I've completed my 5x5 early this year. early JP? But, JP! You don't do early? well no... I don't, however, after being asked if I wanted to participate in some press releases for the event, in which they wanted to show the artists alongside their pieces, I said SURE! Because if there's one thing I am learning about being successful as a self employed artist, it is that it's a constant hustle. And I'm always game for a good publicity stunt!
So here's the little beast. It is a self-portrait, colored pencil on board, measuring 5"x 5" in the frame, which my dear father built for me, (he's a gem).
You may choose either of these two reasons why I chose a self portrait;
1. I am the easiest model to get a hold of on short notice.
2. I wanted my picture taken twice, a picture of me, with a picture of me.
I got a great deal of flack in college for doing self portraits, The logic being, I assume, that, if you are a semi-attractive young woman, the only reason anyone can think of that you would choose to draw yourself is because you're totally into yourself.
*Insert me screaming expletives at imaginary critiques, here.*
There are several reasons why I chose to portray myself in various works. Each time the reason was different, and it's really just luck that I happen to be a semi-attractive young woman. When I am old, I suppose everyone will assume the work is about my own death, or a commentary on aging... I bet it won't be.
As I've explained above, I chose to use myself for two reasons,
1. I was the easiest model around. I still have a great deal of trouble directing my models, and getting the mood right. I am working hard on finding the cure of this... I'll keep you up to date.
2. Because the work was about my experiences, and I didn't want someone else in there mucking up the catharsis of putting my own image through that experience again.
Now it could be argued, that number 2. is in fact narcissistic. But! Lets get real. If we deem that all artwork about the artist's experience is narcissistic, then all art is so. And that, I can agree with. All art is for the artist first, and the patron/the public/the mesuem/etc., second. I've said it before and I will continue to say, that art is a masturbatory event. It is firstly self-serving and self-satisfying, and rightly so. In my personal experience artists that try to ignore this truth, try to make it about something bigger, better, holier, progressive-ier well, those artists annoy me greatly, and are also never happy... or, satisfied. It is us exploring our own world, not their world, ours, and it can only ever be our personal experiences, and interpretations that inform our hands to draw what they do. So go forth my little painting friends, and rub one out on the canvas! Just don't go calling me a narcissist, I can do it myself, and for the right reasons.