Dragon Con 2016: Paige Gardner and Her Poor Feet

I’ve been invited back to Dragon Con 2016 as an Attending Professional, and I’m more excited I’ve ever been. Mostly because it’s the 30th Anniversary year. But also because I’ve had a difficult year personally, and really need to recharge my battery through close (crowd crushing) association with 60,000 of the best sort of people. I’ve made a new costume. I don’t know if I like it yet. But I did meet my goal of building a Warhammer 40K character entirely from re-purposed junk. I’m going to call that a win.

NEWS: My panel/event schedule includes some pretty cool stuff (including my first foray into the Art Track!). The high points are posted below with hopes that some of my friends may be able to come out and join me for one or two events.

FORECAST: Dragon Con has a HUGE footprint – and there’s definitely some aggressive walking that’s going to happen with this schedule.  I’m investing in TWO layers of squishy insoles. My poor feet.

See you very soon!

Paige

Title: Vintage Vogue Fashion Show: Historical Costumes Real & Imagined
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Grand Salon West – Hilton
Description: Bringing historical fashion AND costumes from Alternate History to the runway, the timeline gets twisted at the Vintage Vogue Fashion Show. Join us for a stunning time-traveling costume adventure at Dragon Con 2016! (Show Manager)

Title: Steampunk Adventures in the Land of the Wonder Women
Time: Fri 08:30 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: Brett King’s popular alter ego Gustaf Danielsson takes you on an all-new interactive steampunk adventure with comedy, fantastic props, and wild tales of exploration. Join us as we go in search of the Land of the Wonder Women! (Panelist)

Title: Chosen Cosplay Pre-Judging
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Offsite GA Aquarium – N/A
(Preliminary Judge)

Title: The Desperate Steampunk (Garb & Gear on a Budget)
Time: Sun 02:30 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: What’s a costumer to do without money or skills to build a top-drawer steampunk ensemble? Take desperate measures. “The Desperate Steampunk” is your insider intro to low-cost resources, costuming shortcuts, & innovative ways to craft Steampunk gear and garb with a minimum of skill and funds. (Emcee / Moderator)

Title: When Two ARTS Collide: The Intersection of Art Photography & Cosplay
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: Grand Hall C – Hyatt
Description: Come hear from experts in cosplay/costuming, art photography, and “geek-culture” publishing. Learn tips and pointers for raising your art form to the next level, and increase your chances of getting publicity and exposure for your work! (Panelist)

Title: Extreme Makeover: Steampunk Edition
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: This game show follows three lucky individuals chosen by our “extreme team” of top designers as they are tasked to take leftover items and found objects to clothe our contestants top to bottom in a complete retro-future makeover, with the winner chosen by our panel of celebrity judges. (Judge)

Title: Something from Nothing: Reverse Engineering a Cool Costume Crafted from Thrift
Time: Mon 11:30 am Location: 308 – Hilton
Description: Resident recycling, up-cycling, and no-sew costuming expert discusses her creative process for creating award-winning and museum-worthy costumes out of the most unlikely of materials. Space is limited. (Sole Presenter)

Title: The State of Steampunk
Time: Mon 01:00 pm Location: 204 I – Mart2
Description: Find out where Steampunk is headed. Has Steampunk finally peaked? If so, what comes next? This round-table discussion panel explores the current state of the subculture and how it will evolve. Will other sub-genres become more prominent (dieselpunk, rococopunk, etc.)?

Title: Embellishments for Costuming
Time: Mon 02:30 pm Location: 302-305 – Hilton
Description: Sometimes a few beads, a gemstone or two, or some fringe is all your costume needs to look stunning. We tell you how to use them and how to get them to stay attached. (Panelist)

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Stained Glass “Abbey” at Abandoned School

I can’t believe I missed sharing these Dim Horizon Studios images of Abbey crafted in abandoned Banks school in Birmingham, Alabama.  The school opened its doors specifically to cosplayers and photographers for one afternoon in 2015. It was dark, dirty…and magnificent in its urban decay. The setting felt more like a Warhammer 40K environment (which inspired the costume) so that was a welcome plus! Here are some of my favorites from the day.

