Welcome to the first of two monthly cosplay features. This first feature, the FTN International Cosplayer Profile will look at hugely popular cosplayers from around the world. We will get a few details from them about what drives them and how they started and we will also showcase some of their work, and if they ever make it across to this side of the world, we will update their profile with an exclusive shoot of our own.
Our first International Cosplayer Profile is Ani-Mia from the USA.
When and how did you get in to Cosplay?
I got into cosplaying in 2008 after going to a few conventions. I saw all the people cosplaying and it just looked like so much fun. I’m also an artistic person so it amazed me how creative people got with their costumes.
What was your first cosplay?
My first cosplay was horrible. It was Nerine from the anime Shuffle that I had bought off of eBay. It fit horribly and even though I had a lot of fun it in, I realized I wanted to start making my own costumes so that I knew they would fit me right. I did really like the elf ears that I had gotten because they were pretty professional.
Which has been your favourite cosplay to date?
That’s so hard to say because I love all of my costumes for different reasons. I would say the most creative was Luka, the most fun to act like would be Supergirl and my favorite because of the character themselves would be Rogue.
What has been your most difficult cosplay to date?
I try to challenge myself with each cosplay I put together. I would have to say the one that made me think the most was my Luka cosplay. I’d never made a full ball-gown before and had to learn how to adjust patterns for a hoop skirt and working with various materials.
What’s the shortest amount of time you’ve ever spent producing a cosplay?
That’s hard to say because I work on a lot of different costumes at one time. I would say a week only because I only get so many hours in the day to work on my costumes with my full-time job.
What’s the longest amount of time you’ve ever spent producing a cosplay?
Luka took me almost 6 months from start to finish. Part of the reason was due to waiting on materials to arrive and some of it was intimation in trying new things.
How many cosplays on average do you produce a year?
I’m trying to work on at least 15 a year. Wow, saying that out-loud sounds like a lot.
Do you set targets for your cosplays at the start of the year, or for specific conventions, or just produce them as you find the time, or find inspiration?
There are some that I plan on doing and take my time to get those done right and then there are some that just come up and I realize that I have the materials for it and I like the character and then think, why not?
Talk us through your usually cosplay producing routine, do you spend time on planning, gather all the materials and then start, or do you produce as you go?
I always have a bunch of different cosplays going at once because I kind of produce as I go. I’ll work on a costume until I either get a little too frustrated or I’m in need of a specific material and I will put it down for a while and order what I need and work on a different one. I keep myself pretty busy.
What cosplay would you like to do, but have never had the time/money/knowledge to produce?
I have always wanted to do a full Rei from Evangelion in an actual hardcase uniform but I wouldn’t even know where to start with that one, hahaha.
Why do you cosplay, what draws you to it?
It’s a way for me to get my creative energy out. I’m an art history major so I love all forms of art including cosplay. It lets me be creative when my day job is very corporate and mundane.
What is your favourite cosplay memory?
Meeting George Takei for the first time for a photo with him and I was wearing my sexy Wampa cosplay from Star Wars. The minute George sees me, I get an “Oh, my!” Totally made my day and the next day, he remembered me from my cosplay.
Any bad cosplay experiences and lessons learned from it?
To be honest, I really haven’t had any bad cosplay experiences which I guess I have been really lucky about.
What is your favourite convention to cosplay at and why?
So far, NYCC mainly because I knew so many people that were going and were able to make it to a couple cosplay group meet-ups and really got to meet a lot more people. I think that’s what makes a convention great to cosplay at…meeting people, making friends and sharing memories with new people.
Any advice for new cosplayers?
Never be afraid to try something new. Whether it’s a new costume or a new way of making something never be afraid. Always be willing to try new things.
Any advice for cosplay photographers?
Know your angles. It’s good to know what angles to shoot people from in order to get good pictures. Look for dynamic points of view as well as flattering lightening and angles.
Any advice for convention goers / fans?
Don’t be afraid to come up and say hi. Don’t be creepy about it, just friendly. But definitely don’t be scared to say hello.
Ani-Mia Cosplay Showcase
Hinata – Naruto (Photograph by Nyk Photo)
Supergirl (Photograph by Anna Cosplay Photography)
Supergirl (Photograph by Anna Cosplay Photography)
Rogue (Photograph by Ron Gejon)
Reiko Holinger – Mobile Suit Gundam (Photograph by Lasting Impression Art)
Dark Phoenix (Photograph by Lars Peterson)
Panty – Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (Photograph by Lars Peterson)
If you want to check out more of Ani-Mia’s cosplays, check out her Facebook page.