“Fallen Goddess” is a concept project that explores Greek, Japanese, Norse, Sumerian, and Polynesian mythologies, focusing on the stories of how each of their goddesses of the underworld came to be. In each case, the goddesses were forced into their position which made me want to focus on this disturbing power dynamic and highlight their struggles.
As someone from a heavily mixed background, I often feel a part of separate worlds, never fully accepted in or assigned to any one group, and that inner conflict is often present in my characters. My ethnic diversity led to an interest in multiple religions and mythologies, and a lot of my characters and worlds are grounded in these mythologies as well as general fantasy. The different ways I have personally been treated, both well and poorly, and have seen others treated inspires much of my plot and conflicts. I tend to incorporate many societal or political issues in my work, with the goal of pointing out and calling attention to feminism as well as corruption, tyranny, racism, and the horrors of war and conflict. These themes make fantasy more relatable, creating moments of empathy, rather than sympathy. Another way I fuse fantasy and reality is through the use of semi-realistic rendering. While also a trend in the industry, it places characters in an interesting middle ground where they still maintain a surreal otherness but not to the extent that it comes off as cartoonish.
This Project, “Fallen Goddess”, comments on the common theme of women being forced to stay in the underworld. I have delved into Greek, Sumerian, Japanese, Norse, and Polynesian mythology to find this disturbing trend. In Greek mythology, Persephone was tricked into consuming pomegranate seeds, forcing her to become a citizen of Hades, after she was secretly betrothed to Hades by Zeus. The Sumerian goddess of the underworld, Ereshkigal, was kidnapped by the Dragon Kur and taken to Irkalla, the Sumerian underworld, where she was forced to remain even after being saved. Hel, the Norse goddess of the underworld, was banished to the underworld for being disturbing and sickening to the other gods due to her half dead visage. In Japanese mythology, Izanami died during childbirth. Her husband, Izanagi, went to the underworld to bring her back, but abandoned her when he accidentally saw her decomposing form. Lastly there is Rohe, a Moriori (a Polynesian people) goddess and sister to the Sun, who was killed by the god Maui because she would not marry him due to his ugliness. I have explored character designs for these goddesses based on their mythology and created 3D models to reflect them.