Interview: Monika Lee

We spoke to the famous cosplayer Monika Lee and talked about her passion for video games and cosplay.

By RON, Posted 13 Feb 2014

Happy Valentine’s Day! This week we spoke with a very special guest, Monika Lee. I've been a fan of her work for many years now, and recently I had the great opportunity to chat with her. Monika specializes in cosplaying, but off camera she is a hardcore gamer. She loves the Final Fantasy series, with Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy X and XII, Kingdom Hearts and the Uncharted series being among her favorites. Speaking to Monika was an amazing experience, and I hope you all enjoy the interview.

Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Wizard,Diablo 3

Ron: It’s amazing that you’ve been cosplaying since 2006. How did you get into cosplay?

Monika Lee: When I was in middle school, I became really obsessed with anime and as a result, I found cosplayers online at cosplay.com and on youtube and it just become something that I really wanted to try. I kind of just stumbled into it and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Ron: You’ve received countless awards for cosplaying from Dragon*Con 2006 to Planet Comicon 2013, what is the secret behind your success? Were there any hurdles that you initially came across when first starting out?

Monika Lee: Haha I’d say there’s no one secret that you can unlock that will cause you to win MILLION OF AWARDS. However, I’ll say attention to detail and accuracy can get you really far when competing. Judges in contests also really appreciate passion when it comes to whatever character/series you’re cosplaying in addition to passion with whatever you’ve created.

When I first started, I’d say my biggest hurdle was knowledge of certain techniques. There were so many things I wanted to make but they seemed impossible because I had literally no idea how to make them. Nowadays there are tons of tutorials online to make certain things and also tons of resources that make building cosplays easier (e.g. worbla).

Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Chell,Portal 2 

Ron: Who is your favorite character to dress up as? How do you decide what character to cosplay as? Is your choice of cosplay made purely on your personal preference, or do your fans influence your decision?

Monika Lee: I can never narrow down what character I like to cosplay most because I made all my costumes because I love those characters or series. So usually when I cosplay, I cosplay from things I’m reading, watching or playing at the time (especially if I find a special connection with that character and his/her look). This is probably why most of my costumes are from video games because all I do is play video games. It’s an addiction.

Ron: You attend many conventions and events, which has the best Cosplay? Are there any cosplayers that have stuck out to you at these events? What made them so unique?

Monika Lee: There are amazing cosplays everywhere, but I think the best I’ve seen are always at Dragon*Con. This is mostly because people travel from around the world to attend the convention and all the cosplayers who go will always bring their A-game. In addition to incredible costumes, people at Dragon*Con always have hilarious party/drinking costumes from obscure memes or references. It’s really the best place to wear your most creative costumes.

Ron: Does your background/studies in industrial design influence your passion for cosplaying?

Monika Lee: To an extent, I would say it does. I think my passion for both play off each other in terms of designing things and manufacturing things. I’m really lucky that I get to study in such an awesome degree.

Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Little Sister,Bioshock

Ron: As a female cosplayer do you run into sexism? What's the worst you've had to deal with? How do you handle this?

Monika Lee: Definitely. Everyone’s aware of the ‘fake geek girl’ phenomenon so it’s the usual crap of ‘you only do this for fame/attention’—which is the most hilarious one to me. Yep, I spend hundreds of dollars on costumes because I don’t care about video games or anime and I want to be FAMOUS. Right. You have to do what everyone says to do which is ignore it and move on because those people aren’t worth your time, they’re already set in their ways.

That being said, male cosplayers also experience the same amount of sexism. In the same way females are drawn in the most disproportionate way, males are also drawn in the same manner. So, many times when a con-goer or whoever comes across a cosplayer who doesn’t look exactly like the character, they can be very insulting. They don’t get that we’re cosplaying a character because we love it, not because we may resemble that character to the T.

Ron: Do you think developers/publishers will start to use official cosplayers more often to promote video games? What do you think the potential benefits of these promotions would be?

Monika Lee: For sure. Tons of video game companies are doing that now. Maybe not in an official capacity, but the community/marketing teams recognize that cosplayers are free and great promotion for an upcoming video game. I think it’s a great thing to do because you have people who will cosplay these characters because they love the game and not because they simply got hired to wear a costume.

Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Ada Wong,Resident Evil 4 Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Resident Evil 6

Ron: What made you a fan of video games? What is your favorite game and moment in a game?

Monika Lee: I’ve been playing games since I was 5 on my Sega Genesis and I’ve been playing them ever since simpl because I grew up with them. My favorite game series is Bioshock because I love the creepy, art deco style of the game. However, I really love the new Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy X and XII, Kingdom Hearts, the Uncharted series, etc. There is no end to my love of games!

Ron: If you could live in any game universe, which would it be, and why?

Monika Lee: Oh definitely Final Fantasy XII. I love all the accents the characters have and the style of their clothes. In addition to that, I love medieval, fantasy-like settings in the game. It makes me feel like I’m in a Lord of the Rings Final Fantasy game or something, haha

Ron: What game are you looking forward to play the most?

Monika Lee: I’m dying to play the Final Fantasy X remaster (and hopefully a XII one will follow!). And I’m also waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 and the Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea Part 2!

Ron: Do you have any interesting upcoming plans, and what can fans expect to see from you in the near future?

Monika Lee: I’m currently working on Raven from the old Teen Titans comics for a charity effort by Cosplay for a Cause. I don’t have exact details yet, but you guys should check it out!

Monika Lee,Interview,Cosplay,Girl Gamer,Sansa,Game of Thrones

Ron: You have some fans here at NoobFeed. Anything you would like to say to them?

Monika Lee: Live long and prosper, good sirs and madams.


A big thanks to Monika for taking the time to talk with us! We look forward to hearing about your upcoming projects and wish you continued success! Keep up with Monika Lee on her website, give her a like on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter!

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
Twitter | +SarwarRon

comments powered by Disqus
  • One of the best cosplayers interviewed here so far. Her cosplay as Little Sister is truly amazing.
    Posted Feb 14, 2014
  • She should cosplay Laura from Lords of Shadow.
    Posted Feb 14, 2014
  • Not only do I find Monika Lee incredibly attractive, she seems really down to earth and likeable, I enjoyed this interview. Thank you for introducing me to her. I'm off to 'like' her page.

    Can't wait for Raven... Or whatever she decides to cosplay in the future. I'm sure it'll be worth clicking on.

    To Monika: You have a new admirer...
    Posted Feb 17, 2014

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Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC, WII, 3DS, Vita, Mobile
Publisher(s): NoobFeed
Developer(s): NoobFeed Stuff
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Release Date: 2009-02-14

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