My stories have always been told in pictures. I find it difficult to get my mind around a character if I don't know what they look like, and drawing them gives me small quirks about their personality that I couldn't know otherwise. One wears a St. Christopher medal... another has unruly hair... another has a lazy eye or wears a lot of kohl. I can learn a lot about a character just by the way their smile comes out on a page. In a way, also, finding characters forces me to look at myself. I find it hard to write a character if I can't see some of myself in them. Being as introspective as I am, it's not difficult for me to look inside myself, scrutinize, find things that I do and that I don't do and figure out why. Just as with writing a character, I find it easier to understand myself when I draw a picture of myself.
In the same vein, I can tell a lot about my frame of mind when I see an old self-portrait. Self-portraits were the only thing that I consistently drew over the years. Characters that I played or wrote came into vogue and left, one-shot pictures were rare, (rarer still because of the fact that I often wrote stories around them as I drew) fanart lost my interest after a while, but the one story that never left me was my own.
I can see, through these pictures, the evolution of my drawing skill (such as it is) and the evolution of my frame of mind. The closer and closer I came to tolerating the way I actually was, rather than an idealized image of who I'd like to be, the more my pictures actually looked like me. I can see the way I evolved my own individual style, rather than just imitating the styles I'd already seen.
I'm on my way to appreciating myself as an artist, as a writer, as a person. Maybe someday I'll be able to look back on the things I've done with my life and be happy with them. I'm trying my best but before you appreciate what you do, you have to be able to appreciate who you are. And I'm not quite there yet. By putting myself down on paper, I can, in a way.
In a way, every drawing I do is a self-portrait, because my emotions are so much a part of what I'm drawing. When I'm sad, I draw someone in the throes of depression. When I'm happy, I draw dancing...
So anyway, here's a sampling of some self-portraits of mine over the years, hosted on Foobonic. The comments are prohibitively long, so I suggest paging through them one by one, if you're interested.
This is also my one-year Hatrack anniversary. I guess there's something about Hatrack that makes me feel OK sharing parts of myself over the internet. Thank you all for being my friends. (smiles) Hatrack's become part of my life, and a good part.
I'm so glad I've gotten the chance to get to know you, and appreciate all you add to our community.
Best of luck and hope for many more!
P.S. I envy your anime skills. I missed the anime bus somewhere in art school and have no clue about any of this phenomenon that's taking our aesthetic world by storm.
Posts: 8503 | Registered: Aug 1999
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Congrats on your 3000 posts & happy hatrack-versary !
As someone who has a brother addicted to drawing I can say I totally understand your need to show what you feel through your drawings. And you do it very well, too ! I must say, you have a superb talent for expressions ! I can easily see when you're happy, sad, excited about something... It's something quite hard to do, and yet it seems so natural in your drawings !
As for my favourites... Let's just say the cat-girl rawks ! And there's also your dreamworld that looks... err... dreamy ?! And the "naughty" angel: looks like you were trying to corrupt some of us mortals towards... good ?
Keep on the good work ! And posting here !
Posts: 4519 | Registered: Sep 2003
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I think this is one of my favorite landmarks ever. Landmarks are by nature personal, but the way you took the idea of the landmark and put your own spin on the format makes it doubly so, to me anyway. Amazing, really.
I find it fascinating that your creative impulse is always tied to a portrait. I can't draw for beans, but when I try to draw people they never look even remotely like who they are supposed to look like, and I have similar problems with my writing. I'm not good at describing people. Actually, I'm not very good at visualizing people. So when I write, if it comes from an image, it's always an image of a building or, more often, a landscape, and often it's not really a visual thing at all. I guess what I'm trying to say (if I can stop talking about myself in your landmark for a minute) is that I have always been intrigued by visual artists.
I'm very glad you're here, Abby-chan. Before too long you'll have left me in the dust in terms of post count, but I hope you'll still let me hang around you and all (so the coolness will rub off a bit).
PS: I noticed this caption on one of your drawings:
quote:For a long time, my favorite self-portrait. Just a little chibi of myself as a cat-girl. Heh. SUCH a fangirl back then. Date: Sometime in 2001
I'm sure you know this, but "chibi" in Japanese is kind of like "shorty." When I was a kid my mom's cousin Gary always used to call me that.
Posts: 4533 | Registered: Jan 2003
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Thank you so much for sharing your pictures, even though my comp would not let me view the larger images. You are such an asset to Hatrack, and I hope that you continue to be so for many a year to come.
Your drawing skills progressed so clearly over the span -- very impressive.
I only know you like you appear in #17 (well...actually I couldn't tell about the showering or not... ) So I have to say I liked that one best as a self-portrait. There are others, though, that also display great talent and emotion.
And happy 3,000.
Edit -- I can't believe you've only been here a year. You've made quite an impact, IMHO. Happy anniversary too!!!
Abby, those were just beautiful!! I remember you telling me about them (cause I saw you on April 15th!!) and when I saw your LJ, I was really excited to finally get to see them all. They're so expressive. I had really distinctive reactions to all of them in some way or another.
Congrats on being you Abby, you really are lovely and funny and smart. [brag]Did I ever tell you guys how cute she is?? You can see that in her cool drawings, but I saw it IN PERSON!![/brag]
I'm so glad you're here and that I know you!!
