Which brings us to Jna! With an awesome 4,170 followers on her Facebook page, she is a very experienced cosplayer that I have followed for sometime. Famous for her Sister of Battle Cosplay, she is talked about quite a bit when it comes to Warhammer 40k fans and their interest in cosplay. I have seen a lot of War40k cosplays and most of them are Space Marines so it’s awesome to see Jna and her craft. I was incredibly nervous to reach out to her because I’d been a fan for so long but I stepped it up and finally sent her the message. In return I found that she was incredibly kind, humble, modest and all around a wonderful human being!
I digress, here is my interview with May’s Cosplayer of the Month: Jna
Geek Lyfe: Although I have been a fan of yours for quite some time, there may be a few Geek Lyfers who have not seen your work before, would you be alright introducing yourself?
Jna: Hello, Geek Lyfers! My name is Joanna, which is more preferred to be addressed as Jna (spells “Jay-na”). I’m from this humble city call Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia. Most would have known me from my Sisters of Battle cosplays.Besides cosplaying, I’m also part of the organizing committee for a local con call HOBBYCON.
If you are curious to know more about me you have hover to my FB page at https://www.facebook.com/
GL: How long have you been in this industry and what led you down this path?
Jna: I never looked at it as an “industry” due to I have always looked at cosplay as an outlet for my hobby/interest. But if you do address it as a community, yes! 2015 is my 7th year into cosplay. As a cosplayer, I have won a few prizes before but but competing is not my virtue. I guess it just grows deeper when you found out that cosplaying as a character you like or inspired and with more comics and movies coming out isn’t going to help reduce your plans. 😛
GL: What has been your favorite moment during your cosplay career?
Jna: Again, let’s not call it a “career”. I know anything could happen, but for the moment, it is not part of my career and no intention climbing up to the stardom. Maybe my favorite time of cosplay would be first time putting on your completed costume and actually nail it. I don’t know how to describe that feeling, maybe its an accomplishment of something you worked so hard? I feel that on most of the costume and I and/or a team of us work on.
Another would be the smiles of faces the moment they saw you in the character they adore and/or recognize me as Jna and approached me to start a conversation. Its really lively!
GL: Most frustrating?
Jna: There is no more frustrating than to actually find or make that one piece of detail that could complete your costume. This is why I keep my cosplans low before I am sure that I can debut them in time.
GL: When you aren’t doing this, what do you two do in your spare time?
Jna: Coaches kickboxing and fitness classes at Kinabalu Fighters Martial Art and Fitness Centre or Instagraming foods before I eat them. You can say I’m a fitness junkie and a foodie. Other times I would read or game.
GL: What Geek medium(Comic Books, Video Games, Movies, Anime, Manga etc.)has made the biggest impact on your life and why?
Jna: Comic books, video games, movies and table-top game! Although I don’t have any particular that I have been avidly follow all my life and all these bits and pieces together has been a factor to shape my life. Part of the things in life that has mold me into a person I am and how I treat others today.
GL: In the grim dark future there is only war. You find yourself and others from your faction’s ship marooned on a planet inhabited with a neutral race that has be hidden from the endless war. They have materials you need to repair your ship but seem as though they can be reasoned with(or corrupted) over time. What Warhammer 40k faction do you belong to and do you choose to bend these people to your will by war or try to reason with them to join your side?(I finally get to ask a Warhammer 40k question!)
Jna: I’m a sororita (sister). For the Emperor or DIE!
GL: Do you have any projects in the near future we should be excited to see?
Jna: Yes, I do have a couple of projects in progress but I would love to slowly reveal when they are complete and ready. But I can give some keyword for spoilers. There’s Spider-verse, DC comics, and Rule 63. If you still want more teasers, be sure to follow me on Instagram@ instagram.com/
GL: What advice do you have for any aspiring Cosplayers out there?
Jna: Do it! Just do it! Start choosing the character/inspired concept/series you like. When it comes to tutorials and prop makers, Google-fu is a must! Use what you have at your disposal. Its a learning process so some patience, wisdom, knowledge and hands on skills (team-work too when one project involves more than just yourself) will be gained throughout the time completing your costume.
My only advise for those who cosplay just for fame and glory should just forget about pursuing cosplay. No doubt, it is a potential for anyone to become a world-known cosplayer and may become their primary career but always nurture it from the love for this artform. It helps to remind you why you started cosplay and keeps you humble.
Lastly, enjoy and be merry!