Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into

the world today

ROBERT MCKEE

MYSELF
A PORTRAIT OF

A PORTRAIT OF MYSELF

A FREE PROJECT TO HELP THOSE
FACING MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES

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TELLING YOUR STORY

During this unit we are going to look at the two tasks that you completed during UNIT ONE and use them to define the intention of your portrait and start scripting what your portrait will look like.

Although, throughout this coursework I refer to the image as being a portrait, it does not need to be a portrait in the ‘traditional’ way of thinking. I does not need to be a portrait of you, rather a portrait of the challenges that you are facing. The image does not even need to be taken of you.

In 1981 artist Sophie Callie got her mother to hire a detective to follow her for a day. Sophie, knowing that she was being followed, led the detective on a choreographed route through the streets of Paris. At the same time Sophie detailed what it felt like to be followed. The result was a documented story of her day. Some of her other work shows the details of her hotel rooms, without her in the photographs, creating a way for the viewer to see a glimpse of her life as an artist.

This is just one way in which artists have allowed their viewers to experience their story. The way you tell your story is entirely up to you, however, during this unit we will look at ways in which you can use what you explored about yourself and your influences to create both the intent and theme for your portrait.

I don't do anything without intention because intention determines the outcome of your life

Oprah Winfrey

INTENTION

When you look back at the pages you wrote during the last unit they are probably a mass of scribbles, that is if they are anything like mine. It is difficult to interpret anything from those pages, even when you are the one who wrote them. 

If you go straight into creating your image without identifying what the intention of your image is going to be that could be how your image is interpreted by the viewer. It may be that you want to show the confusion, even if this is the case you still need the confusion as your main intention.

It may be that you want your portrait to be informative or encouraging. You could want to use your image to show the strength of emotion or the effects of what you are feeling. Perhaps you simply want people to see the torment that you are suffering.

Which ever you decide you need to be clear in what you are trying to achieve.

With the intention it is important not to include too many elements. It is easy to get carried away and keep adding different parts. To ensure that you you get your message across in a clear way you need to keep it simple. For the intention of your portrait it is often a case that less is more, allowing the viewer to add their own understanding.

In this section we will begin to breakdown the emotions or feelings that you wrote down into smaller ‘chunks’ that will be easier to deal with and which will create a clearer portrait.

TASK

Go back and read through the pages that you created during the last unit when you explored yourself. 

Pick out one of the emotions or feelings that you wrote down and write it on a new sheet of paper or page in your notebook.

Now you have the main focus of your portrait have a look at the items that you wrote for how it makes you feel. Are there one or two that stand out? If so write them down with your emotion or feeling.

 

There are three different kinds of scripting: functional, informational and emotional.

Jay Sankey

SCRIPTING

Now that you have identified the intention for your portrait it is time to have a look at your influences so that you can start to script how your portrait will look.

The way that you script your portrait is important as it will define what your final image will look like. If you decide to continue with another portrait it will also create a framework that you can use so that the images you create all have the same look and feel about them.

By scripting I don’t mean a script as an actor would use. The scripting we will be using will define what your image will look like and how it will feel. Scripting your image will include the lighting of the image, will it be bright an cheerful or dark and moody? What time of day would suit your image? Would it be early morning, late afternoon or even during the night?

Where will your portrait be set? Perhaps it will show you still in bed, or downstairs going through daily life. Are you outside in your garden or somewhere else? Is the scene going to be cluttered or empty?

By scripting your image you will also be able to identify any props or costumes that you may need to get the overall look that you are after.

 

TASK

For this task you are going to continue one the same page or sheet of paper as the previous task.

Go back to the influences that you wrote down in UNIT ONE and look through the elements that you wrote down about each one. Start picking out elements that you feel will work with the intention that you are trying to achieve. Write them down on the same page and see how your portrait develops.

 

MY PHOTOGRAPHY on the blog