Thursday, February 16, 2012

Art Challenge: Japan

In my opinion Japan is the epitome of a steampunk country- once they got ahold of their first pieces of steam and industrial technology, they put their culture of passionate practice to work and in a few short decade exploded into a superpower. While much of the traditional culture fell by the wayside, they still went forth into the modern world with a style all their own. What do you see when you think steampunk Japan? Well, let's see what this week's artists envisioned from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

CYL: Kilty as Charged: Folk Dress of the British Isles

A badass looking granny in Welsh costume c. 1905 (Linda Jean)

Failte! I know what some of you are thinking: Britain? Isn't this the very same country that was the powerhouse behind the largest imperial force during the 19th century? Perhaps the most mainstream and stereotypical representation of the era that most steampunks base their outfits, prose, and characters off of?


Yep it is. But the three-piece ditto suits and bustle dresses weren't everybody's traditional clothing. Even in the British Isles, there were cultural minorities with their own specific modes of dress that were still being used- even in the heady era of the empire. Let's take a look at the Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and perhaps a quirky local culture or two!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Art Challenge: The Maghreb

(Pendersleigh and Sons cartography)

Turns out when you announce that the weekly art challenge is the 19th century Maghreb, you get a lot of colorful images of pretty Berber ladies. Frankly, I'm overjoyed- because you'll find in these images a lot of research into the garments and embellishments of the Amazigh culture and despite the stereotypical allure, no exposed midriffs. This week's challenge results also go to show that it doesn't all have to be brown and earth-tones to be steampunk. Let's have a look!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Art Challenge: India

India c. 1857
Holy crow, our first week of the Art Challenge couldn't have gone better, in my opinion (the fact that we had not only more than one submission, but seven on the premiere edition makes me giddy as pie). For this and the next few weeks, the challenges are going to be fairly straightforward- a large or well-known culture to make it easier for researching and brainstorming, not saying that conceptualizing multicultural or any steampunk is by any means simple. Still, I don't plan on throwing any curveballs (like Brittany or Fiji) for a while yet.

India was chosen not only because several people requested it, but  it's powerful creative appeal (also I'm reading the Mahabarita for class...). Think of India and NOT have something very unique pop into your head- whether it be elephants, grand rajas, chai tea, sumptuous or millennia-old civilizations. Let's see what some very talented artists dreamed up: