A is for Apocalypse…
How did your shop get its name and what was the main inspiration behind opening your shop?
Let’s start with inspiration. Ever since I can remember I’ve had an intense imagination, as a child I was labelled as being away with the fairies. As I’ve grown up it’s never left me, and has been poured into various projects, characters and creations but I’ve never been satisfied, nothing was ever enough and I always knew I could do more. As I got older I began to develop a love of cult movies and became an avid gamer. I loved everything about the genre – retro computer gaming, sci fi, fantasy, RPG. And all this added fuel to the imaginative fire. Things like Red Dwarf, Doctor Who, A Boy and His Dog, Fallout, Bioshock, Firefly all resonated with me. I loved the idea of a futuristic dystopia. I tried to bottle my ideas as writing, paintings, but nothing ever felt right. Then I discovered cosplay. There was actually a community of people who dressed up as their favourite characters, and to boot were proud of it! Then there was more, Steampunk, people created their own characters based on their interpretation of this collectively created sci fi universe of steam and pipes and cogs and engines. That was it, I thought, I can create my own world through costume. I can turn this vast imagination into clothing, accessories, photoshoots, storylines. I thought I would do it through Steampunk, I had a love of the Victorian era, it seemed to fit. However, in one evening that all changed, I began to google for pictures of 1950s cosplay, fallout cosplay, apocalypse cosplay. I found a little, but not as much as I had expected. In an instant Steampunk didn’t feel right and my childhood love of gritty sci fi came back. And as usual with the way my brain worked everything was crystalised within an instant. The end game was there in glorious detail – I just had to get there. I wrote down three names on a piece of paper: Apocalypse Girl, Fallout Girl, Atomic Girl.
I create clothing, accessories and props which have the look and feel of being from a post-apocalyptic universe. Due to the Fallout games being heavy inspiration I decided to give the clothing a 1950s twist. Which ties in nicely with the fact I’ve always loved the 50s tailoring anyway. As this is such early days for Atomic Girl (I’ve only been open about a month and a half) I wouldn’t say I have a signature product as such. However, I do have some very grand ideas in mind which will be realised later in the year. I would hope, though, that my products, in their style, will have a signature. I would like to think that someone would be able to look at one of my products, be it a badge, computer accessory or piece of clothing and say “yep, that’s Atomic Girl”. My two overruling criteria are is it quality and is it believable.
I’ve got a deep love for sci fi and fantasy, tv, movies, computer games and comics. I take a lot of inspiration from these sources to put my own twist on. I may see something in a movie I like as a concept, develop it, change it, add in some inspiration from a different source then design a product, or even a range. Mostly however things come to me in almost overwhelming flashes. I’m sure my brain is constantly thinking about designs on a subconscious level, then it’ll come to me in a sudden burst. I think very visually, it might be a product, a solution to a design problem, a photoshoot or even a whole costume concept.
What I hope will set me apart from other sellers is detail I put into my products and photography. I don’t want to simply make an item then photo it in a studio setting. I want to create a world with my photographs, possibly even set up stories being told in visual form. I want my customer to feel like the more the buy from me the deeper the enter into my world.
Oh it’s got to be the finishing touches, adding the scuffs, the scratches, even adding mould to the corners of computer screens. I love to work into things.
|Metallic Grey Robot Face Badge|
Your photographs are your strongest tool. They need to be crisp, bright and show off your product. Your customer can’t pick up your item, turn it over and check it out so do it for them in your photography. For instance if you’ve made a hat have a photo of it upside down so the customer can see the lining, if it’s a skirt photo it both on a model so they can see the fitting and on a hanger so they can see the basic shape. I find if you have a program like Photoshop or Photoshop Elements simply brightening the levels on a photo will turn a dull grey background to brilliant white and make the details of your product really sing.
|Atomic Girl Cosplay has a gorgeously grungy style still but she still makes sure her items ‘pop’, even against darker backgrounds.|
What are your top 3 favorite shops on Etsy and what do you like about them?
There are quite literally too many talented artists, crafters and wonderful shops out there to pick just three. I am the captain of the Etsy team In Here Life Is Beautiful (In Here Life Is Beautiful) which is dedicated to people interested in the alternative. If you like steampunk, burlesque, goth, tattoos, rockabilly or retro then you’ll probably enjoy it. We have 326 members so far, I look through each new shop looking to feature people on the team’s facebook page and I’m always astounded with everyone’s individual talents and vision.
Where else (other than Etsy) can you be found online?
Facebook is my main outlet I’d say, I’m on it constantly, it’s full of product photos, behind the scenes photos, chats from me and fun stuff I’ve found online.
I also have a twitter account which I’m still getting used to. I’ve got a bit of a mental block on twitter, I can’t seem to wrap my head around it!
Aaaand a tumblr. Again, I’m very new to it.