DJ KimoSabe of The Wasp Factory Interviews Cosplayer Benedikte Pedersen aka Poem Cosplay from Norway
DJ KimoSabe: For those of us who don’t know much about you can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Poem Cosplay: I am a small town girl from Norway that loves playing video games, draw, and cats (like most other girls). And on a daily basis I work with my cosplay hobby, which is nice.
DJ KimoSabe: What got you started or how did you get started in the cosplaying world?
Poem Cosplay: When I was 14 (2007) me and my friend decided to go to the capital city (Oslo) alone, there we went to a location and joined something called Desucon - about 50 nerds sweating in a crowded cafe shop - there we fell in love with the community! (The cosplay community in Norway hasn't been very big until now) But, I didn't start making cosplay before 2010, and when I went to a convention dressed up, I felt the best feeling in the world, like being high on something I guess. Obsessed! Loooong answer haha
DJ KimoSabe: That’s good haha. I like to hear about how passionate people are about what they do and so lengthy answers are great! Can you tell me about your experience when you joined Desucon with your friend. What was the environment like? What were the first characters that you cosplayed as?
Poem Cosplay: The experience was unforgettable. Me and my friend dressed up with black skirt and top and arranged with some red on her and green on me like "twins". The location was somewhat dark. Cozy. Like when you light a candle in a dark room to watch a movie. There was a little stage there which a local teen band played some music on and a table with pockey and japan magazines for sale, haha. We actually met some people who we befriended and shared the rest of the evening with. Such random occasions! The first character I cosplayed was a Korean Vocaloid named SeeU and it was reeeeally bad! Haha.
DJ KimoSabe: Haha what were some of the things you learned from making that first cosplay?
Poem Cosplay: Do not spray paint shoes! It does not work so well!
DJ KimoSabe: Is there any other advice that you’ve learned while cosplaying that you wish you could have told yourself when you first started cosplaying?
Poem Cosplay: Try to be as patient as possible and always measure twice! Even though I don't always follow this rule, I should. Sometimes you end up with a bad result that "huants you" when you walk around with a cosplay. And, make sure EVERYTHING fits and stays intact before walking around in public with it. I got to experience this the hard way. Super important to think about how to fasten your gear. I have learned very much by doing and internet is your friend. Search for the stuff you wonder about and you will 99% of the time find what you're looking for. OH, and don't be too hard on yourself, this is supposed to be fun!
DJ KimoSabe: From what I’m aware the second cosplay you ever did was the character Panty from the anime Panty&Stocking with Garterbelt which in my opinion was an awesome and hilarious anime. What made you want to cosplay as this character?
Poem Cosplay: Haha that is correct! Me and my friend first were aware of the characters from Tumblr and we wanted to check up closer to what this was. We loved the anime it was fun, outrageous and had a cool concept. We both related to the characters and we wanted to do a duo, so we decided to make this 1 month before Descuon 2011 and it went...well enough. Both of us had no idea how to use a sewing machine, but the idea was in my head and I just let my hands do the magic. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt is hilarious indeed and needs to be seen!!
DJ KimoSabe: Do you create most of your costumes and props yourself or do you sometimes purchase them?
Poem Cosplay: I have never bought a full cosplay or prop. SeeU was modified from my old clothes and Megurine was just my dress I had so I wouldn't call that a cosplay-cosplay. So yes, everything is made by me and made from scratch ^^ Oh, and I try to post progress pictures and tutorials both to prove that I make them and to hopefully give a helping hand to others.
DJ KimoSabe: Ok so I have to admit one of my favorite cosplays that you have done would have to be the Victorious Janna from League of Lengends! I just have to say congratulations for making it as one of the top eight at the Spillexpo’s Cosplay Competition. How long did it take you to prepare that costume and what was the most memorable part of that convention?
Poem Cosplay: Oh wow thank you! And I agree, it has been my biggest success so far. Since I worked at my job for 8 hours everyday, I didn't have much time on the costume as I wanted. I finished it in 2 months and the staff in 2 days. Poorly planned and my first time ever working with those type of materials. And the most memorable must be the people! To meet people that I can "fulfill the dreams of" was so much fun! There is a lot of LoL gamers in Norway and a lot of them recognized me and wanted to take pictures with me. I think I'm more grateful for the people who wanted a picture with me than the people seeing me to be honest. And the competition was just for fun on my hand. Didn't plan for it to go so well haha. OH The cutest thing ever to happen, was a father with his little daughter of 4-5 years old wanted me to take pictures with her, and I let her hold my staff, she was so happy. To see her face, THAT must've been the most memorable.
