Margaret (solo): Hello! My name is Małgorzata ‘Margaret’ Janikowska and I’ve been cosplaying for 16 years! Now I’m a full time cosplayer. During this extraordinary crafting adventure, I won 19 cosplay contests taking 1st places. One 2nd place, one 3rd place, 8 titles (for the best technical performance, best cosplay and best performance) and several other awards. My greatest achievement is winning the European Championship contest: International Cosplay Champions Cup in 2019 in Bratislava.
I work at events related to games in my costumes for well-known companies such as Play Station PL, Xbox PL, Techland, Epic Games, Bethesda PL, Cenega, ESL PL … etc.
I am strongly connected with art. I graduated from the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław and I have the title of Master of Arts.
I love cosplay from the bottom of my heart and I am very exited to be part of International Cosplay League family this year! 😀
Kairi (duo): Hi everyone! I’m Kairi and I’m polish cosplayer with almost 20 years of experience! I’ve been representing my country in many solo and duo competitions. I’ve also been a judge many times traveling around Europe and other continents as well! My regular job is very corporate and this is why I’m enjoying cosplay even more as a way to express myself and get a proper rest from professional duties. Can’t wait to meet other participants of ICL during the finals and of course – all attendees of Japan Weekend as well! See you there! <3
Dorian (duo): Hello! I’m Dorian Makbeth and Dorian is, obviously, my real name. I’m 30 and I’ve been cosplaying since 2010. It will be my first time representing my country in an international cosplay competition, so I am very stressed but also excited! I’m a 100% cat person and tea lover so for sure we’ll find something in common *wink*
How did you discover cosplay and what made you start in this hobby? How long ago?
Margaret: My high school classmate told me about a manga and anime convention that was held at a nearby school. I thought that every person attending the convention had to be dressed up, so I created my first cosplay and even took part in the cosplay contest that was held there. I immediately got the passion for it and as soon as the convention ended, I was already planning to go to the next one and create another costume. Those were the old days of 2007.
Kairi: Years ago, I stepped into my very first convention and witnessed people bringing their beloved characters to life. As someone who had always aspired to be an actress, this experience resonated deeply with me and ignited a spark of inspiration within me.
Dorian: I was obsessed with the Victorian era at a very young age and my friend showed me manga ‘Black Butler’. I fell in love at first sight and decided to recreate some Victorian-inspired costumes myself. Searching for references on the internet, I discovered people in Asia dressed up as these characters and I really wanted to try that too. A few months later, I noticed that there are also anime conventions in Poland with cosplay competitions, and at the beginning of 2011 I presented my first self-made cosplay on stage. I even got a small award!
Why did you choose that project for the ICL national selection / online selection? Is this your first time joining an international cosplay competition?
Margaret: I chose Lilith from Diablo IV because it is the costume of my life. I made it by myself, learning new techniques and spending a little over 2 years in my workshop to reproduce every detail. The costume is very large, extremely detailed and very complicated. This is my second big international competition.
Kairi: We love Genshin Impact and having both player & enemy seemed very fun to be portrayed on stage! The Hilichurl outfit was also my first attempt at “monster costume” crafting and I saw it as an occasion to go out of my comfort zone. Over the course of my journey, I’ve had the privilege of taking part and placing in prestigious events on a global scale, including renowned competitions like ECG, C4, Global Easter Cosplay Competition, and even the esteemed Crown Championships of Cosplay. Can’t wait to make all new memories by participating in ICL finals this year.
Dorian: Since I couldn’t buy Kaeya’s costume in good quality for a photoshoot, I decided to make it myself. And… I made this costume three times! It’s not as simple as it seems. It has many elements that have to work together, many shades of bluish/purple fabrics that were so hard to find. I spent a lot of time on this costume, so I decided it would be a good choice for a national selection especially as I’ve honed my cosplay skills in this area and introduced new techniques that I’ve never used before!
I am so excited to present one of my favorite characters in an international cosplay competition for the very first time.
What does cosplay mean for you? And what is your favorite part of the hobby?
Margaret: Cosplay means everything to me. It’s my whole life. I always wondered who I wanted to be, what to do in life, but it all came down to one thing – COSPLAYER. This passion is amazing in that you can’t get bored. One day I’m working with fabrics, the next I’m making casts, another day I’m making makeup, and another day I’m gluing my hands together working with eva foam or burning myself using thermoplastics. I love everything: the whole process of crafting the costume, dressing as character, performing and giving advice to young cosplayers.
Kairi: I think cosplay is the most creative hobby you can think of. It consists of not only producing costumes, and having skill in makeup and wig making, but also needs a lot of logistics, acting, storytelling, directing, and prop building. I guess there are many more if we will include each technique you need to learn at least a bit to craft something particular like 3D modeling, knitting, or leather works. Sky’s the limit here, and cosplayers love to grow!
Dorian: I totally agree with Kairi. Cosplay allows everybody to unleash creativity. You can create amazing costumes from scratch! And let’s not forget the most important thing – people. Cosplay brings people together. Great friendships that result in great projects, photos, and performances.
How did the pandemic affect your motivation and project for the selections?
Margaret: The pandemic has not affected my motivation for ICL, but unfortunately it has deepened my depression, which I fight every day.
Kairi&Dorian: The pandemic had a significant impact on our motivation and projects. While physical events were limited, we redirected our energy to creative projects and online interactions. We seized the opportunity to focus on self-photography at home. This journey led Kairi to become a professional cosplay photographer even! And Dorian is her model ver often as well, haha.
Do you think cosplay is changing since the pandemic? Why and how?
Margaret: The saddest were canceled events, where I couldn’t meet my friends, take part in competitions and cosplay works. But I developed my cosplay company with online orders, so I’m not complaining 🙂
Kairi&Dorian: Certainly, the influence of the pandemic on cosplay has been profound, and the rise of TikTok has played a role in shaping its transformation. With in-person events affected, cosplayers turned to platforms like TikTok to showcase their projects and collaborate virtually. TikTok’s short-form content has brought a new dimension to cosplay, allowing for quick and impactful glimpses into characters and crafting processes. This shift has not only broadened the reach of cosplay but also emphasized the importance of creativity and adaptability. It’s fascinating to witness how the community is evolving and finding innovative ways to connect and inspire!
What do you expect from your visit to Spain? Is this your first time visiting the country?
Margaret: I am very excited because it will be my first time in Spain and I have always wanted to see this country.
Kairi: I’ve been to Spain many times as a cosplay guest, and I even had a chance to live in Madrid for some time! I love Spanish weather, food and atmosphere at conventions. Happy to be back and meet my friends!
Dorian: That will be my second time in Spain, but first at the spanish convention so I’m very excited to see how everything works here, to feel the atmosphere and meet new people! And of course, I can’t wait to eat lots of Patatas Bravas!
Have you decided your project for the finals in Madrid? Can you give us a clue?
Margaret: The costume was ready.
Kairi & Dorian: Our prelims were very close to the finals so we are taking the costumes from Polish selections – this will be so fun to show our performance to the Spanish audience! 🙂
Describe the cosplay community in your country using five words.
Margaret: passionate, supportive, creative, tolerant, empathetic.
Kairi&Dorian: Passionate, Growing, Pierogi , Innovative, Inclusive.
Link to your Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter (add other social media if relevant):
Team Poland was selected at Ryucon