Interview with Steampunk’d Maker Morgan Olson

This week we are talking with Morgan Olson, who was one of the ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.

 

Airship Ambassador: Hi Morgan, thanks for joining us this week.

Morgan Olson: Glad to be here

 

AA: What an amazing experience to be on the first steampunk reality show on TV. As a brief summary, how was it for you?

MO: Super fun! Hard, it’s very challenging to make that much in such a short amount of time, but completely worth it. The producers were nice to work with, and I think it’s going to help more people see the steampunk community.

morgan-Emily HamptonPhoto by Emily Hampton

AA: How long have you been involved in the steampunk community and what brought you into it?

MO: I have been involved off and on for years, I make custom costumes and art. Clients have requested items over the years, I own an art production company.

 

AA: How long have you been building and creating things, and how did you get started?

MO: My whole life, I have always been an artist. From stain glass windows and pottery in high school, to fashion design as my college major. I have been working professionally in the art/design world for 15yrs. I have worked in 9 different art industries over my career, and add new

projects/clients everyday.

 

AA: What is it about steampunk as an aesthetic that appeals to you?

MO: I really like how tough it is, and I appreciate how it’s an eco friendly supportive culture, reduce, reuse, recycle.

 cast-goggles

AA: What are some designs or materials that you tend to work with the most?

MO: I am a trained clothing designer, I often work in fabric and wearable items, but have experience building large art installs, set design, product design, and multi media art. I like projects that use lots of my skills at same time.

 

AA: What are some signature elements in your work that make it stand out as recognizably something you created?

MO: Uniqueness! I am very good at creating new things, or ideas that push the boundary.

 

AA: What is something that you’d like to create but haven’t done so yet?

MO: a movie. Dying to make a fantasy movie, with all the creatures and sets like a Jim Henson type production. Fascinated by the big picture, all the smaller elements working together.

 

AA: How has your work changed over time? What are some key lessons you’ve learned along the way?

MO: It’s always progressing, I work with lots of custom request type clients, they have ideas that push me to new levels in my art all the time.

 GSN_logos_orange

AA: Viewers of the show know that you were eliminated in the last episode, but let’s start at the very beginning of the process. How did you first hear about the show and the opportunity to actually be on it?

MO: Facebook. I’m friends with reality casting people, I worked with them in 2007.

 

AA: What was your interest or motivation to be on the show?

MO: I have always wanted to be on an art challenge type tv show. I have tried out for many like Project Runway, but was often told I was just too weird. I thought, omg a tv show where I can finally be as weird as I want, and they love it! Really glad I was picked to do Steampunk’d instead, it shows my range of talents way better than the other options before.

 

AA: Pop Magnet was the casting company chosen by Pink Sneakers, the production company, to find candidates for the show. What can you share with us about the interview process that you went through with them?

MO: It was similar to other interviews, like getting a job. Examples of work, resume, and being able to follow through on things requested of us in a timely manner.

 morgan-1

AA: The final part of the selection process was a sample challenge to steampunk a common everyday item. What was your item and what did you do with it?

MO: an acoustic guitar. I steampunked the guitar, repainted it, added LED lights, and wanted to display it similar to my lifestyle, so I made a dress to go with it. I often dress singers and stage performers, I thought how fun to make a guitar and outfit, similar to my clients.

 

AA: Once you were selected in the final ten to appear on the show, what preparations did you have to make before you left for Los Angeles? What were you leaving behind or had to put on hold while you were away for filming?

MO: Finish up biz projects and put some on hold. I have my own business, my clients and projects had to wait just a moment for me, I’m playing a bit of catch up now.

 

We’ll break here in chatting with Morgan.

Join us for the conclusion as she continues to share her experiences on the show.

Keep up to date with Morgan’s latest news on her website.

Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.

Published in: on October 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

Interview with Maker, Ave Rose, part 3

Welcome back for the conclusion in our chat with with Ave Rose, who was one of the ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.

Read part one here.

Read part two here.

 

Airship Ambassador: What were some challenges for you personally during the filming?

Ave Rose: Of course it’s hard being away from your loved ones but to be honest I didn’t allow myself to think about it. I really didn’t have time to anyway. Each night I came home I would recap everything I went through in a journal and then brainstormed about the challenged until I fell asleep on my notes. I barely got a few hours of sleep a night because when I work on something I obsess over it until it’s finished. That’s how I’ve always been. Then on our one day off (Sunday) I would literally sleep the entire day to catch up.

ave-rose-1-tea-party

AA: When people watch Steampunk’d, what would you like for them to take away from the show and what was created that they could apply to their own work?

AR: Well, so far they aren’t showing much of the stuff I made; how I made it, or even the fact that we all helped each other out even if we were on different teams. So far they haven’t shown that.

So I guess, if there’s one thing I want people to take away from the show it’s just the fact that no matter what, I tried to be a good person, give people a chance, and stick up for what I thought was right.

They showed more of this in the first few episodes but I went out of my way to show that you didn’t have to be over dramatic and competitive in a negative way to show off your skills. Hopefully in the episodes to come they will show more of that. Because that was very important to me.

ave-rose-2-tea_closeup

AA: How was it coming home and getting back to your regular schedule and life?

AR: I was dealing with post traumatic stress heavy. Very heavy. I had nightmares every night for a month. It’s tough when in your head you think you made something super crazy but then the people in charge of judging you either don’t agree or don’t notice and at the same time things that seemed totally thrown together without skill or good taste would be praised. I felt like I was in bizarro land.

AVE_WatchbotVivarium_17

AA: What suggestions do you have for people who are thinking of applying for a possible season 2?

AR: Just to realize it’s half reality show. Meaning, just try your best to make the art you are proud of and to be true to yourself as a person. Not to expect the outcome to be based on your skills as an artist but that it’s still worth trying your best.

