Steampunk Artists the Brose Brothers: Q&A

In the real world, Mitch, Casey and Ben Brose are triplets with a knack for mechanical art. In an alternate universe, they are robot cowboys on a mission to save the Wild West from boredom and madness.

Born just minutes apart, the Arizona-based Brose Brothers create pieces in the steampunk aesthetic, which combines Victorian and futuristic styles (think vintage dress combined with gears, copper, cogs, and brass).

In the past, the Brose Brothers have shown their work at comic conventions throughout the Southwest and at the "Steampunk Spectacular" show at Evermore Nevermore in Mesa this past March.

Currently, they are working on their robot cowboy personas: MBO-1 (Mitch), CBO-2 (Casey), and BBO-3 (Ben). "Basically, they were created to keep a Wild West town alive and entertain the people," Mitch Brose explains. "My character is the mediator, and he has to keep winding the gears on the other characters to keep them running."

We recently caught up with Casey and Mitch to talk about their art and steampunk.

How and when did you become interested in the "steampunk" aesthetic?
Mitch: For the longest time, I drew pictures of cogs and gears. I was always interested in clocks. Almost a year ago, someone said to look up 'steampunk' online, and it was the type of art and concepts I'd been doing. I just didn't know there was a name for it. It probably wasn't until this past July that I learned what 'steampunk' was.
Casey: Steampunk came into our lives without us really knowing. My brothers and I were playing a video game online and it had mentioned steampunk. We brushed it off until Mitch really looked into it about a year ago when we designed our cowboy steampunks. Since then, we have jumped on the steampunk ship and can't wait to see where it's going.

What's your favorite work of art you've created so far?
Mitch: I'm working on something now - it's a steampunk air compressor, and has a moving gear with a piston that makes the bellow go up and down. My character will be using it as his drill or blowtorch.
Casey: I would have to say my favorite would have to be the one my brother and I worked on together [the dragon sketch pictured in this blog]. I drew it and Ben colored it using Photoshop.

If you could have any materials you wanted for an upcoming steampunk piece, what would you make?
Mitch: I'd love to have any sort of metal -- copper, brass sheets. I'd make something like, not necessarily a steampunk C3P0, but something with robotic arms.
Casey: I would go all the way. I have designed a character who was literally built from a steam locomotive engine. I would attempt to create the life-sized replica of him -- smokestack, whistle, boiler and all. He would be about 9 feet tall when I was done. It would be nice to have it as a costume, but if it weren't a costume, he would be a heck of a room decoration.

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