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18 May 2012 @ 04:51 pm
south Indian steampunk Engineer piccy  
I am very splat & having thermoregulation issues a-gain, so will be flaky on replying to anything, but rose_lemberg said to post this so here it is XD

drawing of a young, fat, dark-skinned, rather badass South Indian woman wearing a 9-yard sari with a utility belt and holding an adjustable wrench

This picture came about cause I was tired of multiple aspects of visual representation of South Asian characters.
1) They all seem to be skinny
2) They're mostly pale & with generic(Euro) features
3) They all seem to wear sad excuses for saris that are basically Victorian underwear plus a bit of gauze
4) Steampunking them up seems to often involve adding leather while keeping markers that say these are period brahmins wtf

So I drew someone who could be my period cousin :)

She should get a story once I'm doing better. I know some of it, but need to do research.
Also her sari is anachronistic & will have to be made more period once I have done said research.
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
 
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( 109 comments — Leave a comment )
karen meisner: tomtebloss_stranger_here on May 18th, 2012 03:57 pm (UTC)
Love her expression, her beautiful face, her solid stance, the little glimpse of (non-skinny) waist, and those fantastic mouthy pliers!
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
Yay! :D I set out to make her Not Dainty and I think I win at that...
I think the wrench might be Chinese in origin (though Indian in make) because all the best inventions come from China. But I'm not sure - in a world where India has mechanicals maybe they ought to have come up with it... though I think perhaps they wouldn't need it & only the humans do.

Also, hiii! How's things for you these days? Are you well enough for wiscon?
(no subject) - _stranger_here on May 18th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _stranger_here on May 18th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rose_lemberg on May 18th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
wirewalkingwirewalking on May 18th, 2012 04:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love her. And I want to steal her fabulous biceps and graft them onto my arms. *nodnod*
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:15 pm (UTC)
Me toooo on the muscles! Though she's earned them, I'm sure, doing... *handwaves* engineer things.
triciasullivantriciasullivan on May 18th, 2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. I love her and her tools, too.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yay! :)
Brackettaliseadae on May 18th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that's excellent! She looks awesome!
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
:):)
I am extra-happy that she looks like she's actually putting weight on her legs, & not floating. Floating characters = a general failing of mine.
Marissa Lingenmrissa on May 18th, 2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
I really hate the generic(Euro) features on non-Euro characters. (I also hate it when people think that something is generic-Euro that is actually specific-Euro of a type they are not dealing with, but that's a different problem.) It really undermines the "we are all a beautiful rainbow" message when you say "we are all a beautiful rainbow that just happens to look like blue." I am myself blue! But it turns out that I am able to see shades of red, orange, yellow, green, and purple when I look, and do not go, "Wow, that is a funny way to print blue." Which it really seems like what a lot of art is doing when they're like, "I made a person of color! By putting color on a white person with paint! Yay!"

Anyway, enough negative about other people's stuff. I like your character's hands particularly. I like how the hands very clearly have seen relevant hands, both in terms of color and in terms of strength. And I like the toolses! Yay toolses!

Edited at 2012-05-18 04:21 pm (UTC)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
Which it really seems like what a lot of art is doing when they're like, "I made a person of color! By putting color on a white person with paint! Yay!"
Yeah srsly! It's very... "I want to get in my exotics, but nothing toooo exotics okay WHERE IS THE BLUE ALREADY"

& in general the othering/exoticism is why those other things I mentioned above make my teeth itch, too. I mean. It's not like I have anything against skinny characters, lighter-skinned Desis, or underwear, in and of themselves! It's only the out-of-place Euro features that are inherently a bad thing. The rest is problematic because it's part of some... western-gaze pinup imagery.
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - heavenscalyx on May 18th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
zwolzwol on May 18th, 2012 04:24 pm (UTC)
I like this a lot.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Squee! :D
Could you see her poking at a difference engine?
(no subject) - zwol on May 18th, 2012 05:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on May 18th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on May 18th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on May 18th, 2012 07:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)
nancylebov: green leavesnancylebov on May 18th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
I like her attitude and solidity tremendously. She looks like she's seen a lot, and she's still paying very focused attention.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
Yay! :)
The direct inspiration for the drawing is pretty much her attitude, so I'm extra-glad it comes through!
(no subject) - nancylebov on May 19th, 2012 09:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Erik Amundsencucumberseed on May 18th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
She is amazing.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thankya :)
...Now to write her story...
(no subject) - cucumberseed on May 18th, 2012 05:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cucumberseed on May 18th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mary Dell: badassmarydell on May 18th, 2012 04:45 pm (UTC)
She is awesome and so are you.

