Victoria: How many costumes have you created?
Roxanna: I just now counted seventeen made since about 2004; I actually don't make very many costumes each year.
Victoria: What is your favorite part of costuming?
Roxanna: Wigs! I never accept "just okay" on a wig. Hairstyle is a huge part of accuracy, especially when mimicking a live-action character, and I think a lot of people neglect it or don't know how to approach it. But of course my true favorite part is wearing the costume, feeling sexyfine and proud of my work - does that count?
Victoria: Yes, that count! What is your favorite convention to attend?
Victoria: How did you learn how to sew and create armor?
Roxanna: Books, skilled friends, and online tutorials. I started my cosplay career by buying pieces and modifying them. So back when I could only sew a straight line, I would pick costumes where I had minimal sewing to do, and the rest could be constructed with purchases and my other craft skills like painting. But I've made sure over the years that each project includes new tasks that I've never done but I'm pretty sure I can figure out, and so I've built my abilities up step by step and now I can say "psshh yeah, I know some stuff!"
Victoria: Do you accept commissions?
Roxanna: Not at the moment, although I will always listen to a proposal in case it blows my mind. I used to do commissions, but found that I have trouble motivating to work them into my schedule; it's best that I just don't do that anymore. I do, however, have an online shop where I sell pieces of my choosing, and that's at http://hausofm.storenvy.com
Victoria: Do you think that the world of cosplay has changed now that it's become mainstream?
Roxanna: Well, I'm not convinced that mainstream is the right word to use - we're still a fringe group! But yes, I think a lot has changed since I started, some for the worse and some for the better. I'm looking forward to seeing what develops in another five or ten years. In some ways, I hope cosplay's popularity dies down a bit, so participants don't feel like they have to hustle for attention in the crowd (and let's be honest, we all love attention!).
Victoria: What advice would you give to female costumers who have to deal with trolls on the internet?
Roxanna: Hoo boy. Follow your gut. I don't think there's any right way to handle online trouble, or any wrong way. With straight-up trolls, of course, the common wisdom is that the best way is to ignore them (I would amend that to say "and block their asses whenever possible"). In the case of critics and body-shamers, though, they're not trolling so much as feeling like it's important and okay for them to share their opinions on everything all the time. Some women choose to treat those people like trolls and ignore and/or block them, which is valid. I personally only feel right if I call them out whenever and wherever I see them voicing hurtful opinions. I've gotten into arguments this way, but I've also made people reconsider their attitudes. That's enough reward for me to continue calling people out in a way that I feel retains my dignity. This method works best for me.
Roxanna: I try not to plan too many projects ahead of time, and instead I go with the flow of what feels like fun right now. Plus, I am ALWAYS taking time to make improvements on previously worn costumes before each convention or appearance - I seriously don't consider any of them "finished." That said, my current pet project is, like many other women right now, Elsa's ice gown from Frozen. We've got a great big Facebook group going and we're all sharing tips and progress, and it's so much glittery fun! This project will take me a long time, though, I have a feeling. It's pretty ambitious for me and I'm not the kind of person who marathons sewing unless I have to, so I work slowly, bit by bit.
Victoria: Where can people contact you and view a port of your work?
Roxanna: My Facebook page is Haus of Meta, and I do post there regularly (although of course Facebook is terrible and limits how much of your content people see on their walls; so it's not ideal, but that's the current most popular option so I'm rolling with it). I'm also on Tumblr, and although I post a lot of different content there daily, my homepage at http://roxannameta.tumblr.com has an option to click on "Photos of Me," and you'll see all my posts that show my work!