An Interview with Aicosu, the Cosplay Couple
Jay Snook got a chance to talk to Aicosu at Fanime 2016 and learned much about this cosplay couple
You can read a bio about Aicosu below:
Aicosu, the couple cosplay team of Sheila & Sylar, have been cosplaying collectively for eight years. With over 100 cosplays and 50 conventions made and attended, they focus on bringing more than just cosplays to the community. They are well known for answering any and all questions to those beginning or even advanced in Cosplay and hope to teach new things in their panels and programming. Aicosu can be found on the convention floors, at their workshops, or at their table and are always open to discussing everything from cosplay construction to which Dragon Age game was the best.
How did you two originally meet?
Sheila: We me at a Con.
Sylar: We met at a convention that no longer exists.
Sheila: We met at Ani Zona which is an Arizona Anime Con in 2009. We met at that Con, I cosplayed at the time but Sylar didn’t. He always wanted to cosplay but he just didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to make anything. So we met there, hung out a bunch and eventually started dating. Then we were like “we should cosplay at the next Con”.
Sylar: It was like one of the first things we did as a couple.
Sheila: We cosplayed as our OTP and then we cosplayed as our other OTP like seven years later.
How long have you two been cosplaying together?
Sylar: She has been cosplaying before me, but collectively like 7 1/2 years.
Sheila: I have been cosplaying since 2007. He has been cosplaying with me since 2009.
How do you guys usually chose what you are going to cosplay as?
Sylar: It is really a matter of what the current interest is because we are really subject to being fickle about stuff. Like we will make a plan really far out like “okay we will cosplay as this” but as soon as something really interesting strikes us we do that. We almost do right away you know.
Sheila: Yeah we don’t have planned schedules or dream cosplays. Whatever it is that we currently like even if it is above our current skill level or we think it might be we just like the challenge. So we don’t have a “like oh what if we could do this” whatever we are interested in we cosplay as.
Sylar: We cosplay as the things we want to.
Sheila: Most of the time the characters we choose are characters we like and want to be, as opposed to the design looks cool.
What has been the most difficult cosplay for you guys?
Sylar: There was a cosplay we did for me for a Con I was going to without her. She was still in college at the time and I was on break.
Sheila: You cosplayed as Mephisto Pheles from Blue Exorcist and we had to make a top hat from scratch. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to make.
Sylar: From start to finish it was nightmare. You think “oh yeah, this will be so simple” but you know.
Sheila: I would take a whole suit of armor any day over making a hat.
Sylar: The tutorial was just vague enough for room for mistakes.
Sheila: I think that was the only cosplay piece that has made me cry. Like halfway through making the brim and stuff it wouldn’t work and I just sat down and cried. I was like I don’t wanna do this anymore.
Sylar: Then the hat broke just before I could wear it.
Sheila: I made it, it was beautiful and perfect and then he didn’t wear it. We have no photos of that hat.
What are your top three favorite cosplays you have done together?
Sylar: It is always so hard to pick the favorites, you know.
Sheila: They are all like our children. They are all our favorite characters so you are generally asking us what our favorite characters are. It is almost impossible to choose.
Sylar: We love all of our children equally.
Sheila: There are some cosplays I would wear more than others maybe out of comfortability.
Sylar: It is probably easier to ask us what our least favorite cosplays are (laughs) because that is a very short list. Out of the 140 costumes we have total there are like maybe seven, if that.
What are your three least favorite cosplays?
Sheila: I did fang from Final Fantasy 13. I spent a lot of time on it and I thought it was going to be good. Yet for some reason when I put it all together and I put it on I didn’t like it anymore.
Sylar: It happens. We do a thing in cosplay that you probably shouldn’t do but it works for us is that we will bang the whole cosplay out and then we won’t wear it until we wear it. Then when we wear it right before we are about to go out the door that is when we will find out if we like it or not.
Sheila: It is because we work really fast. We’ve never spent more than 3 weeks on any one costume.
Sylar: Most costumes are a week or a weekend. It is usually banged out real fast. I think the longest it took to do any one costume was 3 weeks and that was 2 1/2 weeks spent gluing individual shiny squares to a corset for Elsa. They had to all be cut and it was just tedious stuff. Things like armor and that kind of stuff always like overnight.
So what are some cosplays you are working on right now?
Sheila: Well we just finished our miraculous Ladybug cosplays that we wore yesterday. We also just finished Final Fantasy 14.