AVE_WingsPearls1

AA: Now that the show has aired, what comes next for you?

AR: I make a living off art so I’ll just continue to make jewelry, fashion pieces, and sculptures to help pay the bills.

 

AA: Looking beyond steampunk, what other interests fill your time?

AR: I am also a singer and a publisher. So I’d love to put more songs out, make more music videos. Promote the books I’ve published. My publishing company is Ink Pen Mutations Press.

ave-fan favorite

AA: There’s only so much time in a day – what interests don’t you have time for?

AR: Dancing. I love to dance and it’s important for me to go out dancing when I can. But I use to breakdance. And I doubt I’ll ever have time to come up with a routine again.

 

AA: Any final thoughts to share with our readers

AR: Just for everyone to know that in life my most important goal is to be a good person. To love myself and to make the things that inspire magic that I feel proud to share with the world.

 

Thanks, Ave, for joining us in this interview and for sharing all of your thoughts. We look forward to hearing about your next projects!

Keep up to date with Ave’s latest news on her website.

Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.

Published in: on October 9, 2015 at 7:48 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , ,

Interview with Maker, Ave Rose, part 2

Welcome back for part two in our chat with with Ave Rose, who was one of the ten contestants on Steampunk’d, from GSN, the Game Show Network. Steampunk’d is the first steampunk reality show to be broadcast on cable television.

Read part one here.

 

Airship Ambassador: Viewers of the show know that you were eliminated in the seventh episode, but let’s start at the very beginning of the process. How did you first hear about the show and the opportunity to actually be on it?

Ave Rose: Many of my fans kept emailing me an advertisement looking for steampunk creators. The first one I received was back in February. I ignored them at first because I am not very competitive.

Plus I was extremely busy. I didn’t have a single weekend without a major deadline from October-April. Then in mid-April I finally had time to go through all my emails and saw that people were still sending me this advertisement. Almost as a joke to myself I applied. But then they called me back that afternoon!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

AA: Apparently, your friends weren’t wrong! What was your interest or motivation then to be on the show?

AR: The weird thing is I have a good friend named Cig Neutron who was on season 7 of Face Off. The whole time he was on the show I kept having dreams every night that I was on my own reality competition. I would wake up thinking to myself, that’s silly. There’s no such competition for my type of skills set.

So that was part of my motivation, just the fact that a competition even exists that would really challenge my specific skills. It was almost too weird of a coincidence to pass up.

Then when things got real and I had to have serious motivation it switched to two parts. The first would be to win the money to help my family in the Philippines as they are all very in need. The second is to show the world who I am and what I can do.

 

AA: Pop Magnet was the casting company chosen by Pink Sneakers, the production company, to find candidates for the show. What can you share with us about the interview process that you went through with them?

AR: We had a challenge audition where we had 6 hours to pick out a normal household item and to steampunk it out. We were each giving a number that we picked out of a bag to see who could pick their item first, as there was just a junk pile to choose from. I was shocked with what people came up with… honestly as adorable as some of that stuff was… I felt strange about the difference in skills. There was obviously a huge difference. The difference between arts & crafts and fine art.

AVE_TwistedSisters_2

AA: What was your item and what did you do with it?

AR: I chose and old phone. I attached the dial pad to the side of a wooden box. I added a coyote skull, with gears in its eyes and rubies. I put it under an acrylic oval dome and wrapped it with clock chain.

On top of the box I put the headset. Coming out both the ear piece and the mouth piece were two butterflies. One was permanently in resting position and one would move up and down and flap its wings when cranked.

I called this “Death Phone”. The two butterflies representing different states of death. One resting and one soaring. Both butterflies still being beautiful. I was pretty disappointed when the steampunk facebook page starting posting our challenge pieces because when they finally posted a photo of mine, it was warped. And they actually removed it after just a few hours. Weird and annoying.

 

AA: Once you were selected in the final ten to appear on the show, what preparations did you have to make before you left for Los Angeles? What were you leaving behind or had to put on hold while you were away for filming?

AR: The first thing I did was teach myself how to rivet leather. Then I decided to make sure I had a fabulous outfit to wear for each elimination if I lasted that long.

I had less than two weeks so I actually made an outfit a day including accessories, hats, etc. I even planned out a different work outfit for each day.

There were plenty of sleepless nights. Unfortunately I had to cancel several art shows and conventions I had coming up. Hopefully now that they know, I’m forgiven. Lol.

ave-fan favorite

AA: Without giving spoilers, what interesting things might viewers see in the episodes you were in?

AR: Unfortunately as we are now at the halfway point the one thing I notice is that not everything I made is being shown. So who knows what they will be showing in the upcoming episodes.

 

AA: That’s too bad, it would have been great to see what else you came up with. What are some memorable moments you had during filming?

AR: I am a trained opera singer. In episode 4 I actually sing an aria to Karianne and Charles when I found out what happened to their mothers. I was inspired by both of their beautiful paintings of the cherry blossom trees from episode 3. I sang them a 1 min Japanese aria called sakura “cherry blossom”. It’s too bad they didn’t show that. It was such a bonding moment.

AVE_butterflylocket

AA: What are some factors that you had in common with the other contestants or set you apart?

AR: We all got along so well either right away or eventually when given the chance to work together. Except, with Morgan. I tried to play nice with her in episode 3 and it back fired big time. Besides her, it was awesome getting the chance to work with the people I did.

 

It’s time to break in our chat with Ave.

Join us next time when she talks about being on the show and the return home.

 

Keep up to date with Ave’s latest news on her website.

Also, check out her exhibit page at The Steampunk Museum.

Published in: on October 8, 2015 at 6:26 pm  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , ,