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 UK cosplayer:

Name: Kirsty Smith
(a.k.a. kiichan)

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

Oh dear, the question is when do I WANT to pick when I started cosplaying.  My first real fully fledged cosplay I'd say was Honey-Sempai from Ouran Host Club for Activities Awards with my Anime Society in 2008.  I suppose I started at about 15 but they were so bad I'd rather forget them!  I think some of the first disasters were Heero Yuy from Gundam Wing and Toboe from Wolf's Rain.

Q: What attracts you cosplay?

I've always done drama and costuming so I suppose cosplay was a combination of two things I loved: Anime and running around causing spackery in the name of theatre!

Q:  What has been your favourite cosplay?

Little Sister (from Bioshock - ed.) is a favourite from a costuming point of view, it's certainly the most well made I've ever produced!  It was such a cute little pink dress before let Tab get his dirty hands on it.  Toph (from Avatar: The Last Airbender - ed.) is also a big fave because I managed to pull off a character I really liked.

Q: Most memorable moment whilst cosplaying?

Probably Little Sister again!  We had to keep running back to my hotel to get the parts for Big Sister and Big Daddy, there was a cruise in at the same time so every time I rode in the lift I had to yell "SORRY!" to whichever poor soul was standing there.  I frightened the life out of all of them! Little Sister makes small children AND grown men cry!

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

Fou (from D.Gray Man - ed.) could have gone wrong in SO many ways.  I've yet to have an epic wardrobe malfunction thankfully!  My main problem when making things is often my sizing, a lot of the time I construct patterns from clothes I already have so it's not really an exact science.  I just make sure I try things on a lot whilst I'm making them!  Nothing worse than finishing something to find it doesn't fit!

Q: We note that you have cosplayed as the Go Merry ship from One Piece in the past. How did you approach this unique idea?

HA it was mainly because the Bristol Anime Club pretty much had a full One Piece crew already!  I'd really got back into the series and wanted to join in so I figured I'd be the boat  The head of Merry was obviously my head, so I made little Ram horns to clip into my hair, the top and the skirt are the two sails, the Straw Hat pirate design and the red and white stripes being the most recognisable aspects of the ship.

Q: Your range of completed cosplays seems to be quite diverse. Is there any common factor you look for in characters?

Generally one of my cosplays gets chosen by "Oh that looks like it will be fun!" lately I've become more focused on abusing my size in choosing my characters as it always adds something to it.  Toph and Little Sister worked so well because I'm so small.  But other than that it's because it looks like it'll be a laugh!

Q: Have you ever regretted cosplaying?

I've regretted my time management in regards to cosplay but never the actual cosplaying itself!

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

I love doing things as a group, you always get a bigger reaction because it's like seeing a full collection!  The Bioshock group was amazing to do since we had the Big Daddy and Big Sister as well as an assortment of Splicers, which can make for some really great photos.  I tend not to do a group organised via a convention forum because it tends to be a lot less reliable and you can get a lot of drop outs.

Q:  What cosplays are you planning?

I'm working on Aegis from Persona 3 at the moment as well as Hanna from the webcomic Hanna is not a boy's name.  I've got Gimli (from Lord Of The Rings - ed.) lined up for October and a V-13 (from BlazBlue - ed.) at some point.

Q:  Do you have a dream cosplay?

I have a few but they're above my skill level at the minute!  I really want to do the full armoured version of V-13 complete with swords and a quad-suit of Ravage from Transformers.

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

Don't be afraid to do things wrong.  A lot of the time I've learnt how to put something together because I've put it together the wrong way at first!  The unpicker is your friend!  Look up tutorials if you're really unsure how to do something.  A nice southern lady on YouTube taught me how to gather fabric properly for dresses!  and ALWAYS leave yourself enough time!  It's SO refreshing not to have to be hand sewing on the way to a con let me tell you!

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

I do!  I'm Kiichan on there and I'm on it most days!  I'm such an update whore XD

(click any picture for a larger image)

Above images provided by kiichan