Raven: Hello Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art or should I say, Mrs. M? I so do appreciate you doing this interview with me. I can only hope your fans as well as our reader will soon come to love Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art.
Melis: Hey Raven, I appreciate you doing this interview. I can’t wait to get started.
Raven: As a tradition of mine to cosplayers to offer some words of advice, words of encouragement, or the smallest of wisdom in hopes these words will clear you a path during moments of strife. So here goes, “If you were able to believe in Santa for like 8 years, then you can believe in yourself for like 5 minutes”!
Now with that being said, if you would be so kind and tell our readers a bit about yourself.
Melis: My name is Melis Ishida. I’m 35 years old, am Italian – American living in the United States of America! My eyes and hair are brown (boring I know), and I’ve been married for 10 years. I enjoy cosplaying with my husband and 2 brothers. My favorite convention is Anime Expo! I guess the only special secret talent I have is singing in Japanese. Am I any good at it? My husband says I am but I think he’s obligated to say that.
I’m 5’ 2”, so I’m pretty damn short and a Sagittarius. I know phrases in Japanese, French, and Italian, but I specifically know a lot of Italian cuss words from my parents (thanks Mom and Dad!)
Raven: What does Melis Ishida do to keep herself in shape?
Melis: To stay in shape I play a LOT of Dance Dance Revolution (I have an actual arcade unit!) which is great for cardio and muscle confusion. I’ve also use weights to do some light strength training and watch my portions. If I want to eat something ‘BAD’ or ‘UNHealthy’, I’ll eat it, I just make sure not to eat the entire thing!
Raven: Do you a favorite drink/food or something to makes you satisfied and happy?
Melis: My favorite food is spaghetti and meatballs and I love Coca Cola! Snack wise I LOVE cheddar and sour cream ruffles. One time I ate an entire family size bag and cried; it was great.
Raven: Have a favorite Comic, Anime, Manga, graphic novel book you like to read or watch?
Raven: Were you a shy or outgoing girl growing up?
Melis: I was always pretty outgoing for the most part growing up but I’m pretty shy if I’m around new people. It takes me a while to get comfortable but once I do, I’ll never shut up so you’ve been warned.
Raven: How did you overcome it?
Melis: I overcame my shyness by just not caring what anyone thinks about me. Cosplay has also helped to make me feel more confident, I mean have you seen some of my costumes? Can’t be shy in some of them!
Raven: What got you started into cosplaying?
Melis: I got into cosplay when a friend invited me to an anime convention. My brothers and I would mess around making ‘costumes’ at home with stuff we had in our closets. Eventually, we learned there were a lot of people doing the same and they all gathered at these things called conventions. Once I went to that convention in costume, I just knew cosplay was something I HAD to do. It was so cool and unique and fun!
Raven: What was your first cosplay character? What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear?
Melis: The first real cosplay I ever made on my own was Rukia from Bleach. It was SO bad, but everyone knew who I was so that was good!
Raven: What’s your most favorite cosplay outfit to wear?
Melis: My favorite cosplay to wear is a tie between Sora from Kingdom Hearts 2 and Sarah from Labyrinth. I just have so much fun as Sora and I feel SO elegant and beautiful as Sarah. Thankfully my fans are wonderful. They’re pretty respectful and understanding and I rarely get a troll or pervert, though I have had a few leave me some nasty inbox pictures. They are promptly reported and banned asap.
Raven: Do fans offer suggestions to cosplay or do you decide yourself?
Melis: I’m very picky about who or what I cosplay. I enjoy getting suggestions from people. The outfit of Tharja was suggested by my husband, and LOVE cosplaying her!) so it does help give me ideas, but at the end of the day, I prefer to decide who or what I’ll cosplay. It’s just easier for me.
Raven: As a young and beautiful woman, does the size of a woman matter in cosplay?
Melis: I honestly don’t think height, weight, bust size, etc should limit or prevent you from cosplaying who you want. I do think it helps if you want to be as identical to the character as possible. Obviously, most anime characters are super unrealistic so you’ll never be 100% accurate but if you have similar looks (height, weight, etc) then it might make you feel a bit more confident in pulling them off.
Raven: What sort of places or locations do you prefer to show off your cosplay outfits?
Melis: I enjoy just wearing my costumes at conventions. It’s a bit awkward waltzing around town in something super revealing or a 20+ pound bridal gown. Parks are always nice but again, it gets a bit awkward having to explain what you’re doing there and why. I think all cosplayers suffer for their art to some extent.
Raven: Do you suffer for your artistry when you are doing a cosplay photoshoot?
Melis: For one, our feet are dead after 8+ hours in heels or crazy shoes, not to mention most costumes are super uncomfortable. And let’s not forget how fun it is wearing a wig all day! But in the end, it’s worth it, at least to me anyway!
Raven: What do you prefer doing indoor or out shots?
Melis: I love doing outdoor photos because they make for great backgrounds but it can again be awkward or the lighting could be wrong and the weather acts up. In the end, indoor photoshoots are a lot easier to deal with since I have control over the lighting and such.
Raven: How easy or difficult when doing makeup for a character?
Melis: Make up wise is not too difficult. I do my makeup pretty much the same each time, though will adjust my cat-eye eyeliner accordingly. The only time I mix it up is when I’m cosplaying as a male character, which means no lipstick and less eyeliner. I try to avoid body paint altogether as it’s just too messy and frustrating to work with
Raven: Do you own personal Tattoos?
Melis: I am currently tattoo-free.
Raven: Are you happy with what you do?
Melis: I am very happy cosplaying the way I do and hope it will continue to bring me joy in the future as I get better and better at it!
Raven: Have people recognized you at conventions and has anyone offer you any gifts?
