I had the pleasure of meeting Tayliss at a local Barnes and Noble. I was reading, and overheard her awesome conversation on the cosplay and geek community being inclusive. I thought it was wonderful to hear positive perspective of geek culture where it allows so many to represent themselves how they want to. I introduced myself, and we exchanged information. I've been following her on Facebook, and wanted her to share some words to hopefully share more insight into the cosplay and Steampunk communities.
1. How would you explain cosplay to the average person?
Cosplay stands for costume-play. It is the concept of dressing up as a character (pre-created or original). Most commonly you will see characters from anime, films, sci-fi, etc. Cosplay can be handmade, purchased, or commissioned from other artists.
2. How has cosplay culture changed your life?
I feel as though I'm not part of a convention until I'm dressed up. I'm a rather introverted person, so it's much easier for me to have someone come up to me and talk about my costume then me going up to random people. I've met so many people through costume creating. I have improved socially since I first started and also have made a name for myself creating what I love.
3. What are some kinds of stigma you've heard of cosplayers, and what do you think people can learn from cosplayers themselves?
People seem to stereotype cosplayers as young individuals who don't have jobs and spend all their money on costumes and conventions. This isn't usually the case. Cosplay is for all age groups and it is very expensive and requires a job to afford. Cosplayers are still helping the economy and doing something productive with their creative minds. Learning how to manage a creative hobby and real life is something anyone can learn from a cosplayer.
4. What is your favorite costume or item to make?
My favorite item that I've made is my steampunk wire wrap elf ears. It was something I attempted on my first try. It inspired many people to make similar products within the steampunk and renaissance communities.
5. What are some tips or words of encouragement for those wanting to start cosplaying or participating in geek culture?
Cosplay is not easy. There will always be people who will tear you down to bring themselves up just like any community. If you're having fun, it doesn't matter what people think. Use cosplay as a way to get out there and show everyone the real you! Start with small projects and work your way up to more difficult projects. Nothing will be perfect your first try, but there is always time to improve it. Do cosplay for yourself and no one else.
How can we contact you or stay updated with your creations?
You can friend or follow me on my personal facebook page facebook.com/Taylissforge. I post regularly photos of my costume photography larping, and other projects. I also sell my work through etsy.com/shop/nonconformity and take custom commissions.