“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
When I was at Nom-Con 2014 (An Anime and Gaming Convention held in Dublin ever year in August), I got the chance to meet and talk to the lovely cosplayer Anathiell. The first time I actually met Anathiell was at ArcadeCon 2014 (Where Geeks are born and stuff every July) but I was only there for a day so I did not really have time to chat.
Anathiell is a really fun and interesting person to talk to and someone who knows a lot about the world of cosplay. I asked her many questions about her cosplay outfits and the various cosplay related supplies she sells at conventions and at her shop. Of course one thing lead to another and out came this intereview. 😀
Hello Anathiell. For those who don’t know could you tell us who you are and what you do?
My name is Ana, I go by Anathiell on the internet. Started cosplaying about 5 years ago. Currently own small cosplay shop with cosplay supplies, crafts and sewing patterns.
You can check out Anathiell’s Little Craft Shop by clicking on the link here: http://anathiell.com/shop/index.php/
You can also check out Anathiell’s Facebook Cosplay page here: https://www.facebook.com/Anathiell/timeline
Can you tell us what it’s like being a cosplayer based in Dublin, Ireland and if you’ve ever had difficulty procuring tools and materials for cosplay?
There is one thing that absolutely drives me mad in Dublin – the lack of fabric stores. We have about 4-5 shops in total, most of them in the city centre, two of them I find extremely expensive, other two… well let’s say they don’t specialize in cosplay costume fabrics. Shops in Dublin sell generic/popular dress making fabric. It’s always difficult to find what you’re looking for and the more accurate you wanna be with your costume the more problems finding materials you will come across.
I have to admit I am cheating here a bit, since I am originally Polish I travel back home to visit family a lot and that is where I purchase all my fabrics.
Everything else – I learned to live with eBay and Amazon as main suppliers for all my cosplay needs.
Do you see the difficulty of procuring the tools and materials needed for making your cosplays as a hindrance to making yours as accurate as possible or do you see it as a challenge that helps you improve your skills by overcoming the problem and developing new techniques and skills to make the best of the materials and tools at hand?
I’d say it’s a hindrance and a challenge at the same time. Loads of materials can be imported from USA or other countries; it’s all a matter of price unfortunately. But I think that having access to expensive but great techniques and tools does not help if you have no clue how to use them properly. So even if it’s sometimes problematic to get your hands onto a specific material its kinda cool at the same time cause you learn to be creative and use what you have around you.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones!
However when it comes to taking part in big cosplay competitions this is a huge problem. The craftsmanship, knowledge of materials and techniques, creativity, fresh but professional solutions, accuracy, skills and clean finish will be looked at and all this might be difficult to achieve without experience and access to all these amazing tools other cosplayers around the world already use.
You have a few awards for your cosplay and cosplay Skits. Could you tell us about how you go about planning your cosplay skits?
There are few rules I have and I am trying to stick to them as much as possible.
First of all short and sweet – never ever make LONG skits and always try and stay below 2,5 minute max, also make it understandable for EVERYONE in the audience.
Plan, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse even more, forget it and have fun on stage – all the hard work first and then just simply enjoy your time on stage. If there’s no fun and you’re not enjoying it – forget it 🙂
Have mercy upon the tech and support guys – always try and make your skit as simple as possible for the tech team, the less work for them the better for you.
That’s the basic. If you’d like to know more you’re welcome to visit one of the Irish cons where together with Tantalus an Irish acting troupe specializing in amazingly nerdy tales to perform at Conventions we host skit making panels.
Anathiell’s awards include:
Nom-Con Skits 2013 winner
BorderCos 2013 group skit winner
Eurocosplay qualifier 2012
Nom-Con’s Next Top Cosplayer 2012
Akumakon 2014 Best Overall Cosplay Masquarade.
Nom-Con Skits 2013 winner
Akumakon 2013 Best Overall Masquarade winner
Akumakon 2014 Best Overall Cosplay Masquarade
Anathiell has made and cosplayed many characters and you can check out her portfolio here: http://anathiell.com/sample-page/
You can check out Irish Theatre Group Tantalus Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TantalusIreland/timeline
And subscribe to their YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEx7Tceq-S984jFGlY429g/feed
For any bookings or inquiries you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
You recently ran a BRING & ASK table with PompBerry a fellow cosplayer and make-up artist at Nom-Con, can you tell us about how that went?
We had best time ever helping our fellow cosplayers!
The idea of a BRING and ASK table popped in my head some time ago mainly because a lot of cosplayers would come to my traders table looking for help/advice on their costumes and props. While helping them I realized that many of them are not aware of simple solutions that could make their cosplay life easier. And so next time I just packed my bag with all possible tools, glues, materials, fabrics and tips and tricks and we tried to help and explain everything to those who needed advice. I think people are hungry to know how things can be made from floating pieces of armour, sword holding onto nothing when worn on the back or simple socks that will not stay up for longer than 20 seconds. All these things can be solved quickly if you know the right trick.
We also had fun cutting and styling wigs 😛
Arda Wigs Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArdaWigs
PompBerry is a cosplayer, artist, and makeup artist based in Dublin/Ireland.
You can check out her Facebook Makeup Artist page here: https://www.facebook.com/pompberrymakeup/timeline
And her Facebook Cosplay/Artist page here:
You run the website shop Anathiell’s Little Craft Shop, can you tell us a little bit about the cosplay jewellery, bandanas, and cosplay diaries/planners you make?
Crafts have always been a great part of my life, since I can remember I was either painting, drawing, gluing, stitching, sewing… As a child I used to make my own toys or dresses for all my dolls.
So crafting is a part of my life, I cannot just sit on a couch and watch a movie like a normal human being (this is what my husband says) I have to work on something.
