Name: AmberSkies Cosplay
Location: Arizona, USA
Business Email: [email protected]
1. What does cosplaying mean to you?
My goodness, what does it mean to me… such a hard question! If I had to whittle it down, I’d say cosplay provides me with an outlet to, quite simply, CREATE! I’ve been an artist and actor my entire life through stage productions and theatre, and with cosplay I’m able to hone my skills, express confidence, and show off my creations by wearing them! What better way to show the world how big a fan you are of something than by BEING it? Cosplay means that I get to BE the superhero, the princess, the knight, the magician, and everything that I always dreamt of as a little one!
2. What was your very first cosplay experience? What inspired you to take up the craft?
My very first true “cosplay experience” would probably be my Sergeant Calhoun from Disney’s Wreck it Ralph! It was originally intended to be a Halloween costume group with a bunch of my best friends a few years back, but as I became more and more invested in making the armor from Worbla and other thermoplastics (the first time I’d worked with this type of material) I realized that I stumbled into a hobby of mine that meant MUCH more.
I became so invested in making it completely movie accurate, with LED lighting fixtures and being absolutely as perfect that I could make it–I realized I didn’t want to just wear this once a year! I spent so much time, money, and love on an awesome full suit of space armor–perhaps I could wear it to a comic convention sometime? And that’s how my craft was born! The name AmberSkies came soon after that upon making my very own Facebook page, and the rest is history I suppose! I’m absolutely thrilled to see where I go from here and what opportunities come my way that I’m so thankful for.
3. If you could select a favorite costume that you have worn, which would you choose?
Although it’s BY FAR the most complex and difficult to get dressed in and put on properly (over 6 hours of special effects prosthetic and makeup application I do with a helper entirely by hand), my Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy has got to be my favorite. There’s NOTHING quite like making people’s heads turn as I walk by as a big blue alien villainess! The character didn’t really get her chance to shine like most people thought in the last movie, but despite her limited screen time, her appearance and attitude absolutely captured my heart–so detail wise, I’d say she’s definitely my favorite so far!
Plus, only a couple other cosplayers have ever dared to tackle her because she is so complex! I just love being one of the few to take a plunge and fully dedicate to a character.
4. And, if you could select a favorite costume that you’ve seen someone else wear, what would that be?
Oh wow, I couldn’t possibly choose this one. I have SO many intensely talented friends in the cosplay world as well as strangers I’ve seen in passing at cons, that I couldn’t narrow it down to just one. I get so extremely excited to see people rock their creations that I probably have a new favorite every day! Mainly what tugs on my heartstrings are cosplays that are part of the fandoms that I adore–because they make you fangirl even more than usual. 🙂
5. What is an upcoming costume that you’re currently working on?
I’ve currently got a pretty awesome project going on that involved enormous digitigrade (animal leg) stilts! It raises me up from 5 foot 4 to well over 5 foot 11! I’m going to have to learn how to adjust my stance to even walk in these things, and it’s going to be a hilarious and fun adventure for me! As for what the character’s FOR, I’m still keeping it a secret (I love surprises! <3). But I can say it’s a character from a Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli animated film.
6. If you had unlimited funds and resources, what costume(s) would you create?
Ooooooooh wow. Okay let’s see… In a perfect world, I’d master the art of animatronics and create enormous articulated angel wings! I have no idea what I’d use them for yet, but I’ve always had the dream to create massive wings, and to create them with the ability to open and close would just be so spectacular. I’d probably never take them off.
7. How do you prepare yourself, mentally and physically, for an upcoming convention/event?
Ooh this is a great question! Let’s see.
Mentally, I just try to get as hyped up as humanly possible! I love getting to prance around conventions and see all the gorgeous things people have put together–and at the same time (as an actor) I make sure to try to put myself into the mannerisms of my character I’m portraying! Not just dressing as a character, but trying to BE them in some ways just adds an extra special element to the ensemble and really accurately describes the word CosPLAY! All the world’s your stage, especially at conventions when all eyes (and camera lenses) are on you!
Physically, eat a big breakfast, bring water bottles and snacks with you because these are always SO expensive on site for conventions! Most importantly, make sure you have a change of comfy shoes (just trust me on this one, you don’t want to do a barefoot walk of shame back to your car at the end of a long day of wearing stilts or sky-high heels… Been in that boat more than once!) 😉
8. At the end of the day, in your opinion, what is the best part about cosplaying?
At the end of the day, the friends that I have made and bonded with through the love of characters, series, and crafting have been worth more than gold to me. I wouldn’t be motivated to try half of the crazy stuff that I have without them! There’s SO much to learn, and just when you think you’ve mastered a technique, a character, or something about this art form–someone else comes along and blows it out of the park! Hahah! I take seeing their success as motivation for me to be excited for them, and also to step up my game and do better and better with each costume that I create!
That’s the best part of cosplaying–watching yourself and others grow together and have fun! Also, going out for food after a convention and into the “real world” while still dressed in your con gear is arguably the funniest thing ever.
9. What advice can you offer to those who are aspiring cosplayers?
There is NO WRONG WAY TO COSPLAY! You may seem nervous and not know where to start, but I can always assure you that there are people out there (LIKE ME) who love you, see what you’ve done, and will praise you for it! We all are nervous even though we may exude a sense of confidence in what we wear, but all you have to do to get to the point of being comfortable with yourself is take the first step.
You may not be perfect your first time (no one ever is!) but the only way to get started in cosplay is just to start! If you want to make your costumes yourself, online tutorials on DeviantArt and Youtube are open source and invaluable resources for you! If you are thinking about purchasing a pre-made costume, DON’T BE ASHAMED! Tons of nerdy awesome people purchase or commission costume pieces or the whole danged thing, you are not looked upon any less! At the end of the day, despite who you are or what you’ve come up with, we are all just big geeks running around playing dress up and having fun. <3
YOU CAN DO IT! I believe in you!
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