Ever wonder what it would be like to interview the human version of Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic? You’re about to find out!
This week’s #FF brings us to somewhere in northeastern Pennsylvania for a profile on Leslie Stewart of Darling Stewie, a fashion blogger who fuses her love of geek culture with her graphic design and styling skills into a confection of sparkly goodness. Make the jump to learn more about how her youth as the daughter of a military officer influenced her overall worldview, her favourite moments as a blogger, as well as who some of her favourite bloggers are.
Name of Blog: Darling Stewie
Date of Founding: December 2010
A Short Description of Your Blog: “All things geeky and adorable™.” A blog about geeky girl couture + kawaii fashion! At Darling Stewie, you will find cartoons, toys, Internet culture, cats and cosplay. You’ll also find my web and graphic design portfolio. Skip with me through cyberspace!
How did you find your way into fashion blogging?
Stewart: Oh gosh… It’s hard to say I’m a “fashion blogger” to sum myself up so quickly. I actually made a whole huge stink… er… I mean post about it a few days ago. I blog about so much more than just clothes and fashion. I blog about what makes me laugh, silliness, internet culture, costumes, and geeky fun things. Twinkie Chan once said, “It’s not fashion blogging, it’s lifestyle blogging,” and that’s exactly right. We don’t just blog about our clothes. We blog about life, love and everything.
What is the story behind the name of your blog?
Stewart: My nickname is high school was Stewie, because my last name is Stewart. Everyone called me Stewie!! I loved this nickname so much, but I felt like it was a little masculine and strange, so I sought to balance it with a cutesy doll name. Thus, Darling + Stewie was born: Because I am a sweet cute darling, but I’m also a strange little person, too.
Darling Stewie is described as a blog for “all things geeky and adorable,” while you have dubbed yourself as “an Internet fairy who rampantly spreads joy throughout cyberspace.” How did you find yourself in geek culture, and in what ways is its influence expressed in your professional and personal life?
Stewart: Being a geek has kind of enveloped by personal, work, and blog life. I’m obsessed with science fiction/fantasy movies, TV shows, and geek culture. My favorites include Firefly, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and anything with time travel or robots. I’m a LARPer… which is a live action role player (you’ve seen Role Models… right). So I spend many weekends dressing up in a costume, and prancing around in the woods with a foam sword. I’m also a Dungeons and Dragons nut… I’ve played Seven Seas, D&D, Star Wars and Serenity table top. I also love cosplaying, and costumes in general. Dressing up in a costume as a fun character you love is the most liberating thing anyone can do.
Your father was in the United States Air Force during your childhood, which allowed you to experience many different cultures within the U.S., as well as those of Japan, Germany and Ethiopia, among others. How has that experience shaped your view overall as an American?
Stewart: When I lived in Japan, I became obsessed with Japanese cartoons, because, when you’re seven, that’s your obsession. I grew up watching Shin Chan and Sailor Moon.
Through my experience in Ethiopia, all I can say is is that it’s shaped me to be an extremely grateful and empathic person. The people I observed living in Ethiopia were just grateful to be alive, and it’s a positive and awakening experience I won’t soon forget.
Currently, you reside in northeastern Pennsylvania. What originally brought you to the area, would you ever leave, and what you want my readers to know about NEPA in terms of culture, fashion, attractions, certain places to visit, dining, shopping et al?
Stewart: My parents moved back here 10 years ago so my dad could accept a teaching position at a college teaching African Cultures. Perhaps it was the security of being near family, the low cost of living, or the contentedness of being in a place where I have a lot of friends, a good job, and I could just relax and settle down. Either way, I found myself living in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (right outside of Scranton, home of THE OFFICE) with my amazing boyfriend Mark and our two cats and dog. I’m so happy and relaxed with my home, boyfriend and family life… I feel like that’s what has given me the time and confidence to flourish online… spread my “blog wings” and not worry that my offline life will go nuts… it’s just happy, calm, content, and I love it here, online and offline.What has been your favourite moment as a fashion blogger?
Stewart: When I began my journey onto the internet, I scoped the landscape like a shy gazelle on the Serengeti… afraid but excited, sniffing the air but cautious and slow. I figured out quickly, the Internet is PEOPLE… just like SOYLENT GREEN!! There were people I could only imagine meeting/talking to/facebooking/tweeting.
I am so glad to say I have made new friends and met some amazing people… including my Twitter family… @shnoobles, @tonydac, @eblarden, @sarcasmically, @teakettica, I CAN’T EVEN NAME YOU ALL there are too many. But I only met them through the internet, and I have had so much fun meeting them all and getting to know them online AND offline!
I also had the privilege of talking to some super bloggers whom I love seeing in my feed and chatting with… my home girl @laurenonizzle, who is, like, the most hilarious awesome person… seriously follow this bitch… she is my internet soul mate!!! Also, I had the pleasure of interviewing on my blog the creator of Nyan Cat, Chris Torres. Also the adorable @shanalogic the curator of cute goods on her fun adorable storefront www.shanalogic.com… I love chatting her up! And of course, @twinkiechan who loves cute things as much as I do, the inventor of adorable crocheted food… and who has SUPER cute tattoos just like me.
And the pinnacle may be the super blogger @galadarling, who I somehow talked into doing the keynote for NEPA BlogCon, a local blog conference I co-run. She is super amazing and super positive and super pink! So many others who I could hardly begin to try to name. Really, the blog things has been a connection to people via the Internet… and it’s been a SUPER fun social experiment that has allowed me to meet so many cool people.
I feel like I am accepting a god-damned academy award. Wait… is there an award? Do I get a prize?
Why do you blog?
Stewart: I want to have something to show for the all the time and effort I spend online, connecting, finding, scoping, etc. Now, I can go back and see what I was into each day for the past year.
If there was one post that says, “This is what my blog is all about,” which one would it be?
What one piece of advice would you offer to my readers regarding…
Style: Dress up like the person you are or the person you want to become. Kurt Vonnegut said, “You are who you pretend to be,” and what are clothes but our costumes for life? Don’t be afraid to wear something unusual. If you love it, rock it. Be bold, because no one else is going to be bold for you.
Graphic design: You have to be creative and artistic to enter this field. I get so many questions from people who ask, “How can I be a good graphic designer?” I think it’s one part skill, two parts artistic eye. Go paint something. Or make a macaroni necklace or something.
Life in general: Try to like everyone. If you don’t like them, trick your brain into liking them. Then, try to tell them something nice about themselves every once in a while. Then they will do the same, and you will both be so boosted up on positive energy you won’t know what to do with yourselves. Adopt a cat or dog from a shelter. Call your mom and tell her she’s awesome. Oh and… make sure you tell yourself, ‘You’re pretty fucking cool.’
Who is your blog for?
Stewart: Crazy kids who like to laugh, and cutesy kawaii fashionistas.
Who are the bloggers you most admire, and why?
Any final words?
Stewart: Um, maybe, how about… pickles.
Photo credits: Wikipedia (title card) + Leslie Stewart.