Psyche Inspired: Brianna Young

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology

Major: Graphic Design

Psyche Inspired Class: 2020-2021

Reflections on Psyche Inspired

Reflections on Project 1: The Formation of Psyche


"In a retro, but futuristic aesthetic, eight stamps depict the formation of the Psyche asteroid after a hypothesized collision stripped it of its outer mantle and crust, leaving behind a metallic core. Simple line strokes and geometric shapes form the different Psyche phases in a bold primary color palette to bring the design to life. The postage stamps are combined together to create a Book of Stamps, with a tag attached at the top with Psyche’s Logo, name of the stamp collection “The Formation of Psyche”, and a barcode. The numbers on the bar code illustrate the start and end dates of this flight mission by month and year. "

The formation of psyche

Brianna Young

November 12, 2020

Major: Graphic Design

Genre/Medium: digital illustration, created in Illustrator and Photoshop

About the work: For this project, I created a book of eight postage stamps. These stamps illustrate how Psyche may have come to be, in eight different phases. I wanted to use postage stamps because they are tiny, but a necessary part of mail circulation. Using postage stamps will help express that Psyche is far away and tiny on a planetary scale, but is an important step towards the future of space exploration. The border of the upper right hand corner of an envelope around the stamps can also symbolize Psyche’s potential remanent magnetic field. Furthermore, postage stamps have a designated price. Because Psyche was the 16th asteroid discovered, the stamps are worth 16 cents, and the numbers on the bar code illustrate the start and end dates of this flight mission by month and year.

I do not digitally illustrate often, so I was excited to experiment with a new medium. To accomplish this project, I started off by researching different U.S. postage stamps and their sizes. Once I found the exact size, I sketched out my illustrations in my notebook. I was then able to digitally create sketches in Adobe Illustrator and bring them to life on postage stamps and envelopes in Adobe Photoshop.

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Reflections on Project 2: Madam In Her Universe

At the center of the piece, a close, semi-transparent portrait of Psyche with the universe and Psyche mission motifs surrounding her in an expressionist style. The portrait of the goddess is painted bright yellow, with contrasting orange and purple for undertones and shading. In place of eyes, there is an abstract drawing made out of marker and colored tape of the Psyche mission spacecraft. Surrounding her face, the projected flight overview of the spacecraft is painted in a spiraled motion further into the solar system. The top left corner has the word “Psyche” broken up by syllables in blue letters with textured yellow/blue background and black/white wavy lines. The top right corner has a neon orange, black, and white line textured background with the first phase postage stamped. On top of the stamp, “Madam in her Universe” is written on the top while “Mission to Psyche” is on the bottom, and “2015-2027” in the middle. Under the stamp the Psyche Mission tagline, “Journey to a Metal World”, is written vertically in cursive along a blue and white background to the bottom right corner, with the word “to” replaced for the number “2” in orange. The bottom right corner has the yellow shoulder of the Goddess with her hand on her chest, with her hand touching the number “16” in blue on her heart. There are pieces of tin foil overlapping her body with white and black wavy lines. The bottom left corner has the planets Jupitar and Mars bleeding off the canvas and covering the goddess’s left shoulder. Mars is in front of Jupiter and there is aluminum foil outlining Mars.

Madam in her Universe

Brianna Young

November 12, 2020

Major: Graphic Design

Genre/Medium: mixed media: acrylic paint, oil-based paint, marker, soft pastels, tape, charcoal, paper, and tin foil

About the work: For this project, I created a multidimensional, mixed media painting based on the Greek goddess Psyche. The center of the piece is an up close, semi-transparent portrait of Psyche surrounded by her universe. However, the painting is not just about the Goddess, but what she represents: the soul. Thus, there are many other motifs related to the soul of asteroid (16) Psyche and its mission. Such motifs include:

– The Psyche spaceship as the Goddess’s eyes, as the spacecraft will substitute for our eyes in flight.

– Mars and Jupiter overlapping with the Goddess, as (16) Psyche is located in the main asteroid belt orbiting between these two planets.

-The first phase stamp I created for my first Psyche Inspired project, to symbolize the beginning of the goddess Psyche and my story with this mission.

– Mission to Psyche’s tagline: Journey to a Metal World.

– The mission overview swirled around the goddess’s face, to show the viewers of the painting the exciting and long journey the Psyche spacecraft will undergo throughout our solar system. It will launch from Earth in August 2022 (cheek of goddess), have a Mars gravity assist in May 2023 (left temple of goddess), arrive at the asteroid in January 2026 (under stamp), and end Orbit October 2027 (under the C in “Psyche””).

– The number 16 on the chest of the Psyche goddess, as Psyche was the 16th asteroid discovered.

