oh, how i love self-portraits. i love how each child always seems to find that one little detail about themselves that truly brings their portrait to life. for some it’s just the right shade of eye color, for others it’s the perfect hair accessory. but for yesterday’s “museum masters” students, the details went beyond the physical and began to include more emotional ideas. one little girl chose to have her mouth open in her portrait “because I’m always talking about something important”…another child decided to include a cowboy hat because “that’s always cool.” perhaps my favorite detail was this self-portrait whose seven-year-old artist chose to put his eyes up towards the top of the face because “that’s how big thinkers’ eyes are.” I love that.
the finest moment for me was when a little girl in my class, who was working so diligently and beautifully on her self-portrait, called me over because she had something important to tell me. when i got to her side, she was just starting to shade in her eye color and she said to me what i hope all young artists can believe and what i hope all old artists never forget. she said, “I was just thinking that in self-portraits, nobody’s perfect and I like that.”
Thank you for reminding me of that, and here’s to all of the beautifully imperfect little souls out there and to the mark they’ll inevitably make on the world.