Cosplayer of the Week: Nanayena

This week we feature British cosplayer Nanayena. Nanayena is crazy talented with a particular fondness for Cats (the musical) and Star Wars characters.  Her costume repertoire is huge from spandex bodysuits to big ass lekku on her head. Check out the feature below then go and like her page!

Age 29

Location/Nationality: UK

What is your favourite food? Burritos

What inspires you to cosplay?

Kick ass characters and the actual build of the costume, I like a good challenge, if something looks fun to make then I want to make it.

Photo by  Wingedmammal.com
Photo by Wingedmammal.com

What has been your best experience in cosplay?

Tripping over Norman Reedus whilst I was dressed as an Orion Starfleet member. I turn around and he’s trying to take a selfie with our group. Just a really strange occurrence!

You have done a lot of cosplay from the musical cats, what is it about cats that makes you want to cosplay keep revisiting it?

I love reproducing the costumes to as stage accurate as I can, its all about the challenge, that and I’ve worked on a lot of commissions and pieces for a small production in Italy. If you want to wear something fun and immersive then a cat is the way to go, you get to be cheeky and people always respond well to your performance and character.

Photographer unknown
Photographer unknown

You’ve also made a few sets of Star Wars lekku (I think that’s what they’re called), what was the trickiest thing to learn to do when you made these?

The hardest part is to produce something that has a good shape and is light weight. My first set are fairly weighty, great through all the tests but after a full day of wearing they are a strain. I don’t want to sculpt and cast a set, I don’t have the space or resources to do so and this often means you end up with a heavy prosthetic.

What advice would you give to other cosplayers?

Pace yourself! Sometimes you have to be disciplined to put the work into a costume to get the result that you want. Too many times I’ve thought ‘can’t be bothered to do this today’ and I’ve left it all to the end. It just gives you stress and not always the outcome that you want. If I just pushed myself to do 20 minutes it would be 20 minutes less the night before the con.

Photo by Jeff G
Photo by Jeff G

What has been the most interesting/difficult technique you have used so far?

Electro flocking. I wanted to produce a screen accurate mask for my Novice Hame costume, I had to find a tool and ‘flocking fiber’ and just learn. You basically apply glue to your surface, run an electrical current through it and sprinkle little nylon hairs over it. The effect is realistic super short fur.

If there is one shop you could recommend for cosplay supplies, what would it be?

The whole of Goldhawk Road including the Pie and Mash shop, that part is vital. The fabric shops there are literally the best.

Photo by Eddie of Food and Cosplay
Photo by Eddie of Food and Cosplay
Photo by Jon Fisher Photography
Photo by Jon Fisher Photography
Photo by Andrei Guiamoy Photography
Photo by Andrei Guiamoy Photography
Photo by R.Skilton
Photo by R.Skilton
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About Anna

The resident comic nerd and mistress of Spandex (or so the others say). I have been cosplaying since 2010 while trying to squeeze in numerous adventures where I can. I have a published works such as a fantasy novel and a superhero comic.