Amber Arden’s cosplay made me smile in the middle of a rough day when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed. Amber was portraying “Snowba Fett,” an original crossover of Snow White and Boba Fett. Aside from the originality of the cosplay, I immediately appreciated the mix of soft princess and hardened bounty hunter and the way it challenged what I thought about both characters at once.

Amber addressed my questions about her foray into cosplay.

Tara M. Clapper: Have you been a geek for life? How did it all begin?

Amber Arden: I haven’t been a hardcore geek my whole life but I’ve always had a interest in geeky things: Star Wars, Star Trek, X-Men, Labyrinth (with David Bowie), and 1990s cartoons…but I’ve never had real access to such things so I would just wait for the moment to present itself and then I would just geek out!

About 11 years ago, I met Eric Yaras, now my fiance’, who is a super geek. He had everything and knew everything about Star Wars, gaming, and even played WoW (waited all night for each expansion pack). And everything I had a interest in he would instantly encourage me to do it, by walking me step by step into a world of geekdom! I loved every minute of it!

Mersisters of Adorkable Apparel

Mersisters of Adorkable Apparel. Photo: Adorkable Apparel – Click for products.

TMC: When you aren’t making costumes and cosplaying at conventions, what do you do for a living and what are your other hobbies?

AA: Well, I work at my 9 to 5 day job as a studio coordinator for Studo Charis in Pasadena, CA, a portrait studio. So outside of work, I mostly just practice and perfect my costumes…and plan future photo shoots for fun. Since my fiance’ is a photographer…we’re either doing photo shoots of my cosplays or friends’ cosplays and making costumes while coming up with fun ideas!

TMC: When and how did you get into cosplay?

AA: Cosplay wasn’t something I considered years ago. But my friends and family were always saying how much I looked and acted like my beloved princess Snow White. One day, when talking to my good friend and cosplayer Misa Kelly, I decided to take part and try my first convention. The first convention was Anime Expo 2013 but we were only there for 2 hours on a Sunday and had to leave early. But while there, I had on a fancy outfit not quite cosplay and not quite everyday wear. The other cosplayers and convention goers welcomed me in with open arms! And during that short time there, I saw all these wonderful costumes in which you can see just how much passion the people had in this art form which is called cosplay.

Then thre weeks later, we decided (without tickets), to put on a costume, and headed to Comic Con 2013. I dressed as a Gothic Lolita on a Sunday, with a hand made parasol and bonnet. We got to the convention and were just hanging out in the front with the wonderful crowd that forms outside. I was already in love with this convention without stepping foot inside. Thankfully, someone working at the convention loved my costume so much that he got us tickets that day (which is nearly impossible)! I spent the rest of the day enjoying Comic Con to its fullest and the crowd treated me as one of their own. Since that day, I decided that I would want to go to every convention and try out all the cosplays that I ever wanted to do.

Amber Arden as Snow White

Amber Arden as Snow White

TMC: You’re well known for your Snow White cosplay. Why did you choose this particular character?

AA: I may be a geek, but I’m even more a Disney Fan Girl. Out of all the Disney movies ever made, its first princess is my favorite. After I had my first real convention and cosplay, I decided to listen to everybody who was saying that I looked like and acted like Snow White and I went ahead and commissioned someone to make my first Snow White dress, which was as close to the original animation as possible. Once I had my makeup and hair done and put on that dress…I knew that this was meant to be.

TMC: The Boba Fett/Snow White crossover cosplay is fantastic. How did you come up with the idea to mash the two characters together?

AA: At some of the conventions I would go to there would be the Mandalorian Mercs at their booth displaying all their great armor and costumes. Every chance I would get I would take photos with them and they would tell me a little bit about how they made they armor. This was something that my fiance’ took great interest in.

One day, at Wondercon 2014, we jokingly came up with the idea of turning me into a little Boba Fett. It was then that the idea to put my two favorite movies together…Snow White and Star Wars. I spoke with my fiance’ to see if he could help with the armor and we decided to turn that little Boba Fett into Snowba Fett!

TMC: How long did it take you to make the Boba Fett/Snow White crossover cosplay?

AA: I’m still technically working on the costume as the one that you saw was just the first version. That one took us about 2 months to produce. We are hoping that within a year we will have a truly amazing Snowba Fett costume to show off.

Amber Arden "would love to pursue this passion of mine to the level of a professional."

Amber Arden “would love to pursue this passion of mine to the level of a professional.”

TMC: What are your feelings on professional cosplayers? Do you oppose this idea, or would you like to become one?

AA: The great thing about conventions is that amateur and professional cosplayers are all under one roof. I’ve had the great opportunity to meet many professional cosplayers and they’re all amazing people. One of them, whom I’m a great fan of is Traci Hines.

Actually she saw me dress as Snow White and thought I was so cute. Then shortly after Wondercon 2014, she searched for me and asked me to participate in one of her projects for her company Adorkable Apparel – for her (Mer)sisters clothing line, which was a dream come true for me!

In terms of wanting to be a professional cosplayer, I do like that idea and would love to pursue this passion of mine to the level of a professional.

TMC: What characters would you like to cosplay in the future?

AA: I’m particularity interested in female X-Men superheroes. Like Aurora, a new version of Lilith Drake (Daughter of Dracula) and maybe a few more Disney mashups are some cosplays that I might try to pull off in the future. But I’m always improving on Snowba Fett, maybe a Christmas Snow White…as well as many other Snow White themed photo shoots.

TMC: Do you ever get negative reactions to your cosplay? If so, how do you handle it?

AA: I’m always afraid of crude negative reactions. Thankfully, the only somewhat negative reactions that I’ve had are more along the lines of constructive criticism which I take as a lesson to help me improve on what needs improvement. The way I handle crude negative reactions is by avoiding sites that are known to have rowdy audiences (sadly I gave in a few times but thankfully most of the comments have been positive).

Sites that have featured me include: ThinkGeek.comCanon CosplayGeeks Are SexyFashionably Geek

These are the places that I pay the most attention to the reactions of fans.

Amber Arden: "I decided that I would want to go to every convention and try out all the cosplays that I ever wanted to do."

Amber Arden: “I decided that I would want to go to every convention and try out all the cosplays that I ever wanted to do.” Photo: Fat Man Photography

TMC: Please give some advice to anyone who wants to start cosplaying:

Most important is not to be afraid to dress like a character that you’ve always wanted to be. The cosplay world will not put you down, and will if anything, help you achieve the look that you’re trying to get.

Outside of that world (internet) there is always the possibility that some people who are up to no good might say something rude. Mostly because they just don’t understand it. So, if you can’t handle rude comments then avoid reading comments. But, remember that for the most part, those who understand cosplay will back you up and push you from behind. Remember cosplay isn’t just dress up its a lifestyle! And you just keep up with it and you’ll constantly improve!

 

Would you like to learn more about Amber and follow her cosplay? Please look for her on the following sites:

Amber Arden Official – Facebook

Fat Man Photography | Sunpech Photography | Russell Fung | Marco Parc Photography | Hip Hop Trooper

Additional link: Joanna Lynn – Cosplayer

 

 

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