Process. For my self-portrait, I wanted to people to see the see many different parts of me. We are complex and creative individuals, and I do not believe that we can easily be categorized. Thus, I believed a mosaic composed of important pictures, quotes, and other special items would be appropriate. I wanted people to see the multi-faceted, multi-layered, and complex beings that we are. We are created very intelligent beings and we should be using all our gifts. We are rational creatures and we each are unique. As a Christian, I see myself reflecting God’s glory and I wanted a self-portrait that would capture the many interests, loves, desires, passions, dreams, and active that I have.
I first came up with the idea of using a mosaic to be my self-portrait when I thought about how complex we are as individuals. I was honestly not sure how I was going to be able to remix myself in a way that I thought would capture the multi-layered complexity that we have as human beings. To make my self-portrait, I used the mosaic creator mosaically.com and uploaded pictures that I had taken and pictures of myself. Most of the pictures that I used were actually profile pictures from Facebook. I was thinking that this would be an “accurate” representation of myself. After I thought about it more, I realized that it probably was not an accurate portrayal of me, but it was a rendering of myself that I wanted the public to see. Kristian Arola talks about this in her essay “It’s My Revolution.” She says, “to understand online identity as regalia is to understand it as an embodied visible act that evolves and changes, and that represents one’s history” (218). I appreciated that Arola had already written about what I had been thinking about. My profile pictures changed over time, and this does represent a change in how I saw myself, or at least how I wanted to display myself to the public.
Rationale. My self-portrait was hard just because I was not sure how I wanted to present myself. I felt awkward and was not sure how to represent myself in a thoughtful way. I still feel like I have not represented myself as much or as well as I could have. Even now that my self-portrait is done, I still feel dissatisfied with it. It makes me wonder how other artists can do self-portraits.
When I was just starting my self-portrait, I thought about doing Buzzfeed quizzes and collecting them in some fashion because I had been struggling to think of a way to remix myself. I decided that the Buzzfeed quizzes could in no way really reflect who I was and I felt that it also made me take the project much less seriously. This relived me of the ethics and beliefs that I have already mentioned. If my self-portrait was just a joke, then I felt it would not really implicate myself. However, I ended up not going through with that idea because I realized that I did really care about my self-portrait. Obviously truthfulness and accuracy are a huge part of my remix ethics! Therefore, I decided to go with the mosaic because it allowed me to put in a lot of different things—pictures of friends and families and places I have been.