Edited at 2012-05-18 04:47 pm (UTC)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
<3
Allison Lonsdalecaprine on May 18th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
How lovely! And I like your pointing out the brahmin/leather thing, which had not previously occurred to me but is now painfully obvious.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 04:58 pm (UTC)
I whined about that one a few months ago when the impetus-drawing went by, but whining doesn't really do much without a usable alternative. And the belt (ok not as a utility belt) is even traditional! cf:


(painting by Rao Bahadur M V Dhurandhar)
(no subject) - yarram on May 18th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sovay: Sovay: David Owensovay on May 18th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
So I drew someone who could be my period cousin

I want the story about her now.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:00 pm (UTC)
I have some of it.
But it's going to be a hard one to write without failsploding because caste power dynamics WILL be in play. Cause see, the girl she falls for is of a lower caste, and Our Heroine is most certainly going to screw things up.
Naominaomikritzer on May 18th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
OMG, not only do I want her to have a story, I would be in favor of an entire anthology of stories with the theme, "This right here is the cover illustration."
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
:D:D
Calyx of the Heavensheavenscalyx on May 18th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
She's GORGEOUS.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:32 pm (UTC)
*beams* Thankyou :)
halfpint jacksnakey on May 18th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
Is it weird that I love her feet? They look so strong and solid and planted on the earth.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
*big grin* Feet are hard so I based hers on mine (only mine are bony). But she's got mah big feet and big toes, glad you like them XD
(no subject) - dichroic on May 20th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Alex Dally MacFarlane: gorillaz girlalankria on May 18th, 2012 05:34 pm (UTC)
YESSSS.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:38 pm (UTC)
XD
asakiyume: turnip lanternasakiyume on May 18th, 2012 05:37 pm (UTC)
Oh she's just gorgeous. Her presence, her power, her competence. Inspiring in her size, too, the way Soviet Realist art can be, or Rosie the Riveter.

Love her.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
thankyou :)
I see her as quite short, but I doubt anyone notices :D
(no subject) - asakiyume on May 18th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC) (Expand)
asakiyume: turnip lanternasakiyume on May 18th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
Can I reblog her on Tumblr, linking back here? (And making it clear you're the artist?)
(no subject) - asakiyume on May 18th, 2012 05:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - zwol on May 18th, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Andrea Blytheblythe025 on May 18th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
Love her! She looks like she'd get the engines running again and then kick my ass if I gave any back-talk. Awesome. :)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
Yay! :D
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on May 18th, 2012 06:11 pm (UTC)
I only noticed the details on the pliers at a second look. Very nice! I love her shoulders. A couple nights at the park where I walk there was a girl playing basketball with the boys, and she had shoulders like that.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
:D:D
J.M.firebirdgrrl on May 18th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Gorgeous! Also if it is ok to say so, she's hot:)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yay! And it is excellent to say, thank you XD
Fighting Crime with a Giant Dandelion Since 2013pameladean on May 18th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, she's great. "You have a problem? Get out of my way, I have tools."

P.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
"Let me tell you my hourly rate" XD
sajiasajia on May 18th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Finally, someone who looks like me (although I suck at mechanics).
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
<3 You and me both! It felt awfully liberating to draw her. Like: YES I AM ALLOWED TO DO THIS and YAY INDIAN WOMAN AS A PERSON WITH HER OWN AGENCY and such revolutionary thoughts. But I'm a little appalled that it took like THREE DIFFERENT horribly exoticised Indian-girl pics to make me realize I could actually do this thing myself.

