On Saturday afternoon I had the opportunity to interview MochiChuu in the artists' reserved area run by Rights Chain and hosted by Ochacaffè, taking our sweet time and losing our voice beacuse of the music from the nearby stage. Sore throat or not, we managed to have quite a pleasant conversation, in which Caterina was willing to share her thoughts regarding some very current topics; after a brief introduction of herself and her works.
Y: Welcome! Would you like to introduce yourself to our audience and explain what you do?
MC: Hi! First of all, thank you so much for hosting me at the RightsChain booth. Let me introduce myself: my name is Caterina, aka Mochichuu, or Mochi. I am a cosplayer and influencer in the anime, gaming and cosplay fields. I am also very interested in oriental culture! I wouldn't call myself an illustrator, but drawing and Character Design are other great passions of mine. You can find me as @mochichuu on both Instagram and TikTok, and as @MochiChuu_ on Twitch!
Y: Nice to meet you! Tell us more about yourself: where you come from, your education. Do you feel that the education you undertook during your teenage years was able to help you on your path within the cosplay sphere?
MC: I am originally from Cesena, but thanks to my job I have many occasions to travel, especially around Milan and Rome (where I moved to study). In fact, as far as my educational background is concerned, I can tell you that I attended a Art High School with a major in architecture, and later I enrolled in a Game Design course at an Academy of Fine Arts.
Y: Staying on the topic of "education," do you have any plans already decided for the future? Perhaps pertinent to the area of cosplay, or entertainment, that you are most interested in?
MC: Honestly, my dream is to become a Character Designer, reason why I enrolled in the Game Design course, which unfortunately failed. As I said before: drawing is a huge passion of mine, the creation of original characters allows me to express my creativity and unleash my imagination. Which I also love to include within my work as a cosplayer: for example, today I am cosplaying Sucrose (Genshin Impact) and I decided to include freckles in her makeup, even though she originally does not have them.
Speaking of future plans and makeup, recently my mother advised me to undertake training to become a Make Up Artist. Given the fact that makeup is probably my favorite area of cosplay, I'd say I'm thinking about it. Especially since working as a cosplayer is something extremely new, so we have no certainty whatsoever about how it will evolve as time goes on.
Y: What was the spark that introduced you to this passion, how did you get started in cosplay?
MC: Actually, I would say that I've always had a bit of a strange relationship with cosplay. When I was in high school, my parents wanted me to keep in mind that school comes first, and also I didn't have much space at home to be able to devote myself to this activity.
This changed when I moved to Rome: having my own space and the freedom to decide how to use it, as well as my own money, I was able to take up cosplay the way I felt like. You could say that starting cosplay was a bit of a way of reclaiming my space.
Y: What is your favorite cosplay, among the various ones you've had a chance to create and wear? Do you have one that you would consider your "comfort cosplay"?
MC: On an emotional level, absolutely Ochako Uraraka from Boku No Hero Academia. She has been with me since the beginning of my career on Instagram and was the first character I decided to create both armor and cosplay from scratch. I am, to this day, satisfied with the result! In fact, as I continued in this world I realized that I really enjoy propmaking: last year for Volta (the photo event) I crafted Gwen's scissors from League of Legends.
Ochako will always have a special place in my heart, but my comfort cosplay changes quite often, I would say. Having the chance to try on and wear a lot of different characters, I have the opportunity to see myself in the shoes of someone new almost every day. Right now it's definitely Yae Miko (Genshin Impact), it makes me feel good and I'm even "forcing" my friend to cosplay Baal (Genshin Impact) to cosplay them together!
Y: Cosplay has always been seen as an extremely social activity. Has this passion been able to help you from the standpoint of interpersonal relationships? Have you faced any obstacles in this regard during your journey?
MC: Actually, cosplay has helped me so much in this respect! I have always been very shy, and I would often think one thing and say another. In school, I was the little girl who stood at the back of the class in silence, and I always disliked that very much. Starting to do cosplay unlocked me, let's say, to such an extent that now people even think of me as an extrovert. Being within such a purely beautiful and fun environment puts me at ease and lets me express myself better!
Y: As someone with some online presence, have you ever found yourself in events where your identity has been stolen? Whether it be through photos reposted without your permission, or even accounts created in your name?
MC: Indeed, yes. Unfortunately, I have often come across accounts created in my name and likeness, both on Instagram and Twitter. The owners usually use them for personal purposes, mainly for roleplay; but still, you shouldn't do that. What's more, I usually contact those concerned to ask them to close the profile, and they are particularly tenacious about wanting to keep it open, insteThey just can't figure out the underlying problem.
Also, it happened to me several times that random people would create accounts directly posing as me. They would use my posts on Instagram, reposting them to create a profile and a following for themselves.
Y: Last question, but not least. In the era we live in, technological innovations arise day by day, and the latest big hit is NFTs. What is your opinion on that?
MC: I admit I'm not too informed on this topic, I'm definitely not knowledgeable about it as of right now. It's been suggested to me multiple times to get into the field and start devising something, especially as far as design is concerned, but I still have to process exactly what I could do.
We thank Caterina once again for being our guest - let us remind you that you can find her on Instagram and TikTok as @mochichuu. Drop by her profile and leave some love, it's always needed these days.
That's all from RightsChain. Have a great weekend!