So, I am part of a new blog called blARTog, which exists to challenge people to be creative and share art. The first project was a self-portrait. I had an idea for the portrait for weeks, but when I sat down to do it, it turned into something completely new and different and actually opened my eyes a bit. You can read more about my process right here on the blog, but what I suddenly realized through this was how easy it is to know someone without actually knowing them. We have these worlds that we live in online via social networking sites like facebook and twitter as well as through photo albums, e-mails and online chats, basic accessible information, videos and profiles of all sorts. (And here I am sharing this all on a blog!) I awkwardly became an observer of my own life as I scrolled through this online life. I did not feel that anything I saw or read was untrue to who I am, but a loneliness set in as I realized that anyone who knows “online me” doesn’t fully know ME.
This realization inspired me to do a few things:
1. Create this piece of art.
2. Take some time to become an observer of my “real life”. How? I literally came face to face with myself and considered where/who/how I am. What am I feeling passionate about? What am I struggling with? How do I feel? It was humbling. I have a lot to ponder and change.
3. To try not to judge people solely based on a picture or comment I see online.
4. To remember to nurture and cherish my real life relationships. In reality, it is not that hard to stay connected to those you love, whether it is through a phone call, letter or card or an actual one on one over coffee or a walk. If it is truly important, time can be found.
I never imagined a simple portrait would teach me so much and I am so thankful.