These photos of the Steampunk Bird Hybrid by photographer Chase Lawrence of Affliction Cosplay Photography are some of my favorites – especially for the colors that bloom in his images! We had a great afternoon at Sloss Furnace capturing some cool photos together. I’m especially grateful to Chase for tapping me for these Steampunk images which were later featured in “We Rise” magazine. It was an honor to be included and I hope that I’ll have the chance to work with him again!
I’ve often say that any costume project of mine isn’t really complete until the folks at Dim Horizon Studios turn their lens toward it. It’s a true thing.
I’m always excited by their interest in these costume projects, thrilled with their keen eye for outstanding settings and – after years of working with them – deeply grateful for the close personal friendship that emerged from our mutual professional interests. I’m especially glad when they have client bookings in my city – because these occasions bring us together for gaming, goofing off, good times… and sometimes a photoshoot!
These are the first official images of the Stained Glass “Abbey” project as captured and crafted by Dim Horizon Studio at Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. (this is the first half of the images from the shoot – the second set will follow in the next post.)
And the costume is now complete. 😀
I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by Glomp Magazine in late 2014. I always appreciate the opportunity to answer questions that also give me the chance to peel back some layers on why this hobby has such a magnificent hold on me. They also selected for inclusion some of my absolute favorite images, include one from my very first ‘real’ photo shoot.
Here’s a link to the full article: GLOMP Magazine: Interview with Paige Gardner of CostumeArt
Check out Glomp Magazine on Facebook to enjoy more of their features on cosplay and the folks who pursue the costuming dream!
For current event news, WIP updates and more photos, find CostumeArt on Facebook and @CostumeArt on Twitter. I’d love to see you there!
I had the extreme good fortune to meet photographer John Spectre while I was at at Gaslight Fantasia in South Carolina. He was attending the event and capturing photos of some of the participants. I was flattered when he expressed interest in photographing the Abbey costume there at the hotel. We found a cool mosaic alcove at the host hotel and John took the needed time to set up some really cool shots. Here’s some of the images from that day.
We got the chance to meet again at AnachroCon some months later where he brought a ring flash and more cool camera equipment along. These “dark” images of Abbey (below) reveal SO MUCH more of the costume’s detail! John’s crafting of these images just leaves me floored.
John has since gone on to craft some of the most amazing cosplay photography I’ve seen in a while through his COTC Photography venture. I’m just one of his grateful photography subjects – his portfolio is exploding! If you’d like to see more, you can find John’s photography through his Facebook page, COTC Photography. Recommended viewing!
Keep up with CostumeArtist appearances and more WIP projects through CostumeArt on Facebook and @CostumeArt on Twitter. I’d love to see you there!
It’s a natural thing for fans of books, movies, comics, television shows and more to gravitate toward each other – especially via social media – to share their passion, their fandom, for the entertainment that means something special to them. Some fandoms are huge and well-known, others are more esoteric, but just as enthusiastic when it comes to their media jam.
There’s no secret that I’m a dedicated fan of Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” book series. I have a personal history with the books that became a touchstone for two decades of my life. I’ve celebrated my fandom through WOT cosplay, as well as trips to JordanCon and other WOT-related events. And I totally get that the books aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But that doesn’t diminish MY enthusiasm for the literary world that Jordan (with later support for Brandon Sanderson) crafted. And I’m not alone.
There’s other people who feel the same way I do about the “Wheel of Time” (WOT for short) world. We’re not a massive army of fans that dominate the mainstream media channels, but a strong, dedicated and constant group of enthusiasts who connect at conventions, events and especially through social media. It’s a legitimate community of folks spread across the world and joined by their love of these books. We connect and communicate through various websites, forums and importantly…through the Wheel of Time group on Facebook.
On the Wheel of Time Facebook group page it’s not unusual for us to ponder which character we might like to cosplay. Yeah, we sometimes “dream cast” celebrities who could best portray characters from the books. And sure, there are sometimes spoilers for newcomers to trip over in some threads. We geek on WOT.
Sometimes we wonder who WE would be in the WOT world. And that’s okay, too.
Of course, human dynamics are present everywhere – even in a community like ours. And our corner of the social media landscape was probably overdue for trolling. None-the-less, it was disappointing to see it finally play out when one group member simply posted their own picture and asked “Who would I be in the Wheel of Time?” – and was subsequently trolled and bullied in the comments.
The page admins pulled the post. But what followed was one of the most inspiring and redemptive things I’ve ever witnessed in fandom.
In response to the earlier bullying, WOT group members began posting photos of themselves asking “Who would I be in the Wheel of Time?” with the hashtag #WOTme.
It’s important to understand that for many folks within literary fandom, posting a selfie via social media isn’t necessarily an easy thing. Putting yourself out there, asking for others to comment on how they see you – that takes some courage. What started a trickle of group members taking the #WOTme plunge, turned into a flood of group members from every corner of the world – posting their faces and asking “Who would I be in the Wheel of Time?”.
The responses have been positively overwhelming as well. Drawing from the massive list of WOT characters, the suggestions pouring in on each photo have ranged from the series superstars to obscure bit players (and trust me, we KNOW the bit players in Wheel of Time).
And, who knew we had so many gingers among us? Those sneaky Aiel.
In one day, a group that was previously connected only through their enthusiasm for a book series, transformed into a real community, coming out from the group shadows and joining together to take a public stand against bullying. My Facebook feed is blowing up with the faces of my fellow WOT fans – and it’s kind of glorious. I think that every fandom, great or small, should pay attention what has happened today in the Wheel of Time community. It’s a testament to power of positivity within the ranks of fandom (and also illustrates how the Light really can triumph over the Dark. Sorry, I had to add that.)
I’ve never been more proud of my corner of fandom than I am today. I think Robert Jordan would be proud, too.
THEIR QUESTION: “Who would I be in the Wheel of Time?” #WOTme
MY ANSWER: “You would be awesome. Just like you are now. That’s what you’d be.”
Starting with a stack of thrift store coloring books, the “Abbey” costume project is easily the most labor-intensive and difficult task I’ve taken on. So much…coloring. Seriously, I colored like manic five-year-old for weeks. Now, just the sight of a child’s crayon-ready placemat at Denny’s gives me the shivers.
Inspired by the outsized world of Warhammer 40K Adeptus Ministorum and influenced by Art Nouveau style, this costume evolved with my traditional tool kit of thrift store elements, no-sew shortcuts… tiny investement but lots of persistence. It’s worth noting that I actually measured some things for this project (with a real measuring tape), which I consider a significant leap forward on my “things I can do” list. I’ll be posting the build background on the “Abbey” project pretty soon.
Abbey stepped out for the first time at DragonCon in Atlanta on Labor Day weekend. And I had a fantastic time with this costume! Convention-goers, friends and photographers were very kind – and happily, there’s a pretty good photo record from the event of her progress. The following images are Convention photos taken at DragonCon and I’m especially grateful to the photographers credited here (pros and amateurs alike!). Thank you to everyone who took a minute talk with me and help preserve the memories!