(above) Self-Portrait No. 45 (detail)
I’m not sure whether I’m being lazy or efficient today, as I polished off both No. 45 and No. 46 by 1pm. Hopefully I was being efficient; I’m constantly striving for efficiency in all parts of my life. After I complete any task, anything from a simple task like chopping a tomato to a more complex one like organizing my course syllabi, I find myself compulsively analyzing in my head how I could do it again, but better. I’m constantly formulating strategies in my mind to prepare for the next time I do something so that I’m prepared and ready to take care of any glitches that happened the first time through.
My drawing technique especially is something that I’m always trying to improve upon with every mark I make. As I’ve discussed in the past, I’m relying more and more on the etching ink work to carry the piece which means less time and labor with the lithographic crayon and exacto knife. I’m definitely pickier about what areas I choose to add detail to, which overall gives the portrait a more spontaneous look. I think the sheer quantity of portraits in this project has forced me to become quicker and more efficient, I feel that there is a momentum and pace that I have to keep up to maintain the energy that I’m looking for. I worry that if I linger for too long on any image that the project slows down and I lose that freshness of the marks that I want to achieve. After working on this series, it’s become clear to me that I get motivated by quantity and a high turnover rate; I’m not someone who can labor over an image or two for months at a time. I like the feeling of being productive and seeing fast results, and a high quantity of images is definitely one way to satisfy that need.