Qatar is home to many talented individuals who create and contribute to such a vibrant geek community. As more events are happening in the country, artists, creators, and performers have come out to share their art to delight audiences in Qatar.
Cosplaying is the act of personifying characters, combining arts & crafts, costume, make-up, and performance. With geek and pop-culture gatherings becoming a trend in Doha, cosplayers have been given quite the spotlight to present their skills and talent.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team caught up with Bryan & Bryanna Vicente, a father-daughter duo from Doha who are passionate about cosplaying, to learn about their story and love for their art.
Bryan: My name is Bryan, and I'm from the Philippines. I am a graphic designer and animator by profession. I am an active attendee of geek events in the Philippines and Qatar.
My first cosplay was The Joker when I joined Virtuocity's Cosplay Competition 2018 and won first place.
Bryanna, my daughter, is now 5 years old. We introduced her to the cosplay community when she was just 3 months old.
Her first cosplay was Wonder Woman. During the premiere of Justice League in Qatar, NOVO Cinemas invited us to showcase our cosplay. Her first appearance was even documented in the local newspaper.
Our first competition together was in Virtuocity Cosplay Competition 2022. We went as Loid and Anya Forger from Spy x Family and won fifth place.
Bryan: I started crafting in 2006 when I was in the Philippines.
Then, after we moved here to Qatar, I continued crafting as a hobby and for personal use only, but many people I've met during events have seen the potential in my crafts and from then, I started accepting works from different artists and events.
Bryan: Brainstorming and time management are key. First, I choose the character according to the event's theme, or if there's no theme, I choose the one that is relevant or trending.
Next, I check the materials for the costumes and props. Most of the time I'm a Do-It-Yourself guy but there's no shame in buying a costume if you don't have the time to craft your own.
Then, aside from the costume, it is essential to be in character. As a refresher, I watch video clips of the character I will portray to practice the moves and mannerisms.
Finally, meet new people and remember to have fun!
Bryan: This is a hobby that we really enjoy as we can showcase our talent, self-expression, and creativity. We consider cosplay events as a family bonding thing.
The involvement of everyone, especially the kids during the brainstorming process, fun family time during rehearsals, and just enjoying while spending time with the kids is what makes it worth it.
Bryan: My favourite is our cosplay of Full Metal Alchemist. This cosplay is a personal one since it's my wife's favourite anime, and we named our son after one of the characters, Alphonse.
We competed in the Geekdom Cosplay Competition 2022 as a family, myself as Alphonse Elric, my son Alphonse as Edward Elric, and my daughter Bryanna as Nina, and won third place.
This costume was able to make it to Comicon Abu Dhabi 2023. The time and effort were worth it, as I represented Qatar, my second home.
For my daughter, her favourite cosplay we've done together is Loid and Anya Forger from Spy x Family.
Bryan: I've been cosplaying for a long time, and honestly, not everyone appreciates it and there's also a lack of understanding about cosplaying.
Some people think we are mascots or entertainers and want to hold/touch us and grab our props. We get weird looks, and some even make fun of us, but once you get over the fear and the awkward stares, it is amazing and extremely fun.
Bryan: Yes, I will compete in the coming Geekend at Lusail Boulevard on 16 September 2023. My entry will be in the crafting category, and my daughter might compete in the kid's category.
Bryan: The cosplay community has grown much bigger than it used to be, and I can say we are established where there's a sense of belonging for people to come together and share an interest in what they love.
Cosplayers unite to spread awareness and educate about how this is a form of art and to have a positive impact, especially on children.
Bryan: Words can never express how grateful I am to my family, friends, and support group in the geek community. With their encouragement and praise, I feel like I can do anything!
For newbies, don't let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do because of your weight, height, skin colour, nationality, age, and abilities; the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Cosplaying allows people to take a break from real life and escape into a manga/anime/movie/video game world. Show off your cosplay with confidence!
Have you seen cosplayers in events around Qatar? Let us know in the comments! Do share this article - it keeps us going!
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