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Who are you as an artist? Create a self-portrait.

Who are you? Who are you as an artist? Please don’t ask me how I see you, because what I think doesn’t matter.

I have an opinion, but my opinion is clouded by where I went to school, where I grew up, and what I like to eat for breakfast. If you ask someone else what they think of your artwork, their opinion might be different.

People tell you they “love” your work, “absolutely love” your work. Yet, you still doubt.


You worry about what other people think, and somehow you forget who you are.

Maybe that’s not you. Maybe you don’t care what people think about your work. Maybe you can hang your art on the wall in a gallery and not throw up before the opening.

At the Alberta College of Art, where I studied photography, my instructor gave us an assignment to do a self-portrait. Mine was a series of individual 8×10 prints of parts of my body. Part of the images are on a contact sheet I found last night in a box of prints.

Who are you?

Do you listen to your own voice? Or do you seek your image in the faces and opinions of others?

I am looking for my face, for who I am. I have spent most of my life looking for my voice in other’s people’s opinions, and then you become a reflection of yourself. Reversed, not there.

Listen to your own voice. Create you.

Find you.

I will search with you.


How do you see yourself?

How would you draw yourself, or photograph yourself? What song or story would you write that describes you?

Create a self-portrait, and share it in the comments.

Use any medium, paint, crayons, photography, sculpture, words, rip up magazine’s and make a collage.

How do you see yourself? Show us.


click here to comment HERE

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Meg Konovska

    Wow! That was truly inspiring! <3
    It made me recall something… At the time when I was studying classical drawing and painting, I used to sketch a load of self-portraits. As someone who liked animation, I also had a tendency of exaggerating my facial features.
    And then one day, when I was showing some works to my tutor, after a moment of meditation he asked: "Why do you hate yourself?"
    I stared at him, speechless. It was truly a time when I did not particularly like myself….
    Now, years later, I am much more comfortable with who I am and it shows in my self depictions.
    The picture I am attaching is was taken last year, the day before I started El Camino de Santiago in Spain. Even though it is just a selfie taken with my tablet, I love the feeling it and the misty sfumatto quality it has.
    I particularly like this one; however a friend recently commented "Well, you have much better ones…" 😉
    As pointed in the article, there will always be differences between the way others perceive us and the way we see ourselves… 🙂
    Thank you for the nice read!

  • La McCoy

    I will work on this. Right now I am working to draw clouds on Mars.

  • EmFairley

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful woman, inside and out. I dislike focusing on myself for any amount of time, preferring instead to focus on those who need me. I’m a giver, not a taker. That said, this has definitely given me food for thought, as you always do, and I will take time to complete the assignment. Thank you, Pamela

    • Hello EmFairley,
      Perhaps we will see you in the love you reflect on those that need you, and those you love.
      Maybe your self-portrait is a reflection, or a sunrise.
      I think it is hard to be your own person, if we don’t know who we are, by our own definition.
      If I only look to others for who I am, I can get lost.

      • EmFairley

        I definitely know who I am and I am my own person, but a sunrise would suit as a self portrait 🙂

  • Susan W A

    Here is what comes to mind in response to your prompt. I chose chameleon as my image, for several reasons. There have been times in my lifetime that I have let myself be influenced by what others think, and have adjusted my presence to fit their perspective more than I cared to. It doesn’t happen as often as when I was younger, but even in my fifties, I find myself holding back at times.

    I was glad, though, when I read that someone had put a label to the “imposter syndrome”, and found out how prevalent it is.

    As a writer, I give myself permission to proudly call my work “raw poetry” … acknowledging that there could be ways to tighten up my phrasing or images, etc., but that I choose to present my thoughts, feelings and senses as they come to me. That form of expression contributes to the impact of the message.

    The other part of the chameleon image is that I tend to be a Jack of all trades, which has its drawbacks at times, but creates a rich life in many ways.

    Pamela, I have learned so much from you since I started reading your remarkable, insightful work. I count you as one of my important role models. Thank you for your ideas about reflecting on life.

    With gratitude and solidarity,
    – Susan
    [swa] / a colored envelope


    • Hello Susan W A,
      Being who we are, unapologetically, can be hard. No, it is hard. I understand, the need to fit in, be accepted, and the need to be ourselves, and not care what others think.
      Yes, permission to write, and to share your viewpoints. And bravely trying new things.
      Thank you always for your friendship and your encouragement.
      I love your smiling face on a rainbow, loving and accepting of all. I would recognize that smile anywhere.
      Hugs to you, and wishes for joy and passion to be, always, Susan W A, the kind woman who gives kids and their bikes rides to school, and who writes as Susan W A.

  • Robert Ranck


    Pamela, I am seventy-nine years old.

    Today I am the oak that has had to learn how to bend in order to keep from breaking; I am the willow that toughened up and neither bent nor broke. I am pale shadows, half-tones and pastels, in a high-key, brilliantly colored and contrasted world – yet another version is brilliantly limned in bold letters, embellished with a few highlights of gold leaf in a frame of vague and indistinct shapes.

    I feel like a kneaded eraser, much used, having picked up a bit of each color I have been rubbed against, no longer having any distinct shape or hue of my own.

    Reflection? Reversed, yes. But still very much HERE and NOW. My gang sheet would be hard to view, the images would be disparate an uncoordinated.

    Thanks for the stimulus to think and to review. Like looking into a mirror, it is a way to see both ways at once, backward and forward.

    • Susan W A

      lush description; I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for putting in so much thought as to how to express your ideas.

      • Robert Ranck

        Thanks, Susan. I try to be regular and congenial, but some days, “cranky” will out.

        Like yourself, I generally try to accommodate those who make my world interesting but as I age that becomes of less importance than being my own plain and unvarnished self.

        And Pamela’s blog IS a good source of inspiration, isn’t it?

    • Hello Robert Ranck,
      Thank you for writing a self-portrait. A vivid description of a life adapting, and taking on the colors of the life they have lived.
      The gold leaf, and the kneaded eraser, talk of an indistinct shape, or having no shape or our own.
      Yet, the richness of your life, gives you shape and vivid color.
      Backward and forward.
      Here and now.
      So happy to read and see you, your self-portrait.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    I would know that forehead and those eyebrows anywhere, no one can fool a Mother. If I could just reach through the screen & touch your beautiful face, oh, how nice that would be!!! There, I almost made myself cry!! xo, Mom