good care of us!
I liked that it was all show and no craft part – since I’m all about standing on the stage, haha. There was a lot of time to get to know the other groups, even though most of the groups knew very little english my year. I can’t speak for the other groups the last two years, but I would always recommend going there if you ever have the chance! It’s simply amazing!
The Chinese cosplayers are amazing on the stage! There are many groups where they have about 15 cosplayers on stage, and they have very creative way of doing shows and I felt really inspired while watching some the few acts that I saw. There is also a cosplay show going on from early Thursday morning to midday Sunday – as there are over 100 groups competing in the national qualifications and each act takes around 15 – 30 min, if not over an hour! (There is no time limit for the acts)
You’ve used a lot of really lovely looking fabrics in your costumes. Where do you get most of your fabric?
Fabrics are very hard to find in Denmark and also very expensive, so I usually buy all standard fabrics (like cotton and satin) in the fabric stores here in Denmark and then I order the rest on the internet. I found a page called Stofkiosken.dk where I usually buy a lot of the fabrics. Otherwise I buy a lot on Ebay – Sometimes it gives you jackpot, other times it is not what you had expected – so always be critic when buying on Ebay!
Your Bloody Mary costume is one of the best I’ve seen and I know some people struggle with good cell shading. Did you find cell shading difficult to do? Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to try cell shading on their costume?
Thank you! So sweet of you! Cell shading is hard to work with and I struggle alot with it was well! My advice would be to practice a lot! Try to learn what works with your face! Look at the character and get inspired of how to do it! For example: I have a very crooked nose so drawing a line from my brow and all the way down my nose does not work on my face at all (talking from experience haha)! So try to find what works with your face and use a liquid eyeliner pen! It’s a lot easier to control the lines with that than a normal eyeliner pen what can give it a bit of a bumpy look.
Also don’t forget to contour your face! It does a lot when coming to cell shading making it look less flat. And my last advice: give the cell shading a little bit of shading. Just a bit of dark brown eyeshadow under the lines. I am currently planning a small inspiration video on how I work with my cell shading. it will be uploaded on my page.
What has been the most tricky technique you have had to master so far?
Working with worbla I guess haha. I have been working with foam for the most of my time as a cosplayer and will always prefer to use that material. But I do see the idea in mastering the worbla-skills. But somehow I just cannot seem to make it work out very well with worbla, for no reason whatsoever, even though it’s suppose to be super easy to work with haha!
Otherwise I would say sewing zippers in pants or making two gloves that are equally good-looking or at least end up with two gloves that are not both left-handed.
What advice would you give to new cosplayers?
Be careful with the whole “striking for the Cosplay-fame”. I have seen a lot of newer cosplayers who believe that cosplay is all about who has more likes on facebook or comments on DeviantART. It can not just ruin the fun in cosplay but even worse: it can ruin friendship! So be careful! There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a cosplay celebrity but never forget the people who got your back – Your friends!
There are no rules to what a cosplayer is or what a cosplayer can do! Make your own rules and stay true to yourself! It doesn’t matter if you buy your costumes, if you don’t compete in cosplay competitions or don’t use makeup. It doesn’t matter if you make your own cosplay, compete to win of just for fun, or use a huge ton of makeup and huge circle lenses. Cosplay is what you make out of it – Have fun they way you want to have fun with cosplay!! Just remember to respect other cosplayers, your friends and yourself.