Jennifer Phenix’s Lessons about Greek Myth Inspire Student’s Professional Work

Jennifer Phenix’s courses about Greek Myth are providing fodder for professional illustrator Kai Lui’s work after graduation.

In Jennifer’s Degree Breadth Elective Myths of the Greek Gods, students are invited to create a visual piece of a Greek god or goddess of their choice for their final project. Students must then reflect on how their artwork captures the deity’s power, sphere of influence, and nature.

Kai Lui, (Illustration, 2023), created an illustration of Apollo to showcase his nature and power as the god of prophecy, music, and archery. Throughout his degree, Kai also took Troy in Literature and Film, where he read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and Heroes in Classical and Contemporary Myth, where he read The Epic of Gilgamesh, Euripides’ Heracles and Medea, and Apollonius of Rhodes’ Jason and the Golden Fleece. Kai’s passion for all things Greek and mythical filled every assignment he submitted and continues to inspire his professional work as an artist and storyteller.

As Kai puts it:

Learning about myth, what it meant to the Greeks in antiquity, and deeper analysis of culture and story archetypes have influenced my own research in my stories and art. For my Winter Thesis project in the Illustration program, I wanted to combine my love for Greek and Chinese mythology – the Greek aspects of my characters were drawn from the knowledge I had learnt in Jennifer’s Myths of the Greek Gods and Heroes in Classical and Contemporary Myth courses. For example, Niysus’s story surrounds his eventual rejection of his father and his refusal to follow filial piety, something I strengthened in his story after learning that the ancient Greeks valued this virtue greatly. Fate is also a strong theme in his story, something strongly believed in by the Greeks. There are other inspirations used: Hermes’s hat, a pedasos, and his caduceus staff can be seen on Altair’s first form; Elena’s first form is inspired by Chinese opera while her second is inspired by Greek theatre; and Antares is, like Niysus, inspired by the idea of filial piety as a warrior who has no choice but to fight for his father. My love for Classics has continued on and encouraged me to continue my creative endeavours inspired by the ancient world.