The following is an interview with cosplayer Jacqueline Goehner who will soon be appearing at WonderCon 2017 in Anaheim, CA. In this interview, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor Jessica Tseang chats with Goehner about what she is looking forward to about WonderCon, how she got her start in costuming, the challenges of creating a new costume, and more!
Jessica Tseang, Fanbase Press Guest Contributor: You are one of the main cosplayers that photographers look for during major conventions. For example, you’ll be attending WonderCon 2017 located in Anaheim. What is it about the show that you always look forward to each year?
Jacqueline Goehner: I’m looking forward to all of the amazing cosplays that I’ll be seeing at WonderCon! Also, I’m always super excited to see the Top Cow booth and support my fellow cosplayers and other artists!
JT: You have an amazing number of followers and supporters. At what moment did you feel that you were really starting to grab the attention and be taken seriously as a cosplayer, costume designer, and makeup artist?
JG: Well, it’s hard to say. I do this for fun and for the love of the characters I cosplay. I guess it hit me that I was getting more attention when I first wore Witchblade. No one dared to wear something THAT revealing, but the catch with my costume is that it was accurate and made differently than anyone had ever considered. I think maybe people started taking my work more seriously then.
JT: Did you start out in cosplay? If not, what are you hoping cosplay will lead to career wise?
JG: I started out in theater since I was a little kid. I was always fascinated with costumes, and they were important to me when it comes to building a character. I got into cosplay without even knowing it was cosplay when I was in high school, but I started cosplaying at conventions since 2005…since then I started costume designing and began focusing on that as my professional career.
JT: What is it that you love about cosplay, and what got you started in it?
JG: My favorite part of cosplay is the build! I enjoy that more than anything. There’s nothing more gratifying than completing something you love and sharing it with others. I got into cosplay because of my love of Zelda. Legend of Zelda has been my top favorite video game series of all time and cosplay, to me, is the ultimate expression of love.
JT: Most people recognize you as Witchblade, and it’s a costume that takes a lot of guts and confidence to wear. What are some of the challenges of the costume?
JG: I’d say the biggest challenge of that costume is keeping comfort. In costume, a lot of people want to take photos, so you don’t move around much! It’s very important to wear comfortable shoes, so when you stand or pose in the same position over and over again, your feet won’t murder you! I have learned that your feet often decide how long you can wear a costume!
JT: I remember reading your Facebook how happy and touched you were when a female fan had expressed that your confidence in some of your cosplay outfits (Witchblade, Princess of Mars) also helped inspire her. What are some other major moments/interactions with fans that you remember fondly?
JG: I remember first wearing Witchblade and how a lot of women at DragonCon would glare at me because of how revealing my costume was. But I think when women started to realize how badass Sara Pezzini is and got to know the series, they started to see the costume differently, which is important to me. All too often, I saw women turn catty towards other women because of what they wear, not the character they represent. Sara is a beautiful, intelligent, confident woman. She inspires me to be the best woman I want to be and hope to become. This is what I want women to be. Those petty insecurities wouldn’t exist with true confidence. So, when a woman tells me how much I’ve inspired them to love themselves and their body and mind, I feel so fulfilled. I helped someone realize how wonderful they are, and it’s truly an amazing feeling!
JT: What are some of your past projects [film, TV, cosplay etc] that were your highlights? What made them so special to you?
JG: So far, my biggest highlights are meeting Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma in my Princess Zelda costume and them calling my cosplay PERFECT. Then meeting Marc Silvestri who also LOVED my Witchblade. Getting to work with my dear friend Pearry Teo on Curse of Sleeping Beauty as his costume designer and head of wardrobe. Meeting some of the most amazing and creative people that have been in my life of cosplay for over 10 years. And of course, Cosplay Melee on SyFy!
JT: How do you choose your next costume project? And what are some future costumes that we can look forward to?
JG: I choose my next project on my love for the character. I also have multiple projects running, so it takes quite a long time to complete everything! But one costume that’s been in the works for a long while now is my Angelus. I’ve been working on it for over 2 years and I cannot wait to complete it!
JT: Tell us a little about your work area and how you arrange it to inspire you.
JG: My work space is almost always messy, but in a clean, messy way…if that makes sense. I’ve arranged it to be as functional as possible. I kept losing scissors, so I screwed in two separate magnetic bars on the walls so I always know where they are and which ones are missing. It did wonders! I haven’t lost a pair of scissors since!
JT: You are a huge proponent on supporting local artists and mom-and-pop craft shops. Other than large chains like Michael’s and JoAnn’s, where should we be looking for our supplies? What about them makes them so special?
JG: I actually do NOT like either Michael’s or JoAnn’s. They target women and increase the pricing dramatically. I take a great issue with this. I once found a tool/accessory box at JoAnn’s for $79 and the SAME EXACT box just different colors at Harbor Freight for $14.99…not cool, Joann’s!
If you’re near a big city like Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco, you get the option of having Fashion District, which is amazing! But if you aren’t as lucky and you can’t make a trip to any of those cities, you can look up local fabric stores or other smaller chain craft/fabric stores like Beverly’s or Hancock’s…you can also shop online, but you need to know what fabrics you’re dealing with.
JT: Anyone who follows you, can see the amazing detail and talent you exude. From very realistic fairy wings, to out-of-this-world wigs, down to the nuances of your Witchblade costume, where did your skill set come from (self-taught, school, studied under someone, etc.)?
JG: I am mostly self-taught. Only sewing did I get proper lessons from. Mold making, sculpting, casting, painting, crafting, etc….mostly self-taught. If I needed help, I’d scour the Internet for tutorials. I still have some from back in 2005! But I did a LOT of trial and error, which is good because it’s easier to make it your own style and you know what to do and what not to do and often times you find new ways of doing things!
JT: What are some of you future TV/film projects that we should be very excited about? What makes them different from other shows/documentaries/films out there?
JG: Right now, I’m very excited about Cosplay Melee! I can tell you I had the MOST fun on that show! It’s more about the build and love than anything else, which is a huge step up from previous cosplay shows, in my opinion.
JT: Where can we find more of your work and support you?