This is me playing around with digital collage selfie portraits. First I start with a simple lead pencil sketch. Then digitally I use a mix of vintage textile scans and graphic illustration on my tablet to create a surreal collage drawing.
These are not self portraits but are inspired by the plethora of mirror selfies photos on the online shopping platform Depop. Many of the sellers on Depop are small users, posing in their bedrooms to sell their vintage and funky secondhand clothes and accessories. There is no shortage of mirror selfies to study with endless scroll.
I am fascinated with how social media and mobile phone behaviour is changing our society. In these portraits, the face is obscured by the phone, giving a thin veil of facial anonymity. I like this pose, as to me it also symbolises the take over of phones in our life and the erosion of face to face connection. It is of course also an effective way to photograph yourself wearing clothes, when you are both the model and photographer.
I particularly like playing around with digital collage using floral and tribal batik and ikat prints. The antique tapestries I use, are high resolution scans of real cloth from the 16th to 19th century, sourced from across the globe. Most of my batik prints come from Indonesia and are well over 100 – 200 years old. The florals are French and English cotton block prints. European flowers and earthy natural wax designs together give a gorgeous blend of wild femininity.
Part of my bread and butter income as an artist, comes from selling printable art on ETSY. I have an extensive collection of vintage textile patterns that I have digitally restored. I like to leave some of the age markings to preserve the character of these glorious old pieces of fabric. It takes time to edit cloth fragments to create a usable artwork. In the process I fall in love with the intricacies of each textile. I usually know before I even start the pencil drawing, what tapestry I plan to use in the collage.
In the real world and digitally, I am a collector of fabric, particularly cloth made with traditional heirloom techniques and delicate embroidery. Over the years my love for fabric moved from the sewing and homewares space to incorporation into my arts practice. Digital collages are a way for me to indulge in my textile love and the maximalist aesthetic without physically hoarding more than I already do.
There is 3 mirror selfies in this set, created as a 16 x 16 inch square artwork. I have listed these on my ETSY store here. These would make a good addition to a gallery wall with a jungle floral boho vibe or used as a digital avatar.
So which mirror selfie girl resonates with you the most?