After figuring out Lady of August’s general inspiration from Obon and the Assumption of Mary, I had to refine her role as a Lady of Time more thoroughly. What struck me about Obon was the caring involvement families had with guiding the spirits of the dead back home with them. Mary also struck a similar chord for me with all of the devotions surrounding her. I think of my own grandmother, who has a small statue of the Lady of Guadalupe that she carries with her everywhere, even on trips. For her, Mary is a lady of protection, of guidance, and mercy, just as many view her after her Assumption as the Queen of Heaven.
Lady of August’s Fashion Mood Board
And so the tale of my Lady of August became less about symbolizing a summer season of death as it has become about comfort and guidance. As my inspirations solidified, I began to see the Lady of August as an attendant of the dead, rather than a figure who occupies rulership over the domain of the dead, an easy role to assign any ‘death goddess’.
Unlike Lady of November, who serves as a static beacon drawing the dead to her, Lady of August is the river that the souls float on. She is the direct hand of guidance, a tender force of love and protection.
I gathered many images of Mary, especially those depictions that leaned heavily on her more goddess-like aspects in the celestial cloak. I also drew upon visuals of the miko shrine maidens of Japan, harkening back also to Obon’s Japanese origins and the role of miko as shaman guides.
In the first sketch for Lady of August’s design, she’s inspired more strongly by Mary with the cloak the envelopes her form. I brought in the wings motif as a nod to Nephthys, an Egyptian funerary figure, as well as heavenly motifs. She also has elements of the shrine maiden in her headpiece and adornments.
The 2nd sketch for Lady of August leans more heavily on the miko roots, but bringing in a hint of Mary with the floating sheer veil, which I suspect will work better with the floating figure of the final piece.
Next, I plan to move foward and find some balance between these two designs on the mockup I’m working up in Photoshop so that I draw on the themes I want, but also have clothing which lends itself well to the sense of underwater weightlessness I’m trying to convey in this piece.
Stay tuned! More coming soon.
Reminder! Don’t forget you can reserve your open edition or Patreon-only limited edition print of this upcoming piece via my Rewards tiers on Patreon! Reserving via Patreon ensures that this Lady will be sent off to you right away when she’s complete.
Those reserving the limited edition option get a lovely giclee print with hand-embellished genuine gold lettering! It’s as close to the real thing as you’ll get.
I don’t want to ruin any surprises either, but I’ll be adding some extra physical perks to these Collector tiers soon! I can’t wait to share them with you soon once I’ve made sure they’re up to snuff.