Melis: I’ve only met 2 or 3 people who recognized me at conventions, so I’ve never really received any gifts.
Raven: What is the first thing people notice you when they meet Melis Ishida for the first time?
Melis: The first thing everyone seems to notice about me when they first meet me is my eyes. When I first met my husband, he said my eyes reminded him of Alita’s from Battle Angel Alita (what an amazing compliment)! I also get lots of compliments about them.
Raven: Do you do other things besides cosplay?
Melis: Besides cosplay, I like to game when I have time (which is never!) and specifically Minecraft or old school games on PlayStation 1 and 2 or Nintendo, Sega, etc. I’m not too big a fan of newer video games. I also like to draw and write as well as go for walks.
Raven: Lewds/Only Fans photos? Is it something you, yourself, are interested in doing?
Melis: I plan to make Only Fans site, but I have no plans to go lewd or nude. I also want to start selling prints and art! I think Lewd photography is great. I don’t consider my work to be lewd, but others have said otherwise…so maybe I do lewds but less lewd-ish? Is that a thing or a word? I say if you’re hot and confident, then go for it! It’s a great new take on cosplay as a whole.
Raven: Overall, should cosplayers offer Lewds as artistry or shock value? Or give want fans want?
Melis: I think the only downside is it can get pretty repetitive as there are so many cosplayers doing lewds and such now, it seems difficult to keep it fresh and unique. I also think lewd cosplay gets a bad name and it seems a lot of fellow cosplayers are not too fond of it. I get it and if it’s not your thing then just don’t do it or follow cosplayers who do. I control all of my photos and what I post.
Raven: Was there ever an unusual request made from a fan wanting to see you in? If so, what?
Melis: I don’t mind taking requests or my fans giving me ideas of what they want to see but, in the end, I’m going to do what makes me feel comfortable. I haven’t got any strange requests from fans. I do get the occasional troll or pervert asking for nudes. They are promptly blocked.
Raven: Is there any profit to be made making Lewd shots?
Melis: There is a market for lewds and cosplay in general. I think it’s a great way to help support cosplayers and artists so they can keep doing what they love.
Raven: What sort of new characters are you interested in doing soon?
Melis: Some characters/cosplay my husband and I will be working on in the future are Deelit and Parn from Record of Lodoss War, Selphie and Irvine from Final Fantasy 8, and Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle. One personal cosplay I must do for sure next year is Cheza from Wolf’s Rain; it’s been a dream cosplay for a long, long time!
Raven: How long does it take to make a character outfit?
Melis: Creating cosplay is pretty time-consuming. Some costumes we purchase from costume sites, which usually means mild alterations which can take a few hours or a few days. Costumes that involve armor can take weeks, sometimes months! The same goes for wigs! It just depends on the costume and character.
Raven: Does a character you portray a reflection of your personality or is your personality a reflection of the character?
Melis: I honestly don’t think any characters I cosplay reflect my personality, but if I had to pick one that was close to my personality it would be Aeris Gainsborough from Final Fantasy 7. I don’t usually make my cosplay decisions based on my personality, it usually is based on the overall look of the character and has to be a character I like or have an interest in!
Raven: When not in front of a camera, what does Melis Ishida do in her spare time?
Melis: Spare Time….? What’s that? Seriously, I am always busy. My friends can vouch for me! I’m always doing something; reading, writing, playing Dance Dance Revolution, going out shopping, or spending time with my family. I rarely have any free time though.
Raven: Is there anything you love to collect?
Melis: I’m a huge collector of anime and video game stuff! I also have a pretty big manga collection as well. If I’m outdoors I’m usually at the park on the swing set! I can listen to my iPod and swing for HOURS! I’m very easily entertained!
Raven: Is there any place Melis would love to travel and visit for a photoshoot?
Melis: If I could travel anywhere for photoshoots, I would say Italy and Japan. They have so many gorgeous places!
Raven: Due to the Pandemic, public events have been postponed until further notice. What would you love to see come back?
Melis: I would love to see anime conventions come back ASAP! I know a lot of people and cosplayers are depressed and upset not to mention have little to no motivation to work on new costumes since there aren’t any places to show them off. It’s also hard not to be able to meet up with friends or having anything to look forward to other than working.
Raven: What sort of advice or words of wisdom you can offer new cosplayers out there?
Melis: For any new cosplayers my main advice would be; start small and do what makes YOU comfortable. Also, decide if you’re doing this just for fun or if you want to make it big. Granted, you will more or less never make it big like a Jessica Nigri, but you can still get your name out there it’s just going to take work. If you do plan to go big (or even stay small) realize cosplay takes a LOT of time and money, especially if you want to make a good costume with good materials.
Just take your time and work on 1 or 2 costumes at a time so you don’t get burnt out or overwhelmed. I would also say invest in some photography equipment like lights, a backdrop, tripods, etc so you can get better quality pictures. Lastly, just be yourself. Don’t go out there trying to replace another cosplayer or recreate what they do.
Definitely use them for inspiration or advice (most of us are pretty friendly) and inspiration, but do things that make your own work unique Ex. unique eye makeup or jewelry, etc. And of course, just have fun. Cosplay is meant to be a FUN hobby. It can get frustrating and overwhelming, so take breaks often and focus on how much fun it’s going to be wearing that costume at your next anime convention!
Raven: That’s it. It’s in, “Tha Books”! Thank you so muck Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art for your wonderful interview.
Melis: The same to you, thank you. I really enjoyed it.
Raven: If I could ask you one more question, where can our readers get more of Melis Ishida Cosplay and Art?
Melis: Not a problem, they can go to the following sites for more of Little ol’ Me!