I starting calling myself a multi-media artist because being just “an artist” didn’t quite encompass all the works I create. I draw, paint, write, sculpt, dance, sing, and create jewelry. I participate in a lot of other activities that could be considered arts of their own, including yoga.
Until I starting exploring Steampunk as a theme, my artistic “go to” was dogs (and other animals) in charcoal and pastel. I’ve done dozens of pet portraits, have competed in national competitions and shown my work in galleries. I’ve branched out into other visual art and illustration by will and necessity. At my first full time job, I illustrated construction equipment, which included everything from screwdrivers to the huge bridge cranes that build skyscrapers. I didn’t like it at the time, but this previous experience soon proved to be handy in drawing works for the covers of my books.
They say everyone has a book in their head or wants to be a writer. That’s true for me, except I probably have at least five or six novels and a couple of trilogies just chomping at the bit to be written. I began my writing by telling fantastical stories as a child. I loved to read and became a Narnia and Star Wars fan which fueled my creative brain further. I know my yarn spinning seriously worried my mother when I started telling my best friends I was an ethereal fairy. I so convinced one of my besties that I was grounded for a week as punishment by my strict Catholic mom. I journalled my wild dreams and took advanced literature classes in high school. In college I took a couple creative writing courses. I was also playing viola and tinkered with a little fashion design. So these different media, combined with the visual art, caused a bit of heartache as I had several muses pulling me apart. Each wanted and needed attention like a small toddler going through the terrible two’s.
Visual art eventually won, but every once in a while I got a story idea and would write the basics down. I worked day jobs while trying to pursue my visual art. After the housing and economy crash of 2007, I got the passion to never work a day job again. I rebooted my art business image and started writing a bit. I’d looked into journalism, but I’m really too emotional for serious reporting. Instead, there were several characters ready for birth. Then I found Steampunk.
The storyline for the books came easily. Time to get it all down hasn’t. I still work a day job and create dog/pet art. But fortunately, all of my creative juices fit into the Steampunk theme. I’m creating hats and jewelry. The first book will be published in a few months. I’ve got some sketches related to the books ready to turn into full blown pieces. And I’m living vicariously through my main Steampunk character, learning and practicing what she knows/does, via whip cracking, poker, fencing, chess, and manners. Hence this blog journey of my exploits. Where these collective talents have most recently and pleasantly collided is at the “Clockwork Cat”.
I was honored to be chosen as one of the artists for Animal Protection Association’s “Harry and Hanley Project”, a fundraiser for the APA through a regional public art exhibit. There will be 10 dog and 10 cat sculptures cast from originals of a nationally known sculptor Harry Weber. I recently finished painting my piece, the “Clockwork Cat”, done in Victoriana/Steampunk style.
It will have its public summertime placement shortly. More pics and my artist’s statement will be posted on my pet art website, http://www.hautehen.com and the http://www.harryandhanley.com site in the next few weeks. If you love any of the works and want to support the APA you can text APAMO to 20222 to donate $10.
I’d love your comments, on “The Clockwork Cat” or any of my other pieces, so feel free to like me on Facebook at The Haute Hen (for the animal art) or The Countess Official Fanpage of Victoria L. Szulc (for the Steam art). And the “likes” contest is still going on at The Countess page; please like and share or follow so I can start giving away some fun Steampunk/Victoriana/Sci-fi goodies. I’m also on Twitter and Pinterest. Welcome to my collision of creative worlds.