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40K Cosplay Interview Pt 2: The Works of Paige Gardner

5 Minute Read
Aug 29 2019
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We’re diving deep into the records of the Inquisition this week, peeking behind the veil at the creative mind that dreamt of the awe-inspiring Inquisitor Oriza Cosplay: Paige Gardner of CostumeArt. Join us, for the Glory of the Emperor!

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

You… you are the darkness in which all life dies, milord. All life… exists to feed your power and my life… my life is yours. I beg you… please… let me die. […] Yes… this disturbance… echoes through the Force. I can follow it to its source… and bring it to you. I will leave at once, my lord.―Visas Marr, to Nihilus[src]

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

Paige Gardner of CostumeArt

I recently discovered an artist with an approach to Inquisition cosplay completely unique to those I have seen in the past. Her work seamlessly blends the whimsical and the gruesome, the captivating and enthralling. She blends elements of horror and high fashion, using repurposed materials to bring depth to her work. I’m particularly fascinated with the stained glass accents she blends into her Inquisition cosplays. I hope you love her work as much as I do, and enjoy getting to know the woman behind the Inquisitor!

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

What projects are you working on in the future?

I’ve been collecting materials to build a wearable War Pulpit (WH40k), but still struggling with the potential weight. It may have to wait until I can figure out how to assemble plastic toy castles into a semblance of a walking church. I’m also really interested in exploring costuming based on the upcoming Dune project from Denis Villeneuve. The literary legacy of Herbert’s Dune novels has been beautifully probed by Lynch, Jodorowsky, and Giger. I’m sure that this next dive into the material is going to launch me into a challenging project. In the meantime, I’m building an insect-inspired costume, hoping to combine the allure of flora with the instinctive recoil from a wasp. (most of my costume projects play with the dynamics of dichotomy i.e. attraction/repulsion, sacred/profane).

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

What conventions are you attending this next season?

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I just returned from Toronto as a Costuming Guest for Anime North, which is a phenomenal event! My work is currently exhibiting at the Morris Museum in New Jersey, I’ll also be exhibiting work and presenting panels at Dragon Con in Atlanta this fall.

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

Who are your cosplay inspirations? Whose work do you admire or aspire to?

Venetian costume builders are my secret passion to follow. The annual Carnevale di Venezia attracts a brilliant host of over-the-top costume builders, each expressing their unique vision of masquerade and mystery. In the cosplay/costume realm, I’m a dedicated follower of master craftspeople like sculptor Tom Cuthbert (@oneyedtom IG), designer Agnieszka Osipa (@agnieszkaosipa IG) and polymath craftsman Drew Gardner (@morbid_petting_zoo). While I’ll never approach their level of talent, they are a constant source of inspiring possibilities.

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

What are your favorite movies/shows to watch or music to listen to while you craft?

My cosplay crafting playlist is heavy with Balkan Beat Box, Jocelyn Pook, Jacob Banks, Hozier, Trip Lee, and Wang Chung (with liberal injections of Lucibela, Leadbelly, and India Ramey). If I’m stuck in a chair with a mindless task like seam ripping or distressing, I like to rewatch favorite series like Fringe, Farscape, and Babylon 5, shows I’m familiar enough with that they don’t demand my whole attention to love.

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Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

What message do you have for people wanting to break into cosplay? What have you learned in your time working in Cosplay?

My constant mantra to folks who want to explore cosplay is ‘please yourself, first and only’. Even if you have few resources and skills to start, enthusiasm counts! Cosplay is, at its core, intended to be a visual expression of fandom, an individual celebration of enthusiasm for a genre. How broadly vague or hyper-specific that expression becomes is entirely up to each individual. Cosplay, at its best, is when the cosplayer is inhabiting a vibe that they love. Elaborate or minimalist, source accurate or inspired original, all cosplay counts as awesome if there’s love in it.

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

What are your social media/website links? Where can we find you?

-CostumeArt Facebook:

-My Instagram @Bhampaige includes costume work AND images of my excellent ugly dog:

-For a detailed exposition of Cosplay builds and official photography, my website CostumeArtist.com offers a deeper dive into my costume and prop projects:

Image Credit Dim Horizon Studio

~Join us next week for more Cosplay Coverage~

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