Describe what cosplay means to you in 4 words.
Oh lord that’s hard! (those aren’t my 4 words!) Artistic, Self Expression, Challenging
It looks like some of your family members cosplay, how cool is it to hit cons with mom?
I am so incredibly lucky that my mom not only supports my cosplay but loves to do it with me! I love attending conventions with her and being able to share my own personal heaven with her. We actually went to Denver Comic Con 2014 and her costumes were a bigger hit than mine. I’ve also convinced my dad to consider cosplaying and he’s starting on a Ring Wraith from LOTR.
What type of activities are you involved in outside of nerdom?
Outside of Nerddom? Well when I’m not playing way too many video games or working on my next cosplay I am either creating a new performance piece for my classes or attending Aerial Silk or Pole Fitness Classes. Usually when I’m struggling with a cosplay I will take a break and hang upside down in some silks for a bit, or if I’m raging super hard from playing a game I’ll go throw out some improvisational movement to calm down.
What’s there to do in Utah?
There is actually quite a bit to do and a lot of it is outdoors. I have a hiking trail a mile from my house that I take my dog on a weekly walk through, lots of LAN parties, resorts that are open year round for mountain biking or skiing, and if you’re into the arts scene here there is an event almost weekly.
At what age did you realize you were a creative soul?
I’ve always been a creative soul with growing up doing the reenactments as well as being a dancer, I remember dressing up in my first costume, Xena, and strutting around in tap shoes calling myself Ariel. Haha I’ve always been a bit of an oddball, but the most artistic people usually are!
How long did it take you to get your body paint right with your Darth Talon cosplay?
Haha I am not exactly sure, we started painting before the convention opened, and before I had my standard 4 cups of coffee. I believe it took about 3 hours with two body painters, Chris Hanson and Sammie Bartko, working on me at the same time. They did 3 different layers of red body paint to get the contouring and color that they wanted, making the tattoos the easiest part.
What’s your design approach when you’re building a costume?
I usually will only consider the costume if I like the design or I have a connection with the character. From there I stalk the internet looking for reference pictures and pictures of people who have already done the cosplay, compile them into a giant file on my desktop and then create a croquis. Once I have the basic design drafted out on the croquis I will go spend way too much time at the fabric store and gather all my supplies.
Tell us a little about your cosplay charity work and what it means to you?
Charity work is actually how I first got into the cosplay side of costuming. I had a friend that invited me to go to an event that the charity group H.E.R.O.I.C Inc. would be attending, and I fell in love with the interaction between the kids and the people in costume, a week later I had a Princess Jasmine costume done and was applying for the group. Charity really is my focus with cosplay outside of conventions, there is nothing like the feeling of going to a hospital and visiting a child as Princess Jasmine, especially since most of the children that H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc. is called to visit will never leave the hospital.
Elektra vs. Xena, who wins?
Ahhhhhh split my heart in two! I have to say Xena, I mean who can beat that awesome battle cry!!!
Is there such a thing as too sexy of a cosplay?
I don’t believe that a cosplay can be too sexy, however I believe that they can be done tastelessly. While I have done sexy versions of characters, my Assassin Jasmine for instance, I tried to consider different aspects such as culture and the time period so that I am not just making a sexy Jasmine, I am making an Arabian assassin whose weapon, clothes, and accessories all have a purpose. To me there’s a difference between making something sexy just to be sexy and making something sexy but there is thought behind the design.
If you could spend 10 minutes with anyone, who would it be, and what would you talk about?
I would say Kamui Cosplay, while I have had the pleasure of meeting her and even having a booth next to her, both of us were so incredibly booked with panels and judging to really have much of a conversation. I would love to pick her brain about worbla, especially now that she’s created armor in the States and knows how differently things are from Europe I would love to find out any tips and tricks that she learned with worbla, and also find out how she is such a god at packing!
And that’s the end of our adventure with self-professed oddball, Aspen. Down to earth, nerdy, possesses an underlying hulk-like anger from video games. If you see her hanging upside down in some random place, just assume she almost killed someone.