With this piece, I focus on the feeling of being lonely within one’s self. I captured the suffocating experience of this feeling by implementing a monochromatic color scheme, creating the impression that the subject is being swallowed by its own body. Furthermore, I modeled the face after human musculature to quite literally take away its protective skin and make the subject appear as vulnerable as possible.
Awards: Scholastic Art and Writing Awards Silver Key
I started this illustration with a quick concept drawing. Initially, I wanted the face to appear as if it were hiding behind its own skin. I created a comical expression on the skin in order to satirize the exaggeration of personality that many people disguise themselves with. To contrast this exaggeration, I made the pupil of the face itself extremely large. In doing this, I aimed to create a sense of humanity and deadpan loss.
Although I did enjoy the concept conveyed through this drawing (I carried this concept over to my final piece), the drawing itself was lacking compositionally. Not much thought was put into how the figure would be scaled on the page. The skin was also a very weak concept that lacked much depth or originality. Thus, I decided to develop the project in a different way.
The next step in my process was to establish a more solid composition. I wanted the focal point to not be as central in order to better convey the sense of being lost or hidden. I created the sketch above in order to solidify this idea. The resulting decision to place the focal point in the upper left quadrant of the piece turned out well. Thus, I went in and developed the detail-work of the environment in order to get a better idea of how the intricacies would look in the context of the composition.
I also drew a rough stand-in face in order to figure out its scaling. The sketch itself is very rough, and I planned on using the first concept sketch as an outline to develop the face. I wanted the face from the concept sketch to be carried over to the final piece.
The face's design itself is based off of human musculature. This lack of skin alongside the uncanny eyes helped foster the eery and human-like qualities of the piece as well as the helplessness of the figure.
After finishing the sketch, I imported it into Adobe Illustrator to begin outlining the final piece. In this process, I established the general composition and solidified the placement and flow of the foreground elements.
I finished off the piece by adding color and varying the line widths to add depth to the illustration. I chose to use a monochromatic color scheme in order to accentuate the connection between the face and the surrounding "muscles." This connection reiterates the relationship between loneliness and the feeling of being trapped within one's self. In other words, when loneliness is internalized as a facet of one's identity, it becomes easy to hide within this false identity.