Greetings Readers! The Pullbox is lucky enough to be talking to Misti Hawn – Pin-up artist, cosplayer and all around wonderful human being. [IG @misti_dawn_pinup FB facebook.com/mistidawnpinup]
TPB: Misti, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to answer a few questions…
TPB: What initially got you into modeling and how long have you been doing it?
MH: I have always been drawn to the World War II era. To me that truly was the greatest generation. When I found there was an entire subculture of people who embrace that style in an effort to keep their memory alive I was intrigued. After my divorce in 2011 I spent a lot of time rediscovering myself and healing. One of the biggest areas I needed to repair was my self esteem. I loved some of the pictures I had seen of women doing pin up era inspired photo shoots, and they all said how much better they felt about themselves afterwards. I decided to try it for myself.
TPB: Do you design the costumes/outfits?
MH: 99.9% of the time I design and put together my outfits and costumes. Occasionally the photographer will have a theme they have planned and will provide the outfits, but not very often.
TPB: How much input do you have in pictorial set-up? (setting/poses/overall atmosphere)
MH: I work very closely with the photographer ahead of time. There is almost always a storyboard so that we are on the same page as far as the story that is trying to be told. You can not hide anything from the camera, so if I am uncomfortable or apprehensive that will show in the finished pictures. When I first started I relied fully on the photographer to direct the shoot, now that I have some more experience, poses come more naturally with only minor angle adjustments usually being needed. Having the storyboard ahead of time and knowing what the photographer is trying to capture really helps.
TPB: What is the biggest positive impact that has come out of your new career?
MH: Well, you would have to get paid in order for it to be a career LOL At this point is a combination of an expensive hobby and platform to raise awareness for different issues. I love making pin up appearances at different veteran events and seeing the smiles on our veterans faces, especially the World War II and even the Vietnam Era vets. The biggest positive impact however has been the complete change in my self esteem. I recently saw a TED talk that explained how spending two minutes in a “power pose” has a positive impact physically and mentally. I can say with 100% authority this is true.
MH: I did a shoot last year for a calendar that was sold to raise funds for a veterans support group called Bearded Warriors. It was classic pin up inspired. I think that has been my favorite to date
TPB: What is special about that layout or style?
TPB: You very recently made the transition into cosplay – how did that happen?
MH: I guess last Halloween would have been when I started to branch out of pin up, but I didn’t really consider what I was doing cosplay. I went as Poison Ivy, but I really embraced the character. I researched different versions of her, and put together the costume, including the red wig. Once I put that costume on, I really felt like I BECAME her. People were coming up to me and talking to as if I was her even. It was a lot of fun!
TPB: You were part of a local Wonder Woman Premiere movie event – how did that go?
MH: That was such a fun experience! It started out as a joke. My 13 year old son and I were talking about the movie and I jokingly said I was going to dress up as Wonder Woman when we went to see it. The manager of my local theatre overheard our conversation and loved the idea. Factor in that my son said he would be too embarrassed to be seen with me if I did it, and it was a done deal. LOL Again, I did a lot of research to find a version of Wonder Woman that I felt I could do justice to, and put together the costume. I had a few people come up to me and talk to me as if I was Diana. It was a lot of fun.
TPB: What might your next cosplay be?
MH: Someone told me I should do Mad Moxxi since I am a bartender, so I will be looking into that character more. I am drawn to strong female characters that are still feminine.
MH: Finding Your Fairytale is my most recent project and the one I am the most proud of. Finding Your Fairytale showcases thirteen inspirational individuals who have overcome significant adversity, including mental illness, chronic disease, and traumatic life circumstances. What started as a calendar photo shoot quickly turned into a behind-the-scenes documentary, as Finding Your Fairytale follows each person’s shared story of transformation as they portray a relatable fairy tale character. These whimsical images symbolize their own personal story of struggle and success. Our project aims to provide people with strong role models who demonstrate that happiness is achievable no matter what obstacles life presents. We use fairy tales to make these social issues easier for people to relate to. As a survivor of domestic abuse I portray Little Red Riding Hood. Each character has two shots, our struggle shot and our victory, each symbolizing two very different points in our lives. The documentary will be featured at the Milwaukee film festival this fall. [CNN article here]
MH: Nothing to date has impacted me as much as being Little Red Riding Hood. For the first time I was able to see myself as the strong woman every one else was telling me I was. When I put on the boots, corset and cape I feel stronger and more confident.
TPB: Does every character give you another way to find her strength, or are some just for fun?
MH: Some of them are more for fun, Poison Ivy for example, but I take something away from each one. When I do a cosplay, it is because there is something about that character that I am drawn to, or can relate to, and I want to see how it feels to be like them.
TPB: If people wanted to know more or contribute to the project – how could they do that?
MH: They can check out the website, our Facebook page, or follow us on Instagram.
TPB: Shameless plug time! do have any other project coming up that we talk about?
MH: Nothing cosplay, or pin up related other than the documentary coming out this fall, but I am always open to suggestions and working with new people
TPB: If our readers want to follow you and your future projects – how can they do that?
MH: They can follow me on Instgram @misti_dawn_pinup or my Facebook page facebook.com/mistidawnpinup
TPB: Anything else we forgot?
MH: Don’t think so lol
TPB: Misti, thanks again for talking to us! Hope to see you at a con soon!
MH: Thank you!
Remember folks, to see more of Misti and the good work she is doing – follow her on IG and on Facebook… my guess you will be seeing more of her soon!