"Growth is often uncomfortable, messy, and full of feelings you weren't expecting; but it's necessary."
~ Molly Ho.
How many times do you look at yourself a day? I mean seriously look at yourself. Well, while getting serious about my self-portraits, I looked at myself more than I think I have all year and it was quite unnerving. I don't get behind the lens too often and this made me realize I should do it a bit more.
I don't like taking pretty pictures. Pretty pictures are a dime in a dozen. Pretty pictures do not encourage self-awareness and with self-portraits being aware of your being is forced right at you. You find yourself asking, who is that person and how can I get them to show up genuinely.
It's different from pretty pictures, fun pictures, or selfies where it doesn't necessarily matter what's going on, and it's not a matter of ego. It is an interesting discovery of relearning oneself and now I need to sit down with a cup of coffee and seriously look at myself.
How I did it:
I'm a huge BTS fan and my Bias, SUGA, produced a song, First Love for their WINGS album. The song was not about a person, but an instrument (his piano), and that resonated with me deeply.
I hadn't touched this violin for four years before picking it up for some self-portraits. I have been playing on and off since kindergarten and learning to play and loving the sound was really like a relationship with ups and downs, frustrations and highlights. I had stopped playing before moving to Shanghai. One of the main reasons was because my neck would lock while playing sending this pain down my arm. Obviously not good for playing.
Now, I have picked it up again, working with stretches and exercises (an occasional massage) to help the muscles in that area. It is like catching up with an old friend this time. This violin is about my age, give or take a couple of years and I don't see myself ever letting it go.
How it came out:
Capturing self-portraits is definitely something I will consider doing more of. It is a learning experience that encourages growth in creative and technical skill and it is always fun to push my artistic boundaries.