To thank all the fans who visit invenglobal cosplay page, we planned a series of interviews with popular Korean cosplayers. Our second guest of this series interview is Somber, who is gaining more popularity within the Korean cosplay scene by the day. We hope that this inerview would be a chance to introduce Somber to our readers, and get to know the real Somber behind her cosplay photos.
The following is our conversation with Somber.
Hello. Please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m a 20-year old cosplay model named Somber. I usually cosplay League of Legends and other game characters.
You started cosplaying at a very young age. How did that come about?
I started because of League of Legends. I started playing since Season 2, and in order to get better at the game, I started looking for information on INVEN, and I came across the cosplay board. At the time, there were a lot of photos from cosplay giants such as Team CSL and Spiral Cats, and their photos inspired me to do it myself.
I didn’t have any hobbies that I enjoyed, but when I told my family that I wanted to cosplay as a hobby, they were very supportive. However, I think that my mom didn’t know that I’d be doing this for so long, so she’s regretting it now (laughter). She says, “Why didn’t I stop her back then…”
Did your family worry and/or was perhaps against you cosplaying at such a young age?
They were a bit against it, but since I was young, they told me to try the things I wanted to do. However, they did say, “Please don’t do it so far away and often”.
Do you often play a lot of games?
I often play League of Legends. I’m the type to buy a lot of games on Steam, but don’t play most of them. I also played a lot of Dead by Daylight and MapleStory.
What other cosplay do you do? Perhaps a model for an advertisement? Or maybe even cosplaying characters outside of games?
I’ve modelled for an ad before… Whenever a new game comes out, its game company calls me and I model for their viral marketing. Nowadays, I also model for Youtube ads.
People your age usually either work part time or just go hang out with friends. Is there any pressure in formally working with a company under a professional contract?
It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time, and the older cosplayers take care of me really well. Also, I love this work, so there are more fun moments than those that are tough.
Out of the many cosplays that you did, which one is the most memorable?
I really love my Battle Academia Lux cosplay. Not only did I have to shoot twice, but I also made the costume myself… It’s a custom made Griffin-themed Lux costume. It’s the first costume I made, so I have a lot of affection for it.
To be honest, I have much affection for a lot of my cosplays. I recently cosplayed the Annie-versary Skin, and during the shoot, I’ve bought materials to create the background of the set. I’ve tried many different things during the shoot, and the photos came out really well, so it also holds a special spot in my heart as well.
Also, there’s a character from Girls’ Frontline that wears a dinosaur hat that I’ve cosplayed, and I really love that one as well.
You mentioned photos, and one important aspect about cosplaying is the photos that come out of a shoot. What do you mind the most in a shoot?
When choosing my photos, the most important thing to look out for is the facial expression. I try to look for the expression that matches the character the most. If a character has a strong image, but if my eyes turned out bleary, then I discard the photo. The same goes for when I have a strong gaze when I’m cosplaying a cute character.
There must be times when a company requests you to be a cosplay model, but you don’t have a lot of information on the character. In such times, do you study the character to learn about the character’s facial expression and poses?
Yes, although I study the character itself, I also research how the public perceives the character I’ll be cosplaying. It’s important to research how the users are generally interpreting the character. If I’m portraying an image that’s different from the public perception, the public won’t be able to relate.
Is there a cosplay model that inspires you?
Ekiholic. She’s perfect in so many ways. From costume production to poses, facial expressions, showmanship at live events, and down to the smallest details… Even when cosplayers are all gathered at an event, she has this aura that naturally draws in all the attention to her.
She also cosplayed with Bang at the LCK Spring finals, and seeing her be detailed with his arms and legs made me go, “So that’s what the pros are like”. Everyone idolizes her, and if we are to pick the cosplay model that Korean models like the most, she would be number 1.
Is there a cosplay that you want to do?
I think that one of my strong points is that I have a very wide spectrum of characters. I’ve tried many different cosplays, including an old man with a beard. So now… I want to cosplay a non-human character.
However, having a wide spectrum of characters can also be a disadvantage. For game companies, it’s easier for them to find a model that has a clear, singular image. Each game company views me in a different light.
You’ll continue to cosplay for a long time, so as a cosplay model, do you have a goal on who you want to be?
In the professional cosplay market, I currently don’t have a lot of influence. However, through cosplaying, I gain more followers on social media, and little by little, I influence those around me. I want to be a cosplay model that spreads positive influence.
Just as how I started cosplaying by being inspired by another cosplay model, if I can’t inspire others to start cosplaying, I hope that they’ll at least think that cosplaying is pretty cool.
What are your plans for the future?
I’ve done a lot of things so far, so I have to think about what I want to try next. There will be things that I’ve never tried, so it’ll be fun to look for such things.
Also, I’m still young, so not only do I don't have a car, my parents don’t like it when I go somewhere far. There were many restrictions on the background of my shoots, because they were all similar. This Winter, I want to go somewhere far with a lot of snow for a shoot.
There will be a lot of readers that are just starting their cosplay career. Is there anything you’d like to say to them as well?
In the Korean cosplay scene, there are talks about creating a ‘cosplay license’. It’s to create rules on which wigs and make-up that a model can use, but I hope that people won’t be pressured by such rules and be creative with their cosplay. If a person isn’t looking to be a professional cosplayer, why not have fun with it?
Just as how may have been for you in the past, what would you like to say to those that are hesitant to start cosplaying because of their family being against it?
This may sound like the opposite of how I want to spread positive influence, but… Maybe you can just start and face the consequences later (laughter). Just like how I submitted my leave of absence from college without telling my family about it and ended up getting into a lot of trouble.
If your parents are heavily against cosplaying, to the point where they start throwing out the cosplay materials, one way to deal with such a problem is to just do what they want you to do, and look for the right opportunity. If you ask your parents for their permission in what you want to do after earning a lot of points from them, they have no reason to say no. That’s how I’ve been surviving until now (laughter).
The start is always the hardest. However, rather than not making an attempt, you’ll find joy in attempting something new, and you never know what the future will be like, so go try it.