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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
 
 
 
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
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
sajia 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)
three_magpiesthree_magpies on May 18th, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Wow, you are very good at drawing!

I want to stand to one side and eye her in a sheepish and rather awed manner until she gives me a sideways look. if she smiles, I'm done. Especially with that braid falling over her shoulder.

My husband has wrecked me in the best way on ample frames.

What larger mammals do they have in India? I can be woefully ignorant, but like to compare strong, beautiful people to animals. I want to say, "she is a _______" without a proper comparison.

What can I say? I'm a bit odd. The above comment is probably complete nonsense... ::meep::
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:32 am (UTC)
I think she'd smile! :)

Lots of larger mammals in India; water buffalo, tigers, and elephants come to mind immediately... but I don't think she's any of those.
(no subject) - three_magpies on May 19th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Azure Jane Lunaticazurelunatic on May 19th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I love her obvious physical strength! And that expression of determination bodes well for her fixing whatever it is that's broken this time.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC)
:):)
I think she does fiddly work mostly, but she's perfectly able to wrestle the big gears into place too.

Which is largely wish-fulfillment on my part, cause I am a wimp.
Rinragnarok_now on May 19th, 2012 01:09 am (UTC)
Pretty cool, but speaking as a engineer you really wouldn't want flowing loose clothing that could get tangled in moving parts. Perhaps this a dress uniform since it would be dangerous in a shop. I'm afraid this is one circumstance where the tight-fitting clothes actually make a lot of sense.
I know aprons and overalls are overdone and aren't culturally appropriate, but you really need something that is protective and easy to clean (or just live with being horribly dirty).

That being said I like how everything is derived from traditional attire. Perhaps she is a clockworker, making wind-up automata for the Raja. Since she works with fine machinery in a clean shop she has the ability to live and look more extravagant.
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:41 am (UTC)
Yep, I totally agree. That's why she's wearing a 9-yard sari, in fact; nothing loose or flowing there, for all there are creases. It's a tight wrap, extremely practical when worn right, and has layers enough in the front to be protective. I've never worn a 9-yard sari, but women have worked in 'em plenty, historically.

Cotton saris can take a lot of wear, and can be washed in boiling water, and (iirc) green & yellow dyes are pretty colorfast even at lower tech levels; that's why I chose those colors rather than, say, a red, which would run.

However! Having said that, obviously the sari *should* be filthy, and so should her hands and feet; I chickened out on drawing the dirt, so decided she was posing for this picture & is not actually at work just now XD

Perhaps she is a clockworker, making wind-up automata for the Raja.

Very close! The character I have in mind is an artificer, making automata of some sort for Chhatrapati (eqv. to Raja) Shivaji's mechanical spy army. Though I think she's working on a comm system and not on actual spies.
Chomiji: Asumi - awesomesaucechomiji on May 19th, 2012 02:48 am (UTC)

Beautiful!

shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC)
thankyou :)
(no subject) - chomiji on July 22nd, 2012 02:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
Steffirecat on May 19th, 2012 04:23 am (UTC)
I love her! (re-tumbld)
shweta_narayanshweta_narayan on May 19th, 2012 09:45 am (UTC)
:):)