I was very excited and nervous to take on a commissioned portrait for a very dear person in my life. As it is a work in progress, I sent over pictures of my work to make sure it was turning out as she envisioned. And while the portrait is quite accurate (if I do say so myself), I learned that the person in the portrait is very self-conscious of certain features. So I was asked to make some slight adjustments, which of course I’m happy to do.
However, this got me to thinking about the way that we see ourselves and why we aren’t ever happy with how we look as is, without angles and without filters. We market ourselves on social media to portray these fictional characters and perfect lives that only exist in movies, books and fashion magazines.
And the funny thing is those closest to us, who see us in our worst and best states, who see us in our darkest and lightest moments, think we’re much more beautiful as we are than how we portray ourselves in those filtered images we put on Instagram and Facebook. Yet we all do it because let’s be honest, it makes us feel good when acquaintances and strangers tell us how great we look, how cute of a couple we are, or how beautiful our kids our. I still can’t figure out why we need that validation...perhaps it’s human nature.
I created this self-portrait on a very dark Saturday night in 2011, drunk on Martell VSOP. I was angry and sad. Don’t lie, you’ve all been there at some point in your lives;)
It was the perfect state of mind for an artist to do her best work, ha! Meanwhile when I look back at it, I like how raw it is. I like how cold and angry I look, and how I faced myself dead on in the mirror like I was challenging myself to get over it. I like that I just drew what I saw, without skewing the image to make myself look thinner or prettier. It was simply me in that moment.
I’ll leave you with this. You are beautiful as you are, so don’t forget to let people see you that way from time to time.
Please visit www.danielamilinkovich.com for my latest artworks.
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