Art Challenges, I: Engineered Armageddon

9 min read

Deviation Actions

TheMaidenInBlack's avatar

StEaMpUnK by scarlet-moon1

Sleep caressed his 
Lost, cold, body
black fire branching
beyond the pain...
-- from Sleep I, by universe-of-doodles

The Day When Technology Dies

 Steampunk is a huge part of the fantasy and sci-fi universe. It is a huge part of Realm-of-Fantasy , too. There is something fascinating behind the zeppelins, steam engines, Victorian clothing and sky pirates, we can't deny that..

It is an alluring world where the technology, paired with everything else, becomes INCREDIBLY attractive. But hey, you don't really think that all that pollution in the air comes with no consequences, right?


My eyes glowed blue, too bright
for quartz; head gears
whirred too fast, my hamster heart.
Dust shook from my hands;
exhaled motes, dancing
in steam, were cooled and dripped down
the window. I sat,
--from routine maintenance, by Lychalis 

In our own world, in our own reality, environmental dangers are a daily subject of discussion and we have a lot of reasons to be worried, with the population numbers always increasing, this year having been incredibly hot, and global warming, and air pollution levels, and summer fires contributing to that, and on and on... 

What about their world? Should they be worried, and how worried?

The Prompt

The Earth is in full-on steampunk era -- the industrial advances have been huge, however, the sky has never been more gloomy. The stars haven't been seen in a while. More people are coughing than not, and a rumor is spreading: we're exhausting Earth's resources faster than we can replenish them. Much faster...

How would you live through such a moment in history? Would you be the silent onlooker, the avid consumer regardless of what the future holds, or would you be the innovator, the mind at work towards a solution that won't kick civilization back to the Middle Ages?

Steampunk by CindysArt

Your gift was once intelligence and for it you suffer now
Perpetually forced to rewire a failing body and not miss
The things you are replacing, muscle and flesh and blood.
The silence is never empty for a clockwork man.
-- from The Silence Is Never Empty, by silverhelme

Your prompt, either visual or written, is to show (or tell) us your story. In a steampunk world where the leaders of society belittled environmental issues until they became huge enough to swallow the planet, where do you stand?

Will you be locked in your basement, working on a new project to convert smog into...?
Or spend your nights partying, ignoring the problems because you know they've pushed the limits too far, enjoying what's left of nature while you can?
What about the higher members of society? What about the elves? It's up to you who you choose to portray, or what -- our only limit is that it needs to be a complete piece. No WIPs!

Show us a steampunk world where what used to be freedom thanks to technological advances is a crippling curse no one knows how to get free from. Show us a steampunk world where the citizens flee from the machinery and contraptions, miserable and abandoned, or cling to it because they know no other life. Show us a steampunk world where its most attractive thing is also what's destroying it -- and how you will save (or condemn) it!

With some harder challenges to increase the fun...

Your first harder challenge is this:

  • Visual artist? You can only use greyscale colours for your scene, and ONE additional colour of your choice. 
  • Writer?  You must write in second person.

Your over-9000 difficulty level challenge is...

  • Visual artist? Your scene MUST include a written part. A graffiti on a wall, a Dead Or Alive pamphlet, a thought/speech bubble, anything as long as it's in there. 
  • Writer? Your piece can't contain dialogue.

Create a deviation using BOTH these harder challenges to increase your likelihood of winning our prize! And since we got talking about prizes...

What do you get for participating in this prompt?

  Steampunk Goggles by CraftedSteampunk      Steampunk by Trinus

Magical castle
Of a gargantuan size
Moves over the hills. 

Well, apart from eternal glory and a place in a super-exclusive gallery folder for winners of the Prompt challenges only, you will be awarded a one-month Core Membership from TheMaidenInBlack!

You have time until September 30th to create your deviation! Link us in the comments of this journal to your work to enter the competition. :la: Winner will be announced when the next journal is released!

The keys of destiny are yours...
how will you shape this world?

OneWing Steampunk Key by Drayok 

Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In
BeignetBison's avatar
Any news about the challenge?
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
(: the results were posted in the second challenge blog.
HumbleMarty's avatar
Would fleeing from the cruel reality of an environmental crisis by baking cookies count? I'd tried to make the thing look like a journal entry and even if it does not get submitted. A critique would be great. This is the first time I'd ever done a steampunk piece. ^^;

I just wish I'd added more steam punk to the steampunk.
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
Well, I'll take it :P It's certainly creative, it was the point of the prompt!
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
Awesommmmmme, some prose! Thanks for participating. :D
firieleifiri's avatar
You're very welcome! I had never written a steampunk piece before, so it was truly an amazing challenge.
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
:D it's great when prompts inspire people to go beyond their comfort zone.
HanaKaeru's avatar
Hope I made it on time!
I usually don't do challenges but this one inspired me, so thanks for that :la:
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
I really like this! :D nice idea. Thank you for participating!
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
puzzledpixel's avatar
here's my entry. thanks for this challenge. had loads of fun making this.…
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
That wings idea was niiice! Thanks for entering!
feedesglace's avatar
ok, i want to submit my work too but not sure how to do it. I'm not a member so I can't show it here or I don't know how to do it.

but this is the address of it:…

hope this will be ok.
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
(: how you did it is correct! No worries. :heart:

And you should definitely join the group, it's a great one. :la:
Lugal's avatar
Here's my submission:

I had a great time writing this, trying for something a little different than my normal style.
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
AWESOME! :D thanks for participating.
JettieHier's avatar
Here's my submission. I loved working on this challenge, I never painted greyscale before and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
Steampunk Armageddon by JettieHier
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
never before? Your work is great! :clap:

Thank you for participating!
JettieHier's avatar
No never before, if it wasn't for this challenge I would never have tried this, so I have to thank you!!! I liked that this challenge gave me the space to create what's in my head within certain borders and also that I had to get out of my colourful comfort zone.
TheMaidenInBlack's avatar
That is great! It's exactly what I hoped this prompt would do :hug: 
Join the community to add your comment. Already a deviant? Log In