I had a lot of fun with this week’s creative practice. I love self-portraits in general because they tend to be very personal. As an art teacher, I often have my students create a variation of a self-portrait in class because it enables them to explore themselves. This is also a great way to get students engaged that may not be interested in the arts because they can take their likes and interests and incorporate them, therefore increasing learning and what they get out of the lesson.
For my self-portrait, I used magazines, a newspaper, black pen, black sharpie, cardstock, tracing paper and a glue stick. I decided to turn myself into a “paper cartoon” by blowing up an existing photograph of myself and using that as a template for my collage. I used the tracing paper to mask my facial details and used that as a stencil to trace out pieces of newspaper and magazine. I used value to show the tonal difference and to create contrast, most importantly.
Towards the end, I used black pen to add in fine details such as my eyelashes and strands of hair. I love the way it came out. It was pretty awesome to see myself slowly transform into an abstracted “paper cartoon”.
This would be a great project for patients in a healthcare setting. This can be kept very low-cost as well because you can incorporate solely recycled materials, like I had done; such as newspaper and magazines. Sometimes hearing the word “self-portrait” can be intimidating because often times, people think it has to be realistic and immediately think they “cannot do it”. Therefore, If would give patient the option to create an “abstracted” self-portrait; re-assuring them that it doesn’t necessarily have to be observational or realistic.
If I were using this in a healthcare setting, I would also give the option of incorporating found three-dimensional objects into their collages. This can give their artwork an even more personal feel because they may choose to use objects that have deep meanings. I would also give the option of using tempera paint as a based or background, prior to starting out the collage portion. This would just add a different medium to the mix and a strong base for their designs.
Blew up a photo of myself as a base
Traced out facial features (template)
Used magazine for my face and shirt
And then I used newspaper and pen for my hair