Saturday, January 1, 2011

Check Out Old Stuff for a New Year's Worth of Inspiration for Weird and Unusual Stuff, Stories and Characters- Don't Kill Your TV!!

When it comes to sci-fi, fantasy, steampunk, etc., (or any story type, I suppose) sometimes you can see it, sometimes you can't. You know the protagonist, the issues she or he faces and where you want to go with a scene, but what does the stuff around him or her look like? The chair your main character inherited from her lost pirate grandfather? Or the bathtub that the illiterate floor refinisher died in while holding a copy of Of Mice and Men? Could be the chest where the murderer hid the birthday present ribbon she used to strangle the oppressive sister. Maybe you are an illustrator and it's a whole room, where the artsy-fartsy boho vibe should ooze from the surroundings like smoke from a caterpillar's hookah. Whatever it is that eludes you visually about the stuff surrounding the scene, check out my latest finds for inspiration.

One is a show on the Discovery Channel called Auction Kings. It follows the daily business of an auction house, it's owner, the pickers, etc. But the coolest thing is the STUFF. I'm sure many a vampire enthusiast luuurved the episode recently that included an antique vampire hunting kit that pre-dates the release of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Oddities, another Discovery Channel show (swear to the powers that be that I am not on their payroll), "dives into the weird world of strange and extraordinary science artifacts through the eyes of the proprietors of Manhattan's Obscura Antiques & Oddities. Think odd taxidermy (tree sloth, or two-bodied single-headed duck, anyone?) creepy antique medical stuff, etc.

And professional decorator dealers websites and catalogs. One I like to lurk is Coup D'Etat Gallery in San Francisco. They have an on-line showing of all of their unique antique pieces that scream that same enigmatic mad scientist/man of the world/odd character sort of feel.

Of course, these sources are also awesome for story-line and character inspiration. Duh. Come to think of it, I have new inspiration for a picture book right now. Gotta go!

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