Stylised Self Portrait – Introduction and Preparation

To study the “concepts of visual narrative or visual storytelling” (Winstanley, L. (2018). Assignment 1. Singapore.) for my course “Illustration for Designer” I had the assignment to portray myself in any form of an illustration whether digital or analog.

To get started every student had to make a word list of 5-8 words discribing their current situatiuon in life. The given examples were rather simple discribing music, film or animals that you like.


For this technique to gather creativity I made a long and confusing list of all things that inspire me, that i like or describe me in some way and also thinking about their suitability as a depiction for my portrait.

Most suitable as images for my illustrations may be my skateboard as a respresentation of my sports and social activities, my synthesizer substitutional for my uncommon taste of music and hobbies and an avocado firstly because i love avocados and also because im a vegetarian.

Sport was always a big part of my life.
Starting with Trial (all terrain parcour with a bike), inline skating, football, slacklining up to skateboarding i definitely prefer sport that i can do on my own in no need of a team. Not saying im not a teamplayer. I like working in teams but when it comes to sport I prefer an activity where I can focus to achieve something regardless of the amounts rendered by others.
Skateboarding is for me the purest form of concentration, hard work and balance of life. I can be in the worst mood but as soon as you jump on your board its gone.
Also skateboarding defines a certain lifestyle and connects people with similar interests. Most of my friends skate, have been skating or are interested in it. Thats why I’d like to include a skateboard in my portrait.

The taste of music or interests in creative activies also connect me to my friends and beloved.
Thats what the synthesizer should sybolize. It represents an alternative taste of music apart from popmusic and charts and also one of my main hobbies: making electronic music.
To include my other interests like animation, motion design, photography and filmmaking I’d also like to stay with the synthesizer as a symbol of creativity throughout technical instruments and reduce the amount of metaphoric item in my picture.

Focal Point

All visualisations based on the wordlist should rather be secondary elements instead of the main part of the portrait the focal point.
For this i wanted to show the front view of my face as a close-up centered in the picture. To express the different moods that mainly occur in my everyday life i came up with an idea pretty fast. I wanted to split mit face in two halfes with different expressions and turn one of them around.
The two expressions had be simplified and reduced to happyness and sadness or working oneself up. Or even simpler and more classified: The good and the bad.

At this point I didnt know how to include the visual elements from the wordlist but I really wanted to use organic shapes like smoke or clouds (also mentioned in my wordlist) to merge all elements.


Herefore I came up with some sketches of a swirl,flog, clouds and waves.


To include all elements and add some structure my lecturer suggested to build up the background or frame like an economical system. I really liked the idea and came up with a sketch immediately.

Leave a Reply