I've been doing Inner Portraits of people for about 3 years now. And while I certainly don't always remember to take photos (nor do I require them) -- I have nevertheless acquired a very dear photo album featuring people holding up drawings from their Inner Portraits session with me!
Check out the PHOTO ALBUM album HERE, or by clicking any photos on this page.
I first tried "inner portraits" as a exercise at a Touch Drawing retreat led by artist Deborah Koff-Chapin. To me, it was both mind blowing... AND I felt totally at home and 100% in my Element doing it. I thought, "I can do this. I want to do this, like, a lot." For the other retreat participants, I got the sense that it was something novel that might have gotten left behind once the weekend was over. While for me, it was like finding a long-lost language of connection that opened up an area of my particular creative-intuitive gifts -- and I really wanted to explore it further.
I first offered this service in public, on a whim, in the Summer of 2008 during an artist's residency I had in a high-traffic, high-visibility vacant boutique in downtown Northampton. I wrote a sign in magic marker that said "inner portraits," with an arrow pointing down to my station. I taped it up right next to the "free charcoal portraits" that artist Mat Matera had just put up a few minutes before to bring folks over into HIS side of the very long space we were sharing. I figured, if I was lucky, maybe 1 or 2 people might be interested in my offer while approximately 100 people would be getting their straightforward charcoal portraits from the amazingly talented Mat-the-painter. The reality? I had a small line by the end of the afternoon, needed my friend to assist me, started getting tips, and I had to send people away and book appointments with them to return another time! Whoa.
Then, of course, my residency ended (i.e. the building owners found a jewelry store to lease the space, so OUT went the artists). With that, I ceased to be in the public eye in a busy, prime retail location. Now I'm working on creative ways of responding to that. [Do YOU have a great idea or opportunity for me? Let me know!]
Since then, EVERY SINGLE TIME I'm able to do a session with someone, I'm nervous, excited, and worried it might not "work" anymore! But I do it anyway - even though I don't totally understand how I do it, or what I'm doing. When I start drawing, it's like jumping off a cliff. Once I jump, I just keep drawing - even when I feel lame and full of doubt. So far, I've been consistently surprised and delighted by 1. the new, different, and quirky images that come through for each person 2. the brightness and depth of people's responses, thoughts, and relationships to the images...
Tara & Daniel + 1 of the 6 drawings from their long-distance session with me. I mailed the art, then they took this photo for me!
Be in touch with your QUESTIONS about Inner Portraits, or to inquire about booking a session. I will post an FAQ soon!