Lanthea Cosplay first came to my attention because of her gorgeously detailed warrior Ariel costume. She used Worbla to create an entirely different look for the character from Disney’s The Little Mermaid and did things with Worbla I’d never seen before. I asked her about making that costume, other materials she likes to use, and more:
Adafruit: How long have you been cosplaying and what inspired you to start?
Lanthea Cosplay: I have been cosplaying since 2012, so three years now. I attended my first convention in 2011 and was completely inspired by all of the cosplayers there. I decided after the first day that I wanted to make a costume for the next year. It wasn’t until after that first convention that I learned what cosplay was! I set to work as soon as I got home. I researched my character, found materials from around the house and put together my very first cosplay. I debuted Codex (from The Guild) in 2012 and got an enormous amount of positive feedback. After getting tons of photos taken and having such a great reaction to my handmade costume, I just knew this was the hobby for me.
Adafruit: The Armored Ariel costume you’re currently working on is amazingly detailed. What was the inspiration for it?
Lanthea: I started designing armored princesses a while back, mainly due to the fact that I can’t sew very well. I would sit in the car, waiting for my daughter to finish her piano class and draw princess armor. As soon as I designed the breastplate, I knew I actually had to make my Armored Ariel. I’m a sucker for little details that people might not notice at first glance, so as I started building, the design evolved into a much more detailed version of my original plan.
Adafruit: How much time have you spent shaping all the Worbla scales and what has been the most challenging part of that project?
Lanthea: I spent well over 100 hours on the scales alone, and they were definitely the most challenging part of this build. I cut each scale from a double layer of cold Worbla so as not to distort the shape at all. I still don’t have full feeling back in my thumb from all of the cutting, there are well over 800 scales on the finished costume!
Adafruit: As far as your entire cosplay history, what has been your favorite material you’ve worked with and why?
Lanthea: For anyone who has followed my work, the answer to this is pretty obvious, ha ha. I am slightly addicted to using Worbla in all its capacities. It’s versatile, there is little to no waste (the majority of the details on both my Barbarian and Ariel are made of Worbla scraps) and it’s ridiculously easy to work with.
Adafruit: What new skills have you had to learn because of cosplay?
Lanthea: Where do I start?! There are just so many new skills I have had to learn. Sculpting, pattern making, prop making, casting (resin and latex mostly), design, posing, time management, sewing. I have also had to improve my people skills as I can be pretty painfully shy (at first). Writing, making tutorials, video editing, the list seriously goes on and on.
Adafruit: Any tips or tricks to offer other cosplayers?
Lanthea: I think the biggest piece of advice I can give would be to just go for it! Don’t let what others might say hold you back from doing something you are interested in doing. Cosplay for you, choose characters you like, designs you like (you don’t need to know everything about a character to be able to cosplay them), don’t let others try to dictate who you can and cannot cosplay.
Another piece of advice that I wish I had gotten back when I started is for cosplay photography. I do understand that not everyone is comfortable with getting their photo taken. You have every right to refuse photos if you are not comfortable with it. However, if you are OK with having your photo taken, practice your poses in front of a mirror. Do this every time you are in front of a mirror, and by the time the con rolls around your body will know exactly what to do, so you get the best hall shots and photos from shoots as you can.
Most importantly, have fun!
All photos by Hali Rosborough Photography.