Dash: Agendaspacehawk on May 18th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
I want her story. And I want it in EH. /grin/
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
*grins back* I'll keep that in mind, though if I write it at a time when Jo's reading for a Steam Powered book, she's going to get first dibs. Because she started me writing these (not the artificer-stories in general but the ones that were NOT revolving around powerful men).
Niamh Sageniamh_sage on May 18th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
She's utterly gorgeous :D :D :D
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thankyou! <3
Amazonamazon_syren on May 18th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
I love that she is strong, and I love her facial expression, and also that she wears jewelry (and at work! :-D My sweetie did this, right up until her bosses wrote up a No Girl Clothes dresscode. I'm still pissed about that. She hate having to wear the designed-with-guys-in-mind uniform).

I also have questions:

1) How does the hammer come out of her tool belt?
(My girlfriend's hammer hangs head up, handle down, on a bracket that she added to the back of her tool belt. Does your Engineer's belt have snaps or buttons to hold the tools in place?)

2) Why isn't she wearing shoes?
Job sites are not kind to feet, no matter how caloused they are, and I imagine she'd be working somewhere that involved gears, bits of wire, and possibly glass and/or sheet metal. I would have expected her to have sandals or something else with a thick, sturdy sole to protect her feet.

3) I think it's cool that her wrench has a face. Do her other tools also have faces? (I can't see them in the picture, but I doubt those are her only tools). Is the face-having related to the Mechanicals and how machines are people, too?


TTFN,
Amazon. :-)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 18th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
I love that she is strong, and I love her facial expression, and also that she wears jewelry
:D:D:D
(and at work! :-D My sweetie did this, right up until her bosses wrote up a No Girl Clothes dresscode. I'm still pissed about that. She hate having to wear the designed-with-guys-in-mind uniform).

>_< DAMMIT PATRIARCHY STOP RUINING EVERYTHING AGAIN

1) How does the hammer come out of her tool belt?
(My girlfriend's hammer hangs head up, handle down, on a bracket that she added to the back of her tool belt. Does your Engineer's belt have snaps or buttons to hold the tools in place?)


Snaps. The clasps have a little circle holder on our right and a rectangle on our left; the way I see it the circle is a swivel point & the rectangle is a snap. So the clasps themselves snap & swivel down.

I'm not sure this works. But, er, it took me till this morning to realize that the hammer & wrench wouldn't come OUT of those clasps... *sheepish grin*

2) Why isn't she wearing shoes?
Job sites are not kind to feet, no matter how caloused they are, and I imagine she'd be working somewhere that involved gears, bits of wire, and possibly glass and/or sheet metal. I would have expected her to have sandals or something else with a thick, sturdy sole to protect her feet.


I need to think about what she'd wear on-site, possibly work slippers; but traditionally most people in India went barefoot & are accustomed to having a good centimeter of callus built up. And our history with footwear is very tied into colonialism so I'll need to parse that out.

Add in that as a brahmin she wouldn't wear leather, and the complications multiply. Maybe Chinese-influenced wooden slippers? If I decide that indeed the human artificing traditions in India owe much to China? Which is a point I'm pondering.

But: she's also far too clean in this picture, so clearly she's posing for it, which is why no footwear XD

3) I think it's cool that her wrench has a face. Do her other tools also have faces? (I can't see them in the picture, but I doubt those are her only tools). Is the face-having related to the Mechanicals and how machines are people, too?

Going back to my pondering Chinese influences - in my sketch I had her holding a pipe wrench. Which was both anachronistic and wrong-culture. So for this picture I "invented" a different type of adjustable wrench (I'm imagining the handle in the center turning & rotating the jaws) - which got me thinking where it came from. And all the best inventions come from China, and it looked a bit dragonish, so I tentatively called it a Dragon Wrench.

The eye just felt to me like something Indian artisans would do with something with an animal name. So it's sort of my placeholder for "Figure out this worldbuilding detail okay?" and may well not make it to the story.

I don't think her more boring tools have faces, but if she has other anthropomorphized (er... is that the word for dragons tho) tools they might well. And part of the pondering on worldbuilding is that I have to think about the mechanicals' reaction! I think to some of them it'd be seen as a sign of respect, and to others the opposite (because not all machines are people!), but... yeah, much left to ponder! *flails*
(no subject) - keyan_bowes on May 19th, 2012 08:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
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