Cosplay Sensei - Ruby Hearts

12:00 pm HelenLJohnson 0 Comments

Photographer: Ken Koh
 Cosplay Sensei is back again and this time we are with Ruby, a cosplayer from Singapore. So from waterproof eyeliner to representing Crystal Dynamics as an official Lara, grab a drink and enjoy what Ruby has to say about cosplay.
What is the cosplay scene like in Singapore?
Cosplay has been gaining increased popularity and mainstream acceptance in Singapore in recent years. We have various cosplay-friendly events throughout the year, on average once a month. The small size of our country means that travelling to events is relatively easy and accessible even for younger cosplayers. Everyone tends to turn up at the same events and would have at least a mutual friend or two. The overall vibe is friendly, as long as you are respectful to others. Cosplay from both eastern and western titles is popular.

A nice plus is that there are many local cosplay photographers who are happy to collaborate for photoshoots. The proximity makes it even easier to arrange photoshoots on short notice. One of the biggest downsides is that Singapore has humid weather and it often rains. On convention days, imagine a hall packed full of cosplayers either trying to escape the heat or protecting their precious costumes from the rain.

How did you start cosplaying and how many costumes have you created to date?
I always found cosplay interesting but was afraid to start. This changed after attending a convention in 2010. They had a panel about cosplay and brought in guest cosplayers. I also chatted with some local cosplayers at the event. I decided to just take the plunge and debut my first cosplay in early 2012 with a few friends.

To date, I have cosplayed 31 different characters or their variants. However, not all costumes were made by me. Some were commissioned or bought second-hand. Only about half of those costumes were created by me.

What is the one tool you can’t live without while creating costumes?
My sewing machine! I can’t do anything fancy with it but it has saved me hours of time simply by sewing straight lines.

Favourite material to work with and why? 

Cloth. It’s one of the more forgiving materials for inaccurate measurements. If you have excess, you can just trim it. If you are short, you can sew on another piece. If you want to start over, just snip the stitches and measure a new piece. You can afford to experiment at a relatively low material cost.

Photographer: Ken Koh

What are your top tips to keeping your make up on in Singaporean heat/humidity?
Personally, I swear by waterproof eyeliner. Makeup setting spray also helps. Where possible, my friends and I put on our makeup and costumes only at the convention or photoshoot location to prevent perspiring (and face-melting) along the way. We have the kind of weather where you can be perspiring just 5 minutes after stepping out of the shower! Portable battery-operated fans are also a great option to keep your face cool.

What was it like being one of the official Lara cosplayers for ‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’? 

It was a huge honour to represent one of the most iconic women in gaming! The opportunity came unexpectedly and I accepted immediately when approached. The launch event was short but very exciting. It was awesome to be a part of making the experience more enjoyable for the fans. It’s something I won’t forget for a long time to come. This was a defining moment for me and fired up my determination. I’m definitely planning more cosplays of Lara! And I hope to keep on improving.

Where is your cosplay work station?
I use the dining table (especially for sewing) and living room floor for props. I head outdoors for spray painting.

Where do you see cosplay heading in the future? 
Cosplay is becoming more accessible and widely accepted. I think we will see more products and services specifically aimed at crafters and cosplayers, such as cheaper 3D printers, easier access to materials from all over the world, more how-to workshops, and the rise of cosplay one-stop shops or portals. Cosplayers will also find easier means to outsource their skills and talents.

Photographer: Clement Tung
Any secret tips for other cosplayers? 
Satin or shiny cloth can be an alternative to leather. I have used black double satin for an entire dress that required a leather look, and shiny blue cloth to make Lightning’s gloves. Satin is also lighter, more breathable, and has a larger variety of colours.

Who is your cosplay sensei?
I feel that there is always something we can learn from anyone we meet! One person at the top of my list would be A.K. Wirru. He regularly shares tutorials and tips on his page and is happy to discuss with followers that require clarification on his methods. His transforming Pokémon costumes are particularly creative and inspiring!

Find Ruby online here: