Part 1 is a realistic self portrait drawn in the mirror. I drew it while I was extremely allergic and sleep deprived, which you can see in both my expression and the way I drew myself. I don’t think this looks like me; in fact, I had a difficult time capturing my likeness. I don’t find it difficult to draw other people realistically, but when it comes to myself, I have a lot of trouble. This portrait does not capture my overall personality by any means. It is a snapshot of a moment in time, a moment as a tired, sick, anxious college student. Drawing myself was a good exercise, because it’s not something I feel confident in, and I plan on practicing this more.
Part 2, the photoshop collage, is the part I am most proud of. I had such a difficult time producing it, yet it is the best quality image in my opinion. After struggling and struggling to figure out how to use Photoshop, I found out that my Adobe programs were improperly installed. I went to IT and they reinstalled them, but when I opened my computer later that day to work on the project, I found that the programs were still not working. I went back to IT another day only to find out that the hours on the website were incorrect and the entire building was closed. It was so frustrating, and I was running out of time. I ended up having to use the Photoshop on my roommates computer, because my computer lacked many of the tools I needed. I used the tools on my roommates computer that I needed and then sent it to my own computer to finish the rest with the tools my computer did offer. The entire process was extremely stressful and frustrating, but I am happy with the outcome.
For this project, I wanted to evoke the imagination and adventure I felt as a child, through a collage of places that I have lived or that had meaningful impacts on me. I chose to weave together minarets in Istanbul with a building in Senegal, and tie the whole thing up in a bouquet of flowers from Switzerland. The pink and purple hues are meant to enhance the dreamlike feeling, along with having the image in the middle the page as if it is floating in the sky.
In retrospect, I wish I drew part 3 with thin black pen rather than pencil. It would have come out more precise and the detail would not be lost in smudge marks. I chose to make it black and white to see how different the image looks with and without color, when compared to part 2. The colored one feels so much more alive and playful, where the black and white one feels more like a lost memory, or an old photo. If I had drawn part 3 in color and black pen it would look kind of like a children’s book, which I think I would prefer looking at.
Overall, I learned a lot about Photoshop, despite it causing an upsetting amount of wasted time with all of the technical problems I experienced. I think each project captures a different aspect of myself from a different time, and together they represent a larger part of me. However, I don’t think they capture me entirely. But can any self portrait really do that?