I’m at the end of my creative habit this week, and I leave the project knowing that my skills have improved and with a great collection of drawings. Just as a refresher, my habit was to draw around 5 self portraits a week, each taking no more than an hour and a half. My medium was graphite and marker on sketch book or alcohol paper. My goal was to work on my speed, accuracy and style when drawing emotive faces. I chose myself as the only model, thinking initially that it would simply be easier to do so, but the project soon developed into an exploration of self portraiture.
Throughout this project I looked into a few artists that had made self portraiture part of their artistic focus like Man Ray and Alex Grey. This week I looked into the artist Cindy Sherman. She is a very influential self portrait artist, gaining recognition for her use of costumes, props, makeup, and back drops to portray herself as specific characters in order to make social and political commentary. I love her work because it’s both challenging and amusing. If i continue to do self portraits, I hope to be able to set a similar tone with my images. Here are a few examples of her work:
Although most of my drawings may not show much introspective thought, the more portraits i made, the more the process became a time to meditate on myself. Why do I want to show this particular emotion? Why only black and white? How do I want myself to be portrayed, and why does that matter? These questions popped up alot while I was drawing and coming up with ideas for new images. I can’t say I found many decisive answers, but I don’t really think that was the point. It was just nice to have some time to myself, for myself.
Here are my favorite pieces from the collection:
And here is my final portrait for this project. It’s not my favorite image, but I do think that it’s one of the strongest pieces of the collection. I had a lot of fun with this one, I took all of this time I would have spent on several portraits and put it all into this. Having the extra time allowed me to get more creative and show a little bit of what I’ve learned about myself and the practice of self portraiture throughout this project. I decided to title this “The Seasoned Chemist”. It deals with my daily habit of using various substances like coffee, medications, certain foods, nicotine, and vitamins to get my body to an ideal chemical state in order to function. I had the idea for this image, among many others, while creating the emotive self portraits. I decided to go with this particular image because it fit the theme of the project (habits) and it involved props, which I really wanted to use ever since looking at Man Ray’s work.