Does the steampunk aesthetic capture your heart and imagination? Lucky for you, the Steampunk Angels and Demons series brings this immersive genre to silver bullion rounds in stunning detail.
Released by the Osborne Mint and designed by Ana and Mercedes Hidalgo of Studio Kawaii, the Steampunk Angels and Demons collection features six angels and six demons on one ounce silver rounds. Each of these characters embodies the tone of the steampunk genre, from the clothing to the settings.
Following the release of the last two designs, we’ve bundled the entire angels collection and the entire demons collection into four convenient sets. You can now buy all six angel designs or all six demon designs with matching edge numbers in both proof and vintage finishes. These rounds make a great investment option for fans of the steampunk genre, as well as Victorian culture and artwork.
With the whole series now available at Provident, we chatted with the artists who designed these rounds to offer more insight into the creation of this beautiful collection. Take a look at the interview below.
Hi Ana and Mercedes! Can you introduce yourselves and tell us about your career as illustrators?
Hello! First of all, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to talk about our work and ourselves. We’re Ana and Mercedes. We’re Spanish twins and freelance illustrators. We’ve been creating manga-style comics and graphic novels for over 15 years, with published works in Germany, Spain, and the USA.
(Note: Manga refers to Japanese comics, or those drawn in a similar style.)
As manga artists, what made you decide to dip into the steampunk genre?
We are mainly manga artists, but we’re interested in many genres as well as movies, literature, etc. Lately we’re moving a bit more towards comic book and pinup styles. We’ve always loved the Victorian era, especially the clothing (corsets, frilly dresses, top hats, etc.). A few years ago, we discovered the Japanese Victorian Gothic and Lolita urban tribes, and immediately fell in love with their style. We even created a manga named The Soul Chaser, set in Paris during the 19th century, which gave us plenty of opportunities to explore those aesthetics. We also enjoy Steampunk, but we’ve never had the chance to draw anything like that until Osborne Coinage contacted us.
Steampunk is a well-loved aesthetic with many sub-genres. What does steampunk mean to you?
We’ve learned a lot while doing research for this project, mostly that drawing Steampunk is not as easy as it seems! It is certainly a challenge, because it’s not just putting gears here and there. You have to imagine machinery and gadgets, yes, but overall you need to make them believable or at least look nice.
From where did you draw inspiration when creating these twelve characters?
The first one, Theodosia, was the first character we designed. It was made prior to Osborne Coinage contacting us. We’ve always loved drawing angels and demons, and the Steampunk aesthetics as well. We were looking for a new frontpage for our website (www.stkawaii.com), so…why not combine them?
For the Steampunk Angels and Demons collection, Osborne Coinage gave us some guidelines for each design, though we had creative freedom at the same time. Inspiration came from various sources depending on the design. For example, for Louvenia the Explorer and Rosamond the Mechanic, we were inspired by the artist Terry Dodson and his beautiful pinups; for Thaddeus, the post-apocalyptic world of Mad Max; for Phoebus, it was the movie Moulin Rouge; and for Gregorio the Thief, we took inspiration from Assassin’s Creed scenarios of running over rooftops.
Was this your first experience designing artwork for precious metal rounds?
Yes, it was! We’re used to drawing designs for books and merchandise, such as stickers, mugs, and bags…but never metal! It’s been quite a new experience.
What can you tell us about the process of taking a design from paper to the mint?
The process itself is very straightforward. The hardest part is to establish the concept. Sometimes the pose isn’t working, or the general idea turns out to not be the best approach and it’s better to start from scratch. Some characters took just one try while others took several. Once the sketch is approved, all that is left is inking. Then giving the finished design to Osborne, and from there it goes to the sculptor.
How did it feel the first time you saw the physical rounds carrying your designs?
It’s always thrilling to hold your creations in your hands! It happens to every artist, but especially when you work digitally. Most of the time your drawings never go beyond the screen, or paper if they’re printed. It’s wonderful to be able to actually touch your design and see how they look in 3D.
If you were to do a similar project in the future, do you have ideas for what genre you might like to tackle next?
Maybe something inspired by the Norse or Celtic myths, which we love. Or high fantasy, like Dungeons and Dragons. Or maybe Gothic horror, like vampires, skeletons, ghosts…there are many possibilities we’d love to explore!
Thank you so much for interviewing with Provident!
Thanks to you! It’s been our pleasure!
This unique series was produced with limited mintages, and some of the individual designs that were released earlier are already sold out. The only way to own every design in the series (if you don’t already) is to purchase these sets from Provident.
Take a look at these beautiful steampunk-themed rounds!
Have you started your Steampunk Angels and Demons collection already? Which design is your favorite?