Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New feature: Weekly Art Challenge

A Qing/Manchu-1860s inspired wardrobe design I did last year.

While researching and writing for the blog helps me a great deal in my own academic and artistic endeavors, what I really strive for is a greater appreciation for global themes in steampunk. Plus, I want to see how other artists apply the things they see here and elsewhere in their own work. So, we're going to start a new feature.

Concurrently, with the offiicial facebook page, MfS:tST will be issuing a weekly art challenge. Every Wednesday, a theme will be announced: perhaps a character trope, a geographic region, a culture, maybe even a piece of literature. Anyone who wants to participate will have until Wednesday morning to create a piece of steampunk or retro-futuristic art in keeping with the theme and submit a link. Wednesday evening, I'll gather up the links, post them on the blog, and announce the next week's theme.

What's welcome? Well, art! It could be 2d or 3d, digital or traditional media, a short story, a poem, a design draft- anything you want. I just request the following:

THE RULES (and requisite fine print)
-You must do some research for your pieces. A. This will show you some mind-blowing details and facts you can integrate. B. ....well, do you read this blog?
Research recommendations: University libraries and collections (many of which can be found online and free of charge), scholarly works (I recommend google scholar if you don't have access to things like JSTOR), museums, and of course- books!
- If you're taking a photograph of your piece (such as costumery/fiber arts, jewelry, or sculpture), please make it of a decent quality.
-Poetry or short stories should be preferably linked to something like livejournal, deviantart, or a blog like blogger/wordpress to avoid clutter.
-Watermarks are completely acceptable. Rights to the artwork will be kept by their creators and will not be used without their express permission. All imaged and links will be credited and can be linked to a personal website or gallery if desired.
-I (Miss Kagashi) have a right not to post particular pieces if I feel that they are inappropriate, such as cases of: Exceptionally graphic violence, blatant insensitivity or ignorance about the culture represented, or exploitative nudity. I'm no puritan by any means, but this isn't a porn site... other than costume porn, maybe.
-This is NOT A CONTEST. It costs nothing to submit your art, however I am not offering prizes or payout for submissions (except maybe some free publicity on the blog and facebook page).
-Have fun, be creative, and stretch your artistic wings!

Remember: be sure to watch and check the Multiculturalism for Steampunk facebook page for more information and the week's them. Happy creating, world travelers!


  1. Absolutely love this

  2. ... yay! very cool :)

  3. http://shoomlah.deviantart.com/art/I-really-should-quit-282396298

    My submission for the weekly art challenge! Less character work behind this one, just more of a fashion study- trying to design Indian clothing with a subtle western/Victorian influence- the legomutton sleeves, the double-breasted/collared choli, and the churidar-turned-spats. :)

    Thanks for setting up these challenges- I adore your blog, and, as someone with more than a few non-western Steampunk characters/outfits floating around in my head, it's so nice to have the motivation to actually draw some of them on a semi-regular basis. Keep up the amazing work,


  4. ._.' I hope this is suitable material /shy: http://windyasylum.tumblr.com/post/16804095719/c-i-tried

    1. I love your painting! Do you mind if I hang onto it for when we eventually do a Mesoamerican challenge?

      (It really is a cool design!)

  5. how do you find these collection and university libraries online?

  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPJfcMGbJ0o

    This song is meant to have a multi-cultural message.

  7. Alas, no time to really work on this week's challenge, but I remembered bits and bobs of discussion about armor and avoiding using leather, so on a whim I searched for "Indian armor 19th century" and my first hit was this:

    Book review w/pics -- beautiful armor made from metal and fabric. It occurred to me that to save expense and weight, one might be able to use plastic and paint/cover it for making the panels, etc. Lots of opps for artistic creation, plus if the plastic or whatever you find is say, something like a trashed sled or wastebasket, you get to re-use materials and keep them out of the dump. A thought I'll be keeping in mind, should I find some armor I'd like to adapt!

    Heather G

    1. Sorry, found another one, at the Met: http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/40002232?rpp=20&pg=3&ao=on&ft=armor&pos=59

      Very different from the first one, but different parts of India...

    2. Fantastic stuff- I've integrated similar armor into my personal submission!

  8. http://blamemymuses.deviantart.com/#/d4o9m39

    My art challenge piece! Got to rework/update an old concept with this, so that was great! I really needed the motivation! ^__^;;

  9. http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/2324/india2.png

    A little messy, but...I had gotten so busy after a week of eyeballing pretty armor that I ended up having to churn it out in an evening. Bad me.

    Anywho, here's my entry. I had spent some time wanting to design a somewhat more streamlined version of the old armor from India and this was the result (though it doesn't honestly differ that far). And who doesn't like a warrior lady? I focused on removing some of the old details, reworking them, and adding in new excessive detail in places there wasn't any before.

  10. http://novelladelphine.deviantart.com/art/The-Ruby-Rose-282643918

    My first attempt in a very long time at digital art, so you'll have to excuse my messiness. The character herself doesn't look all too steampunk (which I figured was because she's a harijan, thus unable to buy any wonders of the world) but I'm planning to use her in a steampunk novel.

  11. http://farinskyartstudio.blogspot.com/2012/01/multiculturalism-for-steampunk-entry.html

    This painting is symbolic of Queen Victoria's reign in India and how the native peoples of India [represented by the mechanical elephant symbolizing the Hindu god "Ganesha"] were made to be the work force supporting the British Empire. The Victorian lady symbolically represents Queen Victoria in 1880s attire with a gas mask that symbolizes this toxic situation for the people of India. Queen Victoria was called "The Empress of India" from May 1st, 1876 in an act of Parliament. The mechanical elephant has a melancholy expression. The land is barren and the sky reflects the toxic atmosphere.

    Thank you for your consideration :)

    Denise Farinsky

    1. Thank you for your submission Denise, I'l provide your commentary and a link to your studio with your very potent image.

  12. Here is my submission for Steampunk Japan. She is a clockwork Meiji geisha. I did cheat a little and traced the geisha's form, but added all the details. If you don't want to use because of that, I understand.


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