It’s time for another interview, this time with Mikozilla/Amie! She’s a lovely cosplayer from the Washington, who has a nice collection of cosplays!
What’s your cosplay alias and why did you choose it?
I’ve yet to really settle on an alias. I’ve always just sort of gone by my own name as I’ve yet to create that sort of cosplay identity for myself. Though, my badge name is always Mikozilla, so I suppose I would go with that.
How many years have you been cosplaying and what got you started?
I’ve been cosplaying for nearly 10 years now, excluding the throwing together of X-Men costumes when I was a child. My first costume was Haruno Sakura (Naruto), back in 2003. I remember seeing amazing photos of other people in costume and thinking, ‘I could do that! I WANT to do that!’ It was the idea of paying homage to a character you really love and having that bonding experience with others that really sucked me into it. After that first costume, I was sold.
What has been some of your favorite things to work with when constructing costumes and why?
Up until recently, I’ve only really worked with fabrics and stitching, with a few props. For PAX last year I debuted my Commander Shepard Blood Dragon Armor, so getting to tinker around with foam armor was a treat. Also, creating my staff for Merrill the year before was a great deal of fun, as I worked with real horns and wood.
What are you excited to be working with in the future and why?
Right now I’ve got a huge dream list of costumes for the future, but I’m currently finishing up Merrill’s second costume from Dragon Age 2. I think it’s gorgeous and I really hope it turns out perfect! I also plan to start work on Tali’s 3rd outfit from Mass Effect 3, which will be a huge undertaking. Much more than what I’m used to, but I’m really looking forward the challenge.
What are some of the traits you like to see in other costumes and who do you think does well in them?
As for traits, I just like to see when people get those little details. I respect anyone who puts together a costume, but when you see someone who goes that extra mile and addresses smaller technicalities of a costume, it’s pretty amazing. Whether it’s the little patterns on a costume or a certain prop/accessory, it can really bring the whole thing together.
What is your view of the “cosplay scene”?
I’m lucky to have been cosplaying for close to a decade, so I’ve seen the change in the “cosplay scene” as it’s progressed. In some ways it’s been positive. Cosplay has become recognized as an art as it’s moved into the mainstream and it also is no longer looked down upon in the same ways it once was. That said, I seem to see more elitist views popping up as well. Which brings me to the next question..
What are some of the things you want to see change in the scene?
I see a lot of people who harshly judge others for their costumes. Whether someone purchased a costume or built it up from scratch, they are in that costume for the same reason as most of us: For the love of that character, series, artist, etc. They are showing respect and adoration for something they feel strongly about, and they should be respected by us for that reason. Just because someone doesn’t have the body type for a character, maybe they don’t look just like them, I don’t believe they should be looked down upon. Conventions are about having fun and bonding with other people who share your interests. Let us not forget that. There is also the whole “fake geek girl” issue going around. Again, who are we to judge? Cosplay is for everyone. Conventions are for everyone. People sometimes forget that.
What is some advice you could give people starting to get into cosplay?
Don’t be afraid to cosplay a character you love! Costuming won’t be fun if you aren’t using it to YOUR advantage. If you’re going to buy a costume, great! If you want to try your hand at making your own, that’s amazing as well. For those who want to try creating a costume, I’d just say.. Google. There are tons of great websites with tutorials. You can use patterns and edit them for your own use, pick up items from thrift shops and alter them, anything! Again, just remember to have fun and enjoy it! And never be disheartened by any negativity or a mishap with costume creation.
What are some of your favorite conventions you’ve attended and why?
PAX Prime, every year I’ve attended. I love that place. I’ve made some great friends there. The chances to communicate with game developers and the like is amazing. Plus, it’s always insanely fun. SDCC 2011 will always be special to me due to the amazing reaction to my Marvel Girl costume. I’ve never felt so proud or so loved. I also hold a special place in my heart for Sakura Con, as it was my first convention.
Give a random fact about one of your costumes that you’re proud of!
As far as I know, I am the only person to ever cosplay as Kukuru from Arc the Lad (in her original game costume)!
Thanks for the interview, Mikozilla/Amie! You can see more of her work on her Deviantart page!