"Gilgamina - She Who Saw the Deep"

Bárbara Fonseca

These illustrations were made for my solo show – Gilgamina, She Who Saw the Deep. I produced this work at the end of my first year as a freelancer, a time where I felt that I had grown a lot and started to become more confident in my work.

I love mythology and science-fiction and I’m very inspired by space and futuristic aesthetics but I had never found an opportunity in the work I had done until then to explore it. For this project, I thought I should indulge in my “nerdy influences” and just work on a theme that I was really interested in, without thinking of any client needs or constraints.

During the process of thinking about ideas for the exhibition I realized that my work is very narrative and character-based so, with the help of my partner, we wrote a history that could be the base for the illustrations. I had read the Epic of Gilgamesh a couple of times and had always wanted to do something with it, but always felt conflicted by the character of Gilgamesh. Because of that, we decided to give it a twist, so we changed his gender and turned this classic myth into a sci-fi epic with a female protagonist. And that’s how Gilgamina was born!

After deciding on the theme and story, I worked on 12 different illustrations that represented key moments in the story. For these illustrations, I tried to challenge myself and draw things that were not familiar to me, like action scenes, spaceships and scenery.

Trying to work out of my comfort zone ended up being very helpful and really improved my drawing skills and I loved being immersed in this story for a little while.

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