The Ministers of Good Taste like to reach out and conduct interviews with fellow cosplayers around the world to see what’s going on. If you would like to be part of CosTalk, or know someone who would – please contact us at email@example.com.
This week we are fortunate enough to be able to interview fellow cosplayer Ashlie – aka Bossbot!
- Hey, Bossbot! Thanks for taking the time to be a part of our CosTalk series. We generally like to start out easy, and find out what got you started: could you tell us where your Nerdness comes from and what’s the story behind it?
My nerdness sprouted from the tender age of 10. I remember watching Pokemon and Sailor Moon long before that, and getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning to watch Dragonball Z, but it really started the night I discovered Inuyasha. I was just perusing the channels when I should’ve been sleeping, and stumbled across this weird, dark looking show. A cartoon this late at night (it was around 10pm) was unusual to me, so I watched it. It turned out to be the third episode of the series. It was this, and rediscovering my love for DBZ about a year later that pulled me into this.
- So it seems anime plays a big part in what you do: is there anything else? What are the shows/comics/books/movies that inspire you to dress up?
I pull inspiration from nearly every show I watch, but mainly my inspirations come from strong stories that I connect with, and stronger characters that resonate with me. Disney is a huge thing for me too. I love dressing up as pretty princesses and bursting into song. Lately I’ve been bitten by the “Tales of” game series bug too, so that’s happening.
- You would have fit in great at DragonCon – what with YMCA breaking out an all. Could you tell us what your very first cosplay was: character/event/story?
My first official cosplay—I only call it official because it was my first con—was Kagome Higurashi from Inuyasha. I wore it to Anime North 2006, and made it with help from my mother in the week before the convention. I actually rediscovered the skirt recently in my pile of fabrics. It’s a disaster now that I look back on it, but I was proud of it at the time and learned a lot. I met a lot of great people, including one of my best friends through a fellow Kagome cosplayer that year. We went on to cosplay Cloud, Kadaj and Tifa (Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children) together a while later.
- I love how cosplay brings people together – we’ve met so many friendly and interesting people since we started too! Can you share how your costume(s) came about? And do you have any good shopping tips for our fellow cosplayers?
Of course! My costumes usually start the same way: references, and fabric shopping. Fabric shopping can be just the way it sounds; hopping over to the local fabric store and buying meters, or it can be running to a thrift store to find things to tear apart for patterns. I combine both methods in my construction, which is my biggest and most helpful tip I think I could ever give: Tear apart old clothes to learn how they work. That’s how I started making my own patterns and progressed so quickly. Once you learn one shirt pattern, you’ve learned them all. The same goes for pants and skirts. Every garment is a variation of the same basic pattern, it just takes a little creativity to make it look different.
- Tear stuff apart – got it, we can do that. Not sure about the putting back together again though… What about pet peeves while you’re Cosplaying – what are your biggest ones?
Wardrobe malfunctions is a big one. A lot of the time, I don’t get a chance to try a costume on in full before a con, so by the time I get to wear it, there’s bugs I didn’t get to work out to account for movement and every-day wear. Another one is wigs. Whether it’s the wig cap slipping, pin headaches, or just general maintenance, guaranteed there’s something with my wig that’s irking me, even if it doesn’t look like it.
- Wigs… didn’t see that one coming! Do you have any role models when it comes to your Cosplaying?
My role models are in modest people like Amishanda and Vickybunnyangel, and of course in some bigger names like Elffie and Calssara, and especially Jessica Nigri lately. They’ve all been super supportive towards each other and setting a good example for the cosplay community. They all have goals, ideals, and talents that I aspire to have as well.
- Very cool – it’s refreshing that there are so many supportive people out there. Speaking of people – can you tell us your best stories about a person or group of people you’ve met while at an event? What is the Cosplay culture where you’re from?
I’ve got a lot of really funny—and embarrassing—anecdotes for this, but I think my favourite story is from when I finished making my Boa Hancock costume. It was Anime North and I was wearing Boa with pride, having pulled inspiration for the costume’s construction from Flaming-Goddess’ workmanship (Her Boa is fabulous, please go check it out!). I was getting ready to walk again when a Nami nearby approached me and looked at my skirt curiously, asking if the snakes were done with transfer paper, which they had been. I looked up to answer her, and realized it was actually Flaming-Goddess who had asked. My jaw flapped a few times before I finally managed to breathe again. I’ve met her many times since then and feel really honored to call her a friend.
