Thursday, 17 July 2014

 Self-Portrait with a Snail 

Picture for me the one thing you enjoy doing above all others. The one distraction, the thing you look forward to during dull work hours, the thing you wish you were doing instead of going to that party you simply couldn't get out of, the one thing you never tire of. Imagine with me, being quite good at that thing. Good enough that you get that sense of accomplishment, of having created. You pour yourself into it, holding nothing back, and in return it gives you a satisfaction above anything else. 
Now - you're going to have to humour me - picture yourself posting an image of this creation, this 'thing' you spent all your waking hours working on, this 'thing' that took 3 weeks to complete, on facebook - brimming with pride all the while. And BEHOLD! 7 likes! One comment telling you that you have talent! You can die happy! 

No? Oh. Right. A little disappointing.
Such is the silly highs and lows of social media.

I needed a photo of myself looking like an artist. The only professional photos of myself that I have are wedding pics, 3 years old, and decidedly weddingy.. that and facebook pics, pics with my face squashed into friends faces, into my husbands cheek, pulling ironic pouts and silly faces, or holding a wine glass in front of half my face. I can do some photoshop, but these photos are above my ability to professionalise!
While moaning about this, and dreaming out loud to friends over the weekend about what a ridiculously over the top photo shoot I'm going to end up having, with a top hat and a live fox around my neck of course, someone mentioned me doing a sketch, and I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of that before! So obvious, faster and easier than photoshop! 
And so on monday, after a monstrous amount of admin, and with the prospect of more admin on tuesday, I sat down and started a scribble. Note - not a drawing. Not anything serious or awe inspiring (ha)  just something that looked sketchy and fast and sort-of like me. I didn't shade, I didn't even hatch, I literally scribbled. And I googled a pretty scarf and drew that on me to make me all sophisticated and grown-up seeming. 
I had so much fun messing about with it, and felt myself relaxing for the first time in weeks. I lost myself for a couple of hours, and that was great. Like massages and Pedi's are to other girls, I imagine.

I uploaded it to facebook, just because I hadn't uploaded anything in a while and I like to remind people about my existence now and then, and WOAH! 57 likes!
Which is nice. I guess, people liked it, and getting likes on your actual face does soothe the self-esteem. But tp get that much attention on something completely not serious, not hard, not really skill-work, that took 4 hours and is tiny, and which I will now that I've photographed it, throw away. And when I upload a painting I get 13 likes on a good day. A painting that I worked on for a month. It actually was my life for a month. 

And there lies the point. We really shouldn't try to find any sort of meaning in likes. I know, its a moot point, but when you upload something you made, it becomes the most important thing in the world for a little while - don't argue unless you've been through that torture! 

I guess people appreciate drawings, because everyone has doodled, everyone tried a sketch at some stage in their lives, whether anyone ever saw it or not, and so people know it's hard. But I spent the evening ranting at my poor innocent husband about it. About how hard painting can be, and about how that isn't even a proper drawing, I USED SCRIBBLES! But it doesn't matter. It's facebook. Where people share inspirational posters of baby animals and remind each other that it's friday on

I am learning not to find my happiness in people. I've been learning this for about 6 years I think, I'm getting better at it, but sometimes I fall, and I base a thought on something off social media. I'll try harder, promise!

Also - the bun in my hair kind of looks like a snail.


  1. I think the 57 likes was for you... so 57 people like you :)
    The wonderful person and talented artist that you are... They saw the beauty of YOU :)
    That doodle captured your spirit and fun, joyful nature perfectly !

  2. Wiat, someone actually reads these?! ;) Thanks Izaan, I doubt that, but it IS a nice thought, and you get 3000 internet points for calling it a doodle! Thanks for reading and commenting, much appreciated! :D