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January 8, 2013 / minusbar

Fan Interview: Allyson Mowery – Cosplayer and Geek Extraordinaire!

Allyson Mowery, a local award winning cosplayer took some time out of her busy schedule to sit down with me. The topics covered range from how to get started on making incredible costumes all the way to what type of video games she plays and what got her into fantasy cosplaying. This is a fun little interview, and I hope people take the time to get inspired to make something amazing!

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For convenience sake, the following has been abbreviated.
Allyson – A          Me – R

R: A Daily Dose of R&R is happy to have Allyson Mowery, a Con-Contest winning Cosplayer and full time champion of geekness.

R: I know you’ve done some amazing costumes in the past, but outside of that, I don’t know too much about you. If you would, please tell us a bit about you!

A: Let’s see…   I go to Liberty University; I am a cinematic arts major and love it! I hope to one day either become a director of photography or get involved working on costumes and props for movies. As far as hobbies, I love to game! Specifically on my Xbox 360, everything from Skyrim, Dragon Age, all of the Assassin’s Creed games; I love Assassin’s Creed. There are a few first person shooters  in there, but I’m more into RPG’s than shooters.

R: I’m exactly the same. You actually get your money’s worth in RPG’s.

A: Exactly!

R: So how did you get involved in the cosplay community? Have you always been a fan, or how did it come about?

A: Well, after playing the first Assassin’s Creed game, I was about twelve. I made my first costume out of a bed sheet from Goodwill and some scraps of cloth that I hot glued on. And it was actually pretty cool!

R: That actually is pretty awesome.

A: That’s how I got involved. I guess just wanting to portray a character that I play. I had previously never been a person who was like “Oh that looks cool,” I’ve been the type who wants to play the game.

R: So long do these costumes usually take you to make? I know you put an awful lot of detail into Alexstrasza.

A: Alexstrasza took around two-hundred hours and around three to four months to make. The longest part…  Let’s see, basically what I used for that was wonderflex and fabric, and I soldered patterns into it, then colored and shaded the patterns. But, what took the longest amount of time though was the gold borders, I cut out strips of eva foam, which is a rubber matting like what you’d find at Lowe’s. I cut out triangular strips covered in gold fabric and put the borders on. That was painstaking! Just the borders alone took about two weeks to do.

R: Yikes, that’s some real dedication to a costume!

A: Yea, it is.

R: How much money usually goes into these costumes?

A: Alexstrasza is probably the most expensive; I spent about two-hundred dollars in materials.

R: Worth it.

A: It was worth it. It’s worth it because you get bragging rights. But the Nightingale (Skyrim Armor) I’m working on now I spent about sixteen dollars on the fabric, ten dollars on the paint and around twenty dollars on other materials and some stuff around the booth that I already had, so I would say around fifty dollars. And it looks pretty awesome.

R: That’s impressive. So when you’re creating things, do you already have an exact look you want or are you flexible and go with what happens during the creating process?

A: It depends on the character. Alexstrasza, with her I just took the in-game model and a bunch of reference shots and I said to myself “I want to make it like that,” and I started thinking of ways I could make it look like that. I still have more I’d like to do to her, but I don’t have the time to editor the way want just yet.

R: What character is it that you’d like to work on next, or do you have a character in mind that you’ve always wanted to do but thought might be too ambitious a project to try?
A: Well, I have my Ezio, he was my favorite and he turned out pretty good. But next, I’m going to Allen Walker (D.Gray Man). I’ve always wanted to be him, only a female version of him.

R: So when you do these costumes, do usually try to wrangle in friends to dress as supporting characters or are you more of a lone wolf?

A: Actually, my sister is doing a Ysera for when I wear my Alexstrasza. She’s another one of the dragon aspects in World of Warcraft. She’s not finished hers yet. But I’ve actually wrangled her into doing it. Haha!

R: So what kind of tips would you give to someone else wanting to get into cosplaying and costume making, but just doesn’t know where to start?

A: I would say start small. Pick something simple that you know you can do well instead of picking a huge project without a base to start from. For example, something good to start with would be like Ichigo (Bleach) because it’s something simple like a robe and something like that as opposed to Ezio, who has about a thousand things to put together to make it look decent.

R: Have you ever started a project but ended up giving it up because you later found you weren’t ready to do it just yet?

A: Umm, see I didn’t listen to the rule I just said…  My first handmade “big” costume project was Ezio. I did that first and it turned out really, really well, but it took about a year to do because I had no idea how to do it!

R: So then you had to top yourself though…

A: Haha, Alexstrasza… But yea, it’s definitely been worth it, but I would definitely recommend others build up to that point rather than be frustrated like I was.

R: Now that you have done such elaborate costumes before though, do you think you could do similar costumes easier now?

A: Definitely. You learn a lot from simple building. There’s a difference between watching and doing it. You can watch tutorials on building something, but when you’re actually doing it you just learn so much. So much! It’s like, the small details..  Alexstrasza has some little things wrong with it, but now my Nightingale’s details are easier to do because I spent so much time with the other costumes.

R: That makes sense. I probably would be the person who broke the “start small” rule as well and ended up regretting it. Then I’d have this giant massive mistake jumbled together on me.

A: Yea, haha!

R: So you’ve mentioned all of these different characters from anime and games… If you could actually be any character of your choice, who would it be?

A: Oh my goodness! If I could be any character from anything, I would definitely want to be Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tale. She’s awesome!

R: Haha! So what anime or book was it that got you into this?

A: Well, the first anime I ever watched was Trinity Blood.

R: That’s the second anime that I ever watched!

A: I saw this really cool picture of Abel Nightroad in his Crusnik form, and that’s the one that got me started in watching in anime. I actually have the soundtrack on my Ipod.

R: Believe it or not, I have that soundtrack in my car at this moment.

A: That is awesome!

R: And now, for your silly question, because they’re the most fun! If you could have one super power, what would it be, and would you be a hero or a villain?

A: I would be one who was neutral. I would not fight explicitly for the good side or the bad side. I’d just be like “this is how I think things should go” and I would definitely want my power to be telekinesis!

R: Telekinesis? Would there be abuse of this power?

A: Abuse?! Maybe…  I’d have a lot of fun with that. Probably.

R: Ahh, ghosts! Ghosts!

Below are a few examples of her impressive costumes!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Samantha / Jan 9 2013 1:10 am

    This girl is beautiful!

  2. Belva Bruce / Jan 14 2013 1:17 pm

    i’ve read something like this before, but still interesting.

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