Posts: 6415 | Registered: Jul 2000
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I read this when it was first posted, but didn't have time to reply.
Ryu! I can't believe it's been a year already! I am SO going to top your post count one of these days!
As many, many people have alrady said, I really dug the expressive eyes in your pics. Thanks for sharing that landmark, and for being here in general! AIM at four in the morning wouldn't be the same without you! <laugh>
You're one of my favorite posters. So don't go anywhere.
Posts: 1589 | Registered: Feb 2003
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Wow, Ryuko. I'm impressed with the artwork and with your growing skills, but I'm even more impressed with the organization it takes to keep track of your work over the years. You take your craft seriously.
Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000
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What a wonderful insight to a great person! Thanks so much! I really enjoyed your art and love the captions. You definitely developed a style of your own over the years and it does make a neat journal/diary.
Posts: 1777 | Registered: Jan 2003
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afr: That's partly because I used to start with eyes, always. Then I'd just fill in what was around it. Though I usually plan out a little more nowadays, I still find myself drawing eyes all over my notes. More than anything else.
TAK: (toasts with apple cider)
Ralphie: (hug) Thanks, lady. And thanks for setting me up with the gallery, so I could do this.
Annie: You haven't missed much. I envy your ability to do art that really means something, whereas anime art... doesn't always. It's a lot harder to find people who will call your art "art" when it's anime-styled. I was kinda worried about that when I posted this landmark.
Jeni: That was better than an enslaved california grape to me. Thank you, Jeni!!
dkw: (blushes) Darn it, I'm so bad at taking compliments... Thank you, Dana.
Corwin: I guess over the years I just practiced a lot and got better at it. It really helps me to catharcize, personally. Thanks for the compliments.
Dan_raven: I guess I wasn't thinking about it that way... Hmmm... Now you make me want to get feedback on my drawings!
saxon75: You know what, that makes my day, sensei. I'm so glad you liked my landmark. It's ironic that you say that, because my inability to draw buildings and other things that aren't organic has always made me a little bit miffed. I just have no patience for it, I'm much more interested in the ethereal. And also... (glomps sensei) You're one of my favorite hatrackers! You're always gonna be wayy cooler than me! And hyup. I knew that about the word chibi. In the fangirl sense, it means tiny little caricatures with big heads but that's SO CUTE that you got called that! ^_^
Myr: Thank you!
ak: I find it humorous that YOU would say that I'M one of the best things about Hatrack! (hugs)
rivka: (blush) It's not that unique! Mack pulled it off and ten times better a few months ago! Mine's just gravy. I miss talking to you, too. I miss talking to everyone, but it'll be a lot better when I get off of school.
BelladonnaOrchid: Yay! I haven't seen you in a long time! (hugs) Thanks for posting.
Eruve Nandiriel: There's always time! It's been said and it's been said but drawing just takes practice. That's why I'm good at it. Because I love to do it, and so I do it a LOT. You can always improve.
pooka: (returns handshake) And I wasn't thinking about it before, but now I'm SO going to do it! Although I'm bad at drawing large groups.... Eh. I can do it! (promise)
tonguetied&twisted: (((((tt&t))))) Thanks.
Bob_Scopatz: (hugs) I knew I should do one that was more realistic. I had a few more, but my life's been so hectic lately that I just didn't have time to scan. Maybe I'll put more up when foobonic comes back up. Thanks, Bob. And hearing that last bit means a ton, coming from you. (bobnoogies)
cochik: Yeah. (smiles) Let's not get down now, though!! Hope for future Valentine's days!!!
Shan: Thank you. I have come to terms with the fact that drawing and writing are all a part of me, and they're useful in getting people to understand me. Anyway, I think a thousand might be too many words for my silly drawings.
Narnia: You make me blush! I'm glad you liked it.. You got to preview, almost! Thanks, lady! (hug) I'm glad I know you too.
fallow: Wow. This is probably the first ever serious post I've seen from you. Unless it's a joke, too... Aw. Anyway... I do write and I do draw, but I do neither at a level at which I could do them professionally. Perhaps if I'd funnelled all of my creative energy through one of the two, I could have become skilled enough at one... But it's not to be. I'm happy with the way I am. I don't know what I'm going to do with my life, but I doubt it will be strictly related to either of those. Thanks for the compliment, though.
Zotto!: No. No you never will top my post count. Give up, puny hooomahn! And I probably wouldn't get on AIM at four in the morning if I didn't have an inkling that someone would be there! So you and ttt make my AIM!!
ClaudiaTherese: I'd like to agree with you, but my recent memories hold images of me digging in the dust under my bed for piles of art and drawings held in old Elementary school folders and junk like that. So really, it's very little organization, mostly just mess.
Christy: Yeah. I sometimes like to go through my regular journal for the days that I drew these pictures, looking for evidence as to the reasons why I drew them. It's something fun to do while I'm avoiding homework.
Icarus: I'll bump the thread when foobonic comes back up. What an inauspicious time for me to have to post a landmark. :/ Ah well. I'll survive. Edit: I'm glad I'm here too!!
Bump from second page and to say that there's three more portraits in the Album. Two that I missed and one that I drew after the landmark was posted.
Posts: 4812 | Registered: Apr 2003
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