Friday, February 12, 2010

So I started working on making my ID today. I figured, why snatch a picture of myself? I'm an artist and, by gum, certainly I can draw a self-portrait! Why, I learned this kind of thing as a freshman!

Not so easy, for me, as it turned out. And it all came down to "What do I want to say with my art?"

The first one I tried drawing was this:
Okay, great. So...what's so special about it, first of all. I guess that's not the biggest conundrum. My plan with my ID was "DRAW MY FACE" Which...I did. Mostly. But the thing is, I don't think this is an accurate representation of the kind of art I make. Lately, my work has been very loose and scribbly and done in sketch pens. Not because I'm incapable of drawing. Obviously I have some measure of skill...whether that is a "good" drawing or not is up to the individual viewer.

It also doesn't look like me. I mean, it has the keymarks of me, round (pudgy) face, small nose, wide lips, longish dark hair, glasses. But that's not an expression I typically make. I don't have composed little school photograph smiles like that. I smile, I laugh, or smile like this when trying to freak out friends and strangers.

So I tried drawing myself how I usually doodle myself. That didn't work either:

Yup...that's how, when bored (and therefore usually thinking about food), I doodle myself. Blank faced and big-toothed and with toast in my mouth. So why not use this one?

Well first of all, it's sketch black and white linework. It won't shrink to icon size well. Second, it looks better when I doodle this kind of thing in pen. Third of all, this isn't a good representation of how I draw either because, while I draw like the drawing above and the drawing here...I don't really know which suits me more.

Style is a tricky thing. Do I WANT to draw nice pencilly things or do I WANT to be goofy and stylized? What do I want to be known for? What would I be happiest drawing? What would I get the most pay drawing?

I'm an illustrator, I have to think about these things.

Real artwork to come later.


  1. I totally love the toast. I wonder though, I don't mean to say this in an offensive way, because I totally dig your drawing style, but you're portraits don't really look like you. I'd be interested in seeing what you could do doing a down right gritty self portrait of yourself. I know it's very hard, because Illustrators especially, I've noticed tend to make themselves into what they want to look like or in vision themselves as a character. So get a piece of paper, sit in front of a mirror and draw your cute face line for line including every little flaw that makes you who you are. That's a self portrait.

  2. Not offended, because that was the essential problem with them. Like I said, they have my features but neither of them were all that reflective of who I am. I wasn't going for an all out self portrait, more like a stylized doodle. Either way, I wasn't successful in my goal of making something shrinkable and iconic for my userpic.

  3. I think if you took the stylized goofy one and added a little more.. life to it, and went over it with a vector editor and simplified the lineart with heavier lines and less mess, it would probably be the better way to go