Norah Atienza

Myths and Legends

Class of: 2026

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Printmaking and Watercolor Painting

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw

Prompt: For this assignment, we used printmaking to create several pieces based on myths and legends. We were given creative freedom in how we interpreted the stories, and we used the etching press machine to make the prints.

For my myth print, I chose Pandora’s box. It tells the story of Pandora, the Greek goddess of gifts, who is given a clay vessel that is not to be opened. However, she cannot resist the temptation and opens it, releasing all the evils that can never be contained again. I wanted to depict this story in a different light, and make the scene where she’s opening the box appear much more magical and mystical than frightening. I represented spirits with abstract shapes, and added stars around her for this fantastical element. For my legend, I was inspired by Blackfoot, or how people got different languages. After a flood in the land of Blackfoot, everyone gathered on the top of the tallest mountain. The Great Spirit then transformed the water to different colors, which he had everyone drink. Each colored water gave people a different language (for black water they spoke the Blackfoot language). I was really intrigued by the story and this idea of having people drink different colors of water. And so I depicted a woman with hands clasped, drinking what I painted as colored water.

Process: The printmaking process was very tedious but fun. I first had to place paper in water so it could soak. Then, I inked my plates so that ink covered every inch. I removed it with a squeegie and used q-tips. A tarlatan cloth also helped me wipe away ink on the back of my plate. Next, I took the soaked paper and dried it a little bit with a towel. Finally, I ran it through the etching press machine. Unfolding the layers of fabric and paper to reveal my print brought about a lot of anticipation and excitement.