#8 Meredith Mills is The Lost Princess Cosplay
I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to be bringing you my next Featured Cosplayer. They’ve been all terrific and each uniquely imprinted with me, but this one is something special as we have been building each other up and providing mutual encouragement during a most discouraging time in human history. This interview has been taking place during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 and also during some backlash of civil unrest throughout America. Cosplay has been an uplifting and positive thing to look forward to and Meredith Mills of The Lost Princess Cosplay has been and will always be a shining example of what the Cosplay community should be all about.
The rule I set myself to, when conducting an interview, is to meet up face to face and get to know the new found friend on a more personal level. Unfortunately, the circumstances of 2020 didn’t allow for this. It’s a good thing, however, our first encounter was meeting each other at MegaCon 2019 and running into one another everyday on the Con floor and fawning over our cosplays together.
I’ll never forget that first moment that stopped me in my tracks as I saw the PERFECT Rey posing with the cutest little child princess Leia and small baby X-Wing fighter. She was at the Rebel Legion booth and when it was my turn for a photo op with her I nerded out and asked to have her be my first test subject on my new phone to film in super slow motion. I kept going back to the booth and asking her about her costume and her 3D printed quarterstaff as I was making one myself. I was hoping I wasn’t embarrassing myself as I was thinking she may feel I was stalking her in my Nerd Herd Jeff Barnes cosplay from Chuck, lol.
We began following each other on each of our social media platforms and stayed in touch quite frequently. I was pleasantly surprised that she was reading my blog without me pushing it and we found out we were alike and excited about the same things, like The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and even Cosplay opinions.
She has been so supportive of everything I’ve done and even though her following is taking off she still finds joy in encouraging beginners and getting inspiration from anyone with the same passion for Cosplay that she has no matter the numbers of likes or followers anyone has.
The Journey of a Great Cosmaker
Meredith’s journey took her from Washington to Florida, to chase her dream, where she graduated from Paul Mitchell The School Orlando and is a licensed cosmetologist in Florida–hair and makeup skills…check. Our paths here are the same, as I journeyed from Ohio to Florida to achieve a goal towards my dream as I attended makeup school in Orlando.
A cosmaker’s journey is not just where they came from, but the journey in acquiring new skills and learning about new medium to work with. Looking at the work-in-progress pictures immediately below you can see the different types of materials and tools she’s used to fabricate a successful cosplay with. I also know she’s eager to learn about every kind of technique for pulling off a new character.
She has a refreshing take on cosplay, that I embrace, which is that you sometimes don’t have to make it and it’s okay to purchase a completed cosplay that may need altering, but if you’re excited about a particular character and can’t wait to make it, by all means get it if it doesn’t break the bank. There’s a lot of funny MEMES out there we share with each other about cosplayers not finishing one cosplay before starting and dreaming about several more…lol. It’s funny because it’s incredibly accurate as every cosplayer I know is always working and/or thinking and planning about more than one cosplay at a time. Buying a completed cosplay can satisfy the craving of getting into character and having a photoshoot with new content to share and be happy finishing a goal.
And now let’s just get “lost” (pun intended) in the many gorgeous faces of The Lost Princess Cosplay:
Gallery of Photos of The Lost Princess Cosplay
One thing I haven’t told her yet is how incredibly impressed I am with her photography and editing skills. She takes all her own photos and sometimes plays with them with cool and relevant backgrounds and effects with editing. Most of these pics are taken with a Nikon D5100 with a swivel screen and remote so she can see herself and take a pic when ready. She just recently changed to a Canon 800D. Here, editing is done by Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. She has a few funny stories about throwing the remote just before the frame snaps or sometimes you can see her still holding the remote, inconspicuously, lol.
Rey Cosplay From Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2B Cosplay from the Video Game Nier Automata
Spider-Gwen Unmasked Cosplay from Into the Spiderverse
More Spider-Verse Cosplays
Merida Cosplay from Disney’s Brave
Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and Frozen 2
Classic Disney Princesses
Captain Marvel Cosplay
The New Spooky Queen (just try and change my mind)
Out of Cosplay
As this is my eighth interview I’m finding a pattern of similar interests with all the Cosplayers and Meredith falls right in line with the cool life outside of cosplay. Like the love for films and videogames. Which sometimes I wonder if maybe these should count as part of cosplay as I know the movies and games are where they find their passionate characters to cosplay and research. But for now, technically they do these things outside of being in cosplay, but as you may have seen above in the gallery we caught Meredith playing video games in a comfortable super hero costume. Ha Ha, busted!
As for movies some of her favorites are The Lord of the Rings trilogy including The Hobbit, Alita: Battle Angel (this one is a hint for later in the interview), Star Wars, and just almost anything Disney. The experience is the best by actually going to the theatres and seeing all the new super hero movies and any new release on the big screen according to Meredith as she is a proud AMC A-lister so she would go at least once a week before STUPID Covid.
Her videogame obsession includes playing Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, and Fortnite solo and squads.
OH, and she’s an Anime nut too. As you can tell with some “tight” cosplay representation above.
Disney theme parks were another favorite pass time for her. When Disney opens back up full capacity and you happen to go one day, keep your eye on the lines to the meet and greets as she loves to take pictures and talk with the characters.
Photography and photo editing has proven to be one of Meredith’s strong attributes. She may be too humble to agree, but I believe her attention to detail, composition, lighting, background and mood is captured wonderfully in every photo she’s taken and shared. And again, she takes her own cosplay photos using a remote and timing techniques on a high quality camera with some touch up help on her editing programs mentioned above. I’ll be encouraging her to start another page on photography and editing and even encourage her to find a way to turn it into profit somehow.
The Cosplayer Connection
I’ve witnessed a beautiful phenomenon as a cosplayer myself and it seems to have strengthen during the pandemic. That phenomenon is the connection of cosplayers staying in touch, becoming friends and rooting for each other during life goals that are attempted to achieve and not just future cosplays either. Cosplay is a real organic community now which hasn’t been around all that long. Maybe it has for the Trekkies who started it all and who took the brunt of the jokes in the beginning for us, but cosplay has now become a well respected, fun outlet and even sometimes a serious business.
I’ve also witnessed Meredith’s heart, towards me of course (hence the interview), and towards other cosplayers she’s met and has become close friends with. I’ve asked one particular new found friend of ours that I met through Meredith to say something about her. Like “how she has inspired you and what you may have learned from her during live virtual joint events and the many messages I’m sure you two have been engaged in.” This is Morgan of Morganite Cosplay and here is what she said:
So Meredith has been one of the most supportive cosplayers I have met through here [Instagram] since the beginning. She is always supportive of others and I can always reach out to her with questions or to vent. That means a lot to me as I was very overwhelmed and intimidated at first. She is wickedly talented. I am always blown away by her cosplays. She has been able to hit on a wide variety of fandoms and characters and her passion shines through all of them. Her friendship means so much to me and I am very thankful that I have been able to get to know her. Anxiously waiting for the day that I will be able to meet her in person.
It was only a matter of time before this gem was going to get noticed and it is happening quickly and continuously. It seams every time I go on her profile she has another 1,000 followers. Of course, I would like to take the time to emphasize the NON importance behind how many followers and/or likes one has as an inspiring artist and I know Meredith would agree. Just do what you love and share your passion with the world as you so choose and don’t try to fight the suppressing algorithms that are squashing your reach. It will come in time if you don’t let it consume you. However, Meredith has become some of an Instagram guru and she has played with hashtags and tricks to try and bust through and she is most certainly gracious enough to share it with anybody.
Her imprint across the cosplay spectrum includes:
- This blog of mine, JP’s FX Creations, isn’t going anywhere so she is an official Featured Cosplayer now
- Rebel Legion with her approved Rey Cosplay
- Partnerships — Hot Topic, Heroes Time, and occasional contact lens company gifting her with free lenses.
