At London Film and Comic Con 2018 we sat down for a chat with Richard Arthur aka The Official Ariel to talk makeup, Disney princesses and his love of Westworld.
How has your LFCC been? Have you managed to get out from your table and onto the con-floor?
I’ve stayed mostly in the cosplay area but I’ve been enjoying it so far and I love everyone here. Everyone’s been super nice and accommodating.
The usual question; when and how did you get into cosplay?
I got into cosplay about 8 years ago, in high school, and that turned into a makeup career for me. So it went from cosplay to makeup and now, yeah.. This is my life!
Which costume do you think you are most recognised for and which is your personal favourite? I’m guessing you’re known mostly for Ariel?
Yes. Yeah, I’m known mostly for Ariel and pretty much all the Disney princesses.
Do you have a favourite of your princesses?
Yeah, I do. Ariel is my favourite princess to be but I think my second favourite would probably be Meg from Hercules.
She is very cool. So, what was your most complicated costume to make and/or which took the longest?
That’s a good question! Um, I think the longest one… The one that I had the most trouble with was Dolores Abernathy from Westworld. It was really complicated and there are a lot of tiny details that I just overlooked while making the costume so I had to constantly re-do it but it ended up being worth it.
So, are you a little bit like me; I’ll be cosplaying this weekend and sometimes there are little things you forget or don’t have time for so I’ll be going back and adding on bit later?
Yeah, I’m constantly upgrading my costumes and fixing them ‘cause I’ll watch a movie and notice something that I didn’t notice before and I’m so anal about fixing things.
What new skills have you learnt through cosplay?
Well, I learned makeup, which is pretty important to me in my life right now. Yeah, and I probably wouldn’t be doing what I do without cosplay. Definitely.
Can you talk a little bit more about your makeup career and what specifically it’s led you into?
Yeah, cosplay makeup has led me into.. Well, I ended up going to school for it. I went to school for a year and studied special effects makeup and beauty makeup and then that ended up opening doors for me and now I’m working, mostly on sets, for film and TV and commercials as well.
Do you have any panels this weekend and what are they on?
Yeah, I just had a panel a few hours ago actually, today, on Friday and it was a makeup panel. It was lots of fun.
Do you think it went well, did you get some good questions?
[Laughs] Yeah, it was pretty good! I felt a little ill so I had to cut it short but I got some really great questions and a lot of people came up to my booth and asked me questions afterward which was really nice.
What are your favourite fandoms at the moment?
Well, Disney for one. Um, Westworld… Hmm.. Harry Potter, love Harry Potter-Slytherin. Um, yeah, that’s all I can think of for now!
Which of your costumes had the most unexpected reaction? Was there something you put together quickly/obscure but it surprised people got it?
Yeah, actually the one that I wore today. I wore my peasant Cinderella costume. I kinda didn’t try too hard on it. Didn’t really like it that much but it was the comfiest thing I own so I wore it. But I got a lot of really positive feedback and I’m happy about it.
Are you working on anything new at the moment, new costumes coming up?
Um, not really. [Laughs] No. I’ve been working a lot so I don’t really have a lot of time to dedicate to cosplay but definitely more Westworld. I just love Westworld!
I still haven’t seen it!
You should! It’s really good!
I will. Thank you.
You can find The Official Ariel online on Instagram