Steampunk Tendencies [warning, image heavy]

This last weekend, I was on Show X. A friend of mine is a host of the show, and I was asked about a month ago to guest on the show. I was extremely nervous, as I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve never been interviewed. I rarely am on video. I’m not used to seeing/hearing myself in videos. So I was weirded out by the whole experience. I’m also extremely shy, so half the time I didn’t know what to say or do or any of that kind of stuff. As you go through this, have a listen to the video. I’ll be talking a little more in depth about some of the things I brought up, or show you things that I talked about in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKpdzYSHFhg

I didn’t really put myself on a high podium, because I don’t really think highly of myself. As you might have heard from the video itself. I say I try to be a writer, I’m a jack of all trades but master of none. I say that because even though I might be exceptional in other people’s eyes, I know others who are even better than I am. So I am okay, but not the best.

weneals1Wayne and I first met at Anomaly Con this last year, which was also when I first met my boyfriend. Wayne posted a photo to the video feed of the show that was taken of me that day. It’s a wonderful, gorgeous image that WeNeal’s Photography took of me as my Steam Powered Giraffe inspired character, Tinker.

inoliarmorArmor is a cosplay challenge that someday I hope to tackle, with a ronin styled armor from the movie Epic. If I ever get around to it, I know I’m going to need help with, because I’m terrified I am going to ruin something. My friend, Inoli, who I mentioned in the live stream, has made a Berserk armor multiple times, and it  has always looked amazing. I’ve actually gotten to help [though minimally] with getting an armor set and ready for paint.

 

Psoriasis is a big problem I have to deal with when it comes to conventions. Psoriasis is a horrible skin condition that can make life a little miserable at times for me. It’s caused by something in my system thinking it needs to make more skin cells, and rapidly produces more cells before my body can get rid of the others. It basically causes extreme flaking, like dandruff on steroids. My scalp is completely covered in the flakes, and has been for several years now. It started as just a small quarter sized patch in the lower back of my scalp. I went to a dermatologist to get help and make it go away, but everything just spread and got worse with everything that they put me on. I was a rare and strange case, because the psoriasis was only on my scalp, and nowhere else, which is more common. In the last few months, I have started to get a couple patches on my back. I know I should get back to a dermatologist [I stopped going a couple years back because everything was just unbearable and painful], but with the new president’s plan to change healthcare, I’m not sure how well my insurance will cover my visits, since I’m using Medicaid.

The two cosplays I said I feel I am most known for were my Snow White from Once Upon a Time and my red and black steampunk robot look, which is Widget for Steam Powered Giraffe.

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gdfalksensarmI didn’t really do a good job talking about the steampunk culture out there, because my brain was just not really wanting to work. The culture is kind of just embracing the Victorian lifestyle, but giving everything a touch of fantasy. Wayne mentions a mechanized knife that cuts things for you, rather than doing it by hand. I then go on to talk about this special prop piece that was on an episode of the TV show Castle. The piece was created by GDFalksen, and the character Richard Castle fully embraces the look after having to check out a case of a death in the steampunk community. The people in the episode that you see for the community are actual southern Californian ‘punks.

 

We then start to talk about different genres within steampunk. Wayne mentions the movie Wild Wild West, which though is steampunk in a sense, is a little extreme in some of the ladies fashions. However, it shows people the American flare to steampunk. But there are all kinds of cultures that can have a steampunk flare. Some middle eastern looks look beautiful in steampunk, as well as eastern. The looks can be breathtaking.

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A lot of artists out there are taking to the steampunk community and taking some very popular culture characters and giving them steampunk twists, now that it is becoming as popular as well.

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corsetsThere are different kinds of corsets that are out there. There are a basic three types of corsets. The one that Wayne mentions not being a big fan of, and neither am I, are waist training corsets, which gets your waists extremely, unnaturally tiny. It is not really good for your internal organs or anything. It’s typically made with steel boning in it, the stiffening agent that is used along the seams, in order to hold the shape. A normal corset will also typically have steel boning in it, and though it does bring the waist down smaller, it is typically not too much smaller than your natural waist size. It will only bring you down a couple to a few inches smaller than your natural waist is, and isn’t intended to get your waist any smaller. There are also the fashion corsets, which are meant to be see, and will have pretty patterned fabric. It smooths out your curves, you know, the ones you don’t particularly like, and gives you the curves you would rather have. The type of boning in those ones is usually just plastic.

