The Singapore Toy, Game and Comics Convention (STGCC) has always been an exciting staple in the convention goer’s annual calendar due to the myriad of exciting international artistes from both East and West that are brought to the sunny shores of Singapore.
Yet the STGCC has also been a great platform for a few of our locally based artists and initiatives to promote themselves and raise their visibility further with the growing fan base that they have developed. Here Be Geeks took a look at them in this set of three feature stories.
Cosplaying has had a tendency to be seen as ‘just a hobby’ in Singapore and unlike cosplayers in other countries and regions who have made cosplaying into a viable career, the challenges that cosplayers face in the local sphere can be quite overwhelming. The Velvet Room Cosplay Gallery has been working to elevate the concept into a viable profession through the promotion of local cosplayers.
Established around a year ago, Velvet Room looks to helping cosplayers fulfil their dreams & passions – enabling them through partnerships with photographers and print shops as well as event opportunities and even Kickstarter initiatives. As with any kind of artist promotion, it is rarely cost effective for a solo person to establish themselves easily and the Velvet Room serves as a reliable platform for those interested to further develop their cosplaying skills as well as their confidence and personalities. They are also able to pick up soft skills such as inter-personal and time management, which helps better themselves.
“We learned through our experience that most cosplayers are tertiary-level students who have limited sources of income that channels most of their personal savings into cosplaying. We are looking to change this and create an ecosystem that allows these talented individuals to recoup some funds from their hobby, which could be channelled into future and better cosplay(s).”
Cosplayers that have worked with Velvet Room include Riiyuukii (https://www.facebook.com/riiyuukii/) and Azusa (https://www.facebook.com/IngridAzusa/) among many others
As such, Velvet Room is run as a non-profit initiative as they work to provide more opportunities for local cosplayers (and in relation, photographers) to showcase themselves through public events and other platforms.
“We cover the costs associated with (having) booths at events, and these include (but are not limited to) booth rental, marketing, production costs, manpower, logistics and F&B, but we feel that it is worth it. Each time we booth at an event, we enjoy seeing the smiles and happiness when the community gets together.”
If you’re interested in meeting the cosplayers and to find out more about Velvet Room, you can follow their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/VelvetRm/) or catch them at events in Singapore such as the upcoming GameStart 2018 (https://gamestart.asia/events/) in October!