“Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery” – Charles Caleb Colton We love Cosplay, unabashedly so, and one of the cool things about hanging out at Cons is hearing why someone enjoys a character or genre. Cosplay is the biggest form of that flattery, and we aim to bring you the stories behind all those people in funky, fun dress up.
In this weeks feature Chinako talks with Mia about her cosplay adventures:
Chinako: Who is Mia? Tell us what you like to cosplay, and what cosplay represents for you.
Mia: I’m a digital media marketer by day and a geek of all trades by night. I blog at www.xomia.com about everything I love, including style, cosplay, and living the geek life. I enjoy cosplay because it’s a way to share my enthusiasm for a character or media and get creative! To me, it’s one of the ultimate forms of fandom – the time and effort involved mean you really have to love what you’re cosplaying.
Chinako: Have you ever met the creator behind a character you love to cosplay? Did you show them your cosplay of their character?
Mia: Yes! I have had the opportunity to meet Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of the Scott Pilgrim comic book series. We initially met via Twitter after he found a YouTube video I’d made where I was dressed as his character, Ramona Flowers. At San Diego Comic Con, we met in person and I’ve seen him a few times since then. He complimented my Ramona cosplay. It was surreal and wonderful experience.
I also was able to meet Terrance Zdunich and Darren Lynn Bousman, the minds behind Repo! The Genetic Opera and The Devil’s Carnival, while I was in my Tamara costume. Being able to show your work to person who conceived the character is the best feeling!
Chinako: You are a social media expert and often blog about your work. What advice would you give to other cosplayers with social media sites on getting their work seen or their voice heard?
Mia: The best way to get yourself out there is to be genuine! Interact within your community and make new friends and the same will happen to you. One of my favorite groups is the Female Geek Bloggers group – I’ve met so many other lady geeks who love blogging about geekery through this group, and we all support each others’ work!
Chinako: How do your costumes come about; did you make them or do you have good shopping tips? If you design and create your own cosplay, tell us about the process.
Mia: It depends on the costume. I have basic sewing and crafting skills, but I feel more comfortable modifying something than making it from scratch. My favorite costumes are a mix of purchased and made pieces. I break down each costume to see if it’s easier or more cost effective to make, modify, buy, or commission each piece, then go from there! My favorite places for cosplay items are thrift stores, Amazon, eBay, and Target, and I go to Jo-Ann Fabrics for sewing and crafting supplies.
Chinako: Do you have any favorite photographers you’ve worked with? Throw in your favorite places to shoot!
Mia: I have only worked with a few photographers so far, but I love Aperture Ashley, Cosplay With Me Studios, and AC Cosplay, as well as my friend Agent Topanga Lawrence Cosplay who mostly does cosplay but also some photography.
Chinako: If you could design a cosplay that cost and time was not an issue for, what would be your epic cosplay?
Mia: This is such a tough question, I have so many dream cosplays! I’d probably pick an intricate gown, like Margaery’s Purple Wedding dress, complete with a crown and huge wig!
Chinako: Cosplay is not consent is a huge movement cosplayers are getting behind, what are your thoughts/experiences?
Mia: I think it can be hard for non-cosplayers to understand cosplay, sometimes. Those who don’t invest time, effort, and money into the hobby tend to expect cosplayers to be like the fictional characters they dress as. They don’t really see cosplayers as people behind the costumes, more like another entertainment aspect of the event they are at. In my experience, the only time I’ve received negative comments, they are from people who don’t really understand the hobby. I absolutely think it’s up to cosplayers and those who know the hobby to share our experiences and how to be polite and courteous to those in costume – treat us the way you’d treat anyone else!
Chinako: Do you have any upcoming events/projects you can tell us about?
Mia: My next convention is Fan Expo Dallas in May! I’m hoping to have three new costumes: Silk Spectre I from Watchmen, Stephanie Brown from Batgirl, and Zoe Benson from American Horror Story: Coven. I’m commissioning a few of the pieces for Stephanie Brown and it’ll be my first time working with commissioners.
Chinako: Any advice for fellow Cosplayers?
Mia: The biggest advice I have is that ANYBODY CAN COSPLAY! No matter your race, gender, size, skill level, disability status, etc…. anybody can cosplay. It’s about having fun and making your own tribute to the character or media, not being a perfect replica, so do what makes you happy! Getting started is always the hardest part, but there’s no way to improve without putting something out there first.
Chinako: Are there any cosplayers that have inspired you or that you look up to?
Mia: I’m inspired by so many great cosplayers! Out-of-this-world craftsmanship always inspires me. A few rockstar cosplayers I love include Yaya Han, Volpin Props, Kirakira Cosplay, Courtoon, Mango Sirene, Aigue-Marine Cosplay, Santatory, and many, many more! Some of my biggest cosplay idols are people I’m lucky enough to call friends.
You can follow up with Mia at the links below:
Interview courtesy of
Chinako Cosplay @ChinoChinako