In order to complete this piece, I collected a wide range of media to cover the canvas. Such materials include: acrylic paint, oil-based paint, marker, soft pastels, tape, charcoal, paper, and tin foil. The painting textures and exposed organic forms are intended to mimic the hypothesized formation of Psyche, which includes violent impacts that stripped away the asteroid’s mantle and left the exposed core. The aluminum foil is intended to display (16) Psyche’s potential metallic nature. I used an expressionist painting technique to convey the emotional experience of the Psyche mission rather than impressions of the external world. Using a wide range of medium and abstract styles helps express the complex makings and mysteries of space and (16) Psyche.

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Reflections on Project 3: Rock ‘N Rug

Rock n’ Rug

Brianna Young

April 7, 2021

Major: Graphic Design

Genre/Medium: yarn and gridded latch hook rug canvas

About the work: The small area rug I crafted is a rough, oblong circle shape that stretches approximately 41 inches wide and 34 inches high. I used eight different colored yarn to construct my rug: white, yellow, brown, royal blue, light gray, dark grey, black infused with purple, and black infused with tinsel. Each yarn bundle was not a single, solid color; the yarn was textured with brown or tan specs as well as infused with a lighter and darker hue of the overall color. For example, the blue yarn had lighter shades of baby blue and yellow infused in between the royal blue color. The overall rug is a yarn replica of the rendered photos of the psyche asteroid. The top left corner is light grey and white with a golden stripe leading to the center of the asteroid and both of its craters. The larger crater rests on the side of the asteroid, slightly above on the smaller crater on the left side. The bottom right of the asteroid is covered by shadows, leaving it to be a dark blue, brown, and black color.

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Reflections on Project 4: The Psyche Flight Deck

This deck of cards is designed to emulate the theorized texture and color of the asteroid. The card background is a navy blue, and the supporting design elements are gold, silver, royal blue, and dark blue. The diamond and heart suits are silver, whereas the club and spade cards are gold. Each design element follows an art deco aesthetic and consists of outlined geometric shapes and sharp edges with thick and thin lines that are gold or silver. Fun facts are found at the top and bottom of the cards with dates and titles found on the sides.

The Psyche Flight Deck

Brianna Young

April 30, 2021

Major: Graphic Design

Genre/Medium: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, art deco style

About the work: For my final project with Psyche Inspired, I decided to design a deck of cards that summarized everything I have learned about the mission throughout my internship. This deck of cards is designed to emulate the theorized texture and color of the asteroid, as well as teach the players about the mission by including fun facts about the mission timeline, the asteroid, the Greek goddess Psyche, the spacecraft, and the discoverer of the asteroid, Annibale de Gasparis, on every card. The facts about the mission were derived from the mission timeline on the Psyche Inspired website.

These facts go in order from conception to completion of the mission by suit and number. For example, the ace of clubs starts the timeline, and the 10 of spades ends the timeline. The facts about (16) Psyche, the spacecraft, the Greek goddess Psyche, and Annibale de Gasparis are found on the specialty cards: Ace of Spades represents the asteroid, Jacks represent the spacecraft, Queens represent the goddess, and Kings represent the discoverer.

When approaching the design of this deck, I wanted to choose a minimalistic style that felt strong and mechanical, but was also streamlined and delicate. Thus, using a nostalgic art deco style provided the perfect structure to tell the story of (16) Psyche and the mission. Characterized by bold, geometric forms, the art deco style allowed the deck of cards to have rotational symmetry, meaning it will look the same when you rotate it 180 degrees. Aside from card structure, I have chosen gold and silver as the main colors to incorporate the rich colors of the art deco style, as well as emphasize that (16) Psyche is an asteroid made out of metal. When printed, I imagine these elements to be printed with gold and silver leaf. This would let the design to pop off the card as it becomes metallic and shiny.

In addition to the design of the cards, I wanted to dive deep into the story of (16) Psyche and the mission through the specialty cards. I did this by calling out defining characteristics about each of these key players in the mission through design. As stated earlier, the Ace of Spades represents the asteroid. In this design, there are three main circles overlapping to represent the hit-and-run collision that may have formed (16) Psyche. Next, the Jacks represent the spacecraft. In the design, the spacecraft is illustrated on top of three overlapping circles to represent the different oribs the spacecraft will undergo. Following this, the Queens represent the goddess. Goddess Psyche has numerous symbols, but she is most often represented as a blue butterfly emerging into the light. Thus, her design includes blue wings under her head as her body. Lastly, the Kings represent the discoverer of (16) Psyche: Annibale de Gasparis. To highlight his scholarly studies and discoveries, his arm and body come together to form an observatory icon.

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