Steampunk + Medusa - Bridging the gap.
I spent some time just thinking and reading about the different elements of Medusa, things from the myth and the character that would lend themselves to her design. I think this is a key part of design. Alan said to me I had to have as much information about her as possible. Of course, I didn't fully understand this untill now. The problem I was having was that I was trying to solve certain design problems, problems such as "How do I represent the snakes coming out of her head." Of course, people can't genuinely have snakes emitting from their skull, and I had to consider that this is a steampunk piece. Of course steampunk is very fantasy, but it has certain rules. It was set near the end of the industrial revolution, this was a time of science, of the mechanization of things. There was no magic, so she certainly could not just have snakes there. The mechanization certainly would work, however, and so metal contraptions to represent the snakes would be the better option.
All of these are design problems that I have resolve, and I understand that that is the stuff I need to address as soon as possible (and I am, don't panic.)
I have been spending time asking "How can she turn people to stone." There are multiple takes on how Medusa turns people to stone. The most common, and the one I believe to be the case, is her eyes. Look into them and turn to stone. But for example, if you watch "Perseus and the Lightning Thief" (I've not watched it yet, I don't think I will though) Medusa in there has her snakes covered with a hat, and when she removes it they will turn to stone. (I just have to say here that that rendition of Medusa is absolutely shocking, the snakes just don't even look as if they fit, this is an example of where they must have missed this design problem entirely.)
The answer to this question for me came from the part of the myth where Medusa has her head cut off. Why not have a weak spot in her neck to symbolise that? In which case, let's have a tube of some sort coming from her neck into her head that pushes some form of paralytic toxin which she can spray at people to paralyze them. Something like that, part of the myth lends its self to the design element.
There's a problem though, I can't seem to find what it is that Medusa did inbetween being cursed and then subsequently killed. What ever happened here would lend its self to the motivation of my character. Now, I'm just filling in the blanks here, but I want to take the victim story of Medusa, wherein Posiden raped her, and she was wrongfully cursed. So I would assume she is angry at men, and so wants to exact her revenge on them. Take this to the 19th Century, and we have a woman that is luring men in order to kill them. 19th Century prositute perhaps. This leads to another part of the story : "cursed Medusa and her sisters, so that they became monstrous creatures, with live snakes in place of their hair, and hideously deformed bodies. But Medusa’s face remained beautiful." I could then take the deformed body to mean that it is no longer useful. So having a robot body would make sense, and her hiding this under victorian type clothing would make sense also. Her snakes would need to be hidden, or used in some form of stylish manner so not to take away from her attractiveness, remember, her face is still beautiful, she will use that to her advantage when luring men!
There is also the question of how will she lure people away from populated areas without them looking into her eyes first. Well she could have a mask type thing on a stick that she covers her eyes with, she would be this extremely mysterious yet pretty woman that men just flock too.
Then I remembered that in the 19th century people were obsessed with their look (Not that people aren't now) and women carried around the little box things in order to powder their faces and such. I imagined that the robot snakes could do this for her. One could hold the pot and the other could dab her face. Pol told me an interesting fact re. the 19th century and today. Basically today people get tans because it's considered attractive as they obviously have an active life, but in the 19th century, to have a tan meant you workd in the fields, and so even men were powdering their faces so much so as to be as pale and attractive as possible.
This is the sort of logic I was missing. Prior to this there was no logic, all I had was steampunk and Medusa, they were basically two puzzle pieces from different puzzles. This is where my frustration was coming from, I was missing the point entirely. So now I am briding these gaps from the myth and how they fit into the era/setting of steam punk. It gives me a focus when I am designing, instead of just drawing random things.
I hope this post was clear and explains well enough my thoughts.
More focused drawings will be incoming soon. I prefer to have the rules, and limitations in place in order to focus on what is needed.
Posted by Jon Stewart