Cosplay contests at conventions was a thing for me once upon a time. I have competed a total of three times. I’ve lost all three. The first time, I had no problem with losing because I lost to one of my best friends and she so deserved the win. I was nothing but proud and happy for her. It was also my first time making a costume, and it was literally falling apart, I wasn’t that proud of it because of that, so if I had won with that, I would have felt like a cheat. The other times, I had spent so much time making the costumes perfect, in one competition I even did the costume for both myself and my partner. I took so much time making audio mixes for the walk on, and just the energy and things that I put into it. . . But lost. The second time, I lost to a girl who did a beautiful fan dance. And though I did get a very good reaction from the audience, I wasn’t doing a popular character or even series. If they contest had a second and third place, I’m sure I would have gotten second, which I would have been happy with. But since they got rid of it, I was upset that I would never know if I was even close or not. The third and final time, my partner and I lost to a group of guys in store bought wind sock guy costumes that did the Harlem Shake. The audience exploded over them, and they won. It kind of made me stand there in the back room just wondering why was I even trying? If people are going to go, excuse me for a second here, bat shit crazy over the simplest thing, why am I even trying with the days and days that I spent hand beading my jacket, and hours spent trying to get my hands on the perfect audio and how to mix it, and going back and forth with how I wanted it to come out. So I quit competing. Besides, it also go to the point of watching the same people every year winning the competitions. I like to go to the competitions and seeing the talent, but I don’t like to view the results, because for several years, I was able to call it. Because the same people were entering every single year, and winning every single year. It felt like the judges would see a certain name on the line and just automatically pick them because they knew it was going to be good, whether there were other good costumes entered as well.

Completing costumes is difficult for me. I have a few, recently, that I have started but never completed. An example is my Hitomi Kanzaki from Escaflowne costume. I have the material, I started to lay things out at one point. I might have cut out some of the fabric, but I did not ever really get anywhere else on it. Then there’s the evolution of costumes. I have yet to really have any that I have remade or anything like that. Sister Esther is on the list to be remade someday, as I mentioned in the video. I have the fabric and supplies because the first one fell apart at the seams.

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widgetprogressThe only other costume that has evolved is my Steam Powered Giraffe character, Widget. The first look was a basic look that started to evolve as I got more involved in what the history of the character was going to be. The changes for this is mostly just in the face, mostly the face paint. From the original design, I added a dripping oil look from the eyes, and an arrow nose. In the update of the character, I also started using a wig instead of my own hair, since my own hair changed constantly from the first look. I loved that in the original photos, the hair looked almost orange [though it was more ginger], and the idea kind of stuck. I had another wig I used for a different character that was similar to the color an artist came up with to portray the color in the first photos, and so it got used for Widget as well. There was also a weapon upgrade for the character, too.

Once everything is done with The Leviathan Mysteries, I will try tackling some of my old stories. I have some hand written notes for stories in a folder that I keep with all my old artwork. Perhaps I can find something in there for all the stories that I lost once upon a time in the computer crash. Cruel Fates is the one I talked about in the video, and it was based off this idea that I got after this strange two-night dream. I wanted to elaborate on the story that I saw in my dreams. Some of it was kind of crazy, some of it apparently sounded too similar to a video game. So now that I know parts of it are problematic, and that I have a better feel of how to write, I can go back, build this world a little better, and how things work, and maybe even change up the story a little bit.

The magazine mentioned in the video is Haunted Path, the August 2011 release. I did an article about this haunted doll in a small town in California. I was visiting family up north, and the town wasn’t too far away, so I wanted to see if I could check it out after hearing about it online. Sadly, the house has become a private residence instead of museum, and the doll is gone. The town, however, gets a little traffic from tourists as being the place where The Birds was filmed. Some of the locals were excited to talk to someone about the haunted thing I brought up, because not many people knew about it. It was nice to open up about one of my passions with another passion. I love writing and haunted things. ❤

treasure-planet-solar-surfingOne of the biggest pieces of technology that I had created for the novel Bloody Notes is Vanessa Hecate’s Wind Rider. The idea for it first came from Treasure Planet, seeing Jim Hawkin’s Solar Surfer. Though the movie is a little bit steampunk, the surfer is a bit more modern, so I had to try to think of a way to make it a bit more steampunk. The final idea of it is similar in look, but a bulkier and heavier design. The idea for the flight was inspired by the movie Steamboy. I haven’t seen the movie since around the time that I had first started writing this novel. But the way the steam is expelled from the machine is what causes it to give it lift and direction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bI7-bx8QqZ8

 

And a quick little thing, Wayne talks about some silly inventions that someone might pop out to make their jobs easier that might be a little extreme, I mentioned Ichabod’s spectacles from Sleepy Hollow. If you’ve never seen it, here it is.

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And I think that is all for now! Good lordy, that was long. If you are still here after all this time, I’m impressed. Love to all of you, and good night!

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