Integrative Studio: Visual Metaphor Self Portrait

For our first project, we had to make a self portrait in the form of a visual metaphor. For my project, I used makeup to create five looks that described different aspects of my personality and emotions. I then printed the photos and weathered them differently based on the emotion present in each photo. I then used yarn to tie the photos together to represent that the emotions are bonded and add up to make me. Below is the final product.



Each picture has it’s own story and meaning.


This picture, compared to the other pictures, is relatively normal. This represents that I appreciate the times when I am more laid back and when I am not experiencing any substantial emotion. The moments people tend to forget, the moments that seem to not matter, where everything is regular, are moments I cherish, and they shine though for me. I’m more than happy being content.


This photo very clearly represents sadness. The makeup shows blue tears running down my cheeks, seemingly never ending. The white lips and fanned out eyebrows further represent my sorrow. Instead of using a background to distract from the point of the piece, I used black water color to focus on the intent of the piece. It also represents how I isolate myself when I am sad and would rather show this emotion alone.


This photo, while it might not seem this way, represents my best moments. The charring on the outside tells just how old these moments are. I can still remember great moments of intense happiness from when I was a child, all the way until now. I am dripping gold to show that I am oozing happiness, represented by the gold makeup. Most people would assume, since I have tears, that this represents some sort of sadness, but I have defined this differently. Instead of sadness, I think that this is just my creativity and self expression. I have very fond memories in time when I can openly express myself.



This photo represents anxiety. The makeup has intense red but hints of blue, to express my confused mind. Even from just the makeup, one can tell how distressed I am. With the weathering, I chose to use black water color and ink to show the way my mind almost turns on itself and makes me feel victim and helpless at these times, and that there is no way to escape. I also used scissors to cut around the sides to further show the vulnerability of these moments.


Lastly, this photo represents my colorful moments and the way I express myself. The makeup is such a bright and wild extension of my personality. I used water color at the top and bottom to make a well-rounded extension of color. The extra color really brings out my creativity and happiness.


Overall, I am definitely happy with my piece as a representation of myself. I got some nice feedback and great suggestions during the critique that was helpful in making me think more broadly about my piece and how it could work better/differently.

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