After loving Madeline Miller's first book A Song of Achilles, I had been wanting to find an excuse to read Circe, and so I really was excited to start on this particular project, finishing the book within a day.
First my sketch,
There were a lot of themes I wanted to explore in this design, though there are three major parts that I ended up sticking with.
First I decided to work on the idea of "fate". Fate plays a big role in this story and in Greek Mythology as whole. There is a lot of symbolism associated with the Fates of Greek Mythology, the ones I chose here were the statues of the fates lifting the thread of life. I emphasized the feminine shape of their bodies, to reflect the theme of beauty and how it so heavily determines the destinies and social status' of the female characters.
Between the threads, you can see the silhouette of a ship on the horizon. For most of the story, Circe is exiled on an island where most of the events of her life start and end with a ship coming or going from her island. A major impression Circe's story had on me is this feeling of someone fighting for control of her own fate, however seeming totally powerless due to the circumstances of her situation. This feeling of anxiety really stood out for me and I wanted to show a symbol of it shown from her point of view, since the story is in first person POV.
Lastly I drew the tentacles, wrapped around the base of the fates, of the grotesque mindless monster that was one of Circe's first (accidental) transformations. It was this act that landed her exiled on her island, due to the forces of her world not being able to control her power the same way they control everything else. In the final version of this illustration, there will be cracks in the statues symbolizing how Circe's magic has the power to challenge fate itself.
This is the final result:
If I were to spend more time with this, I might enjoy adding some additional details to the statues. For now though I am calling this finished to move on to some other projects. Thank you anyone who took the time to read through this, this was such a fun project to work on. Really blended my love for digital art and stories into one.