Cosplay interviews! A weekly feature on Animetion where we talk to cosplayers on what motivates them, plus a cool gallery showcasing their cosplays.  Here we talk to cosplayer and popular UK artist:

Name: Sonia Leong 

Q: When did you start cosplaying and how long for?

My first cosplay was at Animecon 2001 in Liverpool.  I did Kamiya Kaoru from Rurouni Kenshin and got Best in Show! ♥

Q: What attracts you to cosplay?

I love epicness, I never do things by halves.  So when it comes to looking cool or posing for photos, I give it my all!

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

Abel Nightroad, Trinity Blood.  I love it. I also hate it, as it took about 80+ hours of my life I will never get back, hehe.  I learnt how to do things with Fimo I never thought possible.  Not

to mention over 200 worth of materials and accessories T_T;; It was a real baptism of fire, as it had been seven years since my last cosplay.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

Waltzing with Antonio de Borgia (played by my husband) at the Grand Cosplay Ball.

Q:  Have you had any cosplays go wrong/encountered problems whilst making cosplays?

I think EVERY Trinity Blood cosplayer has bits break or fall off within one hour of going out.  My Abel always carries a clutch bag containing superglue and pliers.  Those blasted arrow clips... my scorpion pendant... the rosaries getting caught in doors...

Q:  Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

Never, it's always fun!

Q:  Do your cosplays have a particular theme to them?

Hmm, yes.  Long hair (preferably black, but I'll make exceptions if I really really love a character) is ideal as I use my own hair for everything.  Glasses are good, as I have many of those.  Essentially, there has to be something in common between the character and me so it's not a complete bitch to do.  Epic is good, couples/people from the same series are good too - I'm always on the lookout for a pair that me and my husband can do.  And because I have to create his costumes as well, I have to pick characters which suit him. And I do really really like CROSSplay - I'm a tall girl, so I make a good bish (crossplaying is cosplaying as a character of the opposite sex - ed.).

Q:  Have you ever done group cosplay? If so how did you find that experience?

Only by accident!  And it is sooooo cool!  I love being in a group of cosplayers, particularly of the same series as they are most likely understand your pain.

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

Isaak Fernand von Kampfer and Dietrich Lohengrin from Trinity Blood (me as Isaak, hubby as Dietrich). After that... Possibly Shanoa and Albus from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia. Or Momohime and Kisuke from Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

Odette, Queen of the Dead from Odin Sphere.  Or anything else that is ridiculously difficult and impossible.

Q:  Do you have one piece of advice that you would give to cosplay virgins?

Hmm... quality over quantity?  It may be because I'm a perfectionist, but I think it's really much better to perfect one costume than make a sloppy job of three.  Even if it isn't epic, a simple but very well executed cosplay, with quality props and finished sewing, will still look good and will last you several events.  I was recently reassured that nobody thinks of cosplayers as a one-trick-pony if you're seen in the same cosplay several times, particularly if it is ridiculously epic.  So get your wear out of an outfit you are particularly proud of, the public and your fellow cosplayers will appreciate seeing it again.  It also means less costumes means less hassle storing, haha!

Q.  You don't always cosplay at cons/events - but you do dress up? 

Yup - I'm a follower of Gothic and Lolita fashion.  My wardrobe is pretty much almost entirely composed of frilly, lacy, floofy or classical things.  My favourite brand is Innocent World, followed by Angelic Pretty and BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT.  So I'm mostly in lolita or gothic clothing all the time.  I've been featured in Gothic and Lolita Bible and help to moderate LoligothUK, the UK livejournal community on the fashion.  I still always LOL whenever someone sees me in lolita and says "Nice Costume!", I can't resist shouting back "It's not a costume!"  But I think this is partly the reason why I got back into cosplay again - to me, lolita fashion is normal, it's my usual thing to wear so when a big anime event comes up, it just feels like I'm doing more of the same. So I crossplay to really make a change.

Q.  As a professional manga-ka, you are often in the public eye. You are photographed a lot?

Oh god, yes.  Even when I was at the New York Comic Con, I got asked about 12 times for a photo and a magazine offer.  Is it 'cos I is AZN or something? LOL!  To be fair, I am asking for it - I am always ridiculously overdressed for every occasion and have modelled for various professional photoshoots in the past.  Modelling is NOT fun or glamourous, haha!  My only problem now is that I have a reputation to uphold...

Q:  Do you have an account with the website Cosplay island/other social networking sites?

Yup, I'm on Cosplay Island as sonia_leong, look me up!

(click any picture for a larger image)

Sonia as Abel Nightroad from Trinity BloodSonia (right) as Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood

Sonia in elegant gothic fashion (original) Sonia in fashion street loli clothing (original) Sonia in fashion gothic lolita (original)

Sonia as Kaoru from Ruroni Kenshin Sonia in red lolita fashion (original) Sonia (left) as Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood

Sonia (right) as Abel Nightroad from Trinity Blood
Sonia in sweet fashion lolita (original)
Sonia in fashion corset

All images provided by Sonia Leong