Bewitched Raven adds flare to the cosplay community with her unique cosplay style dresses. She is a different voice in what seems like a sea of costumed superheroes, not that there is anything wrong with that.
Andy: Who or what made you go to your first convention? How do conventions differ fanwise from Renaissance Festivals?
Bewitched Raven: Actually I had a friend who was like “you should do this, you have no idea how much you will love it!” So I was like, “eh I have a free weekend”, That was Dragon*Con 2010, which is a HUGE convention and just mind boggling, especially for it being my first convention. I had no idea what I had been missing out on all these years! It was amazing, and clearly addicting.
Cons are so much different from the Renaissance Festivals, but trust me when I say that there are fans of everything at both. That’s the whole reason I made my Medieval Batgirl, to blend two things I love. Everyone was very excited to see the mash-up, but alas, I cannot take credit for the idea. My beautiful friend Lizzie aka Wonder Woman’s Cosplay had done Renaissance Wonder Woman the year before. She looked so beautiful, and got me so excited about the concept that I wanted to do one too. I also had Knighwing with me!
Andy: A good portion of your cosplays are dress interpretations of characters, like a dress coordinated in Batman colors. Why do you take a dress making bent to your costumes?
BR: A lot of my cosplays are of inanimate objects, or non-human characters. This leaves a lot of room for interpreting a costume. But even with those characters like Batgirl or Poison Ivy, who do have a set costume to them, I like to add a bit of style. I’ve been very fond of the vintage look lately, and that just tends to lead to dresses a lot of the time (ex. 1950’s Poison Ivy and Pin Up Batgirl). I’m planning on switching it up in the upcoming months as my personal tastes are ever changing!
But frankly a dress looks good on anyone. It can make you feel sophisticated, and sexy, and classy, and just awesome all in one. So why wouldn’t I want to wear one.
Andy: You created a humanized version of Pinkie Pie, what is it about Pinkie Pie that made you want to cosplay as her? Why did you choose to make the costume the way you did? How do you see the Brony movement, as a positive or negative thing for our culture?
BR: First off Pinkie Pie is just the greatest! I love her so much I even named my dog after her. She full of life and fun, with just a dab (or a whole heap) of crazy mixed in. That’s just an equation for fun. I especially love getting to be in character at cons, because it means there is no limit to who I can approach and become friends.
When I first chose to cosplay her I immediately decided I wanted to do her gala dress because I hadn’t seen a whole lot of it done, and I wanted to be more than just a walking blob of pink! I also had to make the conscience effort to make the outfit fit me and my body as an adult. Her dress comes with a lot of ruffles and fluff, and I really wanted to avoid looking like some weird grown woman stuffed into a 10 year old’s dress. So with a few creative tweaks I ended up with the costume you see today!
Bronies are like any other fan base. I don’t think it matters if you’re a Brony, Whovian, Browncoat, or whatever. As long as you are being respectful in what you love then you really can’t go wrong! <3 <3
Andy: You also did a Cupcake version of Pinkie Pie? Why did you choose to do this? Did you receive any negative feedback from it? What was your inspiration for creating this version of Pinkie Pie?
BR: I LOVE doing Cupcakes Pinkie Pie, it’s based off this video, http://youtu.be/43AuJjuxqAw,when I first saw this I nearly died laughing. It’s so sick and twisted. It brought a whole new crazy to Pinkie Pie, and I knew immediately that I wanted to create it, but wasn’t sure the best way. Then, it just dawned on me to use scrubs. My favorite part is that some of the “blood” on the costume is actually red glitter, cause I feel like that would be what is inside a pony.
I’ve actually not had an ounce of negativity regarding this cosplay. Everyone who gets it loves it. Especially when I bake up a batch of Rainbow Dash cupcakes and hand them out the con.
Andy: You have an amazing TARDIS dress, what is it about Doctor Who that you love? If you were his companion would you want a relationship like Rose’s with the Doctor or like Amy Pond’s with the Doctor? Why? Can you talk about the choices of fabric you made to match the TARDIS?
BR: Thank you very much. I am such a big Doctor Who fan, it is a show that gives us a little bit of everything. My first two cosplays were Doctor Who inspired. My first TARDIS and a Dalek. I think if I were his companion I would be most like Donna. I don’t really take bull, and I’m pretty darn sassy.
My Steampunk TARDIS cosplay was created as part of a Steampunk Doctor Who group cosplay (TARDIS, River, Weeping Angel, Cyberman, and Sister of Mine). I hadn’t done much Steampunk before, so I went to the internet to see what fashions played a large role in Steampunk. Immediately, the cage skirt was a clear choice. I really enjoy it because if you see it in person, you can see how the inside is painted like the inside walls of the TARDIS!
