A Vice-President and Bio Engineering Project Head, a model, a Cosplayer and a socialite — Ratikha Venugopal dons many hats! Having become a popular cosplayer from the country in just four years, she has carved a niche for herself by contesting and winning popular cosplay leagues. “I like being both a corporate person and also a pop culture fan, who loves cosplays. Modelling is also a part time profession and I like the mix of careers. Everyone needs to have some time for their passion and I’m glad that I’m balancing it out!” begins Ratikha.
Having participated in both Indian and international cosplay events, as both a participant and a guest, she has received a lot of exposure in terms of characters and costumes. “I will start contesting in international cosplays too. Since the investment required is higher, I need to think about the financial aspect too. Some sponsors are ready to send me to contest abroad; I will decide upon it soon,” she adds.
Talking about the costume she is donning for the contest this time, Ratikha shares, “I will be dressed as Auriel — The Angel of Hope from the game Heroes Of The Storm. She is a faceless angel, who empowers other characters. Although she’s faceless, for my costume, I’ve added a face from my imagination. She has super powers and only flies around. Auriel’s eternal light also illuminates even the darkest souls. She is a mediator, a counselor and a fearless warrior. Since we have to stay in the same costume for about seven to eight hours, we need to be comfortable in it as well. And I only don characters that I can relate with my inner personality; that way, I can just become the character and be confident.”
Built over a span of about six months, the costume itself has a lot of detailing. Ratikha also thanks her friend Redemption Prop, another cosplayer, for helping her with her costume and for encouraging her.
Ratikha’s previous costumes like Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Spartan Girl are memorable in the Indian cosplay scene. When asked if she is a DC fan or a Marvel fan, she responds, “I like both; but when it comes to movies, it’s definitely Marvel for me!”
She talks about her love for the Comic Con stage saying, “It’s a platform where people can exhibit different talents and not just dress up as characters. When it comes to dressing up, it is about how dedicated you are to put up a cool costume and be confident. There can even be a skinny Hulk, but the love for the character and how you display it might just win it! There are different verticals like movies, comics, gaming and more and it is so much fun.”
Also the founder of Chennai Cosplayer Convention, Ratikha has organised about 16 shows in the city itself. Elaborating on the comic con scene in Chennai, she says, “We need more people, who are dedicated to pop culture and are willing to spend time, money and energy on costumes. There’s a lot of talent in the city, who have the potential to make Comic Con as their full-time career. We are looking to organise local city-based comic cons first and then slowly grow to bring the national league here.”...