This week’s Angry Girl needs no introduction. Yaya Han has become a rock star in the cosplay business and has been fortunate enough to make a career out of it.
I approached Yaya at Comikaze in Los Angeles last year and, in passing, asked her to be featured. Gracious enough, she answered our questions and I am extremely proud to present it for our readers here on Angry Web.
A huge thanks to Yaya Han for taking the time to do this and I highly recommend our readers check out her links at the bottom of this post as well as invest in her calendar. The quality of work she does is suburb!
Without further introduction, Yaya Han.
Name: Yaya HanTell us a bit about yourself.
Hi everyone! I am an Atlanta-based costume designer and cosplayer, but was born in China and raised dually in Germany and China. I’ve been cosplaying for13 years now (started with Anime Expo 1999) and still make all of my costumes as well as do my makeup and styling for photoshoots and appearances. I lead a fast-paced life of creating costumes and accessories, traveling to events, doing photoshoots and cosplaying!
What do you like to do for fun?
Incidentally, my favorite pass-time is also my career – designing and crafting costumes. Nothing makes me feel more zen than when I am being creative in my workshop. I also love visiting foreign places and trying exotic foods, outdoor activities such as hiking and spelunking, and typical girly-things such as shopping. Since I work most of the time, I cherish my time spent with friends, which could be out on the town or just hanging out at home.
What do you do for a living?
I am happy to have my dream-job of cosplaying for a living. I quit my day job of being a technical analyst at a software company in 2005 and started relying solely on cosplay as my income, which was very unconventional for a cosplayer because there was no guideline for cosplayers wanting to go professional, and because Cosplay as a whole is still viewed as a sub-culture. Everything I have achieved was from hard work and passion for the hobby, and people approaching me for projects and appearances. Over the last several years I’ve built a expanding business of copyright protected cosplay accessories and have traveled to over 200 conventions worldwide as Guest, Performer, Exhibitor, Panelist and Cosplay Enthusiast. During this time I have helped set some of the standards common in today’s cosplay world, by being an ambassador for cosplay in the community, producing steady quality costumes, and always speaking with integrity. I’ve helped convince some American conventions to respect cosplayers enough to invite them as Guests and let them run and judge costume contests, where as 10 years ago cons only invited Industry people like voice actors and artists. I am happy to see cosplay growing so much in the last decade and excited for the high quality of costumes to be found in today’s community.
What type of video games, TV shows and movies do you like?
To list them all would take an extra page! I am certainly immersed in a variety of movie and TV genres, as I usually craft while watching something. If you have seen my cosplay portfolio, you’ll get a good idea of what anime, video games, movies and TV shows I like, because I cosplay from those! Overall I certainly consider myself a genuine geek and enjoy the vast fandoms we are exposed to these days.
What is your favorite comic book?
Currently it is The Walking Dead!
Tell us something interesting about you.
Hmm, let’s see… I speak English, German and Mandarin Chinese fluently, and I am a published manga-artist through the magazine AnimaniA in Germany!
Why did you decide to dress like the characters you portray?
I usually feel a connection of some sort to the characters I cosplay, which are often “the woman empowered”. I also consider the character design and costume, and the techniques and skills required to make the costume. I like a challenge and will sometimes choose a costume project because it would require learning a new skill. Lastly, I consider the events I would wear the costume to – some costumes are elaborate and impressive, but very hard to transport and move in. Other are simple and comfortable, but pose no craftsmanship challenge. In the end I usually have a mix of both types of costumes, because as much as I’d like to only make and wear crazy outrageous big costumes, they would be very unpractical and I have to be mobile at conventions, especially when I’m doing programming for them.
Anything else we should know about you?
I work hard and party hard? Actually, I am happy to share that I finally published a cosplay calendar! It is a limited edition calendar for 2013, featuring exclusive images of my costumes. I thought it would be a nice way to showcase the cosplays I’ve created over the last few years, and a collectible as well as useful product. You can order it on my website www.yayahan.com, and I should note that shipping within the US is free!
If you are interested in becoming one of our girls of the week, send 4-5 photos and answer the questions above to Daniel@AngryWeb.net.