Interview with Dayna Baby Lou
Dayna Baby Lou is a Canadian cosplayer, designer and model.
Dayna, it is a pleasure to meet you. Can you tell us a little about yourself and where you grew up?
Thank you so much Well..I grew up as an only child in Nanaimo, B.C. Canada which is located on Vancouver Island. I spent a lot of time with my Nana when I was a kid. She taught me pretty much everything I know! I learned how to design & sew at a very young age. I have always had an interest in many forms of art. Now I live in Victoria B.C. with my amazing husband, my dog and my very old kitty cat
As a cosplayer, model, artist and designer you are involved in many different types of projects. One of your favorites is cosplay. Can you tell us how you first discovered cosplaying?
It really wasn’t that long ago. I had modeled retro pin-up for a bit, but it turned to be the same style all the time ( I get bored very easily lol). I was interested in so much more than just one specific style. Since I LOVE cosplay and there are so many unique comic/game characters out there that I have adored for years .. I decided to take my sewing to a new level. But not only sewing! I have been working with plaster, paper mache, foam and wonderflex. Recently, I have just started customizing my own wigs. I have never had so much fun! Nothing feels more exciting than transforming into your favorite hero and bringing them to life for a day. With cosplay you have so many options!
What did you think of it initially? Can you tell us a little about what your first cosplay was?
My favorite is when the costumes are homemade. I have SO MUCH respect for models/artists that create their own outfits. Personally, that’s what it’s all about for me. It takes a lot of time, effort and work! Modeling is one thing, but putting the time in to create your own attire is another. Seeing all this creativity everywhere really motivated me to put my own skills to use. I will still occasionally model outfits that are store bought, but there is something about modeling your own costumes that make it feel so much more satisfying. My first real cosplay was Jessica Rabbit lol it was an easy one, but after that I was hooked! I only hope to get better as time goes on.
As a successful model, what are the differences between cosplaying and modeling to you?
I will always love all kinds of modeling whether it be fashion, pin-up, lingerie etc. However, cosplay lets you not just be a model but actually become the character. With cosplay.. ya gotta do a bit of research. Depending on who you choose to be, you can change your personality…everything from evil, playful, powerful and heroic..You name it! And…you don’t even have to be a model! you can dress up and take part in a convention, different events, or just pretend to fly across the room as Ms Marvel lol …anything really
You design and create your own costumes. Where did you learn how to sew and design them?
I learned how to sew from my Nana. She made every piece of clothing she owned…and I mean EVERYTHING! She bought me my first brand new sewing machine and serger! She showed me how to use patterns and create my own. I think the projects we had the most fun on where my prom dress and my first halloween costume, it was Princess Jasmine.
What have been some of your favorite cosplays?
Out of all my cosplays, I love Cammy White. She has always been my favorite character of all time.
As for other ppls cosplay.. my favorite is Strike Works custom Skyrim Daedric armor!! Check it out here : http://www.facebook.com/strikeworks
I love your Kitana from Mortal Kombat and your Cammy White from Street Fighter. Those images are striking. Also your Emma Frost is great. Can you tell me about making the costumes for these?
Thanks so much! All these costumes were sewn using spandex and my own patterns. I love spandex even though sometimes it’s difficult to work with. For Cammy I had to make her gloves, which I ended up using foam, plaster and papermache …was a bit tricky but I finally got them how I wanted them after a lot of mess and patience
When you cosplay characters you appear as the characters but do you get into the roles and try to act and talk like them as well? Do you think it is a lot like acting in a way?
It’s defintely acting! Once you put on the costume, it’s best to know a bit about the character. Do your research before, find out all the details, then go crazy!! Getting into character is the fun part lol!
Many people are attracted to cosplay because of the friendships they are able to make with others in the cosplay community. Did this influence you in beginning cosplaying?
In the beginning, I didn’t know a lot of cosplayers but I have met some wonderful people! I recently became a part of the GeekXGirls website, they are a great bunch over there. I have been meeting new cosplayers all the time and I love sharing ideas and advise..they really are the most friendly I find.
What is the cosplay community like in Canada?
I’m on the west coast. I find there are a lot of cosplayers in Vancouver. We recently had Anime Revolution event over here, and the costumes were breathtaking! There is also TONS of people over on the east that cosplay. Toronto probably has the most events throughout the year and thousands of cosplayers attend.
Are there any cosplayers you admire?
Oh gosh! YES!! I absolutely LOVE Yaya Han!! I am no where even near her experience level! lol but she is a HUGE inspiration! Everything she does is absolutely INCREDIBLE and then some!! She is also a beautiful model. I also think Jessica Nigri is amazing and the costumes she makes are awesome – like Yaya, she is also a very talented model (if you haven’t checked out Jessica’s Anya Stroud pics yet…YOU SIMPLY MUST!)
You are also a very popular model. Can you tell us a little about your modeling work?
Hmmm..dunno about popular haha! But I just model because I enjoy it…It feels the best modeling your own clothing though especially when you’ve been challanged to create a costume that you thought you could never pull off lol. I always do all my own makeup and hair. A lot of ppl don’t know, but I am actually a professional hairstylist. (I don’t let other ppl do my makeup…I just…can’t do it captain!!)
Glamour and Pin Up Gallery
You have been featured in magazines such as Drive-In Magazine, Vicious Bettys Magazine and The Pin Up Mag. What do you like about Pin Up modeling as opposed to other styles of modeling?
Pin-up is great! I grew up with a real retro inspired family. We had the old cars and always watched old movies. Pin-up models have a beauty like no other…very classy and yet cheeky. The hairstyles are probably my most favorite part about pin-up. Nothing says pin-up like a big ol’ teased roller set and fingerwaves Old Hollywood glamor is the best!
How closely do you like to collaborate with photographers on the images in your portfolio?
I have 3 photographers that I currently work with. They are all great! We work very close and are also very good friends. We trust each other and discuss exactly what we want to accomplish before hand. We always want to make sure everyone is happy in the end. Everyone puts in so much hard work and we always get great results
As an artist can you tell me about your creative process?
It takes a lot of brain storming. I always plan out exactly what I will need before I begin and make sketches. Deciding on what materials will be best is important. Printing out pictures/comics as a references. Do your research so you know all the important details about your character before you bring them to life. It’s always best to have a pic of the character with you whenever begin. And lastly…add your own details to it if you like, it’s your work of art!
You are self-described geek. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing? Movies, anime, video games for example.
I’ve always loved video games! I remember waiting for MK II to come out. My parents used to get mad at me for playing too late on school nights lol. ..I was obsessed with my SNES and I still have it sitting in my living room! Now I’ve been into a lot of RPG/Adventure games and I’m a PS3 girl….sorry Xboxers
I have been an anime fan for years and my favs are still the oldies..Ranma ½, 3X3 Eyes, SM, RG Veda and Record of Lodoss War. As far as movies and comics go…it really is endless..Let me just say Marvel and more MARVEL!!
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a easy going kinda gal, love to meet new friends. Definitely a “girly geek”. I think the best thing is to laugh..I don’t ever take myself too seriously..having a great sense of humor is awesome!! And I like cats.
Where can we go to find out more about you?
You can find some of my work and Geek Girl profile on www.geekxgirls.com
Also visit me on my Facebook fanpage ..I like posting funny things regularly..