Athena Girl

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Mattison Miller, Scripps College '21

interviewed Ganzeer

In creating this piece, I found most of my trouble with brainstorming initial ideas and putting an image to the text. I spent most of my class time brainstorming, scavenging the internet to find a piece of text or topic that I was interested in enough to focus my piece around. After interviewing Ganzeer, as well as listening to his Goudy lecture given in the Spring, I was inspired to use bold images with bold meaning behind them. While I was originally unsure of the topic I should focus on, body positivity soon came to mind. I then searched the internet for statistics and inspirational messages that could be featured in my piece until I found the work of Nikita Gill. Because I had decided to make my image focus on text, with simple, bold images supporting its message, her poetry immediately struck me as powerful and inspirational, as well as the perfect piece of text to use for my piece. My next struggle was finding an image that I felt supported and encouraged the text. After meeting with professor Blassingame, I figured that taking the text as literally as possible would yield the best results in choosing imagery to support it. I chose to depict both a star burst, with stars bursting from the bottom corner to reflect the last line of the poem. I also decided to have a print of a shield with a mood cutout to represent the strength and fortitude found within oneself while reading this poem. The rest of the creation of this project was seamless and I had very little trouble along the way.

The subject of my piece speaks to finding inner strength and independence as a woman and exuding that confidence to the rest of the world. This piece was largely inspired by both the body positivity movement that is currently taking place both in the United States and globally, in addition to Nikita Gill’s collection of poetry and written work. Nikita Gill is a young American poet who focuses her work on exploring a woman’s role in society, current movements to embrace women, and push women towards self-improvement and acceptance. The poem I selected for my piece, titled Athena Girl, speaks to expressing one’s inner strength as a woman and comparing it to that of the goddess Athena. While I have personal connections to the goddess Athena, her existence as the goddess of war and wisdom emulates and inspires women to fully embrace themselves in manners comparable to that of a Greek goddess. This piece is intended to spark sentiments of unforgiving strength and independence within its audience as well as act as a tribute to an inspiring author.

The first photograph depicts my set up for printing my first layer, a burst of stars cut out from vinyl that I coated with a light blue ink tinted with silver to create a metallic sheen and create a more "star-like" appearance. The second photograph is mixing the light blue-silver mix with a darker blue ink that I then used to print my second layer made of the text and stamp. The third photo is my set up for the text and stamp. I used a combination of size 16, 12, and 8 of Garamond Italic for the text of my print. The fourth photograph shows a comparison between a piece with just the first layer and a final version of my prints. The final photograph shows all 30 of my finalized prints together.