Art Professor Brings Mythical World to Life in New Book
Jon Sideriadis, MFA, spent two decades creating the art and stories in his new book, Astromythos, which is inspired by astronomy, mythology, and his Greek heritage. He hopes his work will inspire the next generation of artists.
July 28, 2020
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing & Communications
Prof. Jon Sideriadis, MFA, has been building an original mythology and developing the characters and their stories for the past two decades. As author and illustrator, he has brought them to life in the pages of his mythology book Astromythos, an original epic poem with more than 100 illustrations in its 200 pages.
The title, a Greek word that Prof. Sideriadis invented, combines the words "astronomy" and "mythology," two subjects he is passionate about, and translates to "The Star Myth."
"Ancient Greek poetry, astronomy, and mythology inspired my book," said Prof. Sideriadis, a practitioner in residence in the University's Department of Art and Design. "As a proud Greek American, all of these interests are an important part of my heritage."
The book, which will be released on July 30, is published by The Art Order and launched on Kickstarter. There will be virtual launch parties hosted by Artistacon, a conference for seasoned and aspiring artists celebrating the creative process, held on Facebook and on YouTube the day before, at which participants can win prizes such as artwork.
Written as a rhyming epic poem, the book includes messages of wisdom, courage, and honor. It is a creation story of the stars, who have bodies like humans and humanoids. They fight villains – black holes – to save themselves and each other from extinction.
"I hope this inspires my students to persevere and to believe in themselves, despite the hardships they may experience in pursuit of success."Prof. Jon Sideriadis, MFA
"I feel relieved and fulfilled," said Prof. Sideriadis, whose artistic specialties include mythological art and storytelling. "I spent twenty years on this project, and I've dedicated my life to it."
On the book"s release date, Prof. Sideriadis will host a workshop on "world building," the process of constructing an imaginary world, as part of GenCon Online, a tabletop gaming convention that draws gaming enthusiasts from around the globe. Prof. Sideriadis will discuss the world building process for Astromythos, and he will serve as an art show juror as part of the online conference.
Prof. Sideriadis, whose work has been published in media such as film, television, video games, and novels, also teaches a course on world building at the University. He hopes his work inspires students and encourages them to pursue their dreams.
"I want my students to learn that artists can be authors too," he said. "I also want them to know that some projects may take almost a lifetime, but are well worth it. I hope this inspires my students to persevere and to believe in themselves, despite the hardships they may experience in pursuit of success."