Sylar: Yea, outfits from the Amanom. Two of the classes and their major class gear.
Sheila: We are wearing those tomorrow. Then after this it is like Star Wars stole our souls for the next 4 years (laughs). I have to do Rey’s second outfit and then I am going to make Sylar a Grand Admiral costume for his Hux. Then I have to make when episode 8 eventually comes out whatever Rey wears I will probably make it.
Are you going to be doing any cosplays from Rogue One?
Sheila: Oh, I am going to be Jyn Erso.
Sylar: And the Grand Admiral outfit I will be wearing as Hux is the Rogue One white general outfit.
Sheila: That movie came out and we went in not wanting to cosplay at all. Like we are not interested and we fell in love.
Sylar: You know, maintaining our level of hype for Star Wars and we came out of that movie after our second viewing…
Sheila: It was like, alright we have some cosplaying ideas
How many Cons do you attend in a year usually?
Sheila: It ranges from as little as two to sometimes ten a year. It just depends on the year. Nowadays, now that we are in our seventh year cosplaying we have started getting put into their programming and getting booked. So it depends on if Cons book us and if it is what we are interested in doing. Like we are not booked for Final Fantasy Fest but we are big Final Fantasy nerds so we are going to that, absolutely.
Sylar: Whereas we are booked for Expo, so we will go work at Expo.
Sheila: It just depends on the year. Some years we only ever go to two Cons. Other years it is like ten Cons, like we have a Con almost every year of the month.
So what are some upcoming Cons you are attending this year?
Sylar: Expo is one. We have been going to Expo since we started cosplaying. We have been to seven of them. We’ve been fortunate enough to guest for them and work for them. As cosplay guests for the last three years. This will be our fourth year coming back.
Sheila: We will do them. We will do Final Fantasy Fest in October in Las Vegas.
Sylar: Which is just like a mini-Con celebration weekend for the people who play in the Final Fantasy 14 MMO. It would be like instead of BlizzCon it was instead just WOW Con.
Sheila: We will do that one. We are in the process of getting tickets for Star Wars celebration next year.
Sylar: We already have a hotel and everything set aside. It will be in Florida this next year. It moves every year. It is like super annoying. This year it is in London.
Sheila: But we will also hit all of the California Cons because we live in Los Angeles we will end up doing Long Beach and LA cosplay. Then we do ALA
Sylar: WonderCon and all that sort of stuff.
Do you guys usually have booths or tables at these Cons, or do you prefer being on the floor?
Sylar: We prefer being on the floor but we have had booths/tables at the conventions that we have worked for. Most of those will have a table.
Sheila: Most of the time when we do that it is usually not because we are looking to work the table it is more because a lot of people from the Cons can’t find us on the floor because it gets so busy and packed. So we try to spend downtime there so we can meet and talk to people.
Sylar: It is the easiest place for people to find us. We can just put it down, say we are here and then that way it easier for the people who do want to come and say hi and all the people from Tumblr or Facebook or wherever to say hi and have a chat.
Sheila: But we prefer being on the floor.
Sylar: That is where the cosplay is seen and that is where you interact with the most other cosplayers.
Do you have any final words to say before this interview comes to a close?
Sheila: I mean, the one thing we try to promote no matter what Con we go to or what cosplay we are doing. Our whole social media and Tumblr is all based on, I mean as much as we like to cosplay and even though we have 140 costumes and have been to all of these Cons, the one thing that we always try to push is that we approach everyone as teachers.
Sylar: Not like we are gatekeepers, but more like we understand. We understand really well that getting into cosplay is a daunting thing.
Sheila: A lot of people think it is more complicated than it actually is.
Sylar: Some people go in really scared, like people will start cosplaying and they will think that people with craftsmanship on a level of Ya Ya or other greats are like what you have to be. It is more about showing you cosplay can be a lot easier and simpler and just satisfying.
Sheila: I think people assume that cosplay has to be hard or expensive. We always tell people that we have never spent more than 3 weeks on a costume and no more than $150 on any one costume. In all of our panels and all of our workshops are geared towards teaching people how the easiest way to do this and get into it and then just hope they excel from there. so I guess any closing words we would have would be if anyone is interested in cosplay it is a lot easier than it seems. We are here if anyone ever has any questions about anything or wants help or even a guide.
Sylar: We answer nearly every message that we receive either by email, Tumblr app or on Facebook.
Sheila: We try to answer like 10-20 questions a day. Our entire Tumblr is just cosplay advice.