It’s that simple. I have taken many drawing classes in this life, and was a drawing major in college. I should be a bold and brave expert, but what stops me from making a self portrait is the same as what stops me from making art in general- fear. It is a loath and crippling foe- I pick up the pencil and my hand freezes- I second guess the inspiration that teased me into lifting it in the first place, and I quickly think myself out of making anything, self portrait or otherwise, for fear that it won’t turn out right, it won’t be valuable as a work of art, it will be embarrassingly bad, it won’t be the way I imagined it, other people won’t like it, I won’t have anywhere to put it/store it/hide it when no one wants it or I am too embarrassed to hang it in my own home. The list goes on and on, and then I am too afraid to continue before I ever begin.
I have made quite a few self portraits in the past, as they were frequent assignments in college, and one of my first favorite things to make art about, but since I graduated and people stopped requiring me to make artworks for a grade, I stopped working all together. Sad but true.
The interesting and fantastic inpiring part of all this is that I am coming to terms with all of this lately- having a baby and working full time as an art teacher has really gotten my buns in gear, so to speak. I have been forcing myself just to put something on the paper, working in my journal and experiementing a little with artist trading cards, as both of these are small enough projects to work on while the baby is napping, and the creative gears are turning once again.
I read this question on ArtbyChrysti and immediately thought- I know the answer to that one- it’s easy. What I really needed to ask myself, is, am I going to continue to let it stop me.
I think no. I am going to work on a self portrait right now- brainstorming and hunting for inspiration in my past work as well as in the world around me, and then I can get down to business.
For inspiration, here are a few of my past self portraits. My style is changing, but I am starting to feel less constricted and I don’t feel the need to draw in a realistic style anymore- I think that is part of why drawing and art in general because so intimidating.