My good friend Crimson Raccoon (click here for his twitter feed) directed me to news a Steampunk art book being published out of the UK. Whenever I hear about Steampunk art going on around me I react in two different ways at the same time.
First off, it causes me to desire to be part of a contemporary fantasy art movement. Legalistically speaking I don’t act much like a Steampunk, but by the spirit of the law I consider myself one. I have an interest in the Victorian era, enjoy the Science Fiction novels from the period, like to dress up like a Steampunk on a few particular occasions, and I like talking to other Steampunks. But for whatever reason, I haven’t figured out exactly why, I don’t feel drawn to making Steampunk art. Which leads to my second reaction.
I ask myself, “What is it that I’m involved in artistically?” And I come up with the answer that I enjoy really good Science Fiction and Fantasy, and it comes from all over the map. And I want to be able to talk about all of it with my art. I belong to a global culture of people who enjoy events like Dr. Sketchy’s, Massive Black, and the Spectrum Exhibition (mentioned in this entry). Those are the artists I want to share ideas with, and the companies and clients I want to work for often invest in their art.
I try out whatever freelance work comes my way: editorial/magazine, children’s book, and advertising illustration, but I don’t always feel like I am succeeding even though my client is happy with the work I do. I keep having to shut up different parts of my imagination and creative drive because it isn’t suitable for the kind of art I am making. I ask myself: “Is that professionalism? Is that the burden of being an artist for hire? Am I just uncommonly repressed?”
When I draw robots, and get involved in making and experiencing concept art of all kinds, I feel alive in my entirety. I can just be me, and that feels amazing. The job market for someone with my interests is daunting. I am only at the beginning of my career, and the beginning of my awareness of who I want to become as an artist. But a challenge is not going to stop me from becoming me. I am so glad for you all: my friends and readers because I know you are people out there all over the world who feel interested in and passionate about same the things that I do, and I revel in the hope that some day one of you may invest in the work of a personality like me.