Name: Lina Touko
Where are you from originally, or where do you currently reside? Originally from
Ukraine, started cosplay in Poland, currently living in Canada!
How long have you been cosplaying? About two years now.
Which characters have you cosplayed? Rei Ayanami, Merida from Brave, Touko
Fukawa, Tsumiki Mikan, Mioda Ibuki, Noiz, Shiro from NGNL, Patchouli
Knowledge, Yuyuko Saigyoji, Johnny Joestar, Hot Pants, Trickster Jane
Crocker, Rose Lalonde, Lisa Williams from Sunstone, and Meme-chan from
What inspired you to start cosplaying? First time – favourite character. It was Rei Ayanami from NGE, which is still my favourite anime till today. I’d never been to a convention before and I was barely speaking the Polish language, so I wasn’t
communicating too much except “in character” and people were telling me how awesome I looked, even though I had the cheapest school uniform from aliexpress! But I loved that feeling, that atmosphere. I’m bad at meeting new people and introducing myself, but you’re don’t have that barrier at cons. You can easily approach a person in cosplay from a series that you know, and start talking to her/him, which is really awesome. I just got hooked up, and started crafting stuff and sewing after that. I just wanted to feel that again – something like “being a part of something big and
What do you do when you’re not cosplaying? So I’ve just finished university and moved to Canada, so right now I’m looking for a job. Apart from that – that may sound boring, but I do spend most of the time in front of my computer, sadly. I used to read a lot! And I also love sewing. Last year I managed to create a few dresses on my own, with my design. I must say it was challenging, because I’ve never attended any sewing courses or lessons, so I was looking for my own unique way of doing things. However, I’m still ashamed of showing these pieces to the professionals!
Which costumes have provided the biggest challenge and rewards so far, and why? I had a few really challenging projects, but I didn’t finish a few of them, sadly. My big problem was lack of space – I had a small apartment with one room and a kitchen, and almost all of the room was a big bed – so I was limited that way. I wanted to do a big weapon but chose the wrong material and it was too heavy, so I had to leave it,
because I didn’t have time to start over again. Also I had sewing challenges – with patterns and fitting it, but it’s a common problem, I guess. Once you’re trained, you’re good to go: costumes take less time to make, less wasted materials, and stuff like that.
What is the best advice you would give someone new to cosplaying? Do not be afraid to fail and try again! Really, I mean it. We all started once! And I’m still sure that mistakes are the best way to learn, also take advice from more experienced cosplayers, look at tutorials, and have fun. I’m having fun in the process of making as
well – I love planning, looking for materials, even swearing when something goes wrong – it’s all part of the game, so just have fun!
What is one thing the cosplaying community can do better when it comes to dealing with each other? Oh, I can talk a lot about that, cause I speak 4 languages and have read drama and stuff in a few cosplay communities. And everyone has different point of views and standards. Like some people will eat you because of lack of the smallest detail in the costume – I had that once; they told me my Mikan cosplay was not good because “Your beauty mark is too big and too far away from the eye!” In other fandoms, people are more loyal to the quality of the costume itself, but SJW appears – and we have such drama as “blackface” and such. My point is, people forget the most important part – IT’S ALL ABOUT HAVING FUN! Portraying the character you like, having good times creating it and later showing off, and if you have a cosplay group with friends – even better! And I do truly believe this is the way it should be.