“Creativity is more about taking the facts, fictions, and feelings we store away and finding new ways to connect them. What we're talking about here is metaphor. Metaphor is the lifeblood of all art, if it is not art itself. Metaphor is our vocabulary for connecting what we are experiencing now with what we have experienced before. It's not only how we express what we remember , it's how we interpret it - for ourselves and others.” --Twyla Tharp, choreographer and author of The Creative Habit

Steampunk is necessarily creative in how it combines what was, what could have been, what never was, and what can be imagined and actualized here and now.


Watch Off Book: Steampunk on PBS. See more from Off Book.


This is where it started. From alternate histories set in the Victorian era with steam technology and sometimes magic to time-travel, pirates, and more, steampunk novels, stories, comics, and the films, games, music, and other cultural expressions they inspire imagine fully-formed pasts that never were, and that would have given rise to a very different present.



Steampunk art & design actualizes the imaginary objects, styles, and technology of imagined steampunk worlds, based on a shared aesthetic of materials, colors, themes, shapes, motifs, and style.


With a do-it-yourself attitude and emphasis on individual interpretation, the steampunk aesthetic manifests in every kind of art and design, including fashion, furniture, and gadgets.

Steampunk makers/artists/tinkerers craft and bodge together the old and the new in innovative, clever, and beautiful ways. From steampunked functioning computer keyboards to scopes and devices with evocative looks yet uncertain capabiliies, contraptions and objects often do something, or seem like they can.

Click picture to see a preview of my current project, a movie made with machinima filmed in a virtual world. What will steampunk scientist Lumiere Glint do with the ChronoPed she may or may not have perfected?

Music by Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band!



You have an idea, maybe just a spark, maybe a fully formed vision. How do you get from that idea to a finished project?

There is a line from the I Ching that’s always struck me as helpful:
“It furthers one to have someplace to go.”

So we make a plan, a map, and start on the journey, and then adjust the plan to the journey that unfolds.


Scott McCloud's Six Steps

McCloud's 6 steps


PDF of Creativity Workshop Worksheet