- Charity work — Costumers With a Cause (CWC National)
- Featured in Cosplayzine Magazine May 2020 issue with her Rey Cosplay
It’s always fun trying to figure out or guess what is behind the alias of a cosplayer’s chosen name they go by, but I confess I was at a complete loss figuring hers out. It turns out to be eloquent and quite fitting for Meredith as “the Lost Princess” refers to both Rapunzel, being a lost princess (and we learned Mere is a Disnerd), and Sailor Moon (a childhood favorite anime of hers) is also considered a lost princess. It’s a mysterious name that keeps the viewer in a suspenseful or in a quandary of a state to attract a deeper response.
Asking a cosplayer their first cosplay is important because here is where you find out how it all started and what forever captured an ongoing obsession for more. Meredith’s story is no different in that she caught the “fever” after going to her first Con dressed as Disney’s Merida from Brave:
I really was not prepared for all the attention and kindness people showed, especially looking back on my first cosplay! So many people asked me for my picture, and I came out of my own shell when I saw people with amazing costumes and asked them to get a picture together. I had a photo op with Elijah Wood and he recognized my cosplay and told me he liked it. It really was such a little thing that meant so much to me! At the time, I had never made any prop before, and at the convention I got a picture with another Merida who had a bow. After the convention, I decided I *needed* to have her bow.
So off to the races she went making props to enhance her cosplays and experience as the characters. She and her partner made the bow so well that she started selling them to other cosplayers.
Dream cosplays are what is always on any Cosplayer’s mind even while successfully working on a current costume unrelated to a future goal and The Lost Princess has a beautiful continuous thought to eventually do Arwen from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Tauriel from The Hobbit. They are two gorgeous and adventurous elves in the world created by J.R.R Tolkien. I’ll be bugging her constantly ’till she makes it happen because I believe she will make the Perfect Rivendellian.
There’s a question I always ask my Cosplayers as it is a loaded question which can help sum up cosplay in there lives and that is “What has cosplay meant to you and why do you love it?” I’ve received some wonderful answers along the way and Meredith took this question very seriously and responded really well that’s unique to her and yet an answer I can relate to:
There’s so many reasons I love Cosplay! It’s a wonderful creative outlet that allowed me to pursue and develop creative skills I probably wouldn’t have before!
It has helped me connect with people who have similar interests. As an introvert this has been hard for me, but cosplay has made that so much easier.
Cosplay also helps me connect with my favorite characters in a way that is strengthening and healing for me. There are so many characters that have traits that I admire. Even if I’m having a bad day, I can “be” that character for awhile, and I can connect to them in that way and see those traits that I admire, not only in them, but it gives me the opportunity to see them in myself.
Now comes the hardest part, sometimes, whenever I do an interview and that is choosing my favorite cosplay they’ve done. I would be tempted to pick my absolute favorite cosplay (spoiler alert for a top ten blog post) of 2B from Nier Automata and Meredith nails it…but I’m going to go with the one that has the most emotional attachment, as well as being on point, and that cosplay is her Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This was the first Cosplay I saw her in, in person and had me do a “rubber neck” gaze that influenced me to reach out to her. Her Rey is so impressive and she’s even started working on doing her makeup to transform her to look more like Daisey Ridley (see reference above). I made her an NN-14 pistol that Han Solo gives her that she can add to her repertoire. I want to encourage her to do all forms of Rey, like Resistance Rey from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the white threads from TROS. OH yeah, and definitely Dark Rey from TROS as well!
It’s going to be hard to look back at 2020 as anything other than a horrible year, and I know I’m not alone, but my time getting to know and write about Meredith is an immediate positive outlet for me. I know 2021 will be better just by knowing her now and looking forward to what she’s going to do as an artist then, too.
One interview tradition is on hold for now until we can get together and that is our shared photoshoot as a group/couple cosplay. I left a hint in the interview on what it’s going to be and I purposefully left out any of her cosplay photos of her character she’s done. Which means you’ll have to go to her profile link above to find it and I highly recommend you do and start following her.
Thanks again for hanging out with me and Meredith and a big thank you to The Lost Princess for opening up to us and sharing some of her passionate life here at JP’s FX Creations. Feel free to comment below with any questions you might want to ask me or Meredith.