DJ KimoSabe: Wow. To be able to touch people's hearts that way and give them joy must truly be an amazing feeling. What would you say is the best and most important part about cosplaying for you?
Poem Cosplay: Most of us says to have fun! And yes it is super important or else you will feel that all of this is just like a job you hate. BUT, to be proud of yourself, your accomplishments (no matter how small or big they are) and go out of your safe zone is the most important for me. In that way you'll get the fun part for free :D
DJ KimoSabe: Is there any downside about cosplaying for you? Or is the entire experience enjoyable?
Poem Cosplay: I must say the experience is all enjoyable, but, and there's always a but. Economically speaking, it is not the best hobby to pursue. Be sure to pay your bills and food first, then the fun can come in second. That must be the downside in cosplay.
DJ KimoSabe: Outside of cosplaying what else is it that you do?
Poem Cosplay: Right now I'm trying to get into school for next semester. Other than that it is the usual, gaming, drawing, hanging out with friends and looking for a summer job. Just like any other person would do really haha.
DJ KimoSabe: Besides cosplaying do you have any other aspirations artistic or otherwise?
Poem Cosplay: It must be to travel the world and be "free" - explore culture in other countries and study art/design in another country as well. So working with art/designs must be my biggest prior hand in hand with cosplay at the moment.
DJ KimoSabe: What is it like between cosplayers? Is it competitive, friendly, helpful?
Poem Cosplay: I think it is all of the above you just described. Everyone is trying to help each other out as much as possible and some are competitive towards each other (hard not to at times), but I have not experienced that one is angry with another because you lose in competitions. It is more like "i'm happy for you" moments.
DJ KimoSabe: If you had an unlimited budget who would you cosplay as and why?
Poem Cosplay: oh wow, that is a tricky one. I don't think it's a question about who, but about how many! I would make all the cosplays.
DJ KimoSabe: Haha nice answer! As a cosplayer what is the best compliment that you can receive?
Poem Cosplay: I get so shy that I turn red when I get any compliment. So I'd rather not get any. Unless you are a girl of 5 years that want to hold my staff haha.
DJ KimoSabe: Ever since you were little you have been playing videogames from Crash Bandicoot(which I still think is a classic) all the way to games such as Kingdom Hearts and you even discovered anime at the age of 6 when you first saw Sailor Moon. What would you say are your top 5 favorite anime and top 5 favorite videogames?
Poem Cosplay: This will become a cliché and difficult answer but at the moment it must be these:
Anime: Naruto, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Black Rock Shooter, and RWBY
Video Games: Kingdom Hearts, World of Warcraft, Pokemon, Diablo 1, and don't get me wrong but this is a classic...Rollercoaster Tycoon
One does not simply ask such questions.
DJ KimoSabe: Sword Art Online was such a great anime. Are you excited for the second season that was announced?
Poem Cosplay: *checks it up at the internet as we speak* Yes now I am! I had no idea. WOHO!
DJ KimoSabe: What conventions and competitions will you be at this year? And can you tell us any cosplays that you have in the planning?
Poem Cosplay: What is 100% is Banzaicon in Larvik (Norway) then Comic Con in London and then Desucon in Oslo (Norway). Hopefully I will be able and have the money to go to The Gathering, Torucon, Gigacon, Dreamhack and Blizzcon as well this year. I am trying to go to as many as possible. What is no secret is Yellow Heart, Peashy (both from Hyperdimension Neptunia) Alexstrasza from WoW and Rikku from Final Fantasy X-2. Hopefully I will be able to wear Janna again. It just needs a little retouch here and there! And then there is 2 "secrets" upcoming as well, which will be exciting.
DJ KimoSabe: Sounds like a lot of fun that is yet to come. As a cosplayer, who or what are your biggest influences?
Poem Cosplay: To be honest, it is the games, anime and movies. Since I was little I've always wanted to be "that girl" on the screen or in the book/drawing. Even though it were Crash Bandicoot's sister or a Pokemon trainer. I've always lived in a fantasy bubble. Where my childhood reality was on the screen or in a comic book. So that's my biggest influence I guess hahaha.