After receiving a Knight Rider T-shirt, 3-year-old Ani-Mia voluntarily plummeted into the bottomless rabbit hole of excessive, glorious geekdom and never looked back (or technically, never looked up). A consummate, internationally recognized cosplayer, Ani-Mia is a fan and outspoken advocate of video games, comic books and anime, the source material for her elaborate costume creations.
Regardless of her incredibly busy schedule attending conventions, exhibiting her self-worked wares, advocating for the cosplay community, teaching others the intricacies of costume building and judging others on their budding cosplay skills, Ani-Mia managed to grant us the following exclusive interview. So, enough with this overly long, prefatory dribble; let’s talk cosplay – and all things geeky – with Ani-Mia!
1. How long have you been cosplaying?
“Since 2007 or 2008, so wow, almost 9 years now!”
2. What was it that attracted you to cosplaying?
“The idea of getting to be your favorite character for a day. I always loved Halloween and was in theater in high school so it felt almost natural for me to be drawn to it.”
3. How many conventions do you attend per year?
“Gosh, I think I’m somewhere around 25-28 per year.”
4. Do you make your own costumes?
“I try to make as many as I can. I’d say I make about 70% of my own costumes.”
5. How long, on average, does it take to create one of your elaborate costumes?
“That all depends. I’ve had some that have only taken me a day to make but then some armor projects can take a couple of months to finish.”
6. What kinds of materials do you use when creating your costumes?
“Anything and everything. From fabric to PVC, EVA foam, worbla. I’ve attached pieces that are used for a toilet to one of my costumes because it fit perfectly.”
7. What’s the average cost to create one of your costumes?
“I have done cosplays on a budget and using leftover fabrics for under $30 and then I’ve had some that have cost over $800.”
What was the most difficult costume to make? What did it involve and how long did it take?
“Difficulty wise it would be my Vocaloid Luka cosplay since it was a full ballgown, something I’d never made before. There were tons of details and at the time my sewing skills were very new so it was a big undertaking for me at the time. But in the end, I was really pleased with the results.”
8. Which cosplay are you the most proud of?
“I’m proud of all of them for different reasons. I usually try new techniques with each costume I build so [I’m always] proud of myself for learning.”
9. What characters/cosplay do we have to look forward to in the future?
“So many. I really want to pay homage to Legend at some point and also Fran from Final Fantasy.”
10. Who’s your favorite superhero and why?
“I grew up on Superman so he’s always been my favorite. There’s always been something about an alien trying to learn and understand humanity.”
11. Are you currently reading any comic book series?
“I’m always reading new ones. Right now it’s been Saga, Ghostbusters, Buffy, and Rat Queens just to name a few.”
12. What draws you to these particular series?
“I love unique storylines and continuations of shows and movies I love and wish hadn’t ended yet.”
13. Okay, anime fan. Name 3 of your favorite anime series. 3…2…1…GO!
“Chobits, Death Note and Samurai Champloo”
14. And….would you assist in crowd-funding a new Knight Rider TV series?
“Hahaha, heck yes!”