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February 6, 2006

my self portrait


I’m pretty ignorant to digital art. I usually dismiss it as being too mechanic, too distant from human touch and error, lacking in character and originality, and maybe even too easy and replicable. I concluded early on that I wasn’t interested.

Now, I knew all along that those are common stereotypes that I was accepting, probably because I’m a lazy person and it’s easier to accept the common opinion than forge my own, and used these acquired perspectives on digital media as a way to distance myself from it, so that I could stick to working with what I was comfortable with and not have to be troubled with figuring out new technology.

I still do find some truth in these common stereotypes, namely the lack of originality in digital work in comparison to work made by hand. Just like everyone’s handwriting is different and everyone’s voice sounds different, everyone’s painting style is different. With digital art everyone’s using the same tools, picking from the same fonts, often resulting in a lot of artwork looking very similar. It’s much harder to be different when working digitally.

Also, I’m a fan of imperfections in artwork, and spontaneous decisions. I associate digital art with design, and design with working on a piece until it reaches perfection, with the help of extensive planning. I’m not used to neat, tidy, perfect lines, and hammering my brain numb as to what that font implies.

So I guess with the previous four paragraphs, I am trying to explain why, with this first assignment, I was faced with a challenge: I had to both familiarize myself with the software to a comfortable level (I’m a bit behind everyone else) and also try and bring a lot of my own personality, art style, quirks, whatever, into my digital art in hopes of not falling into the cookie cutter category of digital art. I wanted the piece to look like me.

To accomplish this I shot most of the imagery, scanned typewritten captions, and strayed from using any of the Photoshop tools other than cut, paste, transform, and crop. I wanted to make this self-portrait echo a lot of the characteristics of my other artwork, arrange the composition like I would if working with tangible materials.

I’m pleased with the way it turned out, and even more pleased with the familiarity with the software I acquired during the production of this piece, which I have able to transfer to projects in other studio classes. With this class I hope to achieve a harmony between digital and studio artwork, letting each serve as a tool for each other.

(since it's too small to read the captions and decipher most images, do me a favor and pretend they're clever.)