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Steampunk character?

I love Steampunk (why else would I be here?) but I don't have a real outfit put together. After completing the Steam Century LARP at Convergence (by-the-by, hi guys! It's Jenna) and wishing I had brought a steam-outfit, I realized it was time. However, despite having TONS of steampunk accessories, I've never compiled an outfit because I don't have a CHARACTER in mind. Am I a classy Lady? Or an airship pirate? Military minded? Doomsday watcher? I don't know!

So, I ask you: How did you create your steam-punk character? Or do you work without one?

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( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
cupcake_goth
Jul. 11th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't think you need a character in order to dress up in steampunk finery. But then, I firmly believe that people should dress up elaborately all the time, for no reason other than that they want to.
lecari
Jul. 11th, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
I agree - I don't quite understand all this 'characters' stuff personally, I don't think there's any need to :)
allykatt
Jul. 11th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
agreed. i have different outfits that might fit a "character," per se, but i don't adopt a character when i wear them.

i wear my skypirate outfit sometimes, when the situation fits, and i wear as much steam casual as i can get away with. the more "high victorian" outfits are just my nice going-out clothes, not any sort of character wear.
eldanildiel
Jul. 11th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
I started picking up items without a specific character in mind and the character actually ended up evolving out of the outfit pieces that I was more drawn to. More specifically, the character is really still evolving. Right now I'm pretty set as an airship pilot with a little bit of a pirate edge. It helped, too, to look at steampunk concept art and other people's outfits to get ideas for bits and pieces of the my outfit. I didn't want to copy someone else's whole outfit, obviously, but I got a lot of ideas for additions to my bigger pieces from looking at all the cool ideas all the other really creative people in the community have come up with.

Like I said, though, the concept is still evolving and right now, I'm working on more of a costume look for Dragon*Con. I really want to make a wind-up key to stick out of my back and do my make-up so I look more "doll-like" with the idea being that I'm an automaton. My husband was joking that I'd be an "auto-pilot". I'm having trouble finding something to use as a base for the key, though. I'm still trying to choose a name for my character, and my friend's been helping me try to think of airship names. I think I've settled on "The Eldritch". Anyway, that's my process, so far.
blackdwarv
Jul. 12th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Mount a board on a couple of straps going over your shoulders. The key will attach permanently. If you want something a bit more on the awesome side, see if you can find a larger clockwork mechanism and have the 'wind up' noise for when someone turns your key (it might fall off then...). The middle ground idea would be to put rare earth magnets on the board and the base of the key. No cranking sound, but those magnets are STRONG.
tankgirledward
Jul. 12th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
best way I've found to mount a key on a back actually ends up looking very steam punk if you don't wear anything to cover the Corset. Many corsets have a modesty panel. attaching a key and carefully lacing around it works wonders. Its also a great anchor for wings without shoulder straps... message me for more info if you like..
gdfalksen
Jul. 11th, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
Well, I write, so in a manner of speaking I have a multitude of characters (some of which are steampunk), and I have found that the easiest way to create them is to determine what you "know" about them (that is, what qualities or characteristics you want--name, occupation, background, personality, appearance, even something as simple as style of dress), and then from that determine what that character would "need" (certain names imply certain nationalities or social positions, certain occupations are more likely to attract certain personalities or people of a certain background, and a great deal about someone can be learned by looking at their clothes).

And from there, you just keep working through that process (the qualities you know you want or have determined you want then inform more choices about the character, etc.) until you have the character. And naturally the character may end up changing as you being to use her (whether by writing her or by acting her in a game). But that above process is what I have found to be most useful in puzzling out characters.

Regards,
-G. D. Falksen
cryingcat613
Jul. 14th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
Agreed. I'm writing a series in which the main character says "screw you" to her original home and moves off to a place where they dress in Steampunk (it's fantasy), and this is pretty much what I'm doing.
jaborwhalky
Jul. 12th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC)
You don't need a Character to dress how you like.
Most if not all my clothing is not costume grade stuff.Its good clothing that I put together in certain ways that make me happy.I just dress how I like and well am my self.

I really am starting to think I need to help people with this idea of "Having a character" and make up something like the SCA for it so they have a spot to have fun with what they have made.But thats a great deal of work and I allready have a thousand irons in the fire.


So in short dress how you like and if you have a persona you have made up have fun with it but do not take it too seriously.




maelorin
Jul. 12th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
make up something like the SCA
oh dear lords and ladies!

or should i say pirates, princes, pratchetts and polymaths?
jaborwhalky
Jul. 12th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
Re: make up something like the SCA
No pirates they all ready have that in the SCA

you could call it something like the

" League of something or another"

I mean after all the SCA started out as just one party and rolled from there..

If I had the time I would put something together as there seem to be so many people who wish for it.
maelorin
Jul. 12th, 2008 09:26 am (UTC)
Re: make up something like the SCA
we can has pirates! theirs do not have airships! (for example)

i see no reason to restrict ourselves from the outset.

perhaps a group of us can get the ball rolling? no need for it all to fall to you, or anyone else ...

maelorin
Jul. 12th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: make up something like the SCA
"hi, i'm from the league of something or other (LSO? LoSoO?). i'm here to help" ^_^

league of spatia-temporal technomancy (LoSTT)?

society of steampunk enthusiasts (SoSE)?

the worthy, ancient and honourable fellowship of the (darn it)(WAHF...)

live action steamplay (LASP)?

