Monday, September 15, 2008

(Pseudo) Victorian clip art

So I've been having fun continuing my little serial fiction project. One of the things I've been playing with is arranging the story, once a second draft is complete, in a way to mimic an old newspaper. Not fully--I've read through enough archives to know that many newspapers had five or more columns rather than the three I'm using and much smaller font. So I'm trying to balance readability with atmosphere. Playing around with old-looking grunge fonts has been fun, and I like how episode one looks when I export it from Open Office as a pdf.

One part of that atmosphere that I believe I mentioned here awhile ago as one idea is that I'm inserting fake period ads in with the text. Steam-powered chimney sweeps, government health warnings, clockwork maids, exotic travel... I'd like to have more art included with those, but my scouring of clip art sites has led to very few that will be suitable. I don't want cartoony, in fact I can't use color at all. But I'd like things that have the feel of a 19th-century woodcut, and I haven't found a lot. The subject matter could be pretty broad, though the focus would be on commercial things of interest to city dwellers, so not nature scenes. If anyone has any leads on where to find such (preferably for free use), I'd love to hear it. There's something of a steampunk flavor to this project, though I hesitate to label it that way, so what things I've found have often been through searching for steampunk-related art.

2 comments:

Lion said...

This might be a good starting point, a blog about steampunk-ish automata with links to other automata sites:

http://www.dugnorth.com/blog/index.aspx

You're bound to find something fair-use there. Might be good for an ad or something.

These definitely don't look fair-use, but might lead somewhere that does:

http://www.wetanz.com/holics/index.php?itemid=21&catid=4

http://www.amazingincredible.com/show/57-retroistic-steampunk-inventions

And finally, what you actually asked for:

http://www.digicraftshop.com/Steampunk_g100.html

http://www.oldtimeclipart.com/clipart/frame_cat_w_mechanic.html

(With that second one you can click other categories in the top banner to find more stuff.)

Daniel Ausema said...

Thanks, Lion! That oldtimeclipart was one I'd stumbled across as I was writing the message actually--it's exactly the type of thing I'm looking for. Those other links look great too. I'll have to explore them some more.