All through art school and even going back to art classes in high school I lived in dread of the self portrait that would inevitably be assigned. When I say lived in dread I'm not exaggerating. It used to give me anxiety attacks. I would find any way I could to avoid looking at my own face for extended periods of time. I don't really want to think about what that means for my psychological health, but a couple of years ago I decided that it was ridiculous for an artist to be terrified of self portraits and I started to put myself in front of the camera. Having this blog and taking photos for my handmade challenge has also helped me move past my insecurities, I can look at my own face a little more objectively now, without cringing and picking out every flaw. I guess it's also part of growing up, learning to accept your flaws and not take yourself so seriously.
I read or heard something from I-can't-remember-what that said something along the lines of "self consciousness is just another form of selfishness" because when you are self conscious you think everyone is looking at you and cares what you're doing. When I heard that (or read it or whatever) it made me realize that in the grand scheme of things the only person who cares if I make a fool of myself is me, that other people are too busy with their own lives to worry over what I'm doing, and that self consciousness was a really stupid reason to not do something I wanted to do. So, I started to challenge myself and make myself pose for self portraits. I've become more and more comfortable with it, which isn't to say I don't still feel a little weird about it occasionally.
2011 / 2008
It's funny, when I was picking out my favorite self portraits for this post, I didn't notice until they were all up together that my face is obscured in all of them. Also, why am I always wearing that white dress?