One of my cousins is taking an art class in college. I love it when she shares the class assignments with me. She asked for my thoughts on one particular project. I don’t know the specifics on the professor’s guidelines, but the general idea was that she had to create a self-portrait via pictures.
She had a group of pictures in mind already, which were great – picture of her children, picture of artwork that she likes, picture of tassel from college graduation, etc. But she said it felt like she was missing something.
I suggested that she turn the self-portrait into a story and not to focus just on the positives in life, because nobody’s life is just positive. And in fact, my cousin’s life is incredibly stress filled at the moment. My suggestion was that on the right side of the picture, to draw a spiral – sort of like a tornado shaped spiral and half it go off of the page. In the spiral, put pictures of things that are negative in her life and those pictures are to be put upside down to represent the chaos those things are creating – such as a marriage license with a jagged line in the middle or a for sale by owner sign, etc.
Then, on the other side of the canvas, which should take up a good portion of the picture, put the positives, but where those pictures are off kilter and some of them pulled towards the tornado, to represent the struggle of finding the balance.
I don’t know what she’ll end up submitting or if my suggestion is something she can use… but it got me thinking.. Now, keep in mind that I was thinking about this at 2:30am while feeding the baby… but it got me thinking about how I would create my own self-portrait in this here and now.
On a canvas, covering the left half of the canvas, there would be a huge picture of baby Gregory smiling. At the bottom of the left corner of Gregory’s smiling face would be very small pictures of family members (parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins) and those tiny pictures would be placed in a way of creating branches (not a full tree, but just branches coming out of the bottom left corner, to represent the idea of a family tree).
On the other half of the canvas – at the top of this half – a nice sized picture of Greg and I – maybe a recent vacation picture or one of our wedding, but the picture would be slightly off kilter, as if someone had hung the picture but it wasn’t hanging straight on the nail, to represent the stress a baby can put on a marriage. At the bottom portion of this half would be mostly blank, except for small pictures of things I enjoy – writing poetry, making jewelry, playing the piano, etc but each of those small pictures would be half faded away.
Part of me wishes I had a project to do something like that and the other part says – Nahh, way more fun to imagine it in your mind. That’s creative too without the professor grading you! Lol.