Finally, me

pencil sketch drawing of left hand next to self-portrait sketched in pencil with "KAM 2018 (#1)" written lightly in small size font in top center
Sketches of me and my hand

It’s the scariest thing in the world, to put yourself out there – especially not your “best self.”

I find drawing myself very difficult. It’s also not something that I find as interesting as say, creating a fantasy creature or plant. So, I don’t do it often.

However, I do also enjoy forcing myself to do things I am uncomfortable with. And while I personally don’t think I look like the drawing, I see myself in it anyway, so I’m pleased with it.

It may be interesting that I recognize my hand more than my face in these drawings. Then again, how often do you look at your face? I constantly look at my hands. So this says something about me that I don’t even notice too much about myself.

So, why would I show something on my website that I am not too happy with? Because these sketches force me to confront myself, from the process of drawing to the viewing of it. Things run through my head like memories and personal philosophies. The obvious example: it made me think back to college when I took that one drawing class and did terribly – but gained further understanding of the things I did want to draw. Even now when I look at it, I think about how I see myself, and then how the world sees me. It’s deep stuff!

See? Even in mistake-riddled works, there is value. I say show it all.

Sun Emperor

abstract pencil drawing that shows cloud-like figure with abstract crown, laying with the sun as a backdrop

So I made this pencil drawing a while ago, and I don’t exactly remember my thought process. What I do remember is contemplating, at some point before this was made, how many historical leaders and deities are associated with the Sun. It’s a perfect symbol for power and greatness, so no surprise – but I think the fact that this association has remained through literal millennium is pretty cool.

As I drew this Emperor, I kept them non corporeal, with limited shape and form, to represent how the sun is a spherical shape even as it is constantly undulating. I also remember thinking I wanted the figure to be read as either male or female, leaving it to the viewer.

I’d work on more creatures of the Sun in the future if it continues to inspire me. It’s certainly an interesting theme!

Jester self-portrait

jester self portraitThis self-portrait is a composition consisting of difficult moments which make up a happier whole. Many of the symbols used here are very personal.

The image of a jester comes in part from a character I performed in a school play back when I was about 12. I loved theatre and drama as a child. While I didn’t relate too much to the actual character himself, I did identify with other things we associate with jesters: bright colours, foolishness, servitude (to some royal whimsy), fun, music, self-deprecation, dancing, etc.

Walking out into the world, lost

This isn’t as depressing as I think I’ve made it seem by the title. It’s just my way of looking at life.

lost

It’s how I think everyone starts their story. Without knowledge, and barely themselves. So all our life we are struggling to be who we are. Hence the imagery of a cell, our basic biological unit.

I’m not the happiest with the pencil lines, but at the same time I like the way it feels unfinished, like a life. So it’s doing right by me.

 

God bird

bird egg

Today’s drawing continues to explore some themes/imagery I find myself using again and again. This God bird you could say is a direct “friend” of another drawing from one of my previous posts; when I recently started to draw with pencils. This one ended up being a lot more playful, so playful in fact that I didn’t crop out the ripped end of the sheet. It seems to work with the God bird’s personality.

This drawing also uses some imagery from carpets, which I’ve used deliberately (and unconsciously) before. This was definitely deliberate. I imagined the little particles suspended around her. Doesn’t the God bird look like she is waddling over to you through a cloud of flourishes?

drawing the mind

the dark hand picks from the table

Certain models of the brain show that the human mind most likely has two or more sources from which thoughts are created. For example, some of us study the left and right sides of the brain, or the zones of the brain that perform specific tasks (frontal cortex vs Broca’s area, for example). These aren’t perfect models but they get us closer to understanding how our bodies help us to think.

I think it is very telling and natural that there are many cultural explanations as well for where thoughts come from. A very important one is the light/dark or yin/yang allegory. These speak of a “dark” and a “light” side to all people, to keep it simple, and finding equilibrium within that context is something we all share as people. We just call it by different names.

A lot of what I draw attempts to reconcile different areas of my mind, to accept all aspects of the self. Here the shadowy hand is reaching out to eat from the bowl of another world made up here of cleaner lines. It’s just one example of a work that expresses my desire to explore the mind – another thing shared by all people.

Magic Kite

magic kite

Many films I watched as a kid featured kites. I’ve never actually flown one myself; choosing to watch others instead. Unless you’ve seen the sea of wild floating shapes yourself, you can’t know what it’s like.

Apparently, human beings have always wanted to fly. I’m one of those who can see the appeal, surely. But I have to admit that being able to see the kites flap against the sun and sky makes me feel strongly grateful to be on the ground. It’s incredible.

While I can spot some errors in my pencil lines, I’m proud of this one.