I noticed Kinpatsu online locally as a very promising and beautifully blooming cosplayer back when she started. You could just see by the style, divine painting & finish she incorporates that her work stands out no doubt.
Since then we have become good friends and I am so happy to feature an interview with her here – for your reading enjoyment! Thank you Kinpatsu!
A memento of Kinpatsu and I at rAge Expo 2013
KomboKitten: How crazy is the growth you have undergone these past years in the cosplay industry?! Where did it all begin, how and why?!
Kinpatsu: I started cosplaying in 2012, I had seen cosplay at my first convention in 2011 and decided that the next year would be the year I tried it out for myself. So I cosplayed misa from deathnote just using what I had in my closet and my own hair. No lenses no crafting. But after being at the event in cosplay and seeing other people in their costumes I decided I wanted to get more involved and start making my own costumes and really dive into it.
Raven from Teen Titans
KomboKitten: I remember when you cosplayed Jinx and we blared the League of Legends Worlds (International Championship) theme song loudly on the way to rAge Expo. Suddenly you recently COSPLAYED AT WORLDS! How was that whole experience and what were the awesome stuff you got to do there?
Kinpatsu: Cosplaying something from League of Legends for a Riot games event is like a dream come true. I know it sounds really cliche but It really is! It’s like Senpai noticed me! XD But the experience was unbelievable. The entire cosplay team was so much fun and it was also just so cool to get to meet and work with other people who have a passion for the game. And then to be able to watch the world finals was amazing! The energy and the vibe inside the stadium is incredible! Its something I’ll remember for the rest of my life and it was an absolute honor to be a small part of it.
Kayle from League of Legends
KomboKitten: Your world famous status is a new height for South Africa to reach in the cosplay realm. Who are some of the amazing cosplayers you have had the pleasure of meeting?
Kinpatsu: At the cosplay lab alone last year we had more than 40 amazing cosplayers with us that I had the pleasure or meeting. Some of the cosplayers I’ve had the honor of being a guest or judge with over the last year were Narga and Aoki cosplay, Yuegene Fay, Giada Robin and Calypsen. I also got to meet Maul cosplay, Bakka cosplay and Lightning cosplay while I was in Germany! You meet so many amazing people at every event so it’s hard to name everyone when there are so many!
Star Guardian Ahri from League of Legends
KomboKitten: Being a creator of your own costumes, what are some of the dangerous crafting and costume wearing instances you have experienced? What have you learnt through these risky experiences?
Kinpatsu: I think one of the most dangerous things for cosplay is just not taking care of yourself properly and pushing too hard. last year at Anime expo I almost fainted in cosplay and felt really ill while wearing my Alexstrasza. I’ve never had that happen to me before in costume and I think it was just a combination of exhaustion from not sleeping properly, traveling and then the heat that all contributed to me almost collapsing. So just be careful. Your health needs to come first. I’ve learnt now not to push myself to that point for cosplay anymore because at the end of the day when you feel so terrible your experience at the convention gets ruined and that’s not what cosplay is about.
Alexstrasza from World of Warcraft
KomboKitten: Have you ever been physically and even sexually harassed in cosplay? If yes, what methods of dealing with this have you decided on since then?
Kinpatsu: Unfortunately I have had instances of harassment at events. Not long ago I had someone at an event film my butt with a gopro (attached to the end of a fishing rod) without my knowledge or consent. Unfortunately by the time I realized the person was already gone. But if you have an opportunity to confront someone about their behavior I would suggest doing it. Explain to them that it’s not ok and if necessary speak to convention security.
Xayah from League of Legends
KomboKitten: Which costumes are on your agenda to craft & what are their related challenges?
