Miriam Michalovičová, also known as "mrs.physiotherapist," is a popular Slovak cosplayer who even caught the attention of Gal Gadot herself! In creating her unique costumes, she also utilizes 3D printing and we're pleased that her printers are fueled by our filaments! Read our new interview to learn about the costume creation process, Miriam's favorite colors and materials, and whether she prefers DC or Marvel!"
You can find Miriam Michalovičová, also known as "mrs.physiotherapist," HERE!
I'll start with the first question that you may receive frequently, and that is, how did you get into cosplay?
Miriam: As a child, I loved playing various computer games, and my brother and I watched gamer programs where they showed footage from cosplay competitions from various international events. Even then, I was intrigued by it and liked it. From a young age, I enjoyed dressing up as various characters, but you could say that my first costume was the Wonder Woman costume that I bought from a cosplayer because I didn't dare to make it myself. Shortly after that, I started making costumes too. I watched a few videos, and then it was just trial and error.
3D printing is on the rise every year and is becoming increasingly accessible to ordinary users. How big of an advantage is this for you in costume making?
Miriam: Advantage? Probably the biggest advantage is that I can make everything symmetrical. It is difficult to achieve that with eva foam. The product is also more detailed. Another significant advantage is that during, say, a 5-hour print, I can work on something else, and when the project is finished, I can focus on post-processing. In addition, a 3D printer can work at night, but unfortunately, I can't.
Which material is the most suitable for you, and which one do you work best with?
Miriam: I mostly work with PLA. I have also tried ABS, but since we do not have a closed printer box yet, my prints didn't turn out right. PLA is fine, although it takes a little longer to post-process, I have found the best and fastest way to smooth PLA.
Do you have a favorite costume? If so, why that one?
Miriam: I don't have just one favorite; there are several. However, it is the iconic Wonder Woman, which I am supposedly similar to Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and the new character Punchline from DC Comics. All these characters appealed to me, mainly because of their personalities. In comics/movies, they have multiple costume variants, and I always choose the one that I like the most or come up with something of my own.
What is the cosplay community like? Is there a lot of rivalry, or is it a friendly?
Miriam: It's about 50-50, just like anywhere else. I think the most rivalry is felt in cosplay competitions. I don't participate in these competitions, but I always go there as a spectator. I try to promote cosplay and cosplay events through social media to ordinary people, and I'm happy when someone comes to the event because of my recommendations or specifically wants to take a photo with me or talk to me.
What was the longest time it took you to make a costume?
Miriam: The longest it took me was for Jane Foster (the female version of Thor). I don't exactly know how many hours it took to make it, if I said a number, I would be lying, but it was the most complicated one, also due to the glowing Mjolnir that we had to print. But it can be said that making each costume takes me a long time because I always have several "projects" going on at once, and then I don't know which one to finish first. But I work best under pressure, and when the deadline is approaching, or there is a movie premiere or a CON, then I can finish a costume within a few days.
If you had to pick your top 3 favorite colors, what would they be?
Miriam: Top 3 - black, pastel pink, and metallic purple. But I have many more favorites.
Which costume was the biggest challenge for you?
Miriam: The Starlight costume. I don't have much experience with sewing, and this costume was entirely made of fabric, so it was a huge challenge even though it doesn't look complicated. That was the first time I sewed gloves, and it took me about four tries to get them right.
What costumes/projects do you have planned for the near future?
Miriam: Barbie from the movie, Supergirl, Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy, I'm also working on something for the Dune movie, and I still have ongoing costumes: Black Cat and a new Wonder Woman costume. I will be happy if I manage to finish all of this by the end of the year.
Marvel or DC?
Miriam: A common question. For me, it's DC. I am more drawn to their characters, I like the darker environment, and they also make better comics and series. I can even argue that in terms of movie quality, they are getting closer to Marvel. (In my opinion, after Endgame and the subsequent Spider-Man, Marvel's movies are going downhill.)
I know you have a regular job on top of everything. How do you manage to balance cosplay and work? Is it possible to combine them comfortably?
Miriam: It was very difficult to combine both things in a way that I could devote 100% to both of them. Being at work for 8 hours a day and then creating costumes or "playing" with 3D printers. Even though my boyfriend helped me with everything, I slept very little, was tired during the day, and didn't want any health complications to arise from this lifestyle. So, at the end of the year, I decided to do something about it, and now, as a physiotherapist, I work half as much and spend more time on costume-related things. It was a good decision.
Do you notice a growing interest in 3D printing within the cosplay community?
Miriam: Yes. I've noticed that more and more CZ/SK cosplayers are acquiring 3D printers or having things made. It makes me happy that many no longer think that it's easy and that 3D printers work on the principle that you just turn them on and don't have to worry about it being very simple. Yes, at first, when I had no experience with it, I also thought it was easy and that the printer would do the job for me, but the opposite is true. It's usually more complicated than making something out of EVA foam. (At one competition, a contestant had almost the entire costume printed on a 3D printer, and the jury concluded that the costume could not win first prize because it was printed on a 3D printer. I didn't like this opinion because only someone who has no experience with 3D printing could say that.")
