I made these a while ago. They helped me visualise the two ends—or worlds—in my city. Lowtown is obviously a lot darker than Hightown. And even though most of my story will take place in Lowtown, I still found it helpful to create a collage or “polyvore” (I think that’s the more intellectual word for it, but whatever) for it.
The collage for Lowtown features photographs and drawings of London and New York. I liked the history of London as it’s really where the steampunk genre stems from, but I liked the cramped darkness of New York. There’s also an image from Blade Runner in the top right-hand corner. It’s way too modern—or futuristic—for my story, but Scotts’ world is just so dark that it was perfect and I had to include it. There’s also some art in there from Dishonored, and some photographs from Albert Kahn’s project to photograph different parts of the world using autochrome photography. I bought a book a few years ago when I was studying art called The Dawn of the Colour Photograph: Albert Kahn’s Archives of the Planet by David Okuefuna. Go check them out; his collection is so beautiful.
The collage for Hightown is decidedly more aristocratic. I found myself leaning more towards French architecture; it’s a lot more rich and decadent. Cleaner, too. I had a lot of fun making these in Photoshop; I was obsessed with collages when I was younger, except that I made them with glue and paper cut-outs from magazines and books. Although the thought of defiling books by cutting parts out now sets my teeth on edge!
Anyway, I thought since I found them so useful that you might like them too.