Cosplay Interview with Avant-Geek!

NS:  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Your costumes are amazing.  When did you first start cosplaying and how did you get into it?
Avant-Geek: I started cosplaying before I knew the term for it. I was twelve and my family was hosting a costume party. I decided to make my own Legend of Zelda‘s Link tunic out of a green pillowcase. It’s pretty embarrassing to look at now, but we all have to start somewhere.
NS: What were some of your early costumes?
Avant-Geek:  Along with pillowcase Link, my earliest costumes included Final Fantasy’s White Mage robes and several attempts at decent Jedi robes. I finally began to get the hang of things when I made a TyLee costume from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I sewed by hand until I was about seventeen, when I finally bought a sewing machine.
NS:  From which genres do you more commonly draw inspiration (i.e. comics, manga, etc.)?
Avant-Geek:  Most of the characters I choose to cosplay are from video games. After playing the game and having been/interacted with that character, it is easier to relate and wear their costume.
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NS: What are some of your favorite characters (not just for cosplaying but in general)?
Avant-Geek:  As mentioned, I’m a pretty big LoZ fan. Sheik’s been a cosplay I’ve attempted before and intend to redo. I’d love to one day cosplay Legend of Dragoon‘s Rose, another of my favorite fictional characters growing up.
NS:  Where do you like to cosplay?
Avant-Geek:  I couldn’t ask for a better place when it comes to scenery than the North Carolina mountains, so I cosplay my own backyard: waterfalls, rapids, and snowy winters. I go to a few conventions each year, but I’m not a big fan of crowds.
NS:  Congratulations on winning the Schick “Put a Ribbon On It” contest. Where did you find the inspiration for the dress and how long did it take to make?
 Cosplay Interview with Avant Geek!
Avant-Geek:  Thank you! The ribbons I used were leftover from a Madoka costume. I started with all white, expecting to make a wedding dress design. I decided to cut it short and include more color by making it a party dress. It took about 6 hours to create form just ribbon and hot-glue.
NS:  I see you have made some amazing gowns using unconventional materials like toilet paper. What are your favorite mediums to work with?
  Cosplay Interview with Avant Geek!
Avant-Geek:  Paper, definitely. It comes in so many different textures and varying durability. I find it fascinating to manipulate into a fashion piece and I enjoy the challenge of making it durable enough to wear.
NS:  Can you share any funny / amazing cosplay experiences?
Avant-Geek:  I was taking pictures of my Belle dress at a public garden and ended up gaining an audience of children, all maybe 7 years old. When their parents called for them to leave, one of the girls tried to climb under my hoop-skirt/dress to hide. That same costume is also why I’m recognized as the viral image of “Taco Belle” when I decided to eat there after the photo-shoot.
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NS:  Do you have any advice for the prospective cosplayer?
Avant-Geek:  Don’t let other cosplayer’s work discourage you, whether it’s how ‘good’ it is or the amount of attention they receive. It takes time to gain skills for creating any type of art, and recognition is never guaranteed. Van Gogh didn’t stop painting the sky just because Monet had already done it.
NS:  Are there any tricks of the trade you can share?
Avant-Geek:  The internet is flooded with free tutorials. Use them.
NS:  What projects/cosplay plans are you working on for the near future?
Avant-Geek:  I’m working with students right now on a Recycled Art Fashion Show, but my own projects for this year include a few ‘armokini’ parody pieces and Fall/winter faerie costumes.
NS:  Thank you so much for the interview!!   Here are some more pics of Avant-Geek’s amazing work. You can like her Facebook page by going to: https://www.facebook.com/avantgeekart/
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