The First Nine

The Eyes are the window to your soul.— William Shakespeare

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

In October 2019, I had an idea. It was approaching Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year. I was seeing a lot of facepaint ideas for the usual scary faces, with the addition of some gory ones on various social media platforms. That’s when I had an idea. To paint my face in the style of an artist, to the run up of Halloween. I would do it for 9 days. It would be fun.

I wasn’t sure about this idea, so passed it by a couple of friends who said, ‘Yes 100%, do it’.

So that is where this journey began. I remember feeling so nervous about posting the first picture. Would people like it? Would they think I was strange? I was putting my face out there for people to see. Something I hadn’t done before.

I started with what I thought were easy replicates. Yellow dots on a red background. Nothing challenging. I remember feeling anxious about posting the picture. The series that followed saw me paint more complicated pieces, where I progressed to painting landscapes on my face. I was still playing it safe with my choices.

But there was something else that was happening during those nine days. I was healing. I was seeing myself for the first time. I don’t have a beauty regime in the morning. I brush my teeth, quickly wash my face and that will be the last time I look in a mirror, until bedtime. I don’t have mirrors all over my house and as I spend the majority of my time outside, I don’t have the opportunity to stare at my reflection to check my appearance. It is something that just doesn’t interest me.

I found myself staring at my face for 45-60 minutes a day. I was looking into my eyes. I was liking the work I was producing, I was liking myself. No, it was more than that. I loved myself. For the first time in my adult life, I was talking to myself in a positive encouraging way. It gave me confidence in my ability as an artist. It gave me confidence to be the version of myself I wanted to be. It gave me confidence to realise that I deserved to be loved, respected and more importantly, I learnt a lot about myself.

It was something I hadn’t thought about, at the beginning of the series. How I would develop creatively. I just had an idea and went with it. 
I had not spent that length of time looking at my own face… ever. As I mentioned apart from a quick wash in the morning and at night, that would be it.
I think I warmed to myself. I can actually say that I like myself… No, I love myself. I am not talking about being ‘up one’s own arse’ love. I mean a connection to me. The true me. I know what I like, what I don’t like, what I want and more importantly, what I don’t want. 

It had been an empowering process and one that I channelled into my art. The face painting has continued and I now challenge myself with more complex paintings.

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