(Editor’s Note: This interview with cosplayer YuffieBunny, know in the non-cosplay world as Heather Smith, was conducted back in January 2012 by Tom Heckbert for the now-defunct website Eyestrane.com. It’s been republished at Idol Features courtesy of Tom.)
YuffieBunny is a US-based cosplayer and alternative/fetish model. She is currently studying Graphic Design. Well known in the cosplay community her passion has led her to appearances on MTV, and HBO series and in magazines and newspapers nationwide.
YUFFIEBUNNY: I was constantly doing creative things when I was younger, drawing, painting and even trying to dress up in crazy clothes and trying to do my make up for as long as I can remember. From my earliest memories to now I don’t think there’s ever been a moment I haven’t spent being creative. So it was almost TOO natural when I started cosplaying and modeling.
EYESTRANE: Which came first, the cosplay or the modeling?
YUFFIEBUNNY: I started cosplaying first and then when I found out how much I liked getting my photo taken too it was only a gradual step in that direction until I started doing both at once.
EYESTRANE: How did you come up with your name, YuffieBunny?
YUFFIEBUNNY: “Bunny” came first, in 7th grade, my friends gave me the nickname based on the anime (character) Sailor Moon. “Yuffie” came when I was trying to figure out a cosplay name to use online, she’s my favorite Final Fantasy character. Which is odd because I’ve only done one of her outfits so far! (laughs)
EYESTRANE: You did very well in cosplay but for you it is not about competition. You do it for fun and the friendships you form. Do you still stay active?
EYESTRANE: You have also been very busy as in the modeling world. What types of modeling do you enjoy?
YUFFIEBUNNY: My favorite is when I get to model special FX make up like prosthetics for zombies and other creatures. Not many people get to do that, or work with the amazing FX artist Anatomy FX, but I do (laughs) and I loooveee every second of it! But I model all types, high fashion, steampunk, goth, latex, zentai, nude, body paint .…you name it I’ve probably modeled it.
EYESTRANE: When you are an alternative or fetish model how much creative input do you have in the final images?
YUFFIEBUNNY: A lot, I’m usually talking with the photographer and planning out almost everything before we get started. Any photographer I work with knows I’m creative and capable of pre and post work, and they’ve never had a problem with me lending a hand.
YUFFIEBUNNY: You know I’ve never really thought about that before… and now that I do… I can’t think of anyone! Haha! I pull my style from so many different sources it would be impossible to pick just one. I go all over the board from musicians to models to designers and even street fashion from all over the world, if I like it I take tips and cues and make it my own.
EYESTRANE: Can you tell us what one of your favorite assignments was and why?
YUFFIEBUNNY: A little over a year ago I was asked to film a music video for an upcoming indie horror flick, Billy’s Cult. Me and some other girls from our agency were half naked in mid December, freezing our butts off while dancing as the “cult groupies,” but, oh my god, did we have fun. And seeing the finished video was so exciting. I had never done anything like that before, it was so different from filming TV shows and movies, I had a lot of fun!
EYESTRANE: Alternative modeling can be physically demanding. Do you think modeling is a difficult profession?
YUFFIEBUNNY: Yes. I get a lot of e-mail from girls, and guys, asking me how to get into modeling. And while I have no problem helping people out I do tell them that it’s a very tough job. Physically and mentally. I’ve had shoots where even later that day I am forced to soak in a bathtub to try to relax sore muscles and headaches. It’s fun work, but its still work. I spend hours e-mailing, checking casting calls and then putting together resumes and other portfolios and that’s not even when I’m just managing myself looking for fun filler shoots, that’s even while being signed to an agency that has me doing trade show and other convention and gaming related work. It can get stressful at times, I could write a book about how demanding modeling is and people would still probably look at me like I was crazy. I think the only people who understand are other models! (laughs)
EYESTRANE: Tell us about your graphic design studies. What type of design work do you hope to do when you complete your studies?
EYESTRANE: Can you tell us a little about your cyberfall company, Head Kandi?
YUFFIEBUNNY: Head Kandi is a cyberfall company that offers unique designer falls at affordable prices. We work our cyberlox into everything from the typical pigtails to our unique combination and Mohawk designs, we’re even bringing on jewelry and other cyberlox accessories soon. It’s a lot of work but I’ve got some amazing friends that have been helping me out, we work our butts off at each con, and yes, I stay at the booth the entire weekend to do everything I can. This is my baby and it’s something fun that I like to do. It’s also given me a good excuse to hit up some conventions I normally don’t attend, which always makes me happy. Available with premades, custom commissions and wholesale.
EYESTRANE: What advice would you give to someone starting out in either cosplay or modeling?
YUFFIEBUNNY: For cosplay; remember, this is a hobby that you should be having fun with. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it, because you can. For modeling; remember that you’re beautiful. For both, always be yourself and have fun. They both require a lot of hard work and dedication on many levels to get what you might want out of them but they’re each very rewarding in their own ways.
EYESTRANE: Where can we find out more information about you?
YUFFIEBUNNY: My personal website is always being updated. It links to almost every other site I’m on but I also frequent many social networking sites- where you can get peeks into my daily life or updates from conventions, these are some I use a lot at the moment:
YuffieBunny’s 2011 in review