Interview with Aay’han Mercy Cosplay
Who are you?
My real name is Valerie but I go by Aay’han Mercy Cosplay. It means “bittersweet mercy”.
What was the first cosplay?
My first cosplay was Mara Jade Skywalker from the Star Wars expanded universe.
How did you get into cosplay?
I actually got into cosplay when my friend asked me to go with her to a con and I decided I wanted to cosplay as well after I found out they were doing the same. I also had started following Yaya Han and Victoria Smidt (“Scruffy Rebel”), as well as the 501st Legion, and decided that cosplay was something I want to do for more than just the challenge and fun of making a costume. But to also give back to the community as well.
How long have you been cosplaying?
I’ve been cosplaying since January of 2014 so January 2019 will make it five years that I’ve been cosplaying.
Favourite cosplay you’ve done so far?
My favorite so far is actually a tie between my Sabine Wren and Mercy cosplays.
Which cosplayer would you love to work with?
I would love to work with Kamui Cosplay on a project. It would be an incredible learning experience.
Any group cosplays you’d want to do (eg Mystery Inc, Sailor Scouts, Avengers, X-Men, etc)?
Monster High, Star Wars Rebels Ghost crew, Obi-Wan/Satine family group with Mara.
Any advice for beginner cosplayers, or people wanting to get into cosplaying?
Don’t overwhelm yourself. Have ambitions for cosplays but not to the point that the project itself stresses you out and you’re no longer having fun.
One of the cosplays you’ve done is of Ahsoka, a character from several of the Star Wars animated shows. What drew you to cosplay that character?
I’ve been in love with Ahsoka since the moment I first saw her. She’s always been a dream cosplay of mine and she’s such a strong female character that is so much fun to cosplay. Plus there is nothing quite like seeing a little girl being excited to see her favorite character brought to life.
What was the process to make the headpiece? How long did it take you?
Unfortunately I actually did not make the headpiece. I purchased it from the lovely Allison over at Cosplay for Jedi on etsy.
You’ve also done several variants of Mercy from Overwatch. How did you get into cosplaying her?
I wanted to cosplay Mercy from the moment I saw the Overwatch banner art for the first time. All I saw was the angel with huge wings and a staff and said ‘That! That is going to be my next big challenge.’ And a challenge it has been.
With the armoured Mercy cosplay, can you tell us more how you went about making the red armoured components especially the wings?
For my first iteration of Mercy, I hand patterned everything and made it all entirely out of 5 mm foam. I wasn’t entirely happy with the results so went to the internet for some assistance. I found a very nice foam chest plate pattern on facebook and purchased patterns for both the wings and shin guards from Stella Chu and Teacup Lion respectively on etsy. The entire piece is made out of foam with the wings having fluorescent yellow acrylic wing blades sandwiched in between the two wing pieces. The shoulders are a singular piece made to look sectioned and the back plate is a single piece with added foam and worbla details. The wings are rigged via a pvc pipe frame system that hides under my top.
If time/money/materials were no issue, what’s the number one cosplay you’d do?
Captain Phasma without a doubt.
If you could have a single superpower, what would it be and why?
I would have to say Wolverine’s healing ability plus his claws. I’m pretty accident prone at times so being able to heal almost instantly would be great and the claws are just too awesome to not want.
Have you bingewatched any shows recently? If so, what have they been?
Most recently I’ve been binge watching Cells at Work and Adventure Time.
If you could live in one franchise, what would it be and why?
Star Wars franchise, hands down. The technology, the Force, and of course Porgs! What more could you possibly want?