Tag Archives: self-portrait

Assignment 1 Design Process

To start this assignment, I brainstormed a list of all the tangible aspects of myself that I could think of, including things I do and like. Then I moved towards the intangible things – how I felt my brain worked and how I react towards things. I knew I didn’t want my design to be full of symbols representing my favorite activities, so I tried to focus on the more vague things I could represent about myself.

My initial thought involved a lot of trying to symbolize feelings and emotions through the tangible things on my list, such as music and my guitar and my dog and my favorite movies. However, I quickly abandoned that thought as it involved too many icons.

I then though to represent myself through a cityscape. I like the organization of a city, and as I wanted to depict how I thought my brain worked, a city seemed like an interesting way to show that. Being from Boston, I chose the Boston skyline. I recreated the Hancock building and the Prudential as landmarks to make it distinguishable but added my own buildings randomly from there.


This is a very rough sketch of my idea brainstorming.

I hoped to represent two sides of myself: the top half would be a lighter, warmer color like pink and yellow, hopefully evoking a calm and serene feeling, while the bottom half would have cooler blue colors, representing a slightly colder and more turbulent side to myself. Throughout the image, I wanted to interweave subtly aspects of myself. Here is the in progress image that I submitted initially. It shows the layout of the city and the two opposing sides of it.



In this image, the pixelated look of the buildings’ reflections were meant to symbolize both a more agitated feeling to the bottom half of the image as well as an implied reference to 8-bit graphics, connecting to the fact that I am a course 6 student and work with computers.

Some of the critiques I received stated that I needed to add in more about myself as well as the interesting statement that there was missing emotion, that it was almost there. This was interesting to me as I have often been told that I seem to lack emotion or that my face is rather inexpressive, and I thought that this portrayal of myself is something that has actually affected my life rather strongly. As a result, I decided to keep it just on the edge of emotion for the final version.

In the final version, I added in some more layers. I worked with using negative space and different shapes in the clouds to add complexity, to represent the varying levels of thoughts in my head. I added in lines on the bottom half that are reminiscent of a music staff and also changed one of the building’s reflections to mimic a film reel. The red streak across the top half is meant to almost reflect the musical line on the bottom and symbolize a “wild streak”.

Overall, the design is meant to represent how I see myself. Though the view seems simple, the overlaying streaks of color are meant to show depth and variance.