If you’re a fan of cosplay, I would wager you have heard of Ashlen Rose. Ashlen can be seen at many different Cons dressed in all manner of awesome costumes. I met Ashlen at Grand Prix: Los Angeles in May and asked her to be a part of our Five Questions series. She very happily agreed. But enough of my rambling here is Five Questions with Ashlen Rose.
1. As someone who builds many costumes, what is your favorite material to work with and why?
Thermoplastics, such as Worbla and friendly plastic. They are versatile materials and really easy to pick up and use. Funny enough, hot glue would take second place. I have a love-hate relationship with it, I’ve burned myself so many times with that stuff that I I’ve got prescription 3rd degree burn ointment on hand to treat it. BUT, it’s a staple for cosplay. In a pinch, you can use it to glue an entire costume together! (Just keep your fingers away from it.)
2. Cosplay does not equal consent yet some people seem to think so. How do you handle a “fan” who seems to think it’s ok to be inappropriate?
It’s tough, I always try to have someone I know with me to help deter that type of interaction. More often than not, those who would try to take advantage or be inappropriate will try to approach someone who is alone. When it’s not possible to have someone near me, I will try to deflect what they are saying/doing, and if I’m really uncomfortable I will try to move us to a more public area (if we aren’t already) and try to excuse myself. I will say, the MTG community has been very respectful at events. I’ve never experienced any form of harassment while in cosplay at one, and for that I am thankful!
3. What drew you to cosplay and what is your favorite genre to cosplay as?
As a kid I would dress up my nieces, cats, dogs – you name it, I probably put a dress on it. When I moved out to San Francisco I attended my first anime convention and thus discovered cosplay. I was really impressed with how the simplest household items could be turned into intricate props and that’s what really drew me to it. Picking a favorite genre is hard, I think I tend to cosplay characters from games more so than anime. One of the reasons is because it’s easier to search for 3D models, there are a lot of reference images, and also because I am more attached to the games I play. I can replay a game multiple times whereas with anime it’s usually one and done. MTG is a bit trickier because sometimes you only have a face or half a body image to work with, but that’s also what makes it fun. You get the opportunity to make your own by coming up with what the leg armor looks like or the back.
4. Sometimes there are physical sacrifices that have to be made for our art. What is the greatest sacrifice you have made? I.E. painful contacts, a costume stabbing you, etc.
The biggest sacrifice I have made is losing sleep trying to finish a cosplay. It sounds silly, but it happens more often than you would think. For GPLA I had slept a total of 3 hours for the first day (1.5 hours the night before my flight and 1.5 on the flight!) For Blizzcon 2013 I made a Diablo III Witch Doctor costume and couldn’t see out of it. I had to have someone with me at all times to walk me around the con and make sure I didn’t hit anyone with my horns which spanned about 3-feet out on both my sides. I’ve read plenty of horror stories about uncomfortable costumes and because of that I try to anticipate possible issues before constructing anything to avoid problems.
5. If you could only wear one costume for a month, what costume would it be?
Probably Hinata Hyãga from Naruto Shippuden, it’s really comfortable and I love wearing the contacts.
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.