Thanks to all the fans who visit the Inven Global cosplay page. We have been working on a series of interviews with popular Korean cosplayers. This time, we’re back with Ekiholic, one of the most popular cosplayers in the scene. We hope you enjoy this interview, looking into who Ekiholic is behind her costumes.
Although everyone knows you, please introduce yourself.
Hello! I’m Ekiholic, a freelance cosplay model.
I heard that you’ve been active for more than 9 years. How did you first start?
It’s been about 9 and a half years. I’ve been working full-time as a cosplayer for about 9 years now. It all started because I liked League of Legends, especially Sona. Back then, there weren’t that many people in the cosplay industry, so I was able to gain attention.
So you became one of the first generation cosplay models in the industry.
Yes. There was literally nobody that did LoL cosplays back then, since LoL was just starting in Korea.
The reactions from the users must have been quite wild.
It wasn’t that wild in Korea, but I became known abroad and that came to Korea. I used to use the nickname ‘Eki’ then, but the site I used to upload my cosplays, DeviantArt, required more letters for my nickname. I had to add ‘holic’ to my nickname, which seemed cool, and I became known as Ekiholic afterward.
Did you continue cosplaying after seeing the reactions?
When I did the Sona cosplay, I didn’t know about the reactions. It was a cosplay I did purely out of passion, without thinking how others think.
How did you transition to a full-time cosplayer?
It started as a hobby-style cosplay team and the market was forming where people started hiring models to do cosplays. It was just the beginning of the commercial cosplay industry and I was able to ride the flow. I was very lucky. Now, I wanted to try more diverse cosplays by myself, so I became a freelancer.
You do many different cosplays, not just LoL. What else did you do?
I really do a lot. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of Supercell’s Brawl Stars cosplays. It’s correct that I mainly do game cosplays. Since I’m freelance, I can pick the genre that I want, but I like games so I usually pick game cosplays.
You would pick your work. What’s your standard when selecting what to do?
If it’s too provocative or what they require is too much, I turn it down. I try to do whatever comes my way though. Sometimes, if it’s a character I like a lot, I did the cosplay even if my schedule was busy or the price was too low. There were even times that I thought that I should do such a cosplay even if it meant I was spending money.
What do you think the most important aspect is as a cosplayer?
Understanding the character is really important. I don’t want to miss any of the characteristics of the cosplays I do, so I play all the games that I need to cosplay. That way, I’m able to act properly as that character.
What do you think your biggest strength is?
At least for now, I’m working thinking that I’m the best in Korea in everything.
What do you do to keep that mindset?
I rest well (Laughs). I rest properly. Whatever it is, if you do it a lot and for long, you get tired of whatever you’re doing. There’s nothing that helps more than proper rest. Although I’ve been working as a pro for a while, I maintain the mindset and passion I had as an amateur through enough rest.
It seems that you’re quite fast at making the costumes. What’s your secret?
I have my tricks. Otherwise, I concentrate well when I do what I like, so I’m quick with my work. Also, it’s possible because I don’t go out much (Laughs).
Did you learn how to make the equipment or costumes?
No, I’ve been doing this for a decade, so I got better. Whoever it is, if they do it for 10 years, they’ll be good. I didn’t get much help from others, I just made, failed, and repeated. The costumes I first made were really sloppy. I still have a few costumes from old times, but I can’t bear to see it, but I can’t throw them away either.
Which cosplay is the most memorable?
My first Sona cosplay and the first cosplay that had wild reactions, Popstar Ahri.
If you look at that Sona cosplay now…?
Oh my… I can’t. It’s way too sloppy. If you’re going to add a picture of that, please insert a small one (Laughs). But what’s interesting is that if I were told to do it again, I don’t think I could. I don’t feel that I’ll do better now. I re-did the Popstar Ahri for the LoL 10-year anniversary video, but I wasn’t able to bring back the emotion from back then - apart from the quality.
I also liked the Neeko cosplay I did recently. It was in a hurry, but it was fun. Recently, I’ve been enjoying cosplay that involves drawing things on my face or body, ones that others don’t attempt much rather than ones that are just pretty. Cosplays like monsters or goblins.
Which cosplays would you like to attempt in the future?
As I said, non-human cosplays. Actually, Neeko wasn’t that ‘non-human’. I wanted to make it look more like a chameleon… I want to try something that’s less humanlike and something that would be difficult to attempt for others. Shyvana comes to mind. I make all of my costumes myself; rather than it being difficult, I think it’ll be fun.
When is the most fruitful moment doing cosplays?
It’s when people at the scene like my cosplay. I also feel good when they say that I look exactly the same as the actual character. When people like the pictures I like, it feels really good. There aren’t any hard times for me since I’m doing what I like.
Is there a cosplayer that you get your inspirations from?
It’s hard to pick a specific person. When I go on social media, the Chinese cosplayers catch my eye. The backgrounds in their photos are amazing. I sometimes think ‘would it be that great if I were to take pictures there?’ There aren’t that many good spots to take pictures in Korea since it’s all similar…
Now that you’ve been cosplaying for a while, you’ve become a role model to some people. Do you have anything to say to the young cosplayers that think of you as their role model?
First, I hope you have fun. I can say this since I’m having fun. Whether you’re a pro or just a hobby, there’s no reason to be stressed by something you started to enjoy. You need to have an enjoying mindset while you cosplay; if you do, the quality will get better.
Do you have a goal? Anything that you want to become in this industry?
I would need to work harder… I’d like to become a role model to more people. There are a lot of people that are better than I am nowadays. I was really lucky. My goal is to improve more and to become a person that others look up to. To do that, I shouldn’t be complacent and continue to work hard, showing high-quality cosplays.
The Korean cosplay market is on the rise. There are ways to go. What do you think needs to be improved?
Actually, the Korean cosplay scene is quite hot in foreign countries. Even cosplayers from abroad take reference from the Korean cosplays. I think if the scene goes well this way, all will be good. However, it would be better if we consider and research little details such as the outfit, backgrounds, etc. With that, there will be more positive improvements; even if the current state is quite good already.
Any last comments to the readers?
Hello, this is Ekiholic. It’s such an honor to talk to you through this interview. This year, I’ll do my best to show you good and new images. Thank you always for your support!
A managing editor who can do more things than you think.