Customer Spotlight: J. Hart Design
Posted on 30 January 2015
Misstitched Alice from Alice: Madness Returns
Wig style and color: Buttercup in Natural Black 080
Photo by Sorairo-days Photography
This week we interviewed dedicated customer, J. Hart Design! Be sure to check his Facebook page here!
Q: When did you start cosplaying, and what got you started?
A: Prior to attending my first convention in 2005, I became interested in period costume design due to my love for Renaissance festivals and period movies. I would regularly attend these festivals with my friends and family, and I absolutely loved dressing up to these events. Fortunately, the costumes for these festivals were very expensive and limiting, and I knew I could make my costumes with better fabrics and construction. Once I came to this realization, I taught myself how to sew by hand though books, articles, and trial-and-error. When I asked to join in a Final Fantasy: Advent Children group as Cloud for Otakon 2005, I immediately began working on my costume! I feel in love with the convention scene, and I have been cosplaying ever since.
Q: What is your favorite part of the costume-making process?
A: Personally, I love the sourcing stage. After the costume has been thoroughly researched and broken down into manageable pieces, I begin source materials, trims, and accessories in the Garment District. Fabric creates the story of the character and the world in which the character lives. The fabrication determines the character’s social status, class, demeanor, and stature. Similarly, this is also the area where creative intuitions and aesthetics can be explored and flourished.
Q: Which costume are you most proud of?
A: I am most proud of my recent costume, the LeNoir armor set for the female Elementalist in Granado Espada. This behemoth costume has been on my wish list ever since I stumbled upon this gorgeous MMORPG several years ago; I knew instantly that I must make this armor. The use of texture, color, and silhouette resonated deeply with me and I am very pleased with the final results.
Q: Do you have a favorite Arda Wig style and/or color?
A: I wear Arda Wigs, almost exclusively, in recent year for all of my costumes. The variety of colors and workable styles make my job much easier. My most purchased style is Claudia, the wig has a lot of bounce and fullness, and is a perfect choice for any character that needs tight, ringlet curls (out of the bag) or soft waves (from light brushing). To get extra oomph, I will stack two Claudia wigs together to create extra volume and bounce. And, because I have a huge affinity for white hair, my favorite color is Titanium Blonde. It is the perfect combination of milky white and bleached blonde.
Q: What advice do you have for new cosplayers getting into the hobby?
A: The best advice I can give to budding cosplayers is to learn patience. Cosplay is difficult, especially when you first begin, because you are forced to learn a lot of new skills. Don’t become discouraged if your first few attempts are less than stellar. With patience, you will gain the experience you need to fulfill all of your cosplay dreams.