Feeling fascinated about her Styria cosplay, we invite this cosplay talent to our interview. This is Meltingmirror. You may be inspired by what she shares below ;). Let’s begin.
1. Introduce yourself first of all.
Hi, I’m Meltingmirror, a Canadian cosplayer who has been making costumes for over 7 years. Cosplaying allows me to challenge myself every year by choosing costumes that forces me to learn new techniques. Interacting with cosplayers at conventions and online is another hobby of mine, and I especially like helping others solve their cosplay construction problems. Besides costume making, I am a student wrapping up my graduate studies.
2. It’s believed everybody is curious about how you succeeded to make your Styria cosplay costume. And would you like to make a simple introduction on this costume?
Styria was by far the hardest costume I have ever made since it required that I learn how to draft armour patterns and to experiment and improvise with new materials like Wonderflex and friendly plastic. I worked on it on and off for several months spending many hours on it. I have only worn it once and it is very uncomfortable to wear.
A lot of time was spent drafting patterns and designs to get it just right then getting them to fit snugly. I made a basic jumpsuit in action wear as a base for the costume and attached navy pleather for the top. The wings are gold painted pleather with a wire frame to make them stand up.
The armour pieces are mostly made with styrene and lined with foam (camping/yoga mats) and spray painted. The seat is made entirely of foam and shaped with wire then hand painted. The feet are made with styrene and plastic bottles.
Wonderflex was used to make the claws and all small detailing were made of regular and light sculpey. All the chains on the headdress was made by hand then spray painted gold.
The wheel is foam with spokes made of wire, straws, and pixie sticks.
The headdress is held on by one black strap under the face.
3. Is Styria cosplay your favorite cosplay work? How did you get the inspiration of doing this cosplay and also the costume?
Styria is my most impressive costume but not my favourite, because it was very uncomfortable to wear and I had to rush to finish it in time for a convention. My neck was very sore at the end of the day and it is hard to enjoy a convention in a costume like that because your movements are confined.
My cosplay friend Kudrel came up with the idea to cosplay the Shiva sisters. At first I thought she was crazy, but I warmed up to the idea because I liked the challenge and I wanted to test my skills. There were many times that I doubted whether I could make this costume a reality but I persevered and got it done.
My favourite costume, at the moment, is my Tia Dalma cosplay from Pirates of the Caribbean because it turned out to be an accurate representation and she is a fun character to play. There is something about playing a creepy character that is especially entertaining. Maybe I just like flashing my black teeth at people and getting surprised look.
4. Do you make your costume or buy them?
Making costumes from beginning to end makes me more emotionally attached to them. I make all my costumes from scratch and occasionally I use items from my closet. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when completing a costume and whenever I do not have a hand in every aspect of the costume-making process I feel off.
5. After finishing a costume, do you wear it to a venue to be watched by many people or do you simply take photographs? Which one feels more meaningful?
I usually make a costume with a convention in mind. The convention experience where people recognize your character, talk to you, hug you and take your photo is very flattering and I always look forward to it. However, I often gravitate towards costumes from lesser known series which means less people approach you. I also attend conventions with photoshoots in mind, my goal is to always have some photos I could use by the time the weekend is over.
I am becoming fonder of photos and photoshoots because you get to be the character in an appropriate setting. You get to see yourself as the character and you can easily experience the moment over and over again by looking at the photo. Online feedback is less personal than in person but I still find it rewarding.
6. When did you first cosplay? Have you ever met some difficulties while cosplaying?
My first cosplay experience was at a local convention that was in its first year. I decided to cosplay as Oruha from Clover, since we had the same curly hairstyle. The costume was a combination of plain clothes and fabric, it was quite disastrous. I had a great time at the convention and decided to attend the next year and the following. I was hooked.
There weren’t many difficulties when putting together that first costume since I managed to do it without sewing; however, learning how to sew and how pieces go together while drafting patterns was difficult to learn.
7. Since you are gifted in this performance art ;), is there any advice for cosplay beginners?
Understand the strengths that you have and use those to your advantage when cosplaying. Once you know your strength; be it woodworking, painting, sculpting, wig styling, etc; look for a costume that will help you showcase it. However, keep in mind your weaknesses, so that you have an opportunity to work on improving them.
8. Do you always go to cosplay conventions and take photos there? Which is your favorite cosplay photo and why?
I think conventions are a great opportunity to get photos of various costumes and with photographers you might not normally have access to.
My favourite convention photoshoot this year was with Eleventh Photograph at Youmacon 2011. We got some nice action shots of my Yoruichi Cosplay where I am jumping, kicking and punching, which suited her character very well. It was a good workout too.
9. What do you think are the good and bad aspects of cosplay?
I find this hobby has allowed me to meet a lot new people and make more friends than I could imagine. There are so many skills that I have learned that can be used in everyday life. I am now the go-to person in my family for any sewing related repairs.
It can get frustrating at times when a costume is not coming together as planned. It is best to just step back, relax and tackle it another time rather than makes mistakes you might regret.
10. Are you interested in any cosplay contest? Since we are also holding some cosplay or other themed contests in each month, which motif do you mostly want to see?
I like contests and enter them regularly. I think there should be more contests for some over looked cosplay categories like original costumes or interpretive costumes like Giginka’s. These costumes have just as much and sometimes even more effort put into them since the cosplayers have to come up with the design themselves. I can really appreciate the hard work even though I have yet to make an original costume for myself.