Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Hi! My name is Evie Wolfe, I’m the designer behind Dungeon Candy Clothing. I make wearable art and stagewear behind the character of an evil megacorp hiring extraplanar adventurers to steal and salvage clothing and accessories from across the multiverse. In reality, I’m a latex stained goblin of a person who likes pushing the boundaries between clothing and costume.
What does your creative career involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
I start by performing checks on my safety gear and then throw chemicals, fabric, plastic and foam at mannequins until something sticks. Though I do a lot of research (fantasy artwork, film, lying on the floors of museums trying to get a decent picture of tasset joins on a suit of armour until concerned members of staff approach me), I rarely sit down to draw out a design unless I’m making something to order; otherwise, it’s a process of seeing what emerges from the natural flaws in the material and finding inspiration there.
What does being the creator of Dungeon Candy Clothing mean to you?
It’s a creative outlet. I never really intended it to be a business, I was just making things I wanted to wear but couldn’t buy anywhere! Fortunately, it seems that there are other people out there who want to wear similar things. When I dress for something, I like to ask myself who I want to be that day; all clothes are a form of costume, after all. With Dungeon Candy, I get to create characters with stories and curses and skills, and other people can try them on for size. I don’t know who it was that decided we have to pick one persona and be that every day for the rest of our lives, but I’d like to give people an alternative.
What’s great about your job?
I never have to remake the same thing twice. Every item is unique. If I’m wrapping up a parcel, I know the person I’m addressing it to is getting something that is one of a kind. In a world where so many people look the same when they dress, I’m making something that will forever stand out. That’s pretty great to me.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
Urgh, pricing. I’m so bad at it. I consistently underprice my work because I have difficulty believing people will pay a fair price for the things I make – I hyperfocus on the mistakes in my creations that nobody but me ever notices. It’s not helped by the fact that people are used to the artificially cheap prices created by unethical fashion
Do you think there’s any misconceptions about your job?
People have assumed that I spend hours racking my brains for concepts, but I’ve honestly never found inspiration difficult. What does give me trouble is finding the time to make something before the design is shunted out of my head by the next idea. Most of the time, my fingers are working before my thoughts catch up. You don’t need a lightbulb moment to start creating – down that road lies empty word documents, sketch pads and mannequins. Just start doing something, anything. It’s always better than nothing.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
Every time I see a picture of someone in something I have made. Every single time. It never gets old!
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I have. It sucked. I daydreamed a lot. It taught me to persevere, though, and that has been useful. Sometimes things just don’t go your way, and it is so easy to be demoralised when you are alone in your head and beating yourself up. Fortunately, I made some incredibly supportive friends in the creative world while modelling, and I’ve been able to turn to them for advice.
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
Probably learning to say ‘no’. There is always someone who wants something for free, at absolutely no notice, and it can be very difficult to say no, especially if they are a friend. As for overcoming it? I can’t honestly say that I have, it’s a struggle every time. I’m hoping it’ll get easier, but even if it doesn’t, it’s a skill everyone should have.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
I’ve not really been around long enough to say, as a designer. As a model, there’s a lot more lip service paid to diversity and inclusivity than there used to be, but I’ve seen a lot of tokenism over the years and suppose I’ve become a little jaded. There’s still so much to fight for, and that stain isn’t going to come out in the rainbow wash.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Oh, gosh. Own yourself. You are a very strange person, and that is a very good thing. You don’t owe anybody normality, whatever that is. People will look at what you’re doing, the way you dress, the music you listen to, and say you’re doing it for attention. Let them. You, better than anyone else, know who you are. That might change daily, or it may stay the same, but you will always be the foremost expert on you. Don’t let anyone shame you into being dull. Lean in! Be weird! Let them stare, or be afraid, or sneer, or whatever they want to do. It’s not your problem, and it never was.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
Pick a project, and do it. Start it, and work it until it’s done. You don’t need the fancy equipment, the expensive paint, or the perfect workspace. Creativity dies on the unfinished projects pile, and the cause of death is usually fear of failure. I have good news for you – failure is inevitable! You don’t need to worry about it because it is definitely going to happen. Your only job is to learn from that, so you make a newer, better, more interesting mistake next time.
You can purchase your own item of Dungeon Candy Clothing here.