Wednesday, December 03, 2008

What's Stopping You From Taking a Self Portrait?

This question comes from an interview on Chrysti's blog Art By Chysti. She's taking on the 29 days of giving challenge. Quite a fascinating concept and one I'll most likely tackle myself soon. I like random acts of kindness, and feel that this might be the universe's way of pointing me in the "right direction".

So anyway, the first giveaway ( why haven't you gone and checked it out yet??) today was a very interesting looking book Mixed Media Self Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato. Chrysti's blog held a lovely little interview with Cate and at the end Cate asked, "What's stopping you from taking a self portrait?"

So I thought long and hard about it. I never was really much of a self portrait person. I suppose a lot of it has to do with the fact I never felt myself much to look at, let alone pose myself in front of a camera for the good of all mankind type. Granted, I think everyone has those feelings of insecurity, but mine was heartily backed by years of being picked on as a teenager. I was from a large family, wore hand-me-downs from someone who was wearing them as hand-me-downs. (though I wouldn't change a thing about my formative years's made me the person I am!) I didn't have the "cool" things. I was told I was fat A LOT by peers. Compared to my siblings, all tall lanky and beautifully structured, I was fat, squat and sloppy. At least that's how I felt. So why take a self portrait, when it just cements the fact that you look exactly what people have said you look like.

Over the years, I've gained more trust in my self-worth, my own special beauty. I noticed that over the past five years or so, I've been taking self portraits with more regularity. Most of the time I don't even know what inspires me to take them...but I do. Most are logged away in my digital photo albums, some make appearances in odd places, digitally altered and used as avatars or art. I think my progression into becoming a Self Portrait "Artist" is more about becoming comfortable with exactly who I am as an individual. I'm me, and that's a mighty fine thing to be! There's very little I'd change about me!!

Digitally Altered Me:

Goofy Me at Halloween:

So I ask you .... are you a self portrait artist?

1 comment:

mirapeix said...

Hey Chel!
Wonderful article. I was the oldest in a family of girls who were all sized 0 while we were in school, while i was the only one who had to watch my weight, they were cute and petite and i was the big goon, i towered over everyone (even grandfathers) at 5'6". i always hated pictures and that feeling persists even today. the handmedown thing struck a cord-i had 20 older first cousins and i was the first in the middle of the batch of non baby boomers and inherited the sixties jumpers, tunics, and wild stuff in the disco seventies,
i dreamed of being a clothing designer so i could wear something cool like other people--you know it really kept me drawing throughout my childhood and adolescence. i had a spot at the senior art show in high school and some really popular tiny girls were amazed that a goon like me had drawn such beautiful clothing illustrations. i really never thought about why i hate the camera so much, and maybe this is why? anyhooo, great article and i really love your creative self portraits!! they have inspired me immensely.
hugs xtina