GREAT COSPLAYING INTERVIEWS BATMAN!…YAYA HAN?!
That’s right ladies and gentlemen, we are hitting with the big guns of Cosplay up in here. The wonderful, and extremely talented, Yaya Han was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about her life, likes and cosplay.
Raised in Germany and China, but now living in the States , Yaya has worked tirelessly to turn her hobby and her passion into a fully fledged business that takes her all over the world (living the dream). Even so, she never forgets the importance of her fan base and makes time to talk to them and reply to emails whenever she can. Because of this commitment, her success can only blossom and deservedly so.
Geek Pride wishes her the best of luck for the future and hopes maybe, on one of her jaunts across the pond, she might stop off in Blighty to say hello!
If you want to find out more about Miss Han then you can go to the following addresses and / or you can read her interview with us below… ENJOY!
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The Gal behind the costume
So tell us a bit about yourself… when you aren’t Cosplaying, what do you get up to? Got any pets? A boyfriend? What do you do for fun? Into Gaming or comics? What’s your favourite food?
Well, I own my own business so free time is hard to come by. I’m basically working everyday, if not traveling to a con or making costumes or products, I’m answering emails, updating my social media, doing R & D work… But when I do have a day off, like any girl I love shopping, and actually when you’re traveling, shopping is even more fun. I also love theater, music and movies. I work to movies and tv shows playing in the background so am always looking for new series to get into. Of course I grew up on anime and manga, and expanded to reading American comic books and playing video games when I can. And then there is food. I am a certifiable foodie and love trying new exotic dishes. I could live on sushi and sashimi, and also love curry. When I have free time, I try to spend as much of it as possible with my friends, and my dog Nemo!
Cosplaying is actually a career for you so how did that all come about and because it is a ‘job’ now, is it less fun?
I started making costumes 13 years ago, at the beginning just as a fan and hobbyist, but after winning a long list of costuming awards at conventions and being asked to do panels and programming there as a Guest, I realized that my passion for cosplay really made it more than a hobby for me, it became a lifestyle.
As for how I made a career out of it, well, because there is no paved path for cosplay as a job, I kind of had to try different avenues within it. There are not really any professional cosplayers out there because cosplay itself is still very underground. I am, however, the closest thing to it so when I don’t want to get into a long drawn out story, I do use the title “professional cosplayer”. For several years I made costumes for people, indie movies, theater, night clubs and TV shows – used my skills as a costume designer for my income. But when someone else dictates what you should make, your creativity gets stifled, and I wanted to design my own things, and have time to make costumes that I wanted to make, to continue challenging my skills. So I shifted gears and started a cosplay accessories store where I design and hand make unique copyright protected items at a low price so many people can enjoy dressing up instantly.
I pair that with building my own brand as Yaya Han and travel to over 20 conventions worldwide per year to be a Guest, panelist and/or exhibitor. It’s a unique business plan that works well for me, but takes up a lot of my time. I see myself as an ambassador for cosplay, which is a very under appreciated artform. Especially now that it is becoming more commercially seen, people can’t figure it out and misconstrue cosplay for an underground fetish, a modeling thing or extreme halloween-ism. It’s my mission where ever I go to educate people that cosplay is actually a challenging and rewarding form of art and creativity. I love being my own boss and setting my own schedule, and I feel very blessed that I get to craft and make things every day. While things can get hectic, I never want to take my unique situation for granted. I love my job!!
If you weren’t a model/costumer/costume maker, what would you be?
A translator! One who travels a lot, that is a must. I speak Mandarin Chinese, German and English fluently and if I were a translator, I would also master Japanese, Spanish and French 🙂
You seem to have been alllll over the place travelling and know many languages (I’m jealous) why all the relocations and did you learn a language as you went to a different place or are you just interested in linguistics?
It’s like you are reading my mind! I was raised in Germany and China dualy before moving to the States which is why I know those languages, and generally I think the world is a great vast place with different cultures and lifestyles, and to really appreciate your own life you should see some of the world and how other people live. Language is just a part of another culture and I’m always interested in different cultures.
Out of all the places you have been, where is your favourite and why?
Can’t name a favorite, because different places make me feel different things. Tokyo and London are both cities I could live in, and absolutely adore. Germany is home so I always love visiting. Egypt was a dream trip because I studied Ancient Egypt all of teen years, but I would never want to live there lol.
Anywhere out there you would love to go to but haven’t yet?
I’ve never been to Paris or Rome, which seems rediculous compared to some of the more exotic places I’ve visited. Basically I want to visit Europe a lot more! Maybe some convention + sightseeing trips?