Cosplayer Spotlight – Lance Mitchell

Whirly Bird Sloss Furnace


Word of the Nerd is pleased to present to you one of our most popular features, Cosplayer Spotlight.  We feature new and talented cosplayers from the cosplay community.  Be sure to check back every day to catch some up and coming new cosplay talent or get a look at some well established and already famous members from the world of cosplay.


About Lance Mitchell

Lance Mitchell, 40, Knoxville TN. Woodworker, craftsman and steampunk enthusiast.

Display for the Alternate History Museum at Dragon Con 2016
Display for the Alternate History Museum at Dragon Con 2016

How did you first get into cosplay?

When I discovered Steampunk at Dragon Con a few years ago.

Do you cosplay just for fun or do you see it as a stepping stone to a future career?

Just for fun or at least until I’m discovered for my awesomeness!

Do you prefer to make your cosplays from scratch, buy or commission them or a hybrid?

More of a hybrid. I build my props from wood, metal, PVC and thrift store finds. Other parts of my costumes are bought and modified.

How much time do you spend making each of your cosplays?

As long as a year for my more intricate props such as the Whirly Bird Flying Machine.

What is your favorite cosplay you done so far?

Whirly Bird Flying Machine Air Captain.

What has been your most memorable experience (good or bad) as a cosplayer?

Winning Best Prop at the Steampunk World’s Fair 2017.

How do you feel about group cosplays?

They are fun. Me and a friend are going to be Victorian Flying Men at the Vintage Fashion show Dragon Con 2018.

What cosplays are you currently working on or plan to finish this year?

Current build is an R/C Steampunk robot.

What issues do you see being the most divisive in the cosplay community and how do you feel about it?

Competitiveness. Jealousy, or simply not wanting to include others because you think their work isn’t good enough.

What types of characters or genres inspire your cosplay the most?

Alternative History, Post-Apocalyptic and Sci-Fi.

What is your favorite part (researching, shopping for supplies, sewing, photo shoots, attending cons, etc.) of your cosplay process?

When it starts to come together like I envisioned.

What are your best resources for cosplay materials?

Thrift stores, flea markets, Amazon, (for motors and servos).

What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome as a cosplayer? 

Being able to put myself out there.

Have you learned any life lessons during your time as a cosplayer and what are they?  

Use lighter materials if you are going to build a large backpack or prop.

What is your golden cosplay rule that you would share with new cosplayers?

Have fun and don’t worry what anyone else thinks.

How do you feel the cosplay community has changed over time?

My local community has grown apart. Although there are still cliques.

If money and time were not a factor, what is your number one over ambitious cosplay you want to do?

A steampunk vehicle.

Do you set a budget for each cosplay?

Not really.

What does cosplay mean to you?

Showing my creativity using my woodworking and craftsmanship to build props. It is an outlet to express myself.

Is there anything that would make you stop cosplaying?

Not enough money.

You can follow and view more of Lance Mitchell here

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Keep calm and cosplay on!

About the author

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