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combining my face with the subconscious doodles

At the beginning of this stage, I was unsure whose face to use. My focus was on the importance and message of stepping out of your subconscious mind to recognise a face, any face. 

Although I thought about using my own face, I wasn't entirely convinced that this was the direction I wanted to take. I discussed my thoughts and concept with Pav, seeking some advice about the face to use. We had an interesting conversation that led to the idea of creating multiples of this OI portrait using the faces of people of importance in our world, for example, Trump, Putin, Boris Johnson or Andrew Tate. 


Pav suggested that incorporating faces of influence and control would give my project a stronger creative direction and potentially lead to a higher grade. I took some time to consider this advice, as I had been putting my FMP on hold while focusing on editing and curating this year's Art Foundry magazine (more on this later). 

I started by using a selfie and turning it into an SVG using the Shape tool which can turn photos into black and white and colour vector graphics so that I could then add them into my Photoshop version of the subconscious doodles and then by lowering the opacity on the layer with my face on, I can now use the eraser and pen to increase the width of the squiggles where there were details from my face. After examining Wagstaff's portraits I think this is how he has created the Optical Illusion with the final piece. 

Adobe Capture
Adobe Capture
Creating the thicker lines
Interesting outcome
Slowly getting there

​However, after giving it some thought, I decided to stick with my initial idea of using my own face within the portrait. I think the idea of using someone famous' face made me feel as though, what felt like, a strong, clever and thought-provoking concept was being made 'topical' and losing its power. I believe it's important that the audience doesn't recognise the face as I think it'll draw away from the deeper meaning of the project which again, is about when we choose to be in our subconscious or conscious states of mind and the importance of this as it impacts so enormously on how we interact with others and this I believe is the underlying theme of my concept, judgement, forgiveness, kindness and humility - all things that I see less and less.

Overall, I want to create something clever, prominent, and thought-provoking that will inspire others.


In some sense, this is my first self-portrait. If you think back to Frida Khalo, Vincent Van Gough or Norman Rockwell their self-portraits have become iconic (now, this is not me saying mine will become iconic by any means!) because they've not only painted their faces but their stories. This is something that inspires me. I admire portraits that make you feel something; engaged and curious about the back story. This is what I want to try and encapsulate in my work. 


- Richman-Abdou, K. (2023) 28 iconic artists who have immortalized themselves through famous self-portraits, My Modern Met. Available at: (Accessed: 09 May 2023).

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