Pandora’s Box, Ammit, and Medusa (Visual Art)

Pandora’s Box



Elyssa Tappero

3 Questions for Elyssa

What was your process for creating these pieces?

These three pieces were all part of a zine I made called "Worship the Monstresses." Each one belongs to a different piece of prose or poetry which inspired it. Once I knew what I wanted to draw, it was mostly trial and error using reference images to get them right. I'd never drawn detailed snakes before... or a crocodile... or leopard spots, so it took a while!

What is the significance of the medium you chose?

I've always loved drawing, but it's only ever been an idle hobby and I'm entirely self taught. That means I don't really know much about different mediums, nor do I have a drawing tablet, so right now it's just good old mechanical pencil lined with sharpie. Since I don't have the funds to print my zines in color (and usually just color my drawings with cheapo Crayola pencils anyway) I left these black and white.

What are their significance to you?

As an agender person in a female body, I have come to identify strongly with Ammit's beastliness; we use she/her pronouns for her, but one would be hard pressed to call this monstrous hybrid a woman. With Medusa, I admire the idea of turning trauma and sorrow into a power that is both defensive and offensive; I imagine many survivors could find strength in praying to her. And as for Pandora's cursed box, to me it represents the human mind and all the darkness it can birth: greed, vanity, hatred, all those things which are the true sources of destruction in our world. (Plus it was just really fun to draw those little ghosties.)

Elyssa Tappero is a queer pagan who writes prose and poetry about mental illness, spirituality, queerness, nature and disasters, and how it feels to be alive for the end of the world (which is pretty not great). You can find her work at and follow her on Twitter at @OnlyFragments.

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