We are a year-round, geek and pop culture convention in blog form -- spotlighting artists, vendors, cosplayers and geek-themed nonprofits from cons across the country.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spotlight: Alexia Jean Grey (Pt. 2)

I've been pretty lazy since the Annapolis Comic-Con's Halloween coolness came and went.  I met a lot of friendly and badass artists and there were a ton of costumes for such a small venue.  But between that and us moving into a new place, I've been rubbish with the updates.  But no more. 
Alexia Jean Grey, our spotlight cosplayer this month launched her website Halloween night:

Superhero Photography by Adam Jay
In honor of that, here's part two of her interview.  And some more photos.  For some reason those seem to be popular too...

So, I know you make your own costumes.  How long do the costumes you make take, on average?  What are obstacles and difficulties with some outfits?

- Every costume has its bounds and leaps. Honestly the hard part is how to make things practical and wearable (or how to simply how to take it off to use the bathroom in it - that is actually a challenge in a lot of my costumes, ha!)
The easiest thing to do for people starting out is to find your strengths, for some it's sewing, for others it's sculpting. If you're creative and passionate, the rest just comes with practice. I do make and modify a lot of my costumes but I also love collaborating and wearing other people's art. There are some people who think you need to make everything or a majority of it to be considered good at costuming/cosplaying, but honestly I am honored that other artists believe I am great model to wear there creations. Jester FX was the main man behind my Batgirl costume, his sculpting skills are incredible and was blessed to be a part of his work. I also collaborated with Carlos Blanchard from Rage Custom Creations on my Ivy costume.

Socially awkward. 
It seems like you have to have a healthy dose of self confidence to wear some of the costumes.  were you shy at first?  and now?

- Oh I have always been extremely shy and always considered myself one of those "socially awkward penguins". But costuming broke me out of my shell. The first couple times I went to conventions I wouldn't really talk to anyone, but costuming helped me boost my confidence. And even though sometimes I am not the most talkative person when I get in front of a camera I focus my energy on the character I am portraying and model the best I can. I look at how I want the image to look in the end and use that as my guide instead of pressuring myself when the photographer is there. It's all practice and learning. Modeling is a lot of trial and error you just need to get that one shot, sometimes it may take seven hours to do it but it's all worth it in the end.

Are there misconceptions people have about what you do?  For example when I followed links to your Facebook, I saw that you were a full time costumer and my first thought was that maybe you model in costume, but weren't really into the geek/comic culture.  Reading your posts, it's clear you that isn't the case.  You know your stuff.
Minus Kneesocks!

- Oh the joys of purism between hardcore geeks and (not so much) models. There are probably misconceptions about me, but once you find out about me I really am just a geeky weirdo in a costume. Do I know every single fight scene in every single comic book? No.  Frankly I just don't have the time or money to collect everything. I do play games, read comics, and watch anime, and I pick characters based on their personality/powers. I have noticed a lot lately that there are so many articles about "fake geeks" or "women are just looking for attention since it's a male fan-based industry."  I find it very silly; to be completely honest if a girl (or guy) just wants to dress up and have fun, just let them. They're not coming over to your house and ripping up your MTG cards and cutting Xbox cords. Since when do people need to be quizzed on there knowledge of a subject matter to have fun with what they're doing? It's like people liking bands, they don't need to know everything about the artist; they could just simply like the sound of the music. 

Wait, is this in continuity?
J Holmes Photography

-What's the next costume?  How do you come up with ideas or decide what's next?
I have been working on a few costumes, Right now I am planning on what will be shown for next year since most of the major conventions are over with. I have a new costume for NYCC which you can see on my Facebook page. I don't want to give too much away but I will say my next for sure costumes are.. one has blue skin, one is a fierce warrior, one is a street fighter, and another is an artist's original design on two different characters.

How long will you continue to do it?

- Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Honestly I never want to stop, I always want to challenge myself and make each costume and photoshoot better than the last. Basically until they run out of comic book characters!
Michael Iacca

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