Soul of Psyche
Major: Mechanical Engineering (Minor: Studio Art)
Genre/Medium: Digital Painting
About the work: In “Soul of Psyche”, the goddess, the asteroid, and the spacecraft meet at the intersection of art and engineering. Through vibrant colors and expressive digital brushstrokes, the spacecraft is propelled by equations to meet the goddess Psyche as she presents her soul, the asteroid. The Greek goddess of the soul could hold the secrets to both her core and ours.
My inspiration began with color and myth. The Psyche badge inspired me to create a character design of the goddess Psyche. Her story is my favorite because it is one of the few Greek myths that does not end in tragedy. I wished to represent the goddess’ hope, perseverance and beauty in the design.
Using thumbnail sketches, I experimented with combining the goddess, the asteroid, and the spacecraft in one composition. I wanted the painting to have a sense of excitement while keeping a balanced undertone. I also aimed to represent myself as an engineer and an artist to show that the human psyche is not complete without both science and art. Many think one must choose, but both are necessary for the survival of humanity.
When I began painting on my tablet, my canvas looked like abstract art. I did this to keep my painting playful and unexpected. As I painted, I made sure to stick to my color palette to create a cohesive feel. When I got the rough idea down, I decided to incorporate engineering equations to propel the satellite. If you look closely, you can also see slope field lines and sine waves. Artwork can inspire people towards space exploration, but it’s those equations and the great minds behind them that gets discoveries made. Shoutout to my aero bro for telling me the most important equations!
Over many days, I painted shape, color, light, and shadow until my painting was complete. If you zoom in and explore this painting, I’m sure you’ll discover new things you did not see at first glance! In the timelapse video, you can watch the satellite animation I added at the end. “Soul of Psyche” represents the excitement of discovery, the perseverance of the Psyche team, and hope for what tomorrow brings.