The self portraits post was originally published in October of 2015. I’ve since republished it with new content that turned up on my hard drive.
Art creation for me has always been a very introspective process. Being a human is a surprisingly complex thing, and I think knowing yourself is a big part of finding your place in the world. It’s something I explore a lot in my art. (I don’t make many self portraits, but the theme of self-examination is prevalent in most of the art I’ve made.)
The self portraits you’ll see below span 10+ years of my life. It’s interesting to see what self-perceptions have changed, and what have stayed the same.
All my self portraits (with corresponding ages)
Digital/pen self portrait (age 15)
In this early self portrait, I played around in Corel Painter on my parents’ computer, erasing half of my face. I printed off the image, drew the other half of the face, and scanned the image back in.
It’s interesting to see the approach to shadow—it’s an approach I continue to use in both drawings and paintings.
Oil pastel self portrait (age 16)
Oil pastels were a new, exciting medium for me when I created this portrait. I’d just started developing an approach to depicting light and shadow in a way that became more central to my style as a whole.
Pastel and ballpoint self portrait (age 18)
In the figure drawing class I took at as a high school student, I was required to create a self portrait. The guidelines were very loose, so I decided to focus on my hands instead of my face. I created my own odd guidelines for the project:
- draw right hand with left hand
- draw left hand with right hand
Strangely, I think I drew better with my non-dominant hand. (Can you tell which one that is?)
Chalk and charcoal self portrait (age 22)
This is one of my larger self portraits, and is the one I spent the least time on. It was meant as more of a practice sketch, but once I started it, I quickly realized it was turning out to be more of a finished art piece.
Abstract acrylic self portrait (age 24)
I used a combination of low-quality art supplies that I sealed in with a hefty archival gloss for this chaotic self portrait. This art piece was first publicly displayed as part of the “Lest More Navigate” art collection.
Vector self portrait (age 26)
This vector portrait was created based entirely on my shadow from memory. I’d been on an evening walk under the intense Colorado sun, and watched my elongated shadow as I walked east up a hill. The bulky headphones I was wearing gave the shadow a robot-like appearance. I’d wanted to learn to use Adobe Illustrator, so I tried my hand at the pen tool on this image.
Layered photography self portrait (age 27)
This portrait combines a photo misfire of my face—which actually turned out pretty interesting—with one of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken. It’s a long-exposure photo of the Atlantic with the full moon’s light captured in soft reflections. I also used this photo in the album cover for The Marks It Makes.