Thanks for visiting my website again! I’m interviewing a very special guest today. Ave Rose is a highly skilled steampunk maker and artist. She’s also an author, singer, dancer, actress, and more. I’m really impressed with her versatility and creativity. Thanks for joining me today, Ave.
Q: Why did you become interested in steampunk?
A: I create mechanical creatures that use cranks, gears, and wind-up keys with fantasy themes. Turns out that people consider that steampunk. Back in 2010, I was invited to show my art at some steampunk shows and next thing I know, people are calling me a steampunk artist. So I went with it!
Q: It seems like everyone in the steampunk community has their own definition of the subculture and genre. What does steampunk mean to you?
A: Steampunk is science fiction from the Victorian era. It has the look and feel of the turn of the century with a focus on the man-made machines from that time period, but then adding a futuristic twist. For instance, dueling pistol rayguns, airships that fly using clockwork, and steampowered robots.
Q: Much of your artwork features butterflies. Is there an interesting story behind your butterfly signature?
A: Well, as I mentioned before, steampunk is a genre of futuristic fantasy inspired by the Victorian era and the gadgets of the industrial revolution. Here's why butterflies are significant. In the late 1700s, there was a naturalist movement in which nature was observed to illuminate the origin and evolution of species. Encounters with butterflies in particular inspired not only an appreciation of nature, but a passion for it. By the late 1800's, people from all walks of life--farmers, shopkeepers, barbers, lawyers, actors, priests, brokers, miners, and glass blowers-- had taken up the net. “It seemed that every American was chasing flying flowers"- Augustus Radcliffe Grote, an American expert on moths. At the end of the century, artificial objects seen at spectacular world fairs would challenge society's interest in nature. Soon, man-made machines would take over our love affair with nature, but even today, butterflies still capture our imagination, hopefully inspiring us to once again know “nature and artifice together at once, not as adversaries but as collaborators in the enrichment of life"--- Walt Whitman. You can read more about this in the amazing book, Butterfly People by William Leach.
Q: Do you have a favorite type of steampunk? Victorian, Wild West, post-apocalyptic, or something else?
A: I love it all and often will mix.
Q: You keep making new projects all the time. How do you find the inspiration and drive to continue making so many steampunk creations?
A: My art is me. I live to do art. My ideas are never ending and I just can’t stop trying to make all my ideas come to life. A large part of my drive is the love I get from my fans. It really fuels my soul.
Q: It seems like steampunk continues to evolve. Have you noticed any trends or changes lately?
A: Lately, I’ve been seeing the genre of steampunk enter the world of anime, especially in fashion. I think that’s fun!
Q: I remember watching you and the other contestants on Steampunk’d. It seemed like a very competitive show. What did you think about the overall experience?
A: It was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. But I’m thankful for where it has taken me. Since Steampunk’d, I’ve been on more tv shows.
Q: Each week featured a specific theme. Did you have a favorite theme or project on the show?
A: My favorite theme and the best time I had on the show was the femme fatale episode. I was team captain and my team won.
Q: What are some of your additional television and film credits?
A: I was a featured steampunk maker in the award winning documentary, Steam Dream. I was a steampunk expert on the TV show Inside West Coast Customs, a featured artist on the TV show Mounted: Chuck Testa and Friends, and a steampunk fashion judge on the show Cut Throat.
Q: I also know you perform as a singer and dancer sometimes. Why did you become interested in the performing arts?
A: It’s strange to try and state why I’ve become interested in something that I feel has always just been a part of me. I’ve been a singer and dancer since childhood. As a singer, I sang in the school and church choir, in college I was trained to be an opera singer. In dance, I started with ballet in elementary school, and then moved on to breakdancing.
Q: You’re also an author and independent publisher. Would you mind talking about some of your written works?
A: My books are in the horror genre not, steampunk. I’ve written 4 books and they are all very dark.
Q: Do you have a favorite steampunk novel or series of books?
A: Being a mad scientist myself, of course my ultimate favorite is Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Transmigrations by Eddie Louise Clark is my recent favorite!
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I can’t reveal too much at this point, but let’s just say you’ll be seeing a lot more of me on tv.
Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. It’s always nice to see the insight, expertise, and opinions of other steampunk makers. I wish you the best for a successful future and thank you for bringing so much steampunk art to the world.
That's the end of another steampunk interview! I hope you guys enjoyed it. Let's keep our eyes open for Ave's future appearances on television. I'm going to leave links to Ave's official website and her Etsy store. She makes really great crafts and clothing, so you might want to check it out. Thanks for your support and watch out for next week's post. Have a good night!
Arrr, maties! I went to the Pirate Invasion and Mermaid Festival in Long Beach last weekend and it seemed like a good idea to share my overall experience. The event is pretty small, but it's free! I saw many pirate reenactors and cosplayers. The festival had vendors, music, games, food, and all kinds of fun. Take a look below at my photo gallery.
I found some interesting merchants. Hornsmythe sells merchandise that would be great for pirate festivals, Ren Faires, and other reenactment events. I even found a few steampunk items. This vendor has a few online options if you're curious.
Unfortunately, I don't remember the name of this exhibitor because he didn't have a business card or name placard. He made adorable crafts out of wood and metal. Hopefully, the vendor will run across this post and give me the name of his company. It's always nice to advertise and provide links for small businesses.
I had the awesome fortune of meeting another writer! Cristi Taijeron writes historical fiction with a big emphasis on pirate adventures. She has an impressive number of books available on Amazon. Cristi also runs a small business called Endless Horizon Designs. She makes jewelry, bookmarks, and other products. For those of us who self-publish, she does book formatting as well. That's good to know because formatters can be quite pricy and she's pretty reasonable. I'll leave a couple links, so you can check out her merchandise.
-Cristi Taijeron's Author Page on Amazon
Overall, it was a fun experience. There was plenty of activities for families, cool merchandise for cosplayers and reenactors, tasty food, and even boat rides to Shoreline Village. I wish the walkways were less narrow, but that's how it goes in some of these beach cities. It seemed like the attendees had a good time. Take a look at my sea of photos to get a clear idea about the event.
And then I got in trouble and wound up in the stocks. So yeah, I would say it was a productive day.
That's the end of my photo gallery. I hope you enjoyed it. Did any of you guys attend the Pirate Invasion? Tell me about your experience in the comment section. I'm going to attend more events this year and that means you'll get to see more photos. Have a good week and watch out for next week's post.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.