Sunday, January 7, 2018

Q&A Interview with Ashavari

Photo by Trillance photography

This week’s MMOsite Cosplay Spotlight is an interview with one of my favorite cosplayers, Ashavari. I spoke with her about the differences between modeling and cosplaying, what it’s like to cosplay at conventions as opposed to simply attending them, and of course League of Legends.

Where are you from?

I'm an Indian-Canadian alternative model and cosplayer based in Toronto, Canada.

How did you become interested in cosplay?

I've always been passionate about costuming, but the first time I was introduced to the convention scene was when Fan Expo 2011 was happening. My friend and I were really into the Underworld movie series at the time, and so I decided to dress up as Selene from Underworld!

How long have you been cosplaying?

I've been cosplaying for six years now.

Photo by RS Photography

Which LoL champions have you cosplayed so far?

I've cosplayed Shadow Evelynn, Pentakill Sona, Candy Cane Miss Fortune, Goth Annie, Pool Party Ahri and Classic Ahri.

Who is your favorite champion from the game to play?

I LOVE Morgana! She's one of the first champions I learned to play and to this day she is my main! Her skins are so badass, too. I plan to cosplay her classic skin, the blackthorn skin, and also her Halloween one!

Any other current plans for future LoL cosplays?

Absolutely! In addition to Blackthorn Morgana and Bewitching Morgana (since Morg is my main and my favourite champion), I also have plans to cosplay the dark form of Elementalist Lux, Aristocrat Vayne, Blood Moon Diana and Nurse Akali at some point.

Photo by Wandering Eyebubble

What are some of the differences between modeling or a photo shoot and cosplaying at conventions?

There are a ton of differences! A photo shoot is usually in a more controlled environment. As someone that models, you aren't always experienced with the costuming or doing artistic direction for the photo shoot. I personally have experience with art direction and wardrobe-styling too, but it's not common for models to provide that for their photo shoots.

With cosplaying at a convention, you completely lack control of the environment you are shooting in. You are usually forced to work within the confines of the convention building or just outside and around it. Often, the lighting situations can be sub-par and photographers have to make sure they are fully prepared with their own travel-friendly gear to ensure that their photos will turn out exactly as they envisioned. As a cosplayer at a con, there are many more people trying to take photos of you and you always have to be careful and mindful of the cosplay that you are wearing in case it gets damaged by others.

I have only ever attended conventions as a fan. Walk me through what a day is like at a convention for a cosplayer.

Sure thing! It can be extremely fun but also very exhausting. Usually the first few hours are spent assembling and getting ready to attend the con. Sometimes that means last minute sewing, hot glue and patch-work to make sure that your costume is ready for the day! Before leaving for the con, you have to be mindful of how to pack necessities and where to keep your phone, because you need them with you at all times. Once you attend the con, depending on your costume and how recognizable it is or how much you stand out, people will always come up to you and ask for photos. They will often stop you every step of the way when you try to get from point A to point B. At first, this is a really fun experience and you have the energy to fully get into character. However, as the day moves on and you get hungry and tired, it can be very draining to be constantly surrounded by people who expect you to stay in character. It's a lot more effort and a lot more work than one would think.

It's always nice to have an out-of-cosplay friend who can hold on to some of your necessities (like your phone and wallet), and stay with you to keep you company. As a cosplayer, it's very easy to lose the friends you came with. Since you get stopped so often for photos and your friends want to keep on going, it takes only about five minutes for you to completely lose them and be lost in a sea of people. That being said, there are a lot of great interactions to be had with other cosplayers, networking prospects and more! It's a great way to meet new people and step out of your comfort zone!

Photo by Think Nu

You mentioned you were an Underworld fan. Have you seen the latest Underworld movie, Blood Wars?

I actually have not watched that one! I was extremely disappointed by the fourth movie, Awakening, and felt that I could no longer continue the series. For me, the first three movies are literally perfect and I was very satisfied with how they ended.

So outside of video games and cosplaying what are some of your other hobbies?

I have a lot of hobbies actually! Aside from doing alternative modeling on the side, I am also a singer/songwriter. I used to play in a metal band for four years and I still try to collaborate with other musicians on Youtube every now and then. In fact, I did an a capella cover of Diana's Theme from the League of Legends soundtrack and I plan to do it again with a proper recording. I also may have more League music covers in the works, but you'll have to be subscribed to my Youtube channel for updates on that! Haha