It’s time for another interview, this time with Ani-Mia! She’s a lovely cosplayer from Washington, who is a talented costumer!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
Ani-Mia. One of my friends gave me this nickname back in 2007 due to our mutual love of anime and my first name. It turned out to be really catchy and has stuck with me ever since.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I have been modeling and acting since 2000, but I didn’t fall in love with cosplaying until I went to my first anime convention in 2008. Once I saw all the elaborate costumes people were wearing I knew cosplaying was going to be in my future. Not only could I let out my creative side by creating my own costumes, but I could then use my experience in modeling and acting to showcase my work.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
I’ve found that I really love to work with Wonderflex. I’m still just beginning to get used to working with this material but I feel I can create anything using Wonderflex. There are endless possibilities for its uses.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
I want to get into more leather work once I accomplish my first armor piece with Wonderflex. I am constantly trying to improve my costuming skills by attempting new concepts and working with unexplored materials.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
I love when people are able to make their costumes as realistic as possible. In this case, it’s more than just having a costume that is accurate, but also, does it look realistically wearable? This isn’t easy to accomplish with some of the crazier outfits in anime, but I find it very cool to see costumes that look like completely believable in real life.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
It is a massive wave of creativity that I absolutely adore. It’s amazing to see the different creative sides of people. My favorite thing is to see how two people can create their own unique take on a single character. You can see an individual cosplayer’s personality in the costumes that they create.
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I would like to see less teasing of cosplayers who don’t fit the “mold” of their character (ie. skinny/fat or cheap costumes). Cosplay should be less focused on how someone looks in their costume and more on the amount of time and effort it takes to create their costumes.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Be prepared to get addicted! Cosplay is some so encompassing that it is hard to break away once you realize how fun it can be.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
Anime Matsuri in Houston,TX was a blast because of all the great people that attended. I loved Sakuracon in Seattle,WA for the informative panels they offered.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
I really loved making the jewelry and hair pieces for my Lulu costume though it took forever since I use nail polish to paint the pieces so that they were the right color and glossy.
Thanks for the interview, Ani-Mia! You can see more of her work on her Facebook page!