On Being the Subject

To draw another person forces you to study their features closely, but to be drawn and see the results is an insight in to one’s self.

We all have perceptions in our minds as to how we look to the rest of the world, but it is impossible to know for sure. I spent a great deal of time last year modeling for a drawing class, and I always felt the experience charming, like I was meeting a new version of myself with each assignment that was completed. It was a rare glimpse behind the eyes of the artists as they studied me quietly sitting on the pedestal, lost in my own thoughts.

Even though each person’s approach is slightly different, I have noticed a common aura stringing each piece together. Artists render my portrait soft and my expression soothing, often resembling the features of a young woman in older, simpler times. I feel complimented by this. Sometimes I am so busy keeping track of things and worrying about what I need to do, that I fear I must look worn on the outside. Even though I tend to keep to myself, my portrait looks friendly and approachable. It shows a side of me that I often forget to nurture.

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