Magnificent Mechanical Memories – Steampunk Art Journal Page

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My, inspired by steampunk art journal page is a foray into the world of ‘makivity’ (a word my son came up with at an early age to describe his cardboard creations). For steampunk is not just an aesthetic style but a whole culture around unique mechanical self built objects. The steampunk universe stretches over art, illustration, statues, sculptures, film, music, stories.

When I found my quote online:

I’m Possible, not impossible

for the first week of my next art journaling course I was reminded of the steampunk ethos. Rather than focus on the impossibility of the things we can’t do, think of ways we can make them possible. I give the example of flight; for humans it is impossible – unaided. But with the help of machines we can fly and this is where my thinking about possibility and steampunk came together. Why not a mysterious flying machine steampunk art journal page? Exactly I thought, so that’s what I did.

Steampunk Art Ideas for this Spread

Some of the ideas I had relating to the theme include:

  1. Embossed embellishments for a metallic steampunk look
  2. Moving parts hinting to mechanical nature of steampunk
  3. Distress oxides to create that worn look
  4. Fold out part of page for interaction



By deciding on some physical techniques that support the theme it can be easier to come up with layouts for the page. Adding an interactive element to the page hints at the nature of steampunk that is less ‘produced’ and more human ingenuity. Along these lines it would be possible to go further and create a complete steampunk art book with paper folding and popup techniques.



My Steampunk Art Journal Page Process

I start by creating my background – here are some more background techniques you could adapt. On this page
‘I begin by smooshing some colours’ on to my page.
Chuckle – you’ll hear me say this in my recent YouTube video, much to my son’s mirth. I think an intro video for my YouTube offerings might me in the pipeline!

What I meant by this was that I take water soluble wax crayons and draw on page in circular motions. As you have to press slightly it feels like ‘smooshing’ colour on. Have a go and see what I mean. I blend the colours out with a baby wipe which produces a gently gradating background as I have used all blue variations. For a more dramatic effect try more different hues. I use ‘Reeves Water Soluble Wax Pastels‘ for the background of this steampunk page and for the clouds behind the main focal image. This focal image is made from card in the shape of a ‘POSSIBLE’ flying machine design. I encourage you to come up with something as fanciful as possible …. I coloured the card with distress oxide inks and stuck the pieces together with gel medium but the moving parts were attached with split pins. As well as providing more movement on the page it is also a convenient way of attaching embossed pieces together.

Steampunk Art Journal Process Preview

Here is a video of my process with rather badly balanced soundtrack and odd narration 😉



I hope this has inspired you to go and find out about steampunk or think about your art journal in a new way; maybe how you interact with it physically instead of just visually.

Hugs, Ceri xx


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