As part of our initiative to encourage more cosplayers and connect the community more deeply, CCT will be posting local cosplayers’ profiles on all their social media and encouraging people to follow them or provide constructive feedback.
Ren’s Box of Tricks
How long have you been cosplaying?
I’ve been officially cosplaying for +7 years now; unofficially I’ve always loved to dress up
How did you start cosplaying?
Through Facebook, the 2 founders of Cosplay Cape Town created an event in December 2011 so when the 1st ever Picnic happened I WAS THERE lol dressed as Hinata Hyuga (Naruto) in her Genin Uniform
What was your first cosplay ‘event’?
Although I’ve mentioned the 1st Cosplay Cape Town picnic it was more an informal get-together, my first EVENT would be Free Comic Book Day in May the following year as Hinamori Momo (Bleach) in her lieutenant attire.
It’s hard for me to pick just one so I’m going to list my top 2; Japan Day and Fancon. The reason I love them so much is because I love the rich culture you’re exposed to each year – be it Japanese or Geekdom 😉
Favourite cosplay you’ve done
Currently my favourite is Sophie Smirnof (Anastasia) because I love to twirl in that massive gown; there are definitely rooms of improvement.
Favourite and hardest aspect of doing cosplay
I would have to say sewing, it is the basis of all my cosplays and I love learning new things regarding it. There will always be parts that I find difficult but therein lays the beauty of overcoming the challenge.
Area of cosplay that you’d like to improve in
Well sewing of course but here I’m going to say stage time as in doing performances or skits, I want to make my character that much more 3dimensional.
Facebook: Ren’s Box of Tricks
Twitter : RenAoi
Your dream cosplay
There are a few dream cosplays of mine that I would like to achieve at this point, below are a few but the rest are a surprise 😉 o Tali’Zorah nar Rayya from Mass Effect 2 o Cirillia Fiona Elen Rianon from The Witcher 3 o Yomigami Gijinka based on the Artwork of Cowslip from Okami
A skill you have issues with
I am a master of procrastination therefore I have obvious issues with said skill.
A cosplay skill or memory that you are proud of
Last year the night before the last day of Fancon I made my most comfortable cosplay that was entirely made from scrap fabric brought off another cosplayer, wearing maroon leggings, china wig and takkies I rocked it as Mad Madam Mim (Sword in the Stone).
A fond/funny cosplay memory
I remember in 2013 at FCBD, I was dressed up as Tony Tony Chopper covered from head to toe in valour. I was over heated thanks to poor planning regarding ventilation; while I was sitting on some stairs feeling really low (because I had not placed in the Top 20) I started hearing some excited squeals in a foreign language. Then it happened 3 Asian girls were fangirling over ME because they loved my cosplay of their favourite Character.
I have fond memories of any cosplay that I have warn when a person tells me that they love that character, it gives me a sense of pride when I try to do justice to characters that people enjoy.
Any cosplaying tip(s) you’d like to share
When going to a con make sure to pack your own snacks and drinks. It is important to stay hydrated and no one wants to see a Hangry prop wielding cosplayer trying to take off con-goers heads. Also note that some cons have inflated prices when it comes to drinks and snacks.
Plus ALWAYS bring lens solution whether you wear contacts or not – your eyes tend to dry out a lot due to air cons.
Advice for new cosplayers
Research is your friend; research is life; research is <3 If you don’t know how to do something please talk to Granny Google because there will be others who wondered the same thing or have solved what you need assistance in.
Also… WELCOME TO THE COSPLAY COMMUNITY!!!!!!! Never be shy when in cosplay (unless that’s your characters persona) if your new to a con you are ALWAYS welcome to con crawl with me 😉 but be prepared to meet other cosplayers as there will be some introductions.
Someone you look up to in the cosplay community/your favourite cosplayer
I do not have a favourite cosplayer, when it comes to looking up to someone in the community I generally am in awe of soooooo many people due to their skills and dedication. It is because of this that I would probably make a horrible judge as I would most definitely fan-girl over cosplay entries
Your cosplay level (can go according to the definitions from FanCon/WCS etc or just your own feeling)
Technically I am labelled as Intermediate as I have not placed in higher ranked competitions based on my construction skills however I have applied to numerous competitions.
(can go according to the definitions from FanCon/WCS etc or just your own feeling) Technically I am labelled as Intermediate as I have not placed in higher ranked competitions based on my construction skills however I have applied to numerous competitions.
Cosplay events/contests you’ve entered in/won
2016 o Canal Walk Gaming Expo: Elsword: Ara (Little Spectre) ~ placed 3rd in “Advanced” Category o Cape Gate Gaming Expo: Inu x Boku SS: Karuta Roromiya (Collared Maid) ~ received entertainer prize 2017 o Fancon Day 3: Puella Magika Madoka: Mami Tomoe (Magical Girl Outfit) ~ placed in Top 10 in “Advanced Category” and “Best in Anime” Category 2018 o Canal Walk Gaming Expo: Warhammer 40k: Sister of Battle Bolter ~ placed “Best in Gaming” Category 2019 o Stelcon Day 2: Anastasia: Sophie Smirnof ~ placed 1st in “Casual” competition
Any additional facts about you/your cosplaying journey that hasn’t been covered by any of our previous questions.
To me, I have never seen cosplay as a waste of time, money, a cry for attention. When people ask me if I have any hobbies I tell them that I have too many to list but if I were to summarise it in one would it would be cosplay.
Cosplay to me is a personal challenge in creativity and also a gateway to vast skills and knowledge as well as a platform for theatrics.
So if you think or someone tells you that cosplay has no real skill value allow me to list my top 5 things that cosplay has taught me that I apply to non-cosplay related activities/tasks o Sewing/repairing clothes – you think I ever used a sewing machine before cosplay? o Make-up – before cosplay I only used 1 shade of eyeshadow, now I use lots of colours and blend it so well – next up wing tips XD. o Wig styling – okay admittedly there’s room for development when it comes to styling my own hair, but I’m working on it. o Carpentry – yeah you read correctly… sanding and varnishing as well as the importance of joints and securing things. o Painting – using different types of mediums as well as adding shading and gradients