Ainsleigh Thrasher’s form of artistic expression is gaining popularity. With close to 12k followers on TikTok, she has grown a large online community. On her account, she displays her passion for anime through her artistic capabilities and interest in cosplay.
Ever since she was younger, Thrasher recalls having an interest in art. Afterwards, her older brother, Will Thrasher, introduced her to anime. Falling in love with the concept, Thrasher incorporated it into her artwork.
“I have always loved art,” said Thrasher. “I realized when I was five years old that I wanted to keep doing it, and that is when I began taking it seriously. I got into anime a long time ago because my brother mentioned it to me, and I developed a love for it from there.”
In 2017, Thrasher decided to take up cosplaying. She began to attend different conventions dressed up as her favorite characters. Between planning, hair, makeup and outfits, the tedious process Thrasher undergoes to transform into these characters can take up to a week.
The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘cosplay’ as “the practice of dressing up as a character from a film, book or video game”. Thrasher describes her passion as “weird,” but she professes to love it anyway. Cosplay is a unique interest, and Thrasher intently works at perfecting and pursuing the hobby.
“You get to be something that you are not for a minute or two,” said Thrasher. “I love that it allows you to be creative. It takes on average one day to a week. I usually plan it out, make everything and put on the act.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many searched for hobbies to fill up their newfound free time. Stuck at home, Thrasher decided to create a TikTok account to showcase her talent online. Without any expectations, she created the account, and the rest was history.
“Currently, I have almost 12k followers,” said Thrasher. “I started [the TikTok account] back in June of 2020 during quarantine, thinking ‘Oh, this will be fun to do,’ and it just grew from there. I never expected my account to grow the way it has.”
The hardest aspect of Thrasher’s hobby is finding inspiration for her next projects.
“I’m a bit of a procrastinator, so balancing schoolwork can sometimes be hard,” said Thrasher. “The most challenging part has to be coming up with new ideas. Often, I will finish one project and be lost on where to go next.”
Thrasher hopes to encourage other students to reach outside their comfort zone and not care what others think. As scary as it may seem, Thrasher believes that going beyond her comfort zone allows her to express her creativity in an amazing way.
“Be yourself,” said Thrasher. “I know it's stereotypical, but if you open up and are passionate about something you like, you never know who you will inspire to share their passions with the world."