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Cosplay Closet Essentials: The Inimitable Mowseler

Photo Credit: David Love Photography
Photo Credit: David Love Photography

Singer. Songwriter. Cosplayer. Is there any limit to Mowseler’s creative talents? Maybe, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one! An avid Star Wars and gaming fan, Mowseler sat down to talk with us about her cosplay adventures and her art.

How long have you been involved in cosplay?

“That’s a tough question. I was always dressing up, even as a kid. I guess my first real costume was Sheena Fujibayashi from Tales of Symphonia, which I essentially commissioned my best friend’s mom to make for me. From there, I made smaller costumes, and most notably a ninja costume which I wore all the time. But it wasn’t until 2010 for Celebration V that I actually sat down and decided to plan out a costume with the goal of dressing up in a convention atmosphere and acting as the character. That was Atris…and when I went to the convention, I realized there were a TON of people also dressing up, which was awesome. From there, I learned what ‘cosplay’ was, and got hooked, although my next costume wasn’t made for another four years.”

How long have you been sewing? How did you learn?

“I tried a handful of things for the last year or so, but I didn’t actually sit down and sew my own costume (Darkside Atris) without help until this year. My mom and my grandmother both gave me a lot of tips and essentially trained me lol.”

You’ve also done some fabrication–you made the Kylo Ren mask for Ken Hampton–where do you get the supplies for your costumes and props?

“Everywhere, but mostly Harbor Freight. Joanna and Michaels are also two of my big stores, but I honestly hate going to them lol.”

When did the Star Wars bug hit you?

“I’ve loved Star Wars since I was a kid. Growing up, Friday was A New Hope, Saturday was Empire Strikes Back, and Sunday was Return of the Jedi, every weekend. I actually took martial arts briefly to be more Jedi-like until I hurt myself. It has always been a big part of my life, but since starting cosplay, it has really moved even closer to the forefront of my priorities.”

You seem to be having so much fun on your Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. You also stream games occasionally. How do you keep up that energy with all the work you do?

“I have no idea. Lol. The social media work on top of creating costumes, creating and editing videos, and working a full time job has become all consuming. I relish the days where I just turn my phone off and put a game in. Not to say I don’t enjoy it. I like to keep busy. I haven’t been streaming much lately because I don’t have the right setup, but in a few months when I move to California, I plan to start streaming on a regular schedule.”

What are your most and least favorite things about cosplay?

“My most favorite thing is definitely the creative outlet. Up until I began doing this full time, music was my only source of creativity, and while that is a big part of my life, I always felt like something was missing. Building costumes is a great way to put a lot of your soul into something that many people can appreciate, both for your shared love of a character or franchise, and for the dedication and effort you put into creating it. Not to mention I have learned so many new skills that are applicable to every day life as a result. My least favorite aspect of cosplay is probably spending a lot of time and effort on building something, only to have to scrap it because you made the mistake of not sizing it exactly. But trial and error helps you grow.”

Oh, don’t talk about scrapping! I’m about to start my first corset and I’m trying not to psych myself out.

“Haha! I am not ashamed – I bought my corset for Revan because I was nervous about not making it properly and breaking my ribs or something lol. However, my skills have improved a bit since that costume, so I have been considering tackling it now. Maybe we can swap tips :)”

There ya go 😉 Describe your favorite fangirl/geekout moment.

“I rode the Atris train for a while, as it was my only costume for about four years until I decided to start making it a more focused effort. During that time, a friend of mine shared my pictures with Chris Avellone, who was the co-owner and creative writer for Obsidian Entertainment, the company who created Knights of the Old Republic II, and by extension, Atris. He started following my page and commented how awesome the costume was, and looped Brian Menze (the character creator) in, and it was just so awesome. They invited me out to meet and tour their studio this past April for Celebration Anaheim, so I got to meet a lot of the staff that worked on the game. They had me come dressed as my Darkside version of Atris, and they were really excited about it. Seeing Brian Menze tear up over my keeping his character alive was pretty much the exact reason why I love to cosplay. Artist appreciation is so important to me. I kept it together, but internally I was freaking out over such an amazing experience.”

Give us your three best tips for budding cosplayers.

“1. Contact cement is life 2. Always keep working to get better – it does get easier 3. F*** the haters – do whatever you want and don’t listen to what other people say.”

List your top three must-have items for any cosplayer’s closet or workshop.

“1. Contact cement (seriously, this stuff is great) 2. Heat gun. 3. Aloe vera plant (a life saver if you work with a soldering iron as much as I do and have terrible hand eye coordination)”

 

Written by AJ Mullican

AJ enjoys reading, writing, TV/movies, music, art, and cosplay. She has self-published poetry, short stories, and a novel. She is currently penning her second and third novels.

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