There aren’t a lot of pictures out there of me. Not deliberately, it’s just I’m usually the one behind the camera. And I’ve only really attempted to sketch my own face once, the results so unrecognizable that I actually doubted my ability to draw humans. (Just kidding, those were pencil contour drawings from the workshop).
When I was maybe 11, I spent days drawing a pencil portrait of the literal boy next door. I probably liked him but I don’t remember it as being anything more than a mild crush. I used his yearbook photo as a reference. I actually remember using the school pictures from two different years because I liked his hair better than the other one. When we had to enter something in the local art show as part of our grade, I didn’t really have anything else and didn’t think too much about it before handed in the portrait.
The constant harassment at school as a result was pretty brutal. It had actually never occurred to me that anyone would be able to recognize him but… everyone recognized him and I put down my pencil for a few decades rather than endure that sort of attention again. I’m not even sure that I ever picked up the portrait after the exhibit ended.
Flying ahead to 2016 and the #rsselfiesketch challenge with Ria Sharon on Skillshare. Following different daily prompts, I picked up my pencil again and made an attempt to draw my own face. 10 times.
I was better at it than I thought I was going to be. The picture drawn from a reference childhood photo in particular, I can see my face. I can see my face looking out from behind my hair in another.
So while I wonder why no one sat that 11 year old down and reminded her that she had drawn a portrait so well that an entire school recognized the subject… I’m also not ready to lose any more time to it. I’m having a hard time putting the pencil down now.