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Cosplay Spotlight: The Queen of Cosplay, Yaya Han

Published on August 17th, 2020 | Updated on August 17th, 2020 | By FanFest

Yaya Han is the queen of cosplay. Cosplayers all over the world look to her for her amazing skills and guidance. She’s even written a book!

About Yaya Han:

Yaya Han is a costume designer, model and cosplay entertainer based in Atlanta, GA. She discovered the unique creative pastime of cosplay at Anime Expo in 1999 as a young fan, with no prior trained skills in sewing or crafting. However, Yaya has always been artistic, especially with pen and ink illustrations, so she quickly absorbed the heart and soul of costume making. Yaya is completely self-taught, mostly due to lack of funds and resources to enroll in classes for fashion or costume design. At the beginning, she could only afford a used $40 sewing machine and a sewing book from a thrift store. Yaya credits persistence and repeated failure as her greatest teachers in costume creation. To this day, she has made close to 300 costumes in the genres of anime/manga, comic books, video games, sci-fi and her own original designs.

Over the years, Yaya has build a successful business in the cosplay community, creating a popular cosplay accessories line that is available online and at conventions, as well as her line of Yaya Han Brand merchandising. Her intricate and lavish creations have won awards and acclaim nationwide, and she has been invited to appear as a Guest, Panelist, Judge, Performer and Host to over 100 conventions and other events all over the world. Yaya’s impact on the world of cosplay has been so great that she has been a Guest Judge on 2 seasons of TBS TV Network’s “King of the Nerds” competition show, featured in a documentary about cosplay called “Cosplay – Crafting a Secret Identity”, as well as is starring in the Syfy (Space) TV Network Docu-Series “Heroes of Cosplay”.
But, no matter where Cosplay has taken her professionally, Yaya strives to stay true to what got her into this field originally – fun and creativity.

Through hard work, unmatched passion and infectious enthusiasm, Yaya has helped Cosplay gain respect and integrity as an artform in the fandom world and art communities, and her decade long campaign for creativity has helped raise Cosplay to the standards we know today. Everyday, Yaya continues to pave the path for the beloved art and lifestyle we know as Costume Play.

Source: Yaya Han’s bio

You can follow Yaya on Instagram or subscribe to her YouTube channel!

 

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3 days left in the #cosplaycountdown2020 – Your favorite costume you completed: SWIPE for a selection of my favorites. I’ve made hundreds of costumes, there is no way I could choose one favorite. I’m definitely attached to my costumes and like many of them for different reasons. I also like the freedom of becoming whatever character you’re in the mood for that day so it makes no sense for me to choose one favorite out of hundreds. ✨ Jessica Rabbit – this was a transformation challenge, especially with the silhouette and makeup (photo by @awesomebenny) ✨ @hannah_alexander_artwork Mulan – we collaborated on the design and I really love the end result! (photo by @steamkittens) ✨Jellyfish Couture – one of my favorite original designs, I’m obsessed with jellyfish (photo by @omg_dj_judy) ✨ Art Nouveau Chun Li – designed by Razvan-Sedekiah, recognizable yet so intricate and pretty in its own way (photo by @annafischerphoto) ✨ Shao Jun, Assassin’s Creed – not only did I adore the design but the whole costume came together so well under time crunch (photo by Brian Boling) ✨ Empyrean Empress – my latest original design where I could go nuts with my aesthetic, colors and details (photo by Brian Boling)

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3 days left in the #cosplaycountdown2020 – Your favorite costume you completed: SWIPE for a selection of my favorites. I’ve made hundreds of costumes, there is no way I could choose one favorite. I’m definitely attached to my costumes and like many of them for different reasons. I also like the freedom of becoming whatever character you’re in the mood for that day so it makes no sense for me to choose one favorite out of hundreds. ✨ Jessica Rabbit – this was a transformation challenge, especially with the silhouette and makeup (photo by @awesomebenny) ✨ @hannah_alexander_artwork Mulan – we collaborated on the design and I really love the end result! (photo by @steamkittens) ✨Jellyfish Couture – one of my favorite original designs, I’m obsessed with jellyfish (photo by @omg_dj_judy) ✨ Art Nouveau Chun Li – designed by Razvan-Sedekiah, recognizable yet so intricate and pretty in its own way (photo by @annafischerphoto) ✨ Shao Jun, Assassin’s Creed – not only did I adore the design but the whole costume came together so well under time crunch (photo by Brian Boling) ✨ Empyrean Empress – my latest original design where I could go nuts with my aesthetic, colors and details (photo by Brian Boling)