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 3

 “Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 5

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 6

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 8

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 9

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 10

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 12

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 15

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 17

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

Costume Stained Glass Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk Cosplay 21

“Abbey” (Paige Gardner / CostumeArt) Photography by Dim Horizon Studios

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Steampunk Bird Hybrid | by Chase Lawrence

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!

pgs bird hybrid Affliction photography Chase Lawerence 3

pgs bird hybrid Affliction photography Chase Lawerence 4

pgs bird hybrid affliction photography chase lawrence

pgs bird hybrid Affliction photography Chase Lawerence 2

pgs bird hybrid Affliction photography Chase Lawerence 1

Rendezvous with Subversive Photography

DragonCon 2014: It was 3:00 am Sunday morning, and I was still wearing the “Abbey” costume from an event hours earlier.  Making my way back to my room across the (much less crowded than usual) lobby of the Hyatt, a gentleman with a camera politely approached and asked for permission to take a few photographs.  It’s always a kindness (and a compliment) when someone asks, so I stopped and joined him for a few photos. He took his time setting up the angles and finding just the right perspectives. And I watched him work. He thanked me for my time and I thanked him for his interest and the kind attention. I hoped that after the event, we might reconnect so I could see the resulting images – but with an event as chaotic as DragonCon, you just never know.

Warhammer inspired Stained Glass "Abbey' photographed by Subversively.com

Warhammer inspired Stained Glass “Abbey’ photographed by Subversively.com

His name was Lievan Leroy of San Francisco-based Subversively.com and his image of “Abbey” DID pop up later that month. And it kind of exploded on social media. I saw Lievan’s image begin trending on Tumblr. And when my CostumeArt Facebook Page suddenly acquired a thousand followers overnight, I tracked that growth back to Lievan’s lobby photo of Abbey, which had been picked up (thanks to Galacticat) and shared by the Replica Props Forum Facebook page. The response was overwhelmingly positive. I think that both the photographer and I were surprised that our impromptu collaboration in the wee hours of DragonCon would find so many eyeballs. What a great compliment!

DragonCon 2015: I got a message from Lievan asking if I would like to meet up at DragonCon for another photo opportunity. I had a new costume project with me, and while it was not complete, I was very excited to see what Lievan would do with it.

After some text tagging and missed connections, we finally met again in the drive-thru at the Marriott Marquis. Crowded with people and cars, the odds of finding any spot with solitude was unlikely. So we opted to back up against the fountain and try our luck.  Even with the odd lighting and distracting environment, Lievan turned all of his attention to crafting images of “Merry McQueen”, an original CostumeArt project inspired by the work of Alexander McQueen.

When I got to see the images from this DragonCon shoot and I’m simply AMAZED at his ability to create the impression that we were isolated while making these photos.  With his lighting and perspectives, he’s crafted images that almost evoke a sense of desolation.  In truth, there were tipsy cosplayers and loud crowds just a few feet away from us, cars and vans were cycling behind Lievan as he worked, and the lip of the fountain was just inches behind my heels. He created an eye in the storm and produced these lovely photographs amid the madness!

Thank you Lievan Leroy of  Subversively.com for sharing your talents with me again. You, Sir, are made of magic. (We have to keep meeting like this!)

Paige Gardner Costume Merry McQueen Steampunk Subversively Photography DragonCon 4

“Merry McQueen” photographed by Subversively.com at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia.

 

"Merry McQueen" photographed by Subversively.com at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia.

“Merry McQueen” photographed by Subversively.com at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia.

Paige Gardner Costume Merry McQueen Steampunk Subversively Photography DragonCon 3

“Merry McQueen” photographed by Subversively.com at DragonCon in Atlanta, Georgia.

Abbey at Sloss Furnace with Dim Horizon Studios (More!)

From Abbey’s first photo shoot with Dim Horizon Studio, this is the second set of images from an exciting afternoon at Sloss Furnaces Historical Landmark in Birmingham, Alabama.

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner —  Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

 

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 17

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 18

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 21

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 20

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 19

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 30

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 29

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 28

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 31

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 33

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 32

Costume: Abbey | Paige Gardner Photography by Dim Horizon Studio

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 22 Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 23 Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 24 Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 25 Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 26 Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 27

Abbey at Sloss Furnace: Photoshoot with Dim Horizon Studios

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. 😀

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 8

 

 

Costume: "Abbey" by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner
Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 4

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

 

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 2

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 5

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 6

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 7

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 8

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 9

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 11

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 12

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 13

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 14

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 15

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner / CostumeArt Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 10

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner  Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

Stained Glass Costume Paige Gardner Warhammer Steampunk cosplay 3

Costume: “Abbey” by Paige Gardner Photography: Dim Horizon Studios

For more images, events and WIP costume updates, find me at CostumeArt on Facebook and @CostumeArt on Twitter. I’d love to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glomp Magazine: Interview with Paige Gardner of CostumeArt

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

John Strangeway and Paige Gardner at Sloss Furnace | Photography by Dim Horizon Studios |

John Strangeway and Paige Gardner at Sloss Furnace | Photography by Dim Horizon Studios |

Check out Glomp Magazine on Facebook to enjoy more of their features on cosplay and the folks who pursue the costuming dream!

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For current event news, WIP updates and more photos, find CostumeArt on Facebook and @CostumeArt on Twitter. I’d love to see you there!