So when I decided to make my living of my hobby it was natural for me to invest my time into something that I love doing most especially on free evenings. Planners, diaries and sketchbooks – they are a response to suggestions and demands
Planners are for all those who love to sketch their costume pieces and make detailed notes before they start working on the actual costume. Diaries are for all those who love to keep memories in written form; you can either write notes yourself or ask your cosplay friends to sign it for you at the con.
When it comes to bandanas the idea behind it is simple – many friends of mine experienced this problem of being photographed without consent while partially out of cosplay, eating or drinking, leaving or heading to the toilet, or simply sitting on the floor enjoying their breaks completely exhausted. The bandana if worn spoils the picture completely, it’s not worth taking a photo if cosplayer has it on and even if someone does take the photo and uploads it on the internet the bandana is easily recognizable and is a proof that the photo was taken without consent.
You sell and use a lot of worbla, can you tell us more about this amazing cosplay material?
I heard about worbla for the first time during the Eurocosplay finals back in 2012 in London. A lot of people were saying it’s a great material to work with but I have to admit that it’s Kamui Cosplay who inspired me to give it a try.
Looking at her tutorials I got the feeling that making armoured costumes became finally easy. Now that I have the basic knowledge and experience I would like to pass that to my fellow cosplayers in Ireland who never had a chance to work with this material. Which is why we give a lot of workshops to make people familiar with Worbla and show them that if it’s used properly it can be a great asset to their costume creations.
Worbla is a thermoplastic modelling material that heated up can be shaped however you want. When it cools down it stays in shape and is very sturdy. The best thing in worlba is that you don’t waste any of the material cause scraps can be turned into props (I made a sword entirely out of worbla scarps), ornaments or smaller costume pieces.
I heard cosplayer Celia made an amazing Ryuko Matoi cosplay from Kill La Kill with the help of your Cosplay Costume sewing pattern.
Can you tell us more about these patterns as well as the video tutorials you plan to do?
She did a brilliant job on her costume, she looked stunning as Ryuko!
All patterns are created by a team of professional seamstresses, I am supervising their work and making sure that the pattern is accurate and includes all details. I have to also presew all patterns and make sure they are understandable for people who are not familiar with sewing.
You would not believe how many discussions we have about the costumes we make, every each person sees the reference pictures different and depending on experience with sewing each person would suggest different solutions. So I think the fact that we have a professional team is a great asset and ensures best quality.
Some of the patterns are more complicated some are easier. Which is why we plan on making video tutorials to give cosplayers all possible help.
Tim – You can find Celia on instagram: http://instagram.com/pikkmin
You can check out and buy Anathiell’s cosplay costume sewing patterns here: http://anathiell.com/shop/index.php/patterns.html
There are new patterns every month with new patterns Elsa from Frozen and Saber (Fate/stay night) coming up next.
You can also commission a cosplay sewing pattern if there is a cosplay you want to make that is not listed in Anathiell’s shop.
The cosplay costume sewing patterns are available online for purchase as PDF files or as printed versions at any convention Anathiell attends.
You can also sign up to their newsletter to take advantage of their monthly special offers, stay informed of any new incoming patterns, and also be within a chance of winning a free pattern each month.
Lastly could you tell us about any future products or tutorials you plan to do, as well as your next planned cosplay?
First of all we plan to bring a lot more sewing patterns to the store this includes costume patterns such as Elsa from Frozen but also generic patterns such as basic leotards (male or female) or stretch gloves. We also take commissions and make patterns to order.
In the future as well we will have online tutorials to show how to put the most complicated patterns together and how to work with them.
I have a few costumes planned. Not sure why but this year was the busiest time for me when it comes to making costumes. I’ve already finished a few of them eg. Zarina the Pirate Fairy or She-Ra and I still have at least 3 cosplays planned.
In the next few months you will definitely see me cosplaying Saber – I am obsessed with this character now.
I also plan to do my first crossplay but this is a small secret. And at the end of this year in December when the weather is all cold and frosty due to a huge demand from my friends I shall be cosplaying a princess… wait actually a queen 😉
This last cosplay is planned for Otaku Con a convention where I am involved with a brand new and exciting cosplay competition called Otaku Cosplay Experience.
Otaku Con is a new Gaming, Anime, Comic book Sci-fi convention and will have it’s first year at The National College Of Ireland in Dublin on the 13th and 14th of December.
Otaku Con will also be at Belfast Film and Comic Con at the Odyssey Arena on the 25 – 26 October to help Animeleague with the cosplay for the show.
You can check out the Otaku Con Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/otakuconireland
Animelegue Facebook page:
Belfast Film and Comic Con website:
Anathiell is one of the people behind Otaku Cosplay Experience which is a competitive Cosplay tournament that has partnered up with conventions all over Europe and has it’s finals at Otaku Con Dublin.
You can check out the Otaku Cosplay Experience Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Otaku-Cosplay-Experience/333972726762270
Otaku Cosplay Experience has just announced that the Otaku Cosplay Experience will be taking place in a proper theatre with an audience of 200 people. I am looking forward to this and I hope you are too as registration will be starting on September 1st.
Thank you very much Anathiell for your time and I look forward to seeing your next planned cosplay, and cosplay patterns, as well as the many adventures you may have along the road till Otaku Con and beyond.
Don’t forget to check out the various links for more of Anathiell’s cosplays and crafts. Also please help spread the word of Anathiell’s Cosplay Costume Sewing Patterns to help get more patterns made and help make sewing that little bit easier for cosplayers.
Anathiell’s Little Craft Shop:
Anathiell’s DeviantArt profile:
Anathiell’s Facebook page:
I’m a Otaku/Nerd/Geek and photographer for Nerdgeist