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Assertively Unique WV Cosplaying Artist Reflects Traits of “Frozen’s” Elsa and Catwoman Characters
Termed cosplay, Huntington , WV has its own masquerading woman who has a lengthy career modeling and promoting artistic projects, such as the downtown Huntington Art Walk, which she co-founded with photographer Chris Hayes. Elsa (a.k.a. Lauren) Littlepage has a photo published in the book, Digital Photography Exposure (Jim Doty, 2010), Hayes and she has won honors in 2013 with two photographs which competed at the Highlands Museum in Ashland, and in 2013 she was Master of Ceremonies for the Appalachian Film Festival at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center.
Huntington Mayor Steve Williams will issue a proclamation honoring the devotion of herself and Hayes to the arts community at 7 p.m. March 10 in the Mayor’s Conference Room at Huntington City Hall, preceding the night’s meeting of Huntington City Council.
Elsa’s aunt Kemp is an artist while her dad is CEO of the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation, which annually awards grants to community minded agencies, including those furthering the arts.
Although Littlepage exhibits some traits of the famed paralegal and advocate Erin Brockovich, she disavows any resemblance except for blonde hair and the legal profession. She prefers comparison to the personas of a cool mysterious feline femme fatale and the talented yet socially self -isolated Snow Queen , whose uncontrolled sensitive emotions first bring unintentional hurt to a family member and lead to blizzard after blizzard for her kingdom.
The “real” “Elsa” does enjoy winter weather too. Photographer Chris Hayes called her snow excitement like that of an “eternal six year old.” Elsa likes dressing professionally , especially high heels (“I have high arches,” she said in a prior interview) as well as teal and pink accents particularly in vintage dresses and hats. That’s her slightly unconventional “girly” feminist philosophy that champions gender equality , historic preservation, animal rights and a warn heart for helping people, while stressing most sports are for dudes and modeling and pageants for gals.
On one occasion, she expressed exasperation after a trip to the courthouse, noting, “People were wearing flip flops. They have no respect,” a statement that mirrors thoughts of her father and sister, both attorneys.
Point Pleasant attorney, Stephen C. Littlepage, told HNN, “Lauren has always had a passion for art which has included her being the artist or posing for photographic artistry. It is very fitting that Lauren is helping to promote other art mediums and the artists with the Huntington Art Walk.”
Hailing from English-German legal heritage , her late grandfather, Sam rose to judge in Mason County. Prominent retired Huntington attorney and preservationist, James St. Clair described him as a “character.” A member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, Judge Littlepage earned several medals for bravery in the military.
Little wonder that her creative talents come in the form of strong, empowered heroines and comic art villains. Many of her pin up photos (many in black and white) depict the 20s , 30s and 40s, during times when elegant dress, manners, and elegant gothic art deco architecture dominated.
As one of her alter-egos, the self-described “downtown” girl may be observed prowling Fourth Avenue in full “Catwoman” attire (mask and tail , of course) on the way to , for instance, a Tri-Con or Tsubusacon gathering at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.
Spirited, tenacious, intellectually skilled and rule challenging, she charmed Batman artist, Steve Scott, at Tri-Con. He asked to draw a print of her as Catwoman and hired her to sign autographs at the Michigan Metro Con near Detroit, where Stan Lee was the guest of honor.
During high school at Fairland, she dabbled in assembling costumes while participating in flag twirling, playing bass in a band, and ice skating. Earlier, she had a taste of modeling when filming a TV commercial for her dad’s law firm as a twelve year old.
Ironically, Lauren does not identify with the traditional runway models or cover girls wearing the latest fashions.
“Fashion is about clothes. The modeling I do is about the model,” she explained. “I add more than just standing in a shot… I emote and tell a story. “
As a child, when dreaming of a modeling career, the fair skinned now 27 year old woman recalled , “I would see cartoon characters or pinups from the 40s.” She wanted to do this “unique, eccentric artsy” modeling style, not something from a “ mainstream Sears catalogue.”
Having worked with about 100 different photographers from New York to Chicago, Elsa has previously concentrated on “pin up” styles where stories are told through a retro-glamour appearance. “I’m more than a statue or bowl of fruit to be arranged. I’m not there to stand around and just do whatever the photographer says. ”
Contributing to art and concept ensures an image that’s more “than a blank-looking girl in front of a camera,” she explained. Often, she does her own styling, make up and sews her wardrobe.
Now, she’s focused on fantasy . “Cosplay deals with specific costumes and characters. There’s already a story.”
After a lengthy winter in which she took on the persona of “Elsa” from the Disney megahit “Frozen,” she might allow the ice, cold and snow to leave if her favorite movie wins an Oscar March 2 for Best Animated Film.
She’s appeared as Avacyn: Archangel of Innistrad, Emma Frost, Battlestar’s Six, and Neo Queen Serenity . During 2014 she anticipates appearing at the Lexington Comic Con in March , Gem City Comic Con in Dayton, Ohio, and Tricon in her hometown of Huntington.
Favoring the arts runs in the family too. Her brother , Clark, has musical ambitions. After touring the country as a member of the World Class Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps, he’s currently a drummer for Bronze Medallion , which has performed at the V Club. Their next concert will be March 7 at the Ale House in Huntington.
Clark’s “super proud” of his sister Lauren’s art walk organization and out-of-town cosplay activities. She “guarantees a laugh and a smile,” he beamed stating he was “stunned to see her” at his concert. “We live 15 minutes away, but see each other about every two months,” noting that he works two jobs and plays in the band while she works at a law firm and fills weekends with modeling, cos-play, cons, and gaming.
So, if you see a winged or otherwise, maybe slightly goth themed heroine standing with a camera nearby, you haven’t slipped into an alternate universe, it’s just Elsa. And, yes, she does scratch.