The Crossroads of the Aether
I started quite small. a pin actually. mostly see if I could and if I had any talent for it. personally, you might want to start with deciding what vision you have for yourself 'in character'. engineer? gunslinger? doctor? that sort of thing. that will surely point you in a general direction of where to go with your craft.
also, review the seemingly endless pictures in the archives here. Ive gotten a ton of inspiration from seeing what others have done. there are a slew of amazingly gifted and imaginative folk here in the empire.
that and have fun with it. if its not fun, its probably not for you
I started with art, that is, I was making art on my own and people said "Oh, how lovely! You've discovered steampunk!" when I had no idea about which they referred. (Therefore, I cannot answer the question, which came first ... as I do not know.)
When I intentionally tried to make something steampunk, it was clothing. Adding embellishments, buckles, that sort of thing. It seems to me you find what interests you, and start with that: some small thing, and learn as you go along.
I don't know.
I have never modded anything in my life. Even my outfit for Steampunk events is merely a collection of repurposed items from my closet.
I am not a tactile artist; I am a reader and story teller.
How interesting, Dr. Fidelius. I would not have thought there was a great deal of difference between repurposing and modifying. I suppose if you repurpose carefully, you can return the item back to its original state after wearing; whilst with modifying, you have changed permanently?
How do you see the difference?
The difference is in intention and use, not in anything done to the items themselves. I did not purchase my bow ties, vests, pocket watches and hats to be a Steampunk "costume," and I have done nothing to alter them from the condition they were in when purchased.
However, when I combine them in the right way, I am as Steampunk as that guy over there with the fully articulated mechanical arm, or the girl with the light-up corset.
I don't like to mod, I simply don't. No matter how good something is if it was created by my own hands then all I see are the flaws. I think it's best to start by collecting small bobbles. Vintage items, old watch parts, anything copper. Then once you spread them out before you may find yourself inspired, and even if you don't then you are at least well armed for the moment it finds you.
I started in thrift stores. It's terribly fun to find old vintage peices and repurpose them into something new and exciting. I agree with Earl Grey, that if you collect items that have potential to become part of a steampunk creation, inspiration will follow. I've done quite a bit of "will this look good with that?" and etcetera. :)
agreed here as well. I only started doing the SP thing a relatively short while ago, but with an eye to little bits I would stumble across in my wanderings. I now have a very large, heavy tub of bits, materials and parts that have accumulated surprisingly quickly. at an alarming rate if truth be told.
with that, each thing Ive found, I initially have some inkling as to what I want to use it for. it is however on very rare occasions that said bit or part ends up where Id originally envisioned as once combined with another 'found' object, its course or use changes.
As the elderly gent said when asked about his undies. Depends. What is your interest? Start small and build on the skills you already have. Being totally mad I will give anything a try. From crochet to blacksmithing. Find some small thing that looks fun (youtube is a good place to look ) and go nuts.