Health isn’t just skin-deep, and many of us don’t look as sick as we feel. But on the flipside, being chronically ill can have a very negative effect on our self-image. When we look in the mirror, we often see someone who is tired, a failure, lazy, too skinny or too fat, not strong enough, or any other innumerable examples of negative self-talk.
One remedy to these feelings is to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. That can be easier said than done. One whimsical way to do this is through drawings. Check out this video from Dove where a police sketch artist draws each woman twice – one based on her description of herself, and one based off a description given by someone they just met.
I love this idea. And I love having drawings done of myself! I think it’s so interesting to see how someone else sees me.
So this idea has been rolling around in my head for some time now. I’m hosting an online portrait/caricature drawing event! You do NOT need to have an invisible illness to participate! The whole point of “Do I Look Sick” is that looks alone can’t tell you what’s going on inside a person, so we need participation of well and sick alike.
Since September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month, let’s get a good visual of people from all backgrounds and age groups and show that you can’t tell by looking who is dealing with chronic pain.
GROUP PORTRAIT – FREE
Anyone and everyone can sign up to be a part of the group portrait! It’s completely free! All I need is for you to send a picture of yourself to email@example.com with the subject line “GROUP PORTRAIT.” It will be in a similar style to this one I did of me and my coworkers a while back:
SOLO PORTRAIT – $2.00
This will be the exact same drawing from the group portrait, but singled out so you have a nice little doodle of yourself. Send $2.00 via paypal as a gift (“to friends and family”) to firstname.lastname@example.org and write SOLO PORTRAIT in the note. Email me your photo and you’ll automatically also be included in the group portrait!
SUPER YOU – $5.00
A while back I did an entire blog post where I illustrated some of my favorite bloggers using their blog title to design them as a super hero. If you would like me to do this for your blog, just send $5 as a gift (“to friends and family”) via paypal to email@example.com and in the notes include a URL to your blog. You’ll also be included in the group portrait! Don’t have a blog? You can still be a superhero! Just tell me what powers you want or what you want your name to be and I’ll take it from there.
MY BEST EFFORT – $10
For $10 (gift “to friends or family”) via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org I will sit down and do my best portrait attempt for you. Write “MY BEST EFFORT” in the notes and email me your picture and I will include you in the doodle-y group portrait but I will also do a “real” portrait of just you in my style using all my patience and great effort. I don’t have any kind of recent examples of portraits I’ve done, so here’s a random drawing I did of Maleficent with some eyeball problems:
Disclaimer: I’m not a real artist and I’m kind of a weirdo BUT I promise I will draw you with the correct amount of eyeballs in the proper places. You’ll also be included in the group portrait!
BIG SPENDER REAL LIFE PORTRAIT – $20
There are no example pictures here because it’s pretty rare that I get out real paper and pencils and paint and like, make an actual physical picture. But if you send $20 as a gift via paypal to email@example.com, we’ll test my artistic prowess together. Email me your photo and mailing address and I will send my original painting to you. You will of course be included in the group portrait as well!
Commissioning artwork of yourself is fun and promotes good self-image and self-talk. I’m excited to see how this portrait of all of us together comes out. I think it’ll be a really cool keepsake commemorating our community here.
The sign up period will END on September 18th – that gives you 10 days to sign up and spread the word so that our group portrait is full of awesome people! The group portrait will be posted by the end of September (which is chronic pain awareness month – don’t forget!). After September 18th I’ll let you know when the other commissioned portraits will be done depending on how many people sign up for them.
Happy Pain Awareness Month! And remember – love yourself!