How The Past Envisioned The Future: Artwork That Looked Forward

Vintage paintings and illustrations that explored the future’s possibilities are some of the most imaginative artworks I’ve come across.  Yes, flying cars and hover boards are awesome (a nod to Back to the Future II.)  But turn of the century artists went even further, and explored everything from flying warships to even giant seahorses as a means of transportation.

The possibilities of transportation was just one of the many ideas explored by Industrial-era artists, scholars and authors alike.  The future of design, fashion, work, and household inventions were also addressed in art, adding to their whimsical and almost surreal nature.  It’s not hard to see where Steampunk got a lot of its inspiration, as many late 1800s artists that explored the subject of “future” naturally envisioned a world that still operated on steam power.

Intensive breeding?  There’s a lot of intriguing and awesomely bizarre ideas explored in these turn-of-the-century French prints.  They envisioned what a busy and bustling France would be like in the year 2000.  A lot of ground was covered in these prints;  robotic barber shops, flying cabs, house cleaning, aerial firefighters, agricultural innovations, hunting, mobile homes, and factory operation were all given their own unique futuristic spin.

These dreamy prints debuted as postcards during the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris.  The best part is that they’re all accessible online as public domain images.  These can serve as inspiration for video games, short stories and all types of creative projects.  I also thought it would be cool to blow them up and mount them on the wall in groups or series, decoupage them on furniture, turn them into unique Christmas Tree ornaments, and feature them in creative dioramas.

87 of these prints were made by working French artists of the time.  There’s a possibility that even more were made too!  How seriously cool would that be?  Check out the rest here.

Chia Monsters Arlymone

Toys That Blinded Me With Science! My Favorites Captured In Art

Featured Artwork inspired by Chia Pets! “Chia Monsters” by Arlymone 


God I miss the 90s.  Mostly Because I was a kid with zero responsibilities, just running around with my explorer’s hat on looking for bugs, digging up what I thought were mummies in my backyard, and playing “field scientist” with a plastic Fisher Price Microscope.

Childhood nostalgia definitely kicks in when I start to think about all my favorite toys that had something to do with plants, bugs, flowers, rocks, and science fairs.  When toy nostalgia hits, I supercharge my memory bank and start web surfing like a mad woman!

This list was so fun to make, and I prefer to use artist renderings of toys or related artworks whenever I can.  There’s a lot of classic science toy reboots available today too, which is so very tempting.  I really do miss my toy chemistry set slides; you know, the ginormous pre-made ones.  Anyways, comment below with any related toys or contribute a top favorites lists or guest post of your own!

The Classic Ant Farm

Yes, those do appear to be miniature people inside the ant farm. Nice!

Toy Microscope

Wish mine was as massive as this one. Yikes! “Global Microscope” Artist: Dale Cody

 Chemistry Set

I really like this artist’s interpretation of the classic chemistry set. Artist: Toktobis

 Make Your Own Volcano Kits

I used to make rainbow volcanoes growing up. Love this illustration too by Wren12!

 Grown Your Own Carnivorous Plants

Grown your own venus fly trap kit were awesome! Along with butterfly bushes too. Artist: ritabuuk

 Sea Monkeys

Under a microscope, did your sea monkeys look like this? Artist: Ionahipri

A Spooky Mini Image Library: Ghost Trains in Art

As a kid I remember having some recurring dreams of a train track appearing in my bedroom and a train suddenly rushing in, right past my bed.  It was pretty epic, and the whole ghost train image has been with me ever since.

The past few days I’ve been combing sites little by little and created this mini collection of my favorite ghost train artworks.  I hope this inspires some spooky art!


Featured Blog Post Image by Deviant Art Artist Filbarlow

A Work In Progress Image Library: Caterpillars in Art

Thank Goodness we have the web for instant artistic inspiration!  I could search all day for compelling art, striking design photos, totally bizarre architecture, and all sorts of good stuff.  It’s great for snapping out of writers and artist’s block.  Plus captivating images inspire video game designers, teachers, bloggers, fine artists, student directors, and kids, so it’s imperative to share cool web finds.

For this blog’s first visual reference library, I narrowed in on the search terms like “whimsical caterpillar art”, “caterpillar art”, “caterpillar illustration”, and “fantasy caterpillar” to uncover some really cool artwork to share.

This library is a work in progress and suggestions and submissions are definitely welcome.  I’m working on a much larger, comprehensive Caterpillar Art image library that I’ll be publishing here later on, but here’s a quick sampling of what I’ve collected thus far.  Suggestions for additions are definitely welcome!  Just let me know in the comments below.

Artists’ names, sources and original links are included with each image.  I ensured that each image posted below is allowed by the original publisher to be shared via social media.  If you see an image that shouldn’t be there, please contact me so I can remove it.  Thanks!

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