Holly is a professional and published model from Birmingham, and also a superb cosplayer too. Holly’s Harley Quinn is just sublime. I wasn’t such a fan of Suicide Squad, but was impressed by Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the anarchic Harley. At first glance I mistook Holly for Margot!
Could you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Holly, I’m 27, live in Birmingham, and I have been modelling since 2008, mostly fashion and beauty, but to be honest I love a whole range of styles. I have a ‘day job’ so modelling now is more for fun, which is how I got into cosplay.
What or who inspired you to Cosplay?
I have always LOVED seeing other people cosplay (mostly on instagram and pinterest), however it wasn’t until my first comic con early this year that I really got into it myself. I always thought it was something I’d like to do when I have the time, but you just have to make the time. I’m still quite new to it all but I have always enjoyed making my own props, clothing and headpieces for fashion shoots, so creating cosplay outfits and props is really satisfying.
Are there specific types of character that you particularly gravitate towards and why?
At the moment I have done Leeloo from Fifth Element which was my first, and I chose her because she’s been a favourite character of mine for a long time. My next is Harley Quinn as I adore her, what I love about her is she has quite a few outfits throughout the comics, games and films so eventually I will have them all! I guess I go more for movies and comic book characters at the moment, but the more I get into it the more I would like to go into anime as there are so many options. One of the best things about cosplay is the options are endless!
What for you have been the most challenging characters that you’ve cosplayed as, and which have been the most enjoyable?
As I am still new to cosplay, I haven’t really approached anything too challenging … watch this space!
Could you take us through a little on how you made your outfits?
So far I have bought a lot of stuff online and easily put outfits etc together. As for wigs, I tend to either use ones I already have and cut and style them when needed, or buy a basic wig and do the same. Cosplay can become very expensive, so when I can find a way of editing/making as much as I can the better. My next outfit will be Poison Ivy, which I will make mostly from scratch as she is a really fun character, for this I am buying basic things such as a stretch leotard and long gloves, then will adapt it as I go along. I find it easier to make as I go rather than come up with a solid plan. There are some great fabric stores in Birmingham where I live too which helps.
Which Conventions have been the most enjoyable for you to attend and why?
So far I have been to MCM Comic Con Birmingham as it’s my hometown, but would be happy to go off and travel for more! I went with my boyfriend and we loved it and ended up spending so much, there is so much to see. It’s also such a friendly environment, everyone really gets along.
Have there been any memorable reactions to your costumes, and if so, what were they?
When I was at MCM Comic Con Birmingham as Leeloo I did get a few laughs! I think because she’s such a lovable character people really enjoyed it. And of course, whenever you are in any character, everyone is always taking pictures which I love.
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?
Because I have always modelled it really doesn’t phase me, as long as the approach is polite and to the point. It’s actually perfect for photographers to want to shoot my outfits and it gives me a portfolio that’s just for cosplay. I aim to do professional photo shoots with every cosplay, and then I can separate that from my other modelling and have some awesome photos to show off too! When I am out at events I am always more than happy to pose for photos.
What impact has cosplaying had on your life?
Meeting new people! Everyone is so friendly in the cosplay world, it’s really helped me meet new people and attending events is so much fun.
Do you have any advice for anybody thinking of cosplaying?
Do it! Like me, you might be late to start but honestly, once you get into it you will wonder why you left it so long.
Harley Quinn by Jarv – 82 Photography