Self-Portrait Social Media Collage (Design I: Final Project)


(click here to view this entry on my website)

For my final Design project, I was asked to analyze my social media interaction and online activity and then put together a self-portrait based on the digital persona I have created for myself.

I noticed that since choosing SCAD, the majority of what I post online has become heavily art-related – either photos of my finished projects or the processes behind them, or links to my portfolio website or this art-based blog. I think it’s because coming to art school is different than what everyone in my social network is currently doing, and I’m proud to post updates on what makes me unique. However, I knew I couldn’t create my self-portrait entirely about creativity; there’s a whole other side of me that needed to be fairly represented, one that you can still find online if you look closely enough: logic. These two qualities represent opposite halves of the brain which are not equally weighted in most people, but that’s what sets me apart. So, I created this self-portrait as a depiction of the two pieces of my mind, using almost entirely information that I have put online in some form or another. I mounted it at an angle to represent the idea that this persona is what allows me to stand out from the crowd, or in this case, the other rectangular, boxed-in projects hanging beside it on the wall.

The left side of my collage is a collection of right-brained qualities: passion, creativity, art, color, and adventure. (Keep in mind this is a depiction of my digital self from an outside viewer, not a mirror image, which explains why the right side of my brain is not on the right half of my collage.) I painted my skin with watercolor and then created facial features using tidbits of my previous artwork. Behind me is an explosion of artistic thoughts consisting of more personal artwork and some adventurous or colorful photos I’ve taken.

On the right is a depiction of the left side of my brain: math, science, language, categorization, and rationality. All of the statistics are taken from a tracking program that collects data on my website views, which can be found here. For example, my brain is a collage of visitor location maps; my pupil is a pie chart of visit lengths; my hair is a compilation of page view area graphs. In the background I drew in some math that I’ve shared over Facebook when helping my friends with Calculus, and then I filled the extra space with a blog entry I wrote while sitting in Starbucks a few weeks ago. The squares stemming from my brain represent distinct categories and black-and-white thinking because that’s the way I function best.

As for my facial expression, my eyes are focused on the artistic side to show how heavily art has taken over my life now that I’m at SCAD. I’m beginning to neglect the nerdy side of me, but as you can tell from my smirk, I’m enjoying every minute of this creative explosion and embracing each new blossom as it forms. I may not be paying much attention to the other side anymore, but it still is and always will be a part of me.

You can view an annotated version of all the elements in my collage here.