[ok, so i'm failing here]
cocoajava
Jul. 12th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
I have a steampunk character, and she lives in the city/state of New Babbage in Second Life. I can only DREAM of having her wardrobe! And her storyline! Escapee of the circus in Victorian times, taken under the care of a wealthy benefactor, finally fled to live on her own in the upper levels of a brass and fitting factory. Oh, dear girl.

In my offline steampunk life, I wear what's available, and comfortable, and fun. In varying levels of intensity. If you feel compelled to devise a character, spend some time daydreaming about it, and see what feels fun and natural to you, then build on that! It's all supposed to be a joy, you know?
lostieborden
Jul. 13th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Well, daydreaming up characters is pretty fun, but I like having a goal, you know? A project to work on. If I had a Second Life character, she would also be ridiculously decked out in awesome steampunkery.
cocoajava
Jul. 13th, 2008 06:11 pm (UTC)
There's something for everyone out there! Conversely, I don't want a goal, I just want to see how detailed and rich a life I can costruct for my girl.

I hear ya on the wardrobe... there's some amazing steampunk finery available in SL, and I really need to show restraint sometimes. So many shinies!
piraterogue
Jul. 12th, 2008 03:33 am (UTC)
I have two somewhat connected ways of looking at it. First, what is my personality like, What would I be if I were living in the steampunk world? Then back on the reality plane, what can I get that would fit that personality?

My personality is a little Captain Malcolm 'Mal' Reynolds and a little bit Kaylee. (I'll have the discussion elsewhere about how Steampunk Firefly Really is). So basically a do it yourself airship mechanic who captains his own ship.

My biggest issue in getting the whole thing together is money (who's isn't). So I found several item that will work and look steampunk. My accessories are going to be an interesting mix, gun and compass for the Captain and a tool pack full of old tools I found got from my grandmothers basement. Goggles are a pair of welding goggles I found in a non chain hardware store.

Beyond that, my Character is Me with the reference of my steampunk profession. So it's a little of both, I got a basic character and the rest is flying by the seat of my pants.
tankgirledward
Jul. 12th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
steampunk + outerspace= firefly
lostieborden
Jul. 13th, 2008 04:40 pm (UTC)
I suppose what I like about Steampunk is that no, I didn't *have* to have a character, but I totally can if I want. I mean, if I were living in alternate-Victorian, I still probably wouldn't be an airship mechanic or pirate, but I probably would want to dress like one!
historian227
Jul. 12th, 2008 03:47 am (UTC)
Great to see you here, glad we got you involved in the cul...er, group, that's it, group!
maelorin
Jul. 12th, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)
be yourself. that's really what this is all about!
the great thing about all this, you have no need for a character.

and you can be as inconsistent with character as you like.

there's no one to tell you you are wrong. no one to check your stats, or whatever.

you can be a pirate before lunch, a naval officer for tea, and a bawdy wench for after dinner drinks.

and we'll applaud them all ^_^
blackdwarv
Jul. 12th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, you have no need for character, but it helps. :)

F'example, you could dress up in suit and tails, and tophat. That tells anyone looking at you that you are... well dressed?

Now, imagine that you whip off your suitjacket, revealing a leather waistcoat, bullwhip and service revolver, and don your favorite slouch hat. Steampunk Indy!

Someone with a pith helmet and gaiters or bustle dress is telling people about them/their character just by walking in the room. You don't need a thirty page novelette to describe what you are/are doing. But a character idea/archetype is very handy both for your execution of the idea and for letting others in on the concept.

Final example: Pith helmet, raygun, tailcoat, lariat. Explorer of the Empire of the Americas? Noble from the martial colony of New London? Dr. Livingstone back from his adventures? A just confused jumble?
tankgirledward
Jul. 12th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
I understand what you are saying. Knowing "who" you are making a costume of keep you from looking like you have randomly thrown all your steam stuff on at once in a way that screams "look mom, I dressed myself" I need a character to costume for but i blame that on my theatrical costume design training. When I'm making an "original character" no matter what genre I start with LOTS of visual research. Once one or two items catch my fancy I'll start to make a story from there and start to sketch. It tends to sound something like this in my head

"alright I love those shoes and that hat, the boots are upper class early Victorian and the hat is lower class from several years later. I could muss up the boots a bit, stain the spats, to make them look old so that she looks like she is lower class trying to look as high class as she can so she would be a daughter of an up and coming inventor so I'm going to need glasses, watches, sots of brass and grease stains. A bit tomboyish cause.... she was an only child and her mother died in an experiment so her father brought her up... so on and so forth, grab a hand full of pens and continue with visual research and sketch, sketch , sketch.
lostieborden
Jul. 13th, 2008 04:32 pm (UTC)
Exactly! I've also got a background in theatrical costuming, which is probably what's holding me back. I've always been a function-before-style designer, so I need a character/job/whatever to aim for before I can fill in the gaps. (And the visual research is totally my favorite part.)
tankgirledward
Jul. 13th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
I'll be glad to let you bounce ideas if you want to since we seem to think alike, just send me a message on Lj
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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