Kinpatsu: I haven’t completely decided what I want to make this year but I know some of the ones that are high up on my list would be the new Jaina Proudmoore from the Battle for Azeroth expansion, I want to do some more sewing related costumes that are still impressive and jaina has a lot of sewing going on so that’s going to be quite challenging. I also want to do Captain fortune for the same reason. And then my biggest costume for the year is one I’m making now but I’m not allowed to say what it is. It’s for a competition in Monaco next month and we aren’t allowed to reveal until the competition. But I can say it’s going to push my crafting abilities in pretty much every sense.
Alexstrasza from World of Warcraft
KomboKitten: What are the different pitfalls that new cosplayers should look out for in terms of doing promotional work in costume?
Kinpatsu: If I could suggest one thing for anyone wanting to work for the promotional side of cosplay I would says just be careful not to let people use you. Do not do free work. Your time is valuable, your work you put into your costume is valuable. Of course there are exceptions if you really do love the company or you want to help your friends out but in most cases if a company wants to use you to push or further their branding and promotion they need to compensate you accordingly. Don’t be afraid to say no and stand up for yourself in those situations.
Star Guardian Syndra from League of Legends
KomboKitten: In which ways does your partner support your cosplay?
Kinpatsu: Eric helps me a lot with my cosplay and my work. We’ve recently started a twitch channel and he is my main moderator and helps me make sure everything is running smoothly and if there are any problems he quickly solves them. He also helps me at events sometimes. He was with me at the worlds event in China and I probably wouldn’t have been able to get into costume without him helping me with my wings. He also helps with doing any 3D printed portions of my cosplays in most cases making the models and doing the print for me. So he’s very supportive of my cosplay and is a big part of it.
KomboKitten: What are some of the crafting materials that are not as readily available in South Africa that you think would be great for us to have easier access to?
Kinpatsu: I know one major material everyone struggles to get here is Worbla. Luckily now we do have a local supplier for worbla, the worx distribution which has made it much easier to get the materials we need for crafting. I think it would also be great for us to have access to a wider range or casting materials and EVA foams too. I recently saw there was a transparent EVA foam I would love to get my hands on!
Kayle from League of Legends
KomboKitten: Who are some of the cosplayers you would love to collaborate with when you get the chance?
Kinpatsu: Oh gosh there are so many. I love doing group cosplays so I jump at them when I get the chance. I think my absolute dream cosplay collab would be with Kamui cosplay. Shes my biggest cosplay hero and So much of what I know about crafting has come from her.
Nova from Heroes of the Storm
KomboKitten: How has it been to have moved into your own home now with your partner and having this new cosplay work space? In which ways has this affected your work?
Kinpatsu: Yes we moved in about 3 months ago now. It’s honestly been very difficult, moving and trying to juggle work. I did fall behind on my cosplay for a long time but now we’re finally getting back on track and having my own space to work makes things go much faster.
Dark Lux from League of Legends
KomboKitten: What are some of the weirdest things people have said to you or accused you of as a cosplayer?
Kinpatsu: I remember on reddit once someone said I had an entire team of people making my cosplays for me and that I just model them I don’t do any of the work! I found that very funny and I think that’s the most “conspiracy theory” sort of thing I’ve heard about myself so far.
Sylvanas from World of Warcraft
KomboKitten: People who follow your work know that you accomplish crazy feats with your builds in terms of timing and workload. What was the biggest amount of work you achieved in a short amount of time? How do you recover from that?
Kinpatsu: The biggest costumes I made in the shortest time were both Alextrasza and Sylvanas. I made Sylvanas in 10 days. Then I made Alexstrasza in 10 days right after that with no break inbetween. But this was also why I then almost feinted at Anime expo while wearing the costume. It is hard to recover from overworking yourself. I had to take a break after anime expo to get back up on my feet and then start building again. So rather work at a slightly slower pace that you can maintain. Don’t burn yourself out doing too much and then not be able to work again. Find a balance that works for you!
DOTA 2 cosplay with Kinpatsu in 2014.
We can look forward to many more magical creations by Kinpatsu Cosplay as well as a wealth of teachings she has to share with us!
Visit her website here to see all the cool stuff she gets up to!