An Interview with cosplayer and designer Kozmo-Kai

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What made you think of your Cosplay name?
As plain as it may sound, I was just brainstorming for something unique with a nice ring to it that included my actual name, which is “Kai”, and I came up with “Kozmo.” Joined them together and then instantly fell in love with it. No background story to it honestly.
What made you get into Cosplay modeling?
I first got into cosplay by deciding it was time I finally tried it. I used to attend conventions solely for Yu-Gi-Oh Card game tournaments, never thought I’d ever see cosplay as something I’d do because at the time it wasn’t too mainstream in my country, however, something about seeing others not only express their love for various fandom through wearable art, but just actually challenging themselves to do it, struck a cord in me each time I set foot in those conventions. Being an artsy and self challenging person all my life, it only felt fitting that I gave it a try. I was just ready to go all out and do my best. So after several “Okay next event I’d try cosplaying”s later, I finally made my cosplay debut in July, 2016.
What about Graphic Design?
Discovering my love, passion and dedication for further expressing my creativity through digital art.
Which did you get into first?
I first got into graphic design, as I had been doing it since I the age of 18 (9 years). While I only started cosplay in the summer of 2016.
Where do you live? How is the cosplay scene?
I hail from Trinidad & Tobago, a small twin island in the Caribbean, where the cosplay scene isn’t particularly mainstream but there is still huge support shown toward it by our small and ever-growing community. We have a few conventions year-round which we all look forward to, but the ether of our culture is “ALIAS Entertainment Expo”, a massive 3-day convention which has featured the most highly recognized cosplay guests and fandom icons over the years. To me, it is the most anticipated comic convention each year and is the main event which our local cosplay community revolves around.
How long have you modeled?
I’ve been cosplaying for 1 year and a few of months.
Have you always edited your own pictures?
Always edited my photos.
Who’s your favorite character to model?
Dr. Doom (Fantastic Four)
2nd favorite?
Two-Face (Batman)
Do you buy outfits or do you make them yourself?
I usually make my cosplays myself, with most times the help of an assistant. Although, I have bought one or two before and modified them.
What do you feel about the presence of (or lack thereof) POC in the Cosplay scene?
I feel in my heart, we are vigorous, bold, tight-knit and despite hailing from several different minorities, collectively we form an absolutely dynamic society of individuals. The focus on diversity and the awareness of representation in the comic con industry, has been gaining significant momentum in recent years and that, I am truly gleeful about. The feeling of having our voices echo louder and further through the hallways of the cosplay world, as we continue to emerge as a movement is absolutely priceless. As long as we remain focused on our task, which is to keep creating visibility for POC cosplayers, and not become distracted by negativity, we will continue to do phenomenal things in this world.
What are your favorite Cosplay events to attend?
Animekon Expo, the Caribbean’s biggest comic-con which is held in Barbados, Alias Entertainment Expo and Anime Expo, which are both local comic conventions held in Trinidad & Tobago.
Are you watching any dope animes or any shows with Cosplay worthy characters?
Not currently.
What are your top 3 favorite animes?
Samurai X, Samurai Champloo and Naruto.
Who was the photographer of your chosen photo?
Wile Antz Pixography and Project Photography.
Can you tell us anything about them? Maybe why you dig them as a photographer or a cool story about you two?
They’re both very professional and easy to work with, as well as very patient. Personally, I’m an absolute perfectionist, so working with photographers with their level of skill and experience really helps guide me toward modelling better photos each and every time.
Is there anything you want your fans and the fans of PUNK BLACK to know?
I will never forget those who’ve supported my work in both graphic design and cosplay thus far. I’m super thankful for everything. Such gestures are unforgettably priceless to me and I don’t feel as though anyone would ever truly understand the length in which I sincerely extend my gratitude to each time.
Please know I will forever cherish and treasure the moments that you guys express any level of admiration for my work. I slave tirelessly on all of my stuff, it’s just naturally embedded in my soul that I do so, and it’s the most accomplished and heart warming feeling when others show appreciation for that passion regardless of how much or how little.
I thank PUNK BLACK tremendously for this opportunity to be featured and to their fans for taking the time out to get to know me as a cosplayer and graphic designer, I am honored.

MYSTER & TWO-FACE

Photographer: Wile Antz Pixography

MUA: Tracey Lennard

Designer, editor & composer: Kozmo-Kai

KYLO REN & CAPTAIN MARVEL

Photography: Project Photography (Kylo Ren, and “CM 1.png”), Ayodele Cuffy (Captain Marvel only “CM 5.png”)

Designer, editor & composer: Kozmo-Kai 

Instagram: @kozmokaiofficial

 FB page: https://www.facebook.com/KozmoKaiOfficial