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Interview with Cosplayer Project Pickles

Interview with Cosplayer Project Pickles


Article by: Geek Girl Jenn Marvel

Hello, again Jenn Marvel here I got a chance to talk to one of my favorite lady cosplayers Project Pickles, she does some amazing stuff, I've only known her a short while but in that time we've become good friends. I asked her some questions, here's what she had to say!

Jenn: Hey Girly, thanks again for taking time out of your crazy schedule to have this little chat with me. I am gonna start off, by asking you how long have you been cosplaying? And how/when did you start cosplaying?

Pickles: Iíve been in the cosplay scene for about 3 years now. I made my first costumes sometime back around 2007. They were period accurate camp follower outfits for the War of 1812 reenactments I was doing. My first real cosplay would be my ďA New Hope Ė StuntĒ version Stormtrooper. I fell in love with the costume when I saw the 501st Legion at a convention (Toronto Wizard World 2012, I believe). I spent about a month researching how to acquire my own armor. I did not have the confidence to build my own at first but ended up taking the plunge anyhow. It was an intimidating build consisting of cutting, heat shaping, gluing, strapping, snapping, velcroing, and dremeling. There were so many parts and so many little details to get just right. Two months later I had it built! :D

Jenn: Oh awesome roughly the same amount of time as me. What is your background in the cosplay/media industry if any?

Pickles: My costuming background is pretty militant now that I reflect back on it, heh. I was part of a reenactment group, The 41st Regiment of Foot, doing War of 1812 reenactments for a few years. Actually, the main reason I left that group was due to the fact that I was not Ďallowedí to be a soldier (with that particular group). The group decided their focus on accuracy would not allow it. More recently Iíve spent a few years with the 501st Legion Star Wars costuming group. Both groups demand costume accuracy (sometimes to a painfully specific degree lol). It is completely worth it though! :D

Photo by ConArtists Photography

Jenn: Amazing I love the work the 501st do and I am glad I've got to call a lot of them friends over the years. What kinds of cosplays do you do generally?

Pickles: So far I have a tendency to make gender-bend costumes Ė typically villains and anti-heroes.

Jenn: At least you know what you like. What are some of your interests that help influence, or inspire your passion for cosplay?

Pickles: When I was very little, I met a couple Ninja Turtles. That was one of the most memorable moments of my childhood and I love being able to bring that to other kids and even adults! So far I have made costumes of characters that have had a big influence in my life. Characters that I have a connection with. I am also very much inspired by the many creative and talented people who came before me. There is some stunning and fun work out there! I also take inspiration from my favourite games/comics/movies/etc. :)

Jenn: So often I use others work as inspiration and push to make my own stuff, and of course childhood shows and comics totally inspire me when I am working on something new, There is just so much out there right now to see and use as inspiration a lot more now then a few years ago, the internet has really blown up in terms of content for us to use as inspiration! How did you learn to sew/fabricate? And do you have any sort of routine or checklist when you go about putting together a cosplay?

Pickles: Iíve been sewing as long as I can remember. I used to customize my clothes and even made the dress I wore to my high school prom. Fabrication is a more recent skill that I am developing. Thereís been a ton of trial and error Ė huge thanks to all of the people who post online tutorials as they have been the building blocks from which I started to learn.

For the serious builds, like my Stormtrooper - I spent months researching and figuring out all the little details. Currently I am working on a MKX Scorpion costume where I downloaded the HD game cinematic and went through the video a few hundred times taking screenshots so I can accurately replicate the costume.

Other builds, like Spawn, I have a figure that I based the build off of but continuously find new techniques to improve different aspect of the costume. And of course the builds like Maleficent, I just wing it and see how it turns out. lol

Photo by Dr. Stevil

Jenn: Thats so awesome!, I really can't wait to see what you come up with in the future, How long roughly does it take to complete a cosplay once you start something?

Pickles: 2-6 months is not unheard of for me. Between researching, finding the right techniques, right materials, and such. I generally like to take my time.

Jenn: I know for me when I start something I always think its going to be something quick and easy and then it turns out I need way more time then I budgeted for. What is your favorite cosplay and what is your dream cosplay?

Pickles: It is a tossup between Spawn and Stormtrooper Ė I absolutely love both and they are so much fun to wear. If I *had* to pick one Ė probably Stormtrooper. And thatís mostly because of how excited both kids and adults get when they see you.

Itís one Iíve already done (and continue to work on), Spawn! :D On top of that, I was able to meet Todd McFarlane while wearing it! I do have a long list of costumes Iíd like to make. MKX Scorpion and Judge Dredd at the forefront! :D

Photo by ConArtists Photography

Jenn: Ha I think we all have that list of dream cosplays and can never narrow it down to one, Do you have any advice for someone new to cosplay or thinking about getting into cosplay?

Pickles: 1. Put down that darn hot glue! It is terrible stuff! There are so many better alternatives. 2. You can do it! :D lol! With money and time Ė you can accomplish anything. Most of us donít have much of either so donít worry about taking your time with a build. Search around for deals on needed materials. Researching multiple techniques and talking with other skilled costume builders is the best way start. 3. Donít stress out when things donít work the way you want them to. :)

Jenn: I must admit, I am one of the guilty hot glue enthusiasts, haha I use it for practically everything and I burn myself over and over its just so cheap to buy. Haha one day i'll venture out into the adhesives of the world. What is your favorite convention to attend and why?

Pickles: I absolutely love going to all of the cons as itís like a big family reunion. My favorite would have to be the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital event that I do with the 501st Legion. Itís extremely heartwarming to bring so much joy to the kids there and help them to not think about their pain for an afternoon. I am extremely thankful I wear a helmet that covers my face because I tend to tear up at that event.

Jenn: Awe thats so sweet and awesome!!! I think its really awesome all the stuff 501st does for the community. What is one of your most memorable moments as a cosplayer?

Pickles: Thereís been so many! Iíve had so many memorable moments meeting the most awesome people in the costume/cosplay community. That is not said lightly Ė there are some very strong and long lasting friendships that have formed on the common ground of dressing up and having fun.

One event that really stands out to me is when I was at Storybook Gardens in London, ON for Star Wars day. I had taken all the electronics out of my Stormtrooper helmet and was running around with the kids in the splash pad! :D

Photo by Rob Appleton

Jenn: Awe thats sounds like so much fun! What are some of your goals, or hopes for the future as a cosplayer?

Pickles: My main goal is to keep focused on having fun and helping others whenever I can. You really canít take yourself too seriously or you stop having fun.

Jenn: I feel like sometimes so many people lose sight of why we even do this in the first place, I wish more people just enjoyed themselves and stopped bullying people in the end were all just nerds!! What does being a geek girl mean to you?

Pickles: It means being so unabashedly passionate about your favourite geeky fandoms that you canít help but share it with others. Be it by wearing costumes or posting online or talking your friendís ears off about them! :) Oh and being a girl too. :p

Ok, just a few more quick questions!! The lightning round whoo!!

Fav movie Ė 3-way tie: Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and The Devilís Carnival
Fav tv show Ė Sons of Anarchy or Spartacus
Fav game Ė Portal or TF2
Fav novel Ė Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Fav comic Ė Spawn
Fav material(for cosplay) Ė ABS plastic & E6000 Glue
Fav character Ė Darth Vader
Fav cosplayer Ė Freddie Nova

Thanks again Project Pickles for taking some time to share with everyone. It was a pleasure. Until next time, tootles.

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November 03 2014

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