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Creator of the Month Jan 2019 – The Geek Forge

Creator of the Month January

Hello fellow geeks and welcome to the first Coaching for Geeks Creator of the Month of 2019!

In this section we pick out one of our very own epic geeks to highlight the amazing creations they produce. We want to show the whole wide world just how cool, creative and outright geeky we are. So let’s dive into the work of January’s artist, Jen Pawley of The Geek Forge!

A picture of me in my natural habitat – behind a sewing machine!

 

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R: Hello and Welcome Jen. Firstly, what’s the shop called?

J: It’s The Geek Forge.

R: I like that, and what do you make and sell via The Geek Forge?

J: Handmade costumes and geek accessories,

R: I’m sure that more than one of us here has cosplayed and love the whole thing. Why do you do it though?

J: I was raised on a healthy appetite of art, music and theatre. Seeing my art bring joy to someone else’s life and those around them fills me with incredible happiness and inspiration. I fangirl every time someone posts a photo online of one of my creations because I know they like it so much, they took the time and energy to share it with their corner of the world.

R: that’s seriously cool. You can see you are very proud of your work, and rightly so, it’s incredible. But let’s talk you; what kind of geek would you describe yourself as?

J: I’m a pretty big science fiction geek, with fashion history geek being a close second. Star Wars was my first love, and I wasn’t exposed to any kind of gaming or comics until I got to college. Video games were strictly educational in my house when I was a kid, so I’m mostly out of the loop on those, although I always love learning new things!

This is a genderbent version of Otogari Adonis from the video game Ensemble Stars. Definitely one of the more complicated costumes I’ve made this year – I made everything from scratch except the belt and the undershirt. I used commercial patterns for the clothing, and swapped the way the jacket opened, so it’s a women’s jacket that opens backwards, so it opens like a men’s jacket.

 

 

R: Pokémon is educational right? Anyway, what is the geekiest thing you have ever created?

J: I’d say it’s a tie – I wrote a musical about theatre technicians in college, and I spent three months creating a historically-accurate 18th-century gown inspired by a piece of artwork, down to the shoes and panniers.

R: I don’t know what panniers are and am afraid to google it. A musical! Wow! You might have a few questions asked of you from our community about when the next show is. Ok so tell me, what is the geekiest thing you own?

J: Two 18” Star Wars dolls from Kenner – Biggs Darklighter and Wedge Antilles. I watched Star Wars with my dad for the first time when I was around 5 years old or so, and was very upset when Biggs died (spoilers, sorry!). My boyfriend found the dolls for me and it was a gift to me the first Christmas we were together.

Small group cosplay for Sentinels of the Multiverse with the full Geek Forge crew. Pictured left to right – The Wraith, Citizen Dawn and Ambuscade. Ambuscade’s shirt was a lesson in learning how to digitally print on fabric. I think we went through three different versions before we got the proportions just right!

 

 

R: The force is strong with those! Who is the force strong with to you? Who inspires you?

J: My grandfather. He immigrated to the United States of America from Germany as a child, left home at 18, became a doctor, then an artist, joined the US Army, taught art in the 1930s during his time on breaks from the Army, won art competitions, had Christmas dinner with Albert Einstein one winter in Chicago, taught spy classes during World War II to catch German spies in America, had 8 kids, had 28 grandchildren (and even more great-grandchildren he got to meet before he died), and shared with me his love for art. I was a military kid, and we usually spent at least some time during the summer with my grandparents.  He always encouraged me to create, and some of my fondest childhood memories are making art with him.

R: Wow, I have no words! Sounds like an incredible man and so very jealous of dinner with Einstein! So we know your Grandad was a legend. What about you? Tell us 3 legendary facts about yourself?

J: In no particular order:

  • I won the state of South Carolina Junior Olympic Fencing for Female Sabre in 2002
  • I went to 10 schools in 12 years, and travelled 2/3 of the United States of America before I was 18
  • I wrote a fan letter to John Williams, the man who composed the majority of the music for the original Star Wars trilogy, when I was 12, and he was kind enough to send me back a letter and a packet about his work with the Boston Pops orchestra. I still have that packet.

R: Just a little bit of moving around then? I had a similar upbringing in the UK. Wish time! You get 1 geeky wish, what is it?

J: I would love to be able to split my days between making costumes for others, and wearing my costumes to events for children. My first job out of college was a touring children’s theatre company, and it was the most emotionally rewarding job I’ve ever had. Every year when my partner and I do cosplay at a convention like DragonCon in Atlanta, we always include a kid-friendly costume for Saturday so I can interact with the children that come down to see the parade.  Being able to bring happiness to those around me through my fills my geek heart with happiness.

This is my Shadowrun costume, photo courtesy of Paul Cory Photography. My very first DragonCon, I decided at the last minute I wanted to dress up with my friends and threw together a Shadowrun costume in about 20 minutes. I’ve been evolving that costume ever since, and added LED wire and lights in 2017.  I even learned about dying wigs, which is a totally new thing for me! The goggles are by Illumicyberwear.

 

 

R: That right there is a beautiful wish. I feel bad for thinking Hoverboard.

R: You are an active member of the Coaching for Geeks community, what is the best thing about CfG in your mind?

J: I love the incredible community that’s been built and that’s continuing to be built. Seeing geeks helping geeks succeed, cheer each other on, and help each other out is pretty much my dream future (minus hoverboards and androids of course).

R: Hoverboards always sneak in! Thank you for your time Jen. Before we go, can you tell people where to find you online?

J: Yes sure,

R: Perfect. Thank you for your time!

V: Anytime

 

This costume was so much fun to work on! I used independent pattern designers for everything, and received a delightful note from the customer that it was one of the most comfortable costumes she’d ever worn. I had never seen Nausicaa, so researching for this costume also meant I got to experience something new as well!  One of the fun things about doing commissions for other people is learning about new things that people are into and broadening my horizons.

 


You can catch a new post, showcasing Jen and her work, each week right here at Coaching for Geeks. Enjoy her great work, and don’t forget to like, share, and maybe even invest in your own Geek Forge cosplay piece.

Coach Rob

PS: If you would like to be featured as Creator of the Month ask in the Coaching for Geeks Community!


 

Robert House
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Robert House

Health Expert at Coaching for Geeks
Robert House is our resident health expert, and science and critical thinking aficionado. A career as an ODP and now clinical skills teaching for med students he has years of experience behind him in the medical field. Away from operating theatres and lectures, Rob is an active gamer, film buff, comics nerd and all round geek. You can catch him online as ZombieDuck85 or right here at CfG.
Robert House
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