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Nivi - Steampunk Extraordinaire

You cross the threshold to a strange event and enter a whole new world. There are many attendees donning goggles, wearing geared mechanisms and all talking about adventures and steam power. You have entered into the Steampunk universe. A wayward looking fellow with a top hat and mechanical bird on his shoulder sidles up to you and holds up a wanted poster. "Have you seen this person?" he asks and you see a drawing of a beautiful young woman brandishing a gun. You shrug and say no, but smile as the man wanders off. Its all part of your character. Of course you know the woman. She is Nivi, the one who runs this event called Steamfest, and your character is on her side for the massive role play game. Steamfest is an event unlike any other in Utah and the woman running it is passionate about it.

Nivi, the Steampunk Extraordinaire of the West.
Photo by Parenthesis X Arc X Studio 

Nivi started the Steamfest back in 2012, creating a Steampunk event for the lovers of steam power and Victorian fantasy in Utah. The event is very unique from other conventions and festivals in the area because of its focus on Live Action Role Play Adventures, Steampunk inspired art and writing, and creative costuming. There are no set-in-stone rules for how to make your Steampunk persona here. Its a very welcoming community and everyone loves to help newcomers fit in and find something fun to do. The community here loves new ideas and newcomers.

Nivi herself is a huge inspiration for anyone wanting to try cosplay, Steampunk, or run a convention. A mother of a convention and her own adorable child, Nivi is a busy woman and a strong one to boot. She has always inspired me to do amazing things in cosplay, and someday Steampunk as well. Nivi loves do-it-yourself (DIY) projects and making the best of what she has, which is some really amazing stuff. Her Steampunk characters and the cosplays she has made all show her inner self, which is a bad-ass, ready for anything, and classy to boot!! (Sorry, I don't normally swear but she is really awesome and the word just fit) She does everything from creating new clothing, photography, and being the coolest mom for her child.

Where to find Nivi:
Facebook Page
Nivi as Vixen from DC's Vixen comics
Photo by DC Doll
Accessories by Shawshank Cosplay and Props Making

Interview with Nivi da Vivi

Describe that initial moment you knew Steampunk was something you wanted to be a part of.

When I first experienced the fandom. It was very open and exciting. It allowed me to be my own character which I've always enjoyed since my days of D&D, giving the ability to really create my own story, and write my own "song".

Define Steampunk for those who may not be familiar with it and tell us about how you make it your own. 

You mean there's a definition? I mean, there's a consensus that Steampunk is a dystopian world that blossoms during Queen Victoria's reign, and plays off the sciences of the industrial revolution, but I didn't know they settled on a definition of it yet. My do I miss a lot! *wink wink*

Nivi as Steampunk Scarecrow from Batman
Photo by Ethan Warner

I want to know about your inspiration and vision for the Salt City Steamfest! How did you come up with the idea and why?

Once upon a when, Steamfest was created to bring in fellow Steampunks who didn't feel like they had a community and give them the chance to meet and greet fellow fandom lovers. A "hoopla" convention that was to be a small success. Since then, it's grown into a leviathan that has cost me a lot of sleep, friendships, and in some cases sanity and though I have little regret, I'm excited to take her back to basics, and create a festival that pays homage to DIY, Victorian Fashion, Steampunk sciences, and roleplaying abilities.

What is the most difficult thing you have ever faced when creating a Steampunk costume?

My own skills. I have grand goals and dreams, like any costumer, but not always the skills or budget to create it. Adulting is haaarrrddd.

One of Nivi's first tailored Steampunk
outfits from years ago.

Tell us what you love most about the Steampunk community here in Utah.

They're all my little family. They really are. They're friends that I've met along the way or that have loved Steampunk and didn't know who they could reach out to to enjoy the fandom with. Some are even up the street neighbors and didn't know that there was someone who loved it just as much in such a close proximity. We can and have built this fandom together, and though there's other areas we can Steampunk at, people still seem to come back together. To basics, and have fun with one another.

What would you like to see improved in the community?

That thought process that in order to be a Steampunk, you have to have all the clothing, props, literature, etc. in order to be seen as "legit". Leave that headache inducing thought process to the general cosplay community. Truly, Steampunk is about doing what you love based around a time period. You don't have to come in being the next Sarah Hunter, Kato, Thomas, or Doc Q. You come in completely a blank slate, and if you want it, we'll help you find ideas, but it's up to you to create them. Imagination. That's the foundation of Steampunk, and I want to see more people willing to use theirs in the field.

Nivi as a Green Lantern
Photo by Craig Nybo

Any last bits of advice for someone wanting to look into the world of Steampunk?

Again, come in to have fun, not to be famous or perfect. Come in to learn, stretch your legs, not to be intimidated. Commune with the community. Just because you live or go to one con, doesn't mean you can't commune or talk to other communities. And don't judge the rest of us by the elitist @$$holes that our in our midst. We have them too, trust me. But I promise you, if you approach me about Steampunk or any that claim to be my're in good hands and company.

Nivi ready to take on anything!
Photo by dD Photography

Thank you Nivi for your time. I know you are busy with Steamfest coming up this weekend but I appreciate the time you took to be a part of this blog. Thank you!!! - VFire


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