I ended up designing my own fabric for the costume. I really wanted to stay away from the solid blue, so I ended up with a fabric that is blue with faint clocks all over it. I also wanted to be able to have my hand free from a purse or bag, so I made the the “Pull to Open” sign a giant pocket!!!
The last big Piece was the corset. I worked with Michelle over at Damsel in this Dress to design the perfect corset. She then took my custom fabric and brought it to life. After those choices everything else just shaped up around it, And TADA! I ended up with my Steampunk TARDIS.
Andy: What inspired you to create the Harlequin TARDIS Cosplay?
BR: The idea of Harlequin came from my friend and fellow cosplayer GypsyRogue.She has been studying this type of theater recently, and after a discussion we had on the fashion behind it, I just decided I wanted to do a TARDIS version. It was perfect timing too because I was heading to New Orleans Comic Con.
When I was creating the design, I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to showcase my friend Ashley’s wonderful cincher skirts she makes (you can find her on facebook at www.facebook.com/corsairsboutique)
Everything just fit together in a matter of days! It was clearly a cosplay that was just meant to happen.
Andy: Ariel is one of the most torn of the Disney Princesses, can you relate to her feelings between her world and the human world? What is it about Ariel’s personality that you liked the most? Why did you choose to cosplay her human version instead of her mermaid version? Was she your favorite Princess growing up? What do you think of the new ones they have released like Rapunzel and Tiana?
BR: The Little Mermaid has been one of my favorite Disney movies since I was a kid. I never could pass on a fiery read head. Ariel’s take action attitude has been so relatable for me. I’m the kind of person who likes to make things happen, not just sit back and dream of them.
I picked her blue dress because it’s the representation of her still being on her journey, just like I am with my cosplay. You’re not where you started, but you’re not quiet to the end yet. So I felt it would be a good choice for where I was at the time with my cosplay.
I have a secret love for Rapunzel and Merida. I thought those movies where amazing. They really highlight a woman taking control of her own life, rather than simply a damsel in distress being rescued. These are the types of lessons I think girls today should be learning. It’s a lesson I just recently in the past few years took to heart.
You don’t have to fit what those around you want you to be. Just stay strong and true to you.
Andy: Why do you do so many dress inspired cosplay? Instead of maybe a straight up cosplay like Wonder Woman?
BR: I really like to aim for originality in my cosplays. And frankly I just feel dang dainty and beautiful in a dress! I am also very aware of how I present myself in cosplay. I prefer to steer clear of more revealing costumes. I don’t have anything against those cosplays that show off skin, however it doesn’t fit the person that I am. That’s just a personal preference for me. As much as we hate it, there are creepers on the internet, and I would rather not give them a reason to objectify me.
Not to say I won’t ever do a more revealing cosplay, I would just prefer to not make it a habit for myself.
Andy: How does Facebook influence your costumes?
BR: Facebook can be [both] a blessing and a curse. I try to approach most of my cosplay’s with the goal of bringing something new to the fandom. Facebook can be a wonderful place to share these works, however it can also be a place where these ideas can be snatched away. This is a big reason I don’t post many [of my] work in progress pictures, especially on an original design. I don’t mind helping inspire others, or even being copied once I’ve completed and executed an original idea, but I’d like to be the “trailblazer” on these types of works.
With that said we must remember as artists, that it’s just good form to link back to those who have inspired and helped you. There are a lot of people out there who try to pass off the hard work and creativity of others as their own, and Facebook can play a huge role in that.
On the other side, Facebook has helped me be able to be so much closer to those who like my work. I often say I don’t have “fans” on Facebook, but friends, and I mean that with my whole heart. I have developed so many wonderful friendships with people who have happened to find their way to my page. It’s been a great opportunity to collaborate with them, build cosplay groups, and just be awesome geeks together!
Andy: How did you grow as a modeler of your cosplay since you started costuming and taking photographs?
BR: It’s really hard for me to think of myself as a model. I have a theater degree and background, so I more see it as putting on a character and simply getting some pictures taken. That said, I have worked with some amazing photographers who understand this and continuously help me grow in my “posing”. I’ve learned a lot about angles and lighting to where I am much more capable of having a hand in a good photo, and not just leaving up to a photographer.
I must thank them all the time for their patience with me, and their desire to help keep me improving.
Andy: What Conventions will you be at in 2013?
BR: Timegate, HeroesCon, Dragon*Con, GMX, AWA for sure, possibly a few others.