As part of the BrisAsia festival happening in Brisbane this month, they are holding an even known as Neon Pop.
This is essentially a concert put on by the Brisbane City Council as a celebration of all things Asian, with music and performances by local and Asian DJ’s and VJ’s. But it’s not all about the music. Neon pop also encourages all its participants to dress up in their favourite costumes and dance the night away under the stars with their fellow cosplayers.
There will also be a cosplay parade with special invited guests appearing with some amazing costumes. One of those amazing guests is the one and only poster girl of Neon Pop 2015, Caedan Lee.
I managed to sit down with Caedan last week and get the inside scoop on this amazing cosplayer and what drives her to do what she does.
So how long ago did you start in cosplay and how did you get into it?
Probably started back in 2012, I think I went to Animania if that really counts. I’ve always been into the cosplay thing because my Dad’s a giant nerd. So it’s always like “Oh you make nerdy costumes, I wanna make nerdy costumes.” Then I finally did it in march 2012.
What was your costume?
It was Chi from Chobits, so it was a really bad outfit. I didn’t know how to do makeup back then and so the outfit and wig were nice but my makeup was terrible.
Do you make all your own costumes from scratch, or is there a process of buying it and modifying it?
It depends on what it is. Like now I make all of my costumes because I know how to sew now. When I first started it was buy some of it, make some of it. It just depends. Living in the remote location where I am, it’s not easy to get materials. So what I tend to do is I’ll buy an outfit online, pull it apart and remake it with that material because how they make them is usually really inaccurate.
Can you name most of the characters you have cosplayed, and where they are from?
From Vocaloid I’ve done Append Miku Hatsune, Default Uniform Miku Hatsune, Imitation Black Len Kagamine, Black Vow Hatsune Miku. Robin from Young Justice, Dead Jason Todd Robin, Damian Wayne Robin. From “Attack on Titan” I’ve done Levi, Mikasa, Petra Ral, Armin, Eren. I keep an album on my face book so I don’t forget.
Which character from all of those is your favourite?
Probably my Dead Jason Todd from Batman. I like the feels (feelings). You know, it’s dead Robin. It’s all depressing and it’s one of my favourite characters. The feels are just really strong there.
Who approached who in relation to the Neon Pop 2015 posters?
Ross asked me. We’ve been friends since basically when I started cosplaying. Ross is “Monkey8Panda.” He is the MC of Neon Pop. He will announce everyone and usually puts together the events. So Ross is in charge of all that and I met him at my first convention when I first cosplayed which is when he started cosplaying in Australia. So we’ve been friends from the start. So he invited me last year, and he asked me if I wanted to come again this year, and I was like “sure why not”.
Do you have an agent?
No, no I don’t. I tend to take care of all my own stuff.
Do you prefer to cosplay as anime or superhero characters?
I’ve done a lot of DC, I’m going on my 5th or 6th DC. I’ve done all the Robins I mentioned earlier and two Ivy’s so I do a few comic books but I also do games as well. So half of its American and the other half is Asian.
In past interviews I’ve found that cosplayers tend to have very high energy levels. They take the energy their characters have and take it into their everyday lives. Do you find that with yourself?
It depends on the character a little bit yeah, I feel like I always get referenced to the DC characters I go as. Yeah I get told im a lot like Robin. Just a superhero at heart!
Have you done any other promo work that’s not related to cosplay?
No, it’s all been cosplay. I’ve been on the cover of a magazine in the Sunshine Coast in my Miku outfit, and then all my other work’s been in cosplay.
Is there any promo work or cosplay shoots you would like to do? Maybe for a charity?
Yeah its always good doing things for charities. Ive just been invited to a Halo group similar to the starwars 501st, but it’s an Australian Halo one. There’s a bunch of guys on there (the forums) talking to me and I plan to go visit charities and stuff in Halo suits when they are all done.
Do you consider yourself a role model for young girls, and do you have any advice for girls who may love a specific character but lack the confidence to give it a go?
I have a lot of young girls talking to be because they tend to think i’m a lot younger than I am. Probably not a role model but more like someone to just help them out. If they don’t have the confidence to be their character then they should at least just give it a go. A lot of people are like “I don’t have big enough eyes” or “I don’t have a big enough bust for this.” Do it anyway. Cosplay is fun, not about accuracy. Cosplay is about fun, not being perfect.
“Sona from League of Legend and Cadeans next ambitious project”
Are there any parts of your costumes you are unable to make yourself? And who else have u had help you?
There’s a lot of armour work I have trouble with. Nathan DeLuca started giving me some points on armour and stuff. I’ve also got “Sunday Cosplay” helping me with how to do armour and stuff. Currently they just released the new skin for a character on “League of Legends” named Sona. Her new outfit looks really awesome but I don’t think I can make the helmet myself but Sunday Cosplay wants to make that helmet. So there are people around the place who want to help and make costumes which is great.
So what’s next for you? More modelling? TV, movies,? A spot on a reality TV show?
I think if I was on reality TV id get kicked off in the first couple of minutes. Is be like “Oh look that’s something dumb, lets go do it.” that’s just me. I was thinking about getting into acting. That’s always been something I’ve always wanted to do. Just because it’s fun, you can become random characters, because that’s what cosplay is.
So lastly, any comments, thanks, suggestions you would like to make to our readers and fans?
I just want to thank everyone. There are a lot of cosplayers in the scene that have helped me get through a lot of things, helped me with a lot of things, and everyone on my page. Those people all interact with my posts and my comments and I try to get back to them. They are always messaging me and it makes me feel really good about myself when ever I’m having trouble with something they always try their best to help me. I love everyone that’s just nice.
so come along to Neon Pop on the 28th Feb 2015 and see the costumes, have fun and dance the night away. i will be there, Caedan will be there. and so will everyone else.
also check out https://www.facebook.com/caedan.lee