OK, I admit it!! I watched the Hercules and Xena TV series, and enjoyed them. You happy now!? You are? Cool J Because when I saw Asgard Barbie’s Xena Cosplay, I was pretty damned impressed. I think Lucy Lawless would be impressed too, or at least I hope so! It also had me wondering what happened to that Xena reboot that was mentioned a little while back? Last I heard it was disappointing news in that Lucy Lawless wouldn’t be involved (or her husband). We can only hope that will change.
However, in the meantime we had to find out more about this awesome cosplayer! Read on…
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Barbie, and I live in Chicago. I’m a ginger, a Libra, and a total dog person (I have 4!)
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I love the fashion world, but it’s not always where I belong — I have too much enthusiasm. But in cosplay, that sort of joy is encouraged and celebrated, so a lot of times it’s where I fit in better.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
I tend to stick to traditionally female characters — I’ve never crossplayed or Rule 63’d anything (yet!) I also really love TV/movie characters specifically. I’m a huge comic fan, but the advantage of TV/movies are the HD detail shots. I love the challenge of replicating something made on a big screen budget in my one-person studio.
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
Princess Giselle was challenging for her scale alone — her bottom hoop diameter was wider than I am tall. I’m working on Mockingbird’s tac suit right now from the “Agents of SHIELD” series, and it has a tonne of pattern pieces, so that’s challenging too. The most enjoyable has probably been Xena. People have such a strong connection with her, the reactions I get when I’m in her armour are incredible.
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
I do all of my own patterning, and for most things I prefer paper drafting instead of 3D draping. Once I know what I need my fabric to do, I can pick shop for the perfect colour, and from there it’s just a question of which playlist to blast while I sew away. =)
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
C2E2 in Chicago is my home con, and it’s perfect for me. It’s a great size for a 3 day con — you never go home feeling like you’ve missed anything — and there’s always a great mix of talent there. I go every year, and for the rest of the year I tend to rotate and try out new cons. (This year I’m most looking forward to Denver Comic Con and Fan Expo Canada!)
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
A family stopped me once when I was dressed as Xena — their teen daughters were SO excited to meet me. They were definitely too young to have seen the series when it aired originally, I’d say they were maybe 13 and 15? They were just SO enthusiastic, it made my day. Black heart (cards)
A question about photographers. Obviously cosplayers are a dream come true for photographers, great outfits and poses, does it ever get a bit tiring having to pose endlessly for them, and how do you prefer to be approached by a photographer?
GREAT question. First of all, I LOVE photographers. I love how we all use the same instrument and still our styles are SO unique. So unless I have a panel deadline or need to make a photo op, if you stop to ask for a photo, I am definitely going to say yes. That said, I absolutely need you to ask. The fact is that I don’t dress for photographers; I pick my cosplays because it’s something that challenges me artistically and something I’m excited to be a fan of. I’ve had photographers physically stop me so they could take a photo, I’ve had people step in front of me and lean back onto my shoulder to take selfies with me, all without even a hello. It’s creepy, and the bottom line is that you are not entitled to my time or personal space, just like I am not entitled to yours. ASK. We can definitely manage to be respectful and have a good time at conventions, right?
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
It’s been really sweet to hear when I’ve inspired people to begin cosplaying. It started as a weird little hobby I had — I never expected to inspire anyone, and I love that it’s had that effect.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Do it, but do it your way. (Also, work on your posture — the way you sit at a sewing machine matters!)