What printers do you use, and do you plan to expand your "arsenal"?
Miriam: I received my first ENDER 3 V2 printer from Santa Claus, and it was purchased at the last minute because Santa didn't know what to buy me and regretted it ever since because it's been humming in our living room every day. I bought the second ENDER 5 plus six months later, and shortly after that, a second-hand resin printer to learn how to print on different types of printers, but it's entirely different from an FDM printer, and I haven't gotten the hang of it yet. I definitely plan to expand my arsenal, and currently, I'm considering the Bambulab X1-c brand.
What would you recommend for beginners who want to start with cosplay?
Miriam: For starters, it's better to contact a cosplayer who has experience or at least watch videos and tutorials. I myself still watch various tutorials from which you can learn a lot. Then, above all, you need to try and work with the materials because only by trial and error can you learn and get it right. They can also contact me and I'll gladly provide advice if I know how. I would be happy if the Marvel and DC cosplay community grew in Slovakia because unfortunately, we lack this community here and it needs to change!
What are the biggest advantages of using 3D printing in cosplay?
Miriam: As mentioned above, a printer can make more symmetrical products and, for example, print 100 pieces of something I need for a cosplay and can work continuously for 24 hours. Another great advantage is that I can print things like scales or chainmail without having to glue them by hand.
Do you also go to various Comic Cons and Cosplay events? Which one do you like the most?
Miriam: Definitely our Slovak Anime show and Comics salon. I have only visited those in our vicinity (Vienna, Prague, Budapest) but my dream is to visit the Comic Con in San Diego. I hope to visit it someday.
Do you have any "cosplay fail" that ever happened to you?
Miriam: I'm often mistaken for Xena, even when I'm dressed as Wonder Woman. I don't know how that's possible.
Do you create the costume models yourself?
Miriam: I download free 3D printing models, buy them, or have a boyfriend model them if one is not available or if I don't like the available model.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with access to a 3D printer, which was charged for 24 hours and one filament, what would you print?
Miriam: Probably Wilson so that I have a friend to talk to.
What do you enjoy most about cosplay and what fulfills you?
Miriam: What fulfills me the most is probably when I see that people like my creations and are happy when they can take a photo with their favorite character.
Besides 3D printing, what other techniques and materials do you use for making costumes?
Miriam: I use Eva foam, thermoplastics, and also sewing on a sewing machine. Fortunately, my boyfriend's mother is a skilled seamstress, so if I ever need help or advice, I can get it from a professional. For Eva foam and thermoplastics, I usually use adhesives or a hot glue gun. For 3D printing, I also use adhesives, but I want to try plastic welding as well.
What do you think are the most important aspects of a good cosplay?
Miriam: In my opinion, sometimes it's not even about the complete detailed quality, but the overall impression of the cosplay. The cosplay must make an impact at first sight. I like it when a cosplayer doesn't have everything exactly one-to-one to the character, but adds something of their own to the cosplay, such as their own accessories or designs, but in a way that everyone can still recognize the character at first glance. But this is just my opinion, and in cosplay competitions, things work completely differently.
How would you describe your costume creation process? Do you start with a sketch and design or do you dive right into production?
Miriam: Most cosplayers start with a sketch, but I like to be different, so I just have the design in my head, and often I change and adjust it during production. Even if I make a sketch, the costume will still look completely different from the original, because something else comes to my mind during the creation process, either better or worse.
Do you ever feel like cosplay takes up too much of your time, or is it more of a relaxing escape from reality for you?
Miriam: It's more of an escape from reality, but of course, there are moments when I grumble and say that I should give up on it, but I still enjoy it too much to stop.
Do you ever feel like cosplayers aren't sufficiently recognized and respected within pop culture?
Miriam: I think within the subculture, they are recognized and respected, but they deserve more attention from the wider public. Fortunately, cosplay is becoming more well-known in Slovakia as well, so I believe that in a few years, everyone will know what cosplay is, and it won't just be seen as a carnival activity.
If you had to choose one character to play in a movie or TV series, who would it be?
Miriam: Wonder Woman.
Do you have a dream related to your cosplay that you would like to fulfill someday?
Miriam: I don't know if it's a dream, but I would be very happy if I could meet Gal Gadot and take a photo with her in my Wonder Woman costume!
And finally, this or that questions: ?
Shower or bath? - Shower
Winter or summer? - Definitely summer
Snowboard or ski? - Snowboard
Batman or Superman? - I am Batman
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? - Lord of the Rings
Instagram or Tik-Tok? - Instagram
Spiderman or Venom? - Spidy!
Spaghetti or pizza? - Spaghetti
Coffee or tea? - Tea
The Last of Us or The Walking Dead? - The Last of Us!
You can find Miriam Michalovičová, also known as "mrs.physiotherapist," HERE!