Bottom line is I admire a number of people and I am a huge dork when meeting them. It’s probably to do with the fact that where I’m from, the cosplay culture is very low-key, so I don’t really know a lot of the local cosplayers personally. There is a solid group of nerds in my city and a large number of talented people, but it’s just so much more quiet than in a big city, like Toronto for example.
- I understand that, coming from the Pacific NorthWest – going to some of the bigger cities and cons like San Diego and Atlanta is pretty different from Portland. When it comes to events, are there any upcoming events or projects you are a part of/or are looking forward to?
I’d have to say it’s my big milestone next year. I decided a long time ago that if I make it to ten years as a cosplayer, and learn everything I had on my list at the time, I’d put together all the skills I’ve accumulated into two big costumes. I’m proud to say that ten year goal has finally arrived as of May 2015. To celebrate, I will be crafting Erza Scarlet’s Heaven’s Wheel Armor from Fairy Tail, and Sango’s demon slayer armor from Inuyasha. Sango was supposed to be the first cosplay I would wear to Anime North, so I decided this would be the time to make it.
- Awesome – congrats on reaching 10 years! On a more personal note – in all your time as as a Cosplayer, do you have any good dating stories about breaking the news that you cosplay? Or how does your significant other feel about your nerdness?
My boyfriend often tells me he’s proud of the work I do, and amazed at what I can pull together, but I know that sometimes he gets frustrated with how much I actually put into this hobby, which I completely understand—I’m obsessed. We’ve been cosplaying together since we started dating, but I take full responsibility for that. It was Anime North 2007, we had been dating for a week when I sprung the whole idea of costumes, and anime, and this big huge world I was already so invested in. He was a good sport about it and came along for the ride, and ended up coming with me nearly every year after that, and we actually celebrate our anniversary through Anime North each year. It’s been eight years, and we’re still hamming it up in costume and watching way too much anime together.
- Very cool – glad it’s something you can enjoy together. So, when you aren’t Cosplaying how fashion conscious are you/how would you describe your clothing/style?
I’m actually quite fashion conscious when I’m out of costume! I keep a fairly simple wardrobe with splashes of colour (and the odd nerdy shirt here and there) since I’m almost always working, so lots of black and white. You could describe my attire as “business casual” in most cases, but I definitely love my skinny jeans. I constantly people watch and keep close eyes on trends, so you’ll never find me in sweat pants or Pjs unless I’m getting into or out of bed, or sick. Even my “grub wear” is nice enough to go out in.
- Alright. We’re close to wrapping up – we just want to know a couple more things: if your nerd dream came true: what are you starring in, and who are you starring with? Actor/actresses/writer/directors?
I think my biggest nerd dream is to once, just once, sing for Disney. I grew up with The Little Mermaid as my biggest obsession and inspiration as a child, so I think being able to sing with the greats like Jodi Benson would be one of the most important milestones of my life. I don’t need the stage, but if it’s there I’ll take to it and I’ll shine bright enough for the back row to see me.
- That would be pretty sweet. Here we are at the end… Could you tell us about what you want your followers to know about you: what are your passions in life? And do you have any advice for our readers and your followers?
Besides being a cosplayer, I want my followers to know that I’m a huge nerd too. I sew, I sing, I write, I draw, and I cry over fictional characters way more than I should. My passions in life are all in the arts, despite being told I should go for sciences. My advice to my readers and followers is simply this: if it makes you happy, and you’re not hurting anyone, do what you love and love what you do. Don’t risk losing your opportunity because someone else says “You can’t do it” or “You’ll never get anywhere in that”. You and your neighbour measure success in entirely different units.
- Great advice! Thank you again, Bossbot – maybe we’ll see you around someday!
Of course you ask where can I follow Bossbot? We got you:
~ S.M. (Shay) Presley ~
Fashionably Good Taste Contributor
@MinistersofGT & on Facebook