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Impulse Gamer Interviews Linda Le Interview (Vampy Returns) - -

Vampy Returns!

Vampy Returns!

We received an overwhelming response to our recent interview with model and cosplayer Linda Le, aka Vampy.  So we decided the only sensible thing to do was to invite her back for another round of (hopefully) civilised, urbane chat! 

What are some of your best memories of 2010??  We gather it's been a hectic year for you.

Yeah, 2010 was pretty fun. I got to meet a lot of people, and got to geek out with people who share similar interests. One of my favourite memories was Tokyo Anime Fair, and of course Comic Con where I had the chance to work right next to Ono san and also had the chance to meet and talk to Niitsuma San. I feel really blessed to meet such amazing artists, and visionaries. Also getting to work with some toy artists, and being able to meet so many people at all the conventions. Really a fun year for trying new things with styling, and also learning new ways to make cosplay.

What were your impressions of Comic-Con these past few years? Has it changed or evolved in a discernible way?
Yes, very much so, Comic Con has always been really fun. In the past years I actually always had a chance to talk to some of my favourite artists and even go up to them to tell them how they made an impression on my life. It was obviously not as packed as it is now, and thereís a lot more media coverage. But either way I gotta say, Comic Con is still very much a fun convention to go to despite how packed it is.

Is there a sense of community amongst the cosplayers, or are you all eyeing each other jealously thinking 'I wish I'd dressed as Milla Rage'??

Yes! We fight with our home made swords until bloodshed! Ha ha, I kid, I kid. Totally, there is community amongst cosplayers. I've never met a cosplayer that hasnít been supportive and positive. Itís an art for sure and we appreciate each other's work. Definitely a passion-filled community, and although itís Ďcostumesí thereís also a lot of time consumed with making each particular piece, and different ways each person does it. Itís almost like their body is their medium for self-expression. Definitely not just costumes, but a hobby that is gratifying to each cosplayer because so much work is put into it. During conventions we tend to talk about shortcuts on how to make certain outfits, and help each other out. :) Usually itís nice and welcoming; I love cosplayers for that reason.

The new photos are fantastic by the way. Spikes, chains and stilettos - the three greatest words in the English language??

Thank you, I got inspired by the manga/art from Dragonfly after reading the book. After seeing an image from it, I wanted to recreate it but add a little metal to her since I like chains and stuff like that. So Vostalgic and I worked together on that image and added everything I liked and thatís what we got.

Who was the photographer for the shoot??

The photographer was Long Vo. He's a comic book artist, amongst many other things, a creative director of sorts, and we met at a Street Fighter party in 2009. He was working there, and I was there with my friend who was performing, and I just walked up to him and introduced myself and we hit it off, now we work together all the time on a bunch of cosplay work. We see eye to eye in a lot of art.

Are your shoots collaborative affairs, or do you just show up, bark orders and have everyone cowering in fear??

I think itís actually that I cower and look fearful and then the photographer just shows up and shoots that. Maybe thatís why I look scary most of the time :D Ha ha, actually itís almost always a collab. There is not one shoot where I haven't helped with the direction, and also the posing. I generally wouldn't work with someone without consulting them about their ideas first. Iíd rather have something out that I like instead of getting paid to be a puppet.
What qualities do you think make a great photographer?? 

Well, first of all, I like a photographer to know what they want, and what they'd like to see happen. Discussion and inspiration for the shoot is important to talk about before even meeting to shoot as well. Someone that can give slight direction and someone that can work with me on the outcome of the treatment of the shoot. I also like a fun person that can wing a shoot and have fun and try new angles. I'm always open for new styles, especially since I like to style myself - anything is possible with a photographer thatís willing to be open to try new things.

The pinky pinup shots, in contrast, are really classically feminine.  Do you prefer softer motifs, or the black leather bad girl look??  You rock both with equal aplomb, if we may say.

Well I can say there are definitely different facets about me that I like to express through the use of images. Depends on the day or time actually. Some days I feel crazy and listen to lots of metal which makes me want to wear black and experiment with fiercer styles. And some days I want to feel classically cute, turn on some K-pop, and instantly I want to shoot something soft and girly. So I really canít say which one I prefer. I like both since they are both very much a part of who I am.

What can you tell us about your recent Gibson collaboration??

Nakanari, who is a vinyl toy artist as well as a close friend of mine, asked me to come up with an image for a collab for Gibson Guitar. We live quite far from each other and we had to talk about how the shoot would look, so he sent me some images of what he liked. Iíd never done a pin-up style shoot before so I just went with it one day, and decided on making it a classic look for the decal.

On a somewhat more personal note, what qualities do you look for in a potential partner??

I always look for sincerity, someone who's passionate about life. They don't always have to have the same kind of hobbies as me, but if they show some kind of passion for what they do itís really a pure quality that I find endearing. Also I can say someone that can make me laugh to the point my face hurts until I end up rolling around on the ground. Thatís always a plus.

Any dealbreakers?? Tattoos, or the like??

I don't really care what they have on their body, as long as they carry themselves with respect and confidence. Mind over matter!

Speaking of tattoos, do you have any??

Yes, I do, I want more, but I think I'm going to chill off of it.

What's your idea of a perfect romantic evening??

Honestly, I like to stay in. Having marathons of anime, or movies, and before that, pick up groceries and cook. I really like quality time, and unwinding is one of the things that I like to enjoy.

Lastly, your loyal fan base has grown quite incredibly these past couple of years.. isn't about time they had their own cool name, like the Kiss Army?  What about Vampy's Succubi??  Or just the Vampettes??  You could get t-shirts made up.. it'll be a global phenomenon in no time!

Thatís hilarious. I love everyone I've met this year, either online or in person. I would love to make products for them that represent Vampy someday. What she stands for: metal, awesomeness, and full of love for biting stuff.

Is that the goal, eventual world domination??

If metal is involved, hell yes!


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