Last year, a photo of a lady in an indian/bollywood Steampunk cosplay costume made a significant splash in the scene:
I had plans to find the lady in the picture for a long time and ask her for an interview, but this endeavour dropped to the back of my mind for a while. It was last week, when another she shared another image of hers in one of the Steampunk groups on Facebook, and this reminded me of my initial plan.
I have since contacted Ariel and she quickly responded and agreed to my interview request, so it is my pleasure I can present the interview here now:
Please give us a quick introduction about yourself.
My name is Ariel, also know as MakeupSiren. I am a makeup artist by day, chef by night, and cosplayer 24/7. I live to be Creative.
Where can we find you on the web?
You can find me here:
From the things I have picked up about you around your Indian Steampunk images you are a cosplayer, when did you start cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in 2011. I went to my first convention in 2010 and was amazed by all the costume. I told my self the next time I go to a con I will be in full costume as well.
Do you have a favorite charcter/series/film you cosplay? If so, what is the appeal of that one?
Steampunk has always been my first love. My cosplays mostly consist of My original steampunk costume. it’s only recently I starting to venture into other character, like my dragonball z cosplay.
Do you have any other nerdy hobbies?
Cosplaying is my only nerdy hobby. when I’m not cosplaying I am either at work on makeup or working as a chef at my job.When and how did you discover steampunk?
I discover steampunk in 2010 at Fl supercon. I attend an outland armour panel and was just hooked ever since. They opened my eye to the steampunk world and how amazed. The next year I did my first steampunk cosplay.
What was the inspiration behind the Indian steampunk cosplay?
I always had a love for Indian culture. my favorite being their fashion. It was when I stumble on someones Captain Nemo cosplay did the idea pop in my head to combine my love of two worlds into one. it was something I never seen done before and I really wanted to challenge myself creatively. I got a lot of my design ideas from different Bollywood films. This is mostly the reasons why I call my cosplay „Bollywood Steampunk“.
Have you done any other steampunk-inspired cosplays?
I have done many!! I have 8 Steampunk cosplay in total that I created. 3 of them are different Bollywood steampunk styles. I have even created background story to help me create the looks. I can send you pictures for your blog if you like, just let me know
Oh, that would be excellent, I get back to you on that one.
What part of your indian steampunk cosplay do you enjoy creating the most?
Creating the jewelery is my favorite part of my cosplay. when i was going over design ideas, I have always seen all the lady wearing these beautiful jewelery set with there sarees.I want to create the same kind of style with my jewelery but with a steampunk twist. This was when the gears charm idea pop into my head. I truly feel that the gear jewelry brings the indian and steampunk combination to light. I have created a jewelry set for each Bollywood cosplay I created, and plan to create more for my future Bollywood cosplay
Were you surprised about the attention your Indian Steampunk outfit got online? Has something similar happened to you before with a different costume?
Yes and no. I knew that the outfit would get attention. It was something that you don’t see too often in the steampunk community. I just didn’t know it was going to get this amount of attention. I thought it would just get a few comment and some like. it’s a great feeling to see the positive reaction to my costume that I love to much. I have other cosplay that has some popularity but nothing like my Bollywood steampunk.
Have you been in touch with Steampunk India or has Steampunk India gotten in touch with you because of your indian Steampunk cosplay?
Steampunk India and I have befriended each other through Facebook. She posted one of my first Bollywood steampunk copslay on her page and used me as an example in her panels. She was the one who reach out to me (to ask me if she can use my photos for her panels). Her work was a reference for me when creating my first Bollywood steampunk. I’m hoping in the future we can meet face to face.
I have created a character to go with all my Bollywood steampunk cosplays that I have created. Doing this helped me a lot when created the different cosplays and will help me for future one too. Her name is:
Lady Sunahala Registana
She is an Indian girl born and raised in Rajasthan, sunny desert of India. Her father named her after the beautiful land she was born in (Sunahala: Golden, Registana: Desert). She is a part of tribe called Rabari, a tribe that has lived for 1000 of year in the deserts of India.
She Lives in a village with her tribe that is a mix of Indian tradition and steam power living. Her father is a well respected creator of the town. He created industrial machines call sand riders, that help the tribe ride the large desert sand dunes and hill. The sand riders is important to the tribe since it help send and receives goods to and from market. They are much faster than desert horses, so it is preferred to all in the tribe. Sunahala is smart girl, free spirited, and love riding through the sand in her land.
She is a skilful swordsman and is handy with a gun. She works side by side with her father, working on new inventions and new way of improving the sand riders (her favorite toy). The tribe never wastes anything in their village. so some things that might be consider waste to others, are vital things for them. Sunahala likes to use the extra spare gear that her and her father uses to create the sand riders and turn them into beautiful and unique jewelry pieces. The woman in the Rabari tribe decorate themselves in many pieces of jewelry on a daily basis (a mix of tradition and competition). She creates her jewelry as her way to keeping tradition and stand out in the tribe.
Thank you Ariel, for your time and for the interview, it was an honor and a pleasure.
All images © Ariel Dixon and used with kind permission