An Interview with Tayliss Forge

Q: Who exactly is Tayliss Forge, other than a whirling dervish of creativity?

TF: Tayliss Forge, (sounds silly talking in third-person), is a college student who loves making costumes, jewelry, and accessories!

Q: Which do you prefer? Sewing or modeling your clothes?

TF: It’s always been about making and designing the clothes. Though, it is much more fun to make things I can wear and model of course. Modeling came as an afterthought once I found a photographer I liked working with (Albert Lien). Once I rebranded myself last year, more photographers chose to work with me and I’m enjoying meeting new ones.

Q: You also make jewelry and accessories? Do you have a favorite design so far?

TF: I do make jewelry and accessories. My favorite things to make are my wire-wrap elf ear cuffs. I started making a steampunk styled pair about 4 or 5 years ago with real watch parts. When they became better known, I started making more each with a unique design and multiple colors. They’re time consuming to make, but fun as well.

Q: Imagine a perfect world: A very rich patron drops out of the sky and offers to build you a workshop and provide all you supplies for the next ten years. What would it be your dream to create?

Tayliss ForgeTF: It would be a dream to be able to hire a team of people I trust to create unique pieces of art. Elaborate costumes, leather suits of armor, wings, etc. It is a long list.

Q: So – Steampunk’d. Everyone asks about the show and all the drama surrounding it. What we would like to know is – what kind of show would you create if you were to envision a Steampunk Maker TV show?

TF: There were a lot of mistakes made when it came to Steampunk’d. The biggest things I would add or change in a Steampunk maker show are 1. Be produced by people from the steampunk community who know what steampunk is. 2. Focus on the build, no drama. 3. No eliminations. It would be all point based. Each person is ranked per episode so everyone has a chance to see their favorite maker all the way through. 4. More time to work or less builds during the time given. 15-20 hours is not a lot of time for costuming and interior design. Individual items that can be created in a day would reduce stress. 5. Contestants should have the ability to do online research and contact each other freely on/off camera. It’s very difficult to do historical or cultural accuracy when it’s limited to a person’s memory. If everyone has free access to resources, it is equal for everyone. Also, being able to talk to the other contestants reduces stress and shows comradery which steampunk prides itself in.

Q: There are a lot of amazing Steampunk makers. Is there anyone in particular that you would like to collaborate with?

TF: If I could work with JW (Josh Kinsey) again, that would be a dream. His work is gorgeous and I would love to have him help me design my home and furnishings someday.

Q: Other than Steampunk, is there another fashion aesthetic that you respond to?

TF: I enjoy cyberpunk and some post apocalypse wear as well. I’m a fan of dystopian novels so cyberpunk and post apoc fits right into the genre. In addition, I love historical garments so a lot of my “normal” clothing designs are inspired by the past.

Q: You do a lot of cosplay. When did you get involved in that?

Tayliss WesternTF: I started with cosplay before I created steampunk costumes in high school. I go back and forth between original characters and cosplay depending on my mood or events I’m attending. I’m a fan of anime and I’ve attended Anime Expo for the past 7 years. I don’t feel completely at home at an anime or comic convention unless I’m in cosplay.

Q: Which cosplay are you most proud of and why?

TF: My Hextech Janna cosplay from League of Legends is probably one of my best ones. It was the perfect combination of my favorite character to play and a steampunk asthetic. It took many months to get the character accurate and the staff was built with the help of a friend due its complexity.

Q: Your business is called Nonconformity. What are the areas you think we most need to break conformity?

TF: I think that a lot of people feel obligated to wear what is acceptable rather than what they like. The company motto for Nonconformity is “wear what you please.” People can be unique especially with custom work. One of the reasons I love cosplay and steampunk is that people can be whoever they want to be and wear what they like to wear.

Q: Where can our listeners meet you in person over the next year? And, of course, where can they buy your creations?

TF: I have not announced which conventions I’ll be attending next year yet. A couple conventions are official while a lot I’m still waiting on contracts. Most are in Southern California and a couple others are in other states across the US. I’m hoping to nail it down by January. To see my most commonly requested items, visit my craft store at Signed prints of my modeling which funds my costuming can be purchased here:

Q: What is the next big thing for you, Tayliss?

TF: Currently I’m focusing on honing my skills. Finishing my fashion design certificate and marketing degree in 2017 is my big plan. We just have to wait and see what happens after that!

Q: Thanks, Tayliss!

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