Today, AiPT! sits down to talk cosplay with kung fu extraordinaire Luna Gabriella! We get insight into her detailed cosplay creation process, how she got started with kung fu and her love of all things nerd!
AiPT!: Let’s start things off by learning where you’re from and how you spend your time when you aren’t cosplaying!
Luna Gabriella: I’m a graphic designer and I work with my husband Sillas. We created a methodology to teach English, so he’s the teacher and I create the materials’ design and everything related with that.
In my free time, I like playing games, practicing sports and creating my cosplays. Recently, I started a sewing course to improve my skills.
AiPT!: I can see from your Instagram profile that you’re an active practitioner of kung fu. What inspired you to pursue martial arts? In addition, what was your biggest misconception about the kung fu that you realized once you became active in it?
LG: My cousins and I always liked playing fighting games since we were kids. So we used to play like we were fighters and sometimes we started fighting for real, getting hurt, noses bleeding and everything. Kids stuff … I also grew up watching martial arts movies and I think it sparked my interest in it. But since I was studying and working so much, I didn’t have the opportunity to start practicing before.
When I watched the movie Ongbak, I wanted so much to start practicing Muai Thai, but I didn’t find a place to practice here in my city. However, the gym where I work out also offers kung fu classes, so I decided to give it a shot.
I always thought that kung fu was too soft for me, but in the first class I totally changed my conception, and since then I just love kung fu, it’s so complete, just perfect! Kung fu is not just choreography movements, or just punches and kicks. It’s constantly changing, from inside to outside, a great evolution to become a stronger and complete person.
AiPT!: With the explosion of the comic convention and cosplay scene, there are huge cons happening all over the world now. What’s the furthest you’ve ever traveled to attend a convention that you were cosplaying at? I’d also like to know what con you’ve never attended but dream of getting to one day.
LG: Well, I never traveled too far to attend a convention. The biggest con that I went to was Comic Con Experience in São Paulo. However, I would love to attend other cons around the world. I have a particular interest in Comic-Con International: San Diego.
AiPT!: Anyone who’s attended a convention for the first time can attest to the chaos of it. As someone who attends in cosplay, how do you prepare yourself for each con?
LG: I always try to get everything prepared one day before – all the accessories I’ll need, makeup and that stuff. I also try to get ready before I get there, sometimes the bathrooms are just too crowded to wear a costume or do a makeup.
AiPT!: Take us through your cosplay creation process. What’s the method behind the madness?
LG: When I start making a costume, I draw it first. This way I can pay attention to all the details. I don’t have a lot of experience with armor and props crafting, but I always try to be creative and figure out the best way to make it, to be beautiful, durable and comfortable.
AiPT!: Sex appeal and social media presence in cosplay is a hot-button issue these days. With the rise in popularity of Patreon and boudoir shoots, some people say cosplay is drifting away from its core values and becoming more about money and popularity. What’re your thoughts?
LG: That’s the perfect question! I have a Patreon and I also cosplay some sexy characters, since I like mostly to cosplay fighters and comic characters, it’s difficult to find one that’s not sex appeal. I do think that people can do what they want with their lives and their bodies, but that’s not the kind of work I want to do. I mean boudoir, lingerie, bikini, sexier versions and that stuff.
I imagine I could be much more popular doing that, but it’s not the kind of admiration I want, also I can’t imagine my family seeing me in social media half naked or too exposed, they would be totally ashamed.
I don’t have hundreds of patrons or millions of followers, but I’m so glad for each one I have, ’cause they respect me and they truly admire my work as a cosplayer and martial artist.
Patreon is an awesome platform, a great opportunity for all the types of artists, of having their works really valued. Unfortunately, nowadays when you mention it, all that people can think of is lingerie shots.
AiPT!: Tell us about your best cosplay experience!
LG: I think the first one is always unforgettable. It was in 2012, I went to a convention in São Paulo as Narusegawa from Love Hina. Even though it was an old anime, people recognized me and took many photos. Since then, I never stopped cosplaying.
AiPT!: Is there a cosplay you’d love to do but are nervous of taking on because it would be extremely challenging?
LG: A barbarian and demon hunter armor from Diablo III. I played Diablo so much and I love every single character. I already cosplayed a Wizard version, but it was very simple, no armor.
AiPT!: If you could jump into the world of any video game, anime or comic book character – which one would you pick and why?
LG: If I was a kid, I certainly would answer Power Rangers! That’s difficult, almost all the universes are in chaos. I totally would like to be a superheroine, but all those wars, worlds falling apart, that’s not for me. I would prefer something like Skyrim!
LG: Wonder Woman! I’m excited to see how my favorite superheroine will be performed in her own movie.
AiPT!: Last, but certainly not least, where can fans find you online?
LG: On my website you can find more information about me, my cosplay list, next projects, kung fu and everything!