Mia McLaughlin aka Ani-Mia has been cosplaying since 2008 but has been a geek since she was sporting her Knight Rider tees at age 3. Her love for video games, comic books and anime are reflected in her wide variety of cosplay costumes.
The majority of her costumes are hand-crafted by herself though she has teamed with top designers on a few occasions.
She has worked with numerous convention organizers and artists to provide her services as a professional, model cosplayer for general fans and fellow cosplayers alike.
She has had the opportunity to travel to conventions across the country, judge numerous costume contests, appear in both online and print magazines and meet tons of amazing people including those within the industry and fans!
The one thing she really wants to do is help bring the cosplay community together as a whole and has been involved in numerous charity events and panels on topics such as body image and positivity within cosplay. She also has a love for providing her knowledge in costume making to new cosplayers.
Interview excerpts below originally appeared on Cosplay Fanatic.
How did you get into cosplay, who did you portray first, and why?
I got into cosplay when my friend took me to my first convention. I saw cosplayers and was hooked. I went to my first convention in cosplay right afterwards as Nerine from Shuffle because she is a very shy and sweet character which I felt really reflected me at the time. (It looked horrible, btw)
What’s the best part of cosplay?
Being able to be your favorite characters and in a way, taking on aspects of their personality. The more I’ve cosplayed strong characters, the more confident I feel both in and out of costume.
If you could be any super hero or villain who would you be and why?
I’d want to be Supergirl because I would love to have a wide range of abilities that I can use to help others.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be?
Joss Whedon because I have so many questions to ask him about my favorite shows and comics.
What’s your favorite sci-fi movie and what captivates about the plot?
My favorite sci-fi movie is The Fifth Element. I love the characterization, cinematography and especially the clever dialogue mixed with intense action. In general a big Luc Beson fan.
What’s the craziest thing a fan sent you or requested?
I think at this point, I’ve been asked almost everything. You name it, I’ve probably been asked for it.
What sidekick would you hire to be your personal assistant and why?
Alfred, definitely Alfred. I feel like he could get anything done.
What character intimidates the heck out of you, why, and when will you attempt take the challenge to portray them?
I really want to do a Quorra from Tron cosplay or maybe a Jaeger. I am really intimidated by the armor and lights because I would want it to be as perfectly replicated as possible. Maybe one day.
Do you know a lot about the series you cosplay?
I generally always cosplay characters that I know and love because if I don’t have a passion for the character it shows in my costume and I’m not as motivated to work on it. If I don’t know the character, I do a lot of research (watch the movie/anime, play the game).
What’s your favorite comic con to attend and what makes it so special?
DragonCon, because it’s the one con a year that I don’t work and I just hang out with my friends all weekend. It’s a reminder of how cons are meant to be. Having a great time with friends and around people who love the same things you do.
Who was your favorite character to portray and what rocked about it?
Supergirl because I feel more and more self confident each time I wear it.
Be sure to check out some of our other cosplay profiles like Toni Darling!
How do you keep cosplay fun?
Never let it become a job or obligation.
In your opinion what’s the meaning of life?
To be happy and content in your life while letting others do the same.
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