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9 days left in the #cosplaycountdown2020 – Your favorite cosplay photo of yourself: I thought this one would be hard because I have many thousands of cosplay photos, but I believe this Chun Li High Kick image is a representation of everything I want out of a cosplay photo. It covered everything: ✨A great design of Chun Li from Street Fighter in art nouveau style by artist Razvan-Sedekiah ✨I loved making this costume (in 2012), really sinking my teeth into the embroidery and beading while creating one of the best silhouettes in my costume making history. Everything I tested out on this costume worked, and I opted to use my own hair which made Chun Li a great choice to bring to hot summer cons. I’ve worn this costume more than any other!! ✨ I worked with a fantastic photographer and friend on this shoot – @awesomebenny, who thoughtfully booked a Chinese restaurant as the venue and really considered the mood and style of the photography ✨ Working with a trusted friend made me more comfortable to try different poses, including this high kick which is not photoshopped, but actually me kicking in a corset and heels, on my tip toes. The angle of the photo, the way the fabrics kicked up, my expression, everything was perfect. Benny added the appropriate Street Fighter-esque energy effects in post. Now, to be sure, I had to kick about 30 times for us to get that shot, and I absolutely fell on my ass during one of the attempts, hard. But it’s all a part of the pleasant memories of the photo shoot and we got the shot, so yatta! ✨ Bonus: Once we wrapped the shoot, the restaurant opened and we ate delicious authentic dim sum! Yeah, I’m very comfortable proclaiming this my favorite cosplay photo of myself 😊 Thanks again @awesomebenny!!! #chunli #streetfighter #chunlicosplay #streetfightercosplay #capcom #artnouveau

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💋KISS of DEATH 💋 incoming! Somehow I never posted this photo of my Zero Two plugsuit cosplay, where I put my @ardawigs wiggie through the wringer by flipping it like mad about 30 times. The background is a corner idol stage in Studio Booty in Tokyo. The Japanese cosplayers in the same room looked at me like I was crazy, flipping my wig repeatedly, but then very adorably said “Kawaii!” to me awwww! I lie awake at night sometimes, dreaming of a different ending for Darling in the Franxx… it started out soooo good…. 😖 Still super dig 002’s design! I made the suit out of red vinyl and white ultrapreme from my @cosplayfabrics line! And of course my @mccallpatterncompany bodysuit pattern M7217! #darlinginthefranxx #zerotwocosplay #002cosplay #zerotwo #animecosplay

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🔥 Mother of Dragons 🔥 Posting Daenerys photos in honor of the last season premier of #GameOfThrones tonight! Dany was my favorite character in the books and I made this costume based on the book descriptions of her Qarth dress which exposes the right breast. Since I couldn’t actually pop a boob, I covered up with Rhaegal the dragon, who was strapped to me. I wore this to SDCC 2011 where I got to meet GRRM and the actors after their first #GoT panel. I also got to do a shoot with @cobheran as Jon Snow at DragonCon 2011 since we already firmly believed in R+L=J and the eventual union between Dany and Jon. Thanks also to @yashuntacats and Jinyo for being Blood of my Blood ❤️ Photo credits go to Kevin Green, @omg_dj_judy, @annafischerphoto and LJinto! I dunno, this saga of ice and fire has has such an impact on my life and I’m really sad it is coming to an end soon. At the same time, I just want it to be over lol. As a book reader, it really upsets me that we don’t get to experience the ending from GRRM’s words first and I personally had a lot of issues with season 7. A lot. I can’t help but think the ending will be rushed and the game has been played for so long that every outcome has already been predicted. But this adaption is the best we ever could have hoped for and thanks to HBO everyone around the world knows and loves this story. I will try to keep my heart and hopes open for these last 8 episodes. Bring on the magic, bring on the pain, bring on the eventual peace. Lol #gotseason8 #daenerystargaryen #daeneryscosplay

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