An Interview with Sherry Isenbarger

By Samantha Danson 


Sherry Isenbarger of Sisen Designs has been astounding us with her intricate costume work for years. Today we get some insight to her new character for the TRS show, Fairytale Redux.


How many shows have you been involved with?


This will be my fourth show with The Repaint Society. I joined this creative group shortly after their first show.


How long does a TRS project generally take for you?


That’s a hard one, as I am usually grabbing time wherever I can, in between “Real Life” responsibilities. I would guess anywhere from a

month to two months, depending on how complicated the costume is.


What’s the hardest/best thing about participating?


The hardest thing is finding long blocks of time to work without interruption.


The best part is the creativity and camaraderie among the artists. I

have had to challenge myself to learn new skills for some of my

characters and the other members are always there to support, offer

ideas and cheerlead.


What's your personal favorite TRS achievement?


I would have to say the character Tiny, from the ‘Once Upon a Time'

show. He was a labor of love, as I not only had to do so much

re-sculpting of the face, but also figure out how to get his appropriate

body shape. Just about everything in his costume had to be created by

hand as I was unable to find the elements pre-made at the right



The other would have to be the embroidery of Myrcella’s silk chiffon

dress from the ‘Game of Thrones’ show. That took forever to complete!


What's the most expensive element you've incorporated?


It’s probably the fabric for the costumes. I like to work with natural

fabrics and real leather when I can. When buying online, I may have to

buy a full yard of $45 a yard fabric to get the 1/4 of a yard piece I

need. Other than that, it would have to be the doll. Some dolls are

more expensive than others, but they have just the right underlaying

structure for your character. Although, I once used the remaining

diamond earring from an orphaned set to create an engagement ring for a

doll. Albeit, a very SMALL diamond.


What excites you most about this show?


The creative freedom it is providing. We are not just recreating an

existing character, but taking that character, recreating her and

giving her our own spin and flavor.


Why did you pick your character?


My grandmother was Welsh, and I have a special place in my heart for

all things celtic. I also love redheads!


How did you decide your concept?


I am fond of period fashion and Steampunk, so that was my jumping off

point. Then one night as I lay awake, her back story just sort of came

to me. I wrote it down and that cemented her character for me.


What will be your greatest challenge in creating her?


Hair! My biggest challenge is alway hair! That, and creating her

companion, the ever faithful Wolfhound, Seamus.



Thank you so much for spending time with us, Sherry! She's going to be beautiful!






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