Every month we pick two cosplayers and feature them on Geeks With Wives as our Cosplayers of the Month! Check back every second and fourth Monday to see who we are featuring that week!
This week, meet the one, the only, Fiendle!!
How long have you been cosplaying and what age did you start?
I’ve been cosplaying on and off since 2008, when I attended my very first convention, Blizzcon. I was in college; about 20 years old and my life consisted of homework and World of Warcraft. Discovering cosplay was a very fascinating and exciting thing for me, and it gave me a great chance to merge both my love of video game characters and my love of art. I had absolutely no idea how to make a costume, and admittedly there were not many easy to find tutorials or open cosplay groups back then. But with practice and research I’ve found cosplay to be much easier as the years have gone by. It’s great to see improvements, both in myself and the community. Things I once considered IMPOSSIBLE, I could now do with relatively little struggle. And even if I have no idea how to start something, Google is always there to help point me in the right direction!
Have you won any awards in your cosplay?
I tend to not enter many cosplay contests, but I did win “Best Female Villain” for my Grand Widow Faerlina (World of Warcraft) cosplay at the costume contest of Wizard World Portland 2013! Got $200; not bad for what felt like a rather impromptu contest put on by the people who did the Heroes of Cosplay so they could get some footage for the first episode of their TV show, haha. (I actually show up for a few seconds in episode one, and in the commercial for the show.). While the contest was 3-4 hours long with nearly 200 participants, it was entertaining to be a part of. Regardless of what that show tried to portray about contests and how super serious business they are, I find that even being a person who puts great care into my craftsmanship, that when it comes to contests that it’s much more enjoyable to not take yourself so serious and just have fun with it. The audience will vibe off of your positive energy, and you won’t feel bad and can just laugh it off if you end up losing or messing up!
Which cosplay would you say is your favorite out of your collection?
I think my favorite is my Skull Kid cosplay. Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is one of my favorite games of all time, between the depressing mood, the emphasis on sidequests, and the super saturated color pallet. I consider that costume as my love letter to one of my favorite games, and it really made me happy to have an excuse to create my own Majora’s Mask, and to get to creep around conventions as little Skull Kid.
Is there anyone in the cosplay community that you look up to?
I look up to a lot of people, and the list grows every day so I couldn’t possibly list them without feeling bad about leaving someone out… But the people I look up to, I do so because I admire their godly craftsmanship. Even if they don’t have a ton of followers or aren’t model material or have someone else wear their outfits, if the craft screams of quality, love and dedication and speaks for itself, you can bet I love them.
What is the most memorable moment you’ve ever had from cosplaying?
The first year I wore my Skull Kid costume to PAX Prime, I was walking downtown, outside of the convention center and someone across the street yelled as loud as they could “Majora!”. Immediately as I looked to his direction, at least 50 people on that side of the street started cheering at me and yelling about how much they loved me. I get compliments from individuals all the time on my costumes, and large crowds cheering when I do a costume contest/fashion show for an audience, but that particular circumstance was pretty spontaneous and hilarious, especially since I had been under the impression prior to making the costume that Majora’s Mask wasn’t even that popular or loved of a Zelda game (although in more recent years, a lot of people have started rediscovering the game or admitting how much they really like it, which is awesome).
Is there a specific theme to your cosplays? As in, do you primarily cosplay from one genre?
So far, all of my cosplays have been from video games/PC games. I’ve enjoyed gaming since my childhood, and find myself emotionally attached to those characters the most. I also attend primarily gaming conventions, so it makes sense to cosplay video game characters. I suppose I am drawn to characters who could be considered both scary and endearing, and often villains or the misunderstood/lonely character.
What does “fiendle” mean and why did you choose it as a name for your business?
Fiendle is a nickname that my partner started calling me several years ago. It means that I’m a “little fiend”, or “a person who is prone to being a fiend”. Not in the sense of being truly evil, but I have my moments where I get mischievous, or become overly enthusiastic about something–often my work–to the point of obsession. I started using Feindle as an online alias, one of them being for cosplay. I transitioned over to doing commission work, I just stuck with that since most of my friends I was doing commissions for were in the cosplay community.
What are some of the products you offer on your site?
I like to dabble in a lot of creative fields, but I’m best known for my high quality, heavily detailed custom plushies and dolls. I design all my own patterns and pick out fabrics based on client request, so it’s a really fun and special process for both parties seeing such unique and specific creations come to life. I also do custom work for cosplay accessories, and sculpt little figures out of polymer clay.
Out of everything you make, what would you say is your favorite items to make?
It’s tough to say; I tend to go through various creative moods, where sometimes I am REALLY in the mood for sculpting (clay, cosplay pieces etc), and other times I really dig sewing plushies. I don’t actually like making the patterns much; it’s a lot of work, so sometimes it gets disheartening and I really have to push through it. But the actual sewing is always fun and I love after all the hard work seeing my creations slowly come to life exactly as I envisioned! I also find that, while I almost never do it anymore, drawing and painting is always very enjoyable (I focused on studio art–drawing and painting–while in college). I feel like I should get into doing some of that as commission work too, but I also fear I don’t want to spread my skills too thin and so far am enjoying the adventure of sewing cute, unique critters. If this question is in reference to what qualities do I enjoy in the things I make, I really like when something is a little bit cute, and a little bit frightening. I find this makes for a fun and dynamic synergy.
How long have you been doing commission work?
I did my first commissioned piece in late 2010 for a friend. To be honest, I hadn’t done much sewing/plushie/doll work before, certainly nothing I had sold to someone, and didn’t think too much of it. But a few of my other friends really loved the doll and requested I make some custom dolls for them as well. Through word of mouth my commissions expanded from just friends, to friends of friends, to eventually complete strangers. I’m really thankful to those who were so supportive of me in the beginning, and continually thankful for everyone who supports me today, whether it is ordering a custom piece, or just sending me some kind words.
Is there any piece of advice that you wish someone would have given you when you first started cosplaying?
Do some preliminary sketches of your costume to get a feel for it before just jumping into it. Figure out ahead of time what kind of materials/fabric you want to use, and approximately how much you will need. Otherwise shopping turns into buying at least 3x too many materials as you end up using, or an extremely stressful situation of choice overload and indecision while shopping. Really, this is something that you figure out on your own with either research or practice. Never underestimate the power of research (and today there are about 100x as many cosplay tutorials as there were 5 years ago, so research is fairly easy)! Also, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to other cosplayers! There are so many talented and super sweet people out in the cosplay community, and it’s great to make friends and connections with people of a similar interest. The truth is, almost everyone is a little shy and self critical of their work, so friendly gestures and compliments are always appreciated.
Are there any conventions that are on your all time bucket list to go to?
I think PAX East would be fun to attend since I love PAX Prime so much, but while PAX Prime is a few hour drive from where I live, PAX East is clear across the country. I don’t think there are other conventions I’m dying to attend, but I do have a ton of cosplay friends in SoCal, and I would love to be able to attend some conventions down in that area and do group cosplays with them. Maybe some international conventions in Europe or Japan, but I haven’t given much serious thought to that prospect since it’s fairly out of my means at the moment.
What websites can people contact you on or view more of your work?
My personal website where I archive the majority of my work with pictures and construction info is www.fiendle.com. I have a commission request form on my website which is linked to my email, email@example.com. My facebook fanpage is facebook.com/fiendle, which you are welcome to like and follow, or send me a PM!
If you would like to be featured in future “Cosplayers of the Month” or know someone who should be, feel free to email Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org!