I met Freya Fólkvangr on the 3rd day of Dragon*Con 2013 at the Artist Alley. One of my favorite comic book artists, Amanda Conner was there at her table signing comics, selling prints and assorted merchandise and I wanted to meet her in person for the first time and see if I could buy something from her. So I get there and we meet, she was a very cool, very classy lady. First I congratulated her on her work with the mini-series BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE which is one of this year’s favorites of mine. Afterwards I’m just starting to compliment her on her Power Girl story from JSA CLASSIFIED and suddenly she’s frozen in awe looking at somebody that was behind me. I turn around and all I saw was the most bodacious, most beautiful, most awesome Power Girl cosplayer that I have ever seen in my life. I saw a tall, powerful, statuesque, curvy, sensuous young woman with the most beautiful pair of eyes that I have seen in a long time, I was seeing Freya Fólkvangr and she was a total vision of beauty.
Freya was also there to meet Amanda Conner so I did the most sensible thing that I could think of, step aside and let Amanda do her thing. We had a blast and became fast friends.
Before starting her career as a cosplayer Freya was a performer and historical costumer who had been exploring and venturing to shows, events and cons across the country. Since 2005 this young lady started making a name for herself in the field of cosplay. Freya is an awesome cosplayer whose full potential is yet to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting fandom. Her cosplays run the gamut from Pirate Lady, Femme Fatale, Superhero, Anti-Hero, take your pick. She performs each cosplay with a grace and sensuality of movement that shows a complete domain of body language all of her own. If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest news about Freya I invite you to visit her Facebook Page, Faces of Freya.
So join me know as we get to know her a little better in AN INTERVIEW WITH FREYA FOLKVANGR.
- When did you discover the hobby called cosplay?
My first experience with cosplay was Dragon*Con 2005. I had been involved already with costuming but from the Renaissance Faire. Dragon*Con 2005 was the first time I realized that costuming was actually a ‘thing’.
2. What motivates you to practice this hobby? In other words, why do you do it?
I do it because I love it. I think that’s the only real reason ANY of us do it. I happen to love the textiles. Because I make most of what I wear, I am always most excited about picking out the fabrics and playing with them. I like to challenge myself, and I like to hear that my work is well received. It really is art to those of us who take it seriously.
3. Are you a fan of any particular entertainment area (comics, anime, video games)?
I like different characters from all genres, but I tend to be a bit behind the times. I don’t always keep up with all the new games and movies. I wind up going back to characters that I liked when I was younger. I might be outdated, but there is a personal attachment. However, comics are a new thing for me. I wasn’t a comic book reader as a child, so I’m starting to get into it now and almost working my way backward when researching new characters.
4. Do you remember which character that inspired you to make your first cosplay?
My first legitimate ‘cosplay’, a costume representing a particular character was historically based: Mary Queen of Scots. I made a beautiful Tudor gown. It was the first large scale project I had ever attempted, and it’s still one of my favorite. Aside from that, it wasn’t until Power Girl that I chose a preexisting character to portray. Everything before that had been ‘inspired’ by characters.
5. Do you make your own costumes? If so do you make them alone or with help?
I make as much of them as I possibly can. I have not yet entered the realm of fabrication, but I am going to have to learn. If it’s made of fabric, I can do it. Luckily I have met some wonderful and very talented people along the way, each having their own gift. I know that if I need something made, I know someone who can do it.
6. Which do you consider that has been your most challenging cosplay to make?
So far, nothing has been too terribly involved, but I have purposely started easy and working my way up. I thought I was going to kill myself over a striped Marie Antoinette gown. I swore I’d never work with stripes again. My second Power Girl suit was a challenge, I didn’t choose my fabric very well and making it fit the way it needed to was close to impossible.
7. How did you feel the first time that you put on your first cosplay?
I LOVED it. I was immediately comfortable and having fun.
8. Do you feel that you express a part of your personality on your cosplays?
Absolutely, there is a part of me in every one of my characters. I choose characters that I can relate to, that way it’s always a natural fit. I can be anyone I want to be, but I want to still be me.
9. When and where was your first public appearance in cosplay?
I would have to say my first public debut would be the parade at Dragon*Con 2005. I was invited by some random stranger (now a close friend of 8 years) to be a part of his crew. I was a Mad Max inspired Road Warrior, and I’ve done it every year thereafter.
10. Do you use the services of professional photographers?
Yes, I have had several shoots with professionals. There are some really great and talented photographers in the cosplay community that really love what they do, and understand how much effort goes into these costumes and try to make us all feel special and look our best.
11. Do you have experience participating in photo-shoots either individual or group?
I have a lot of experience with solo shoots over the years. This past year at Dragon*Con, I was involved in several group shots which was a lot of fun. I hit the Aquarium for the Dragon*Con night at the aquarium shoot, the Star Trek shoot, the Marvel shoot, and two smaller private ones for Mad Max.
12. What has been the public’s response to your cosplays?
Over the years the response has been overwhelmingly positive. There will always be people who don’t like something I do, don’t like that I’m a ‘big girl’, or don’t understand cosplay as a whole. Those detractors have never made an impact or even made me question what I was doing. I do this for me, not them.
13. Have you been subjected to negative criticism, bullying or discrimination for being a cosplayer?
We all have. It’s part of the territory. There will always be that kind of behavior, anywhere you go, even in someone’s professional life. Its unfortunately part of human nature. I am full figured, and proud of that, but it can attract negative attention. I understand that I will have to deal with that from time to time, and I just move on. Luckily, I have never experienced anything other than snide comments in passing.
14. Do you feel that your life has changed, that you’ve changed since you started doing cosplay?
It has, and for the better. It has become my creative outlet as well as my social network. I have met some of the most amazing people and have had some truly wonderful experiences. We are all in this together. We are all in this to have fun and meet people to whom we can relate. It’s been incredible and I am looking forward to the experiences to come.