This piece is part of my 7 day sketchbook challenge–learn more about it in this post!
Self portrait, 4/5 years old & 36 years old.
Ever since I found this self portrait I drew back in Kindergarten, I have taken it with me into every workspace I’ve moved into and worked in. It seems like the perfect reminder to myself of where I began, of where this all started.
Plus, this drawing cracks me up! I love all the wobbly and uneven shapes, my t-shirt (it’s a giraffe’s face, pretty sure it’s Geoffrey from Toys R Us possibly wearing a bow or goggles?), and my socks with ruffles on them. 😂
I have always loved children’s artwork because there is such joy, whimsy, freedom, and magic in them! I look at how I started drawing the circle for my head with a marker, but as I got to the bottom, it must have been a bit of a struggle because it ended up lopsided lol To the younger version of me, it didn’t matter that I couldn’t erase or fix it or that it was imperfect, I just kept going, crooked lines, incorrect proportions, and all! There is a big lesson in that, especially for someone who can get pretty obsessed with having things turn out “perfectly”. At some point, things changed but I hope that going forward, I can use this kindergarten self portrait as a way to remind myself of the beauty in imperfections, going for it, and letting go.
For the now version of my self portrait, I decided to give pencil drawing a shot. I rarely sketch these days and I almost never draw life like faces but I decided to go for it, just as I am sure 4 year old Olivia would have done without hesitation! I took a selfie and used that to draw from–I don’t think I’ve stared at my own face for that long before lol. I’m not sure how accurate it came out but I think it’s close enough and most importantly, it was fun to try and get lost in drawing! I added acrylic paint to the other side of the page and for me, those strokes represent all the things I have created in the past and what I will create in the future. It felt very fitting to wrap up this childhood inspired challenge with this particular exercise.
When I decided I was going to do this, I didn’t intend for my theme and inspiration to be my childhood–it naturally happened this way and I ended up really immersing myself in it and enjoying it! It was actually very therapeutic and healing for me to revisit happy memories and things I haven’t thought of for so long!
This mini challenge also reminds me of how when we show up and take one action, it snowballs and leads you to something else which then leads you to the next thing and so on… I mentioned in a previous post that there was a day I was feeling like I wouldn’t have time to do my page but I am so glad I kept this promise to myself and completed the 7 days without any breaks! There is so much value in consistency, even in small doses, and showing up for yourself.
If there’s something you’ve been thinking about doing more of, I hope you will try a 7 day challenge of your own and see what happens next :)
PS: If you’d like to do the challenge but aren’t sure what theme or prompts to use, here are the prompts I ended up using for my theme of childhood inspirations in case you’d like to try them out! I think they would translate well especially if your craft is in visual arts or the written word. (If you click on the links below, you can see what I did for that prompt.)
Day 7 – Self portrait