Karli Woods is a Jill of all trades. She started out writing on her blog called Geekin’ Gorgeous that eventually turned into a YouTube channel and led her into the world of cosplaying. Since then she has visited conventions all over interviewing celebrities including the incredible Stan Lee, all while rocking her favorite comic and film characters. We recently had a chance to catch up with Karli for a quick interview.
How did you get started doing Geekin’ Gorgeous?
I went to film school and had a background in reality tv. I started going to expos with my blog, Geekin’ Gorgeous where I talked about fashion and cosplay. I wanted to do videos and by attending more conventions I got into the cosplay stuff more seriously and went back to school for fashion design. I learned how to sew properly and the cosplay stuff blew up and came out of the blue. I wanted to be a part of it since I found out about it.
What was the first character that you ever cosplayed?
The first character was Mrs. Marvel but my first convention cosplay was Black Canary in 2011. I started cosplaying professionally last year.
What does cosplaying mean to you?
Cosplay is about having fun and being creative. When I don’t have a costume on the go I feel the need to be creating something. I try to always plan something but I’m so busy with YouTube, so if I’m not doing a costume I am editing or filming a makeup tutorial. Cosplay is about having fun and going to conventions and seeing your friends in a world that you all belong to. Some people who are in this industry don’t understand how fun it can really be!
Are you working on any cosplays currently?
My Harley Quinn is debuting at Fan Expo and I was hoping to get another costume done but I’m currently in the middle of a move and there’s a really exciting project that is happening that I can’t speak about yet. I haven’t had time to start a new costume but I’m thinking next week that I will try and hustle to get something else done.
With a background in fashion design, what is the hardest part of your costumes from a design standpoint?
Drafting is so hard for me. I’m terrible at math and sizing. I’m getting better at it but the drafting part of it is my nightmare.
Which character have you cosplayed that you feel you can relate the most to?
I really like my villains. I don’t relate to them but I feel like the cosplay part of it is to escape reality so I really like my Poison Ivy and my Harley Quinn. I think they are really fun.
You cosplay a lot of DC Comics characters; is that because there is a preference of DC over Marvel Comics or is it solely the characters?
Oh yeah, I remember a lot of these characters from when I was younger. I am a huge fan of Peter Parker however, so I don’t think I could pick between DC and Marvel if it came down to it. I have interviewed Stan Lee though and I think he’s just amazing. Honestly it is more about which character speaks to me and which one I can feel some different emotions with while portraying.
Did you grow up reading comics?
I actually started reading Archie comics; I have hundreds of them somewhere, but I also started reading horror comics. When I was in film school I loved studying it too. I’m a huge fan of George Romero and I’m so excited that he will be at Fan Expo this year. I got into comics primarily though because of my older brother and he liked that kind of stuff and I wanted to do whatever he wanted to do.
My dad loved aliens and Star Trek and I always watched the X-Files with him – I’m actually rewatching them all now in preparation for the new X-Files show that’s coming out.
Do you have a favorite experience from a convention?
Interviewing Stan Lee was a highlight. It was incredible to meet him because he is so humble and sweet and he’s made such an impact in the industry. He was talking about how some people don’t realize that when you are an entertainer that you don’t feel important but he said that everyone needs entertainment so you are making an impact in the world. That was very inspirational.
Earlier you mentioned you do YouTube makeup tutorials, did you go to school for makeup or was it self taught?
Everyone who cosplays learns how to do everything on their own. I feel like I am pretty artistic so the makeup comes naturally, but you can learn everything off of YouTube. A couple of my friends are makeup artists too so I’ve gotten a couple tips from them, but you get so used to it doing makeup for cons every weekend that you continue to improve.