I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, I didn’t realize how large the geek community was or had the potential to be. Where my folks and I were at, we didn’t have easily accessible comic conventions. It was only until I moved and started a new chapter of my life that I realized holy frak! There is a geek community out there I didn’t know existed.
Fast forward to the present. The Espionage Cosmetics team of Nerd Misfits is always on the go, and on the way, meeting new and incredible individuals who make us feel so good about being part of the geek community.
Dawn “Siryn” Banks is just one talented, majestic being who we’ve met along the way. She’s a cosplayer, stellar plus size model, and makeup artist. Her presence online began with Dawn’s abilities in the magic of steampunk costuming. From there, she became a beauty blogger that harnessed her inner geek to create comic book inspired looks that could blow you away faster than Storm’s cosmic storms!
For 5 years, Dawn put a lot of work into her website as the internet and social ‘verses began to transform into what it is today. IRL, she worked as lead makeup designer on a web series called Batgirl: Spoiled starring Marisha Ray (Critical Role, Super Power Beat Down).
“[Batgirl: Spoiled] Really put things in motion for me as I started getting booked to do photo shoots and runway makeup after that,” Dawn shared. “I also started getting hired for private clients, mostly cosplayers, so that was pretty fun!”
(Behind the scenes of Batgirl: Spoiled)
Between creating looks that ranged from Dark Beast/McCoy from the X-Men comics and Age of Apocalypse characters, Dawn did makeup on George Takei for a video shoot with friend and cosplayer Chrissy Lynn on hair. Oh my! Naturally, we had to ask about the experience!
“That had to be the one of the best moments in my life. He is the most wonderful, kind, and compassionate man! [He] asked where we were from and about our families and then told us a little about his life growing up in Los Angeles. He's so fascinating and pleasant to listen to. He and Brad are such lovely people and I really feel honored I was asked to do his makeup and feel blessed I was able to have that experience.”
(Dawn behind the scenes as MUA for George Takei)
While makeup drove Dawn’s career on the path it took, she’s rocking the scene as a fierce plus size model. Visit the Her Universe website and you’ll see Dawn modeling some out of this world styles like the BB-8 Bomber Jacket next to Ashley Eckstein, the founder who is paving the geek fashion road for all shapes and sizes!
“It has been an amazing experience and I feel so honored and humbled that Ashley Eckstein had picked me,” said Dawn before discussing her experience as the first plus size model for Loot Crate. “I actually modeled for Loot Crate's reveal photo for their Loot4Fangirls Crate! It was just a bonus that Her Universe was collaborating with them on that! Which was also a massive deal to me as I'm Loot Crate's first plus size model! I know there are a lot of plus size Loot Crate fans that thought there wasn't anything for them clothing wise, but I'm glad I could show them there is! I love that we have geeks making geek fashion!”
(Promo for Her Universe's collab with Loot Crate for Loot4Fangirls; Dawn - Left, Ashley Eckstein - Right)
At the root of it all, Dawn’s journey became what it is because of her inner geek. After discussing Siryn, her favorite and most relatable character, and the many layers that made up the superhero, we ended on a touching note. Not just for us, but for all those out there still learning to love their inner geek!
“Your geekiness is a part of who you are and what makes you special and unique! Embrace it and use it to empower yourself and make you stand apart from the crowd!”
(Dawn as Marvel's Siryn by York In A Box)
Featured Image Credit | Ashley Joncas