These were the few words that popped up in my head when tasked to fill up the word list.

BRING ME TO BAHAMAS!!! My dream would be to move to the Bahamas where I can swim
with my pigs in the Exumas, Pig Island. I will harvest cucumbers from my cucumber garden
and fish my own seafood and enjoy chirashi don everyday.

Okay, so with these few key words in mind, I began doodling and making some sketches.

As I have in mind for my self portrait to be humorous, I decided to play with exaggeration
and also worked around a rather warm and vivid colour palette.


Artist reference:

Illustrator – Sam Drew – Cardiff, UK

One of my favourite illustrators. His illustrations makes you slightly uncomfortable yet draws
you in. Strangely appealing with a humorous touch.

I wanted my self portrait to exude the same feel–through the juxtaposition of things and also
the the exaggeration of certain features.

First thing I did was to get my face right. I wanted to include my face in my composition as
I think I have pretty iconic facial features.

first sketch

I have three black holes on my face, erm four to be exact if you’d count my face in but wait
nope,my face is a square. My nostrils are really perfect circles and I can fit 3 gummy worms
in each hole. The biggest hoe is my mouth, which is able to hold 28 grapes. My friends say
that my face is like a loaf of bread as my left dimple–which I’d refer to as a cave (able to hold
two grains of basmati rice), squeezes my cheeks out making my face swell. Oh and my tongue
is the strongest muscle and perhaps the muscle I use most frequently, not sure if thats a good
thing. I can hold on to my chewed food while laughing and it does not budge, it’s just like a
suction cup.

Now I’m stuck. With my face done, I have no idea how to include the rest of the elements,
namely–the pigs, bahamas as well as the cucumbers and as I did not want to include entire
body in I decided to move on.

second sketch

Here’s the next sketch (incomplete too) I did!
Working around the idea of “Pig in human suit”. I have here my pig head, my little soul and
my human body suit. As I detest toes and feet in general, I changed my foot into a hand. Also,
all my illustrations only have four fingers as I feel like the human hand looks better with an even
number of fingers.

However, I am still not satisfied with this layout as I felt that the elements still look very isolated
and there is something lacking that is not gelling this piece together. Also, the ‘monochromatic’
colour palette isn’t working here as it just appears rather flat and not creating any visual interest.

It’s not working outtttttt. I need another plan. I decided to go back to the Bahamas (i want to
go there), and created a scene so that my composition would be more cohesive.


So here’s my final self porktrait!
Working around the face I drew earlier, I morphed myself into a mother pig with my little piglets swimming beside my on the island. Behind, are cucumbers that I have drawn to resemble cacti.






I really enjoyed this assignment as I am given full freedom and artistic licence to drive the
direction of this project. I had great fun drawing some of my favourite things in the world.
Looking forward to the next assignment!

Author: JIA ZHEN



  1. I like the 4 fingers part, one time my friend’s mum’s friend was feeding a cat downstairs her house and it accidentally bit off her finger so now she has 4 fingers too. I guess art really imitates real life ((((:

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