Handsome Profiles

Feb 22, 2014

Miniature Costume Fabricator
Berlin, Germany

Annika Schindler comes from a long line of handy women. She began sewing at age six thanks to her mother, an apparel designer, and her grandmother, who played a major role in fostering Annika’s love for patterns and knitting.

Annika concentrated in fashion design at university, and for a while she kept busy in the fashion world. She later transitioned to costume design for theater and live-action productions, and then discovered her passion for the little things in miniature costume design.

Annika really took to miniatures because they present such great challenges. Her job requires a lot of creative problem-solving when making decisions about material, performance, and proportion. Because of this, she is always experimenting with new fabrics and dyes. If one idea doesn’t work, she quickly learns why and can draw on her years of experience to know what logical alterations should come next. Sometimes the proportions she works with are so tiny that Annika needs to make small tools to fit her fingers so that she can manipulate the costumes more precisely. And when she’s in the middle of a project, she applies herself with such steadfast focus that her hands sometimes blister.

I met Annika during a 12-day Thai massage course. Despite not having had any experience with bodywork, Annika was a natural at it. It makes sense when you think about it. Her job requires great muscle memory to know how materials will respond to pressure. The body is just another medium for her handiwork.

By the end of our time in the massage village, Annika had the greatest number of IOUs at the coffee shop. Whether jittering from too much caffeine, nestling a cigarette, or indulging her OCD knitting and spinning habit until cramping sets in, Annika’s hands certainly move to the rhythm of a masterful puppeteer.

Click here to learn more about the Zyklopik art collective of which Annika is a part. You can watch examples of her work in motion here, here, here, and here.