Cosplay society was schocked by what Kamui said!
Ha-ha, so you really expected to read some absurd fiction? Nope, friends! We just wanted to present you such outstanding cosplayer as Kamui. But you believed, right?
At a glance you notice her smile – joyful and shiny. She wears a fantastic armor from Fallout 4, holds an incredibly realistic Gauss Rifle shimmering blue. Her English is perfect and the audience is listening to her speech with breathless attention. In November Kamui, a high example of virtue as cosplayer and personality, had visited AVA Expo and Game Planet festivals in Saint Petersburg and told us about herself.
Kamui (her real name is Svetlana Quindt) was born in Russia and when she was 5 years old, her family emigrated to Germany. At school she was treated badly and unconfident. But she loved comic books about Spider Man and crafting.
At that moment she read Animania magazine and learned about cosplay. In 2003 Kamui attended comic-event she read so much about for the first time and was wearing a costume… much different with the latest costumes. It was the cosplay of her favorite character – Great Saiyaman from Dragonball Z. She made it using her dad’s old sewing machine and low-quality fabric. “The costume was a complete disaster,” – she admits. And it was made just to be a part of a dressed crowd. Later she remade the costume much better. It was the only one anime cosplay, by the way.
So it was her first step in cosplay.
After 2 years she discovered World of Warcraft and fell in love with cosplay. Svetlana spent all the time crafting and learning the new art. Instead of shopping and parties Kamui chosen cosplay. She could stay at home for days and wear the same clothes for 3 years.
Family and friends didn’t support Svetlana’s hobby. They were trying to persuade her not to waste her time and money and to be like “normal” people – find a job, have a family, go to parties. But wearing her shiny costumes Kamui answered: “I don’t want to be normal!” and kept making 10 costumes a year.
Svetlana managed to graduate from university and get a job. But very soon she told boss that she goes away. The boss was surprised: “Do you mean you’re going home?” – “No, I quite”. So she worked for 10 days in her entire life.
It was hard to cosplay for the whole time. She needed money, support and hard work. She slept for 3 hours cause “Sleep is for the weak!” And the biggest support was given by Benni, her first love, business-partner and husband for 5 years.
It was Benni who painted most of costumes and Svetlana describes it like: “I spent the whole day at home crafting, and when tired Benni came back home after work, I gave him my costume and asked to paint it.” Now
Benni is busy in cosplay for the whole time as well and participate in many craft-painting tutorials. They are one team called “Kamui Cosplay” that attend cosplay events, travel and work on new projects.
Once Kamui was asked why she didn’t publish books. By that time she had high skills in crafting, made video tutorials that were extremely useful for many successful cosplayers. She decided: “Why not?” The idea turned to be good and now books are their regular source of income. Kamui describes crafting of fake armors and weapon, painting and equipping with LEDs, add humor and photos to her advices. There are 8 published books already, you can order them on Kamui’s web site https://www.kamuicosplay.com/. Some of them are published in different languages, by the way.
Kamui admits that she likes crafting more than anything else in cosplay because she loves constructing since she was a child. She’s interested in experiments, testing new techniques, working with new materials. The best material for crafting is Worbla, she says. By the way, on the trip to Saint Petersburg Kamui learned about Bubble Star, “a termoplastic alternative to Worbla, which is not only much smoother, but costs only half of the price”. She was delighted and mentioned it on her Facebook page.
Least of all Kamui likes sewing. “I want to throw my sewing machine through the window!” – she confessed on the meeting on AVA Expo. Nevertheless all the details made of fabric or lether she sews by herself and don’t stop working on each detail until it becomes ideal. Although she can order a fabric print of the body suit – than she needs just to cut it out and connect seams. Easy and quickly.
She uses very different materials for crafting: from cheap expanding foam and paper mache to more expensive Worbla, EVA foam, LEDs. Also likes using modern technologies that make cosplay better: aerograph, 3D printer, fabric print, Pepakura program, etc.
Before making each costume she explores original, invents design. As an artis in a cosplay art she doesn’t copy a costume to a tee but changes them and add more details. It makes her costumes recognisable and unique simultaneously. Designing and crafting of her the most favorite costume of Protoss Wizard took 2 years. It is equipped with 200 LEDs, elaborate armor and a wig and it won Grand Prize at Blizzcon 2014.
Svetlana travels a lot, attends many events in the whole World, so she must take into account the necessity to make the costumes portable. So she can put 3 full armor sets in 1 suitcase and she even made a special video-tutorial about packing cosplayer’s suitcase.
Despite 13-years experience and worldwide fame in cosplay, Kamui doesn’t consider herself as professional and still wants to learn more. She concerns cosplay as fun and pleasant way to express her creativity and fandom, but not as a competition at all. She is an outstanding person and brilliant cosplayer indeed.
A shy schoolgirl became a famous cosplayer and inspires hundreds of people to art. Kamui proved that if you love your hobby intensely, you’re brave and strong-minded, your hobby will become your dream job. Don’t give up, ignore foes and believe in yourself.
We wish her new victories and wait here in Russia again.