Today I am going to be featuring a fellow Steampunk enthusiast, who’s work I discovered via Instagram.
Meet Michael Estrada: artist and photographer.
His work really stands out to me, it has a real Western vibe, with fascinating antique machinery as the subjects, beautifully crafted vehicles, wheels, and
artefacts that stand the test of time!
Michael has a way of capturing the subjects’ true beauty, and each piece has amazing colour and life to it, worthy of a gallery space!
With Steampunk becoming more and more popular recently, Michael decided to put his own stamp on the scene, by producing Steampunk Nation; a collection of
steampunk inspired flags. He kindly accepted my request to produce a steampunk Scotland flag, and I am so happy with the results!
I asked Michael if I could feature him on my blog, so naturally I was ecstatic that he was up for it, and has kindly shared his story with me:
As a child I was a big fan of Sci-Fi, dinosaurs and always loved to draw. I would draw on notebook paper, school book covers and so on. The drawings were always about spaceships, planets and nature scenes. As I became older, this creative part of me was put on hiatus while listening to music took over, going to
college, my career in IT and eventually a family.
Fast forward to the near present, my kids are now teens and for the first time in a long time I am able to start focusing on my creative side once again. I started getting into the social sites like Facebook and Google+. It was on Google+ I where began to see so many beautiful photographs being posted by professional and non-professional photographers. The magnificent pictures I would see flood mystream inspired me to buy a nice camera to do the same.
I ended up buying a Nikon D5100 but quickly became frustrated with its complexity and put it off to the side. It was around this time that I fell in love with Steampunk. All the cool pictures of machines, gadgets, and people dressed in awesome clothes, and the fact that this was something others were passionate about too. I soon began posting cool Steampunk pics on Instagram that I would find online. People began to like what I would post and then follow me. This motivated me to post more pics and then the camera came out once again. This
time I was ready to tackle it and began to experiment with it.
I slowly transitioned to posting my own pics of antique, vintage and old western themes. The positive responses began to fuel my passion for photography. For the first time, I felt like I could present my artistic side that I had kept hidden all these years.
With all the great Steampunk things I would see on the Internet, I couldn’t help but want to create something myself. One day I decided it would be cool to try and create a U.S. flag with a Steampunk theme. I spent several days on it trying to get it to look like what I imagined. Success! I immediately created a U.K. one
and posted both of them the same day. I decided to call this series “Steampunk Nation” because the theme was going to be about national flags. This was going to be my contribution to the whole Steampunk genre. I soon had someone asking for an Australia flag and then a New Zealand one. Instagram became my new home
base and Tumblr became my other outlet so that I could share full-size versions of my creations. Since then, I've made many wonderful new friends on Instagram. And it is these people that now inspire me with their wonderful comments and words of encouragement to take it to the next level.
I would like to eventually sell my work and have this become a bigger part of my life. It’s sad that I suppressed this side of me all these years but now I feel I can’t hold it back. I love this part of me and it is here to stay! And now I’m beginning to hear people refer to me as a photographer and an artist and I’m like “Wow! Really?” I’ve never thought about myself in this manner before but maybe it’s true?
Antique power turbine
Thank you for reading this, and a big thanks to Michael for letting me feature him,
his inspiring story and his work on my blog, what an honour!
If you would like to see more of Michael’s amazing work, check out his tumblr on www.michael-estrada.tumblr.com
Various ponderings by me; Nicola Brand: creator of the Nicolpops stitch-punk doll. I dabble with illustration, but my main passion is for knitting, and using mixed media to create one of a kind critters.