I’ve seen this link before (on Neil Gaiman‘s blog!) and didn’t bother to comment on it then, but: this keyboard is amazing. And if I had the money, I would totally get The Aviator. Now if someone would only refurbish a Mac computer to look like this, I’d be set. If I had the skill, talent, and resources (and guts) I would absolutely turn Pantalaimon into this. (Alas for Sabina, she is an acoustic guitar and therefore unable to be turned into a steampunk guitar.) These people are geniuses!
Part of the reason I adore His Dark Materials is that Lyra’s world is steampunk. If I were to pick two authors who had the biggest influence on Elijah’s Chariot, I would choose Philip Pullman and Susanna Clarke: the former for his world-building and the latter for her snide, satirical voice and drawing-room comedy. My world is alternately steampunk and Regency-inspired and it frustrates me that I’ve appeared to have lost my drawing mojo these days. Because I think in such a visual manner, it’s absolutely necessary that I see what I’m envisioning and writing. I stamp my characters with visual motifs the way Wagner and Sondheim do with music but I can’t get the little details right.
What I try to keep in mind when sketching my characters in both art and writing:
- Gothic arches, damp stone, and glass
- Leather, wood, and brass
- Industrial iron, steam, and soot
- Zeppelins and early aviation
- Leather aviator jackets and goggles
- Pocketwatches, monocles, and clockwork
- Gas lamps, leather-bound books embossed with gold, rolling staircases
- Rouge, beading, feathers and kohl
- Wrought iron, marble, lace, and dried roses
- Cigarette holders, calling cards, and evening gloves
- Overcoats, patent leather shoes, tuxedoes, and hats (of all kinds)
- Braces (suspenders), breeches, wooden whirligigs, and clotheslines in alleyways
- Persian rugs, censers, and doctors’ handbags
Do you understand what I mean when I say it’s impossible to do justice to any of these when I draw? The level of intricacy and detail is beyond what I have patience for, not to mention all of my figures look off. Grrr.
Anyway, it has been decided that I’m going down to Philadelphia this weekend to see my parents. I should have plenty of time to put my nose to the grindstone about my novel then.
JJ’s Dad: The Philadelphia airport is like the beaten stepchild of the Northeast.