If you are new to this series all the images are based on recent photos of me after basically being fed through a neural network (which can change age, gender, etc.), then edited and painted using various programs. None of the people actually exist, and thus they are like self portraits from alternate universes.
It’s been about 2 months since the last piece I completed for this series. I’d decided to abandon it, perhaps try to work on material that at least had the potential to make some money… But I never felt right about discontinuing it. When I made a video showing the fist 25 images morphing into one another, several people shared their sustained interest in the series, and so I realized it wasn’t just me that got it on several levels.
A little research on Google revealed that so far, I’m the only one doing this sort of project using FaceApp, which kinda’ surprises me. I suppose it requires a certain audacity; digital art and traditional skills; photo editing; and probably a fine art and conceptual foundation. I guess the ball fell in my court.
This one is an old and goofy version of me. And here I have to tell you one of the odd things this series is doing to my mind. In my dreams I’ve become older. I’m wondering if there’s a psychological coping mechanism to do with accepting aging, that you adjust your self image to accommodate your increased wrinkles and so on, and so seeing them exaggerated I am perhaps doing this. Whatever the psychological mechanism, I’m regularly surprised that I don’t really look like the image above.
In case you are wondering, no, I haven’t had any dreams in which I was female, despite half the images being female versions. I have become I think a more astute observer of the bizarre nature of gender, however. More about that some other time.
Here’s the original photo (I was making a face), what FaceApp did with it, and then where I took it:
I exaggerated the less flattering characteristics. And even though I don’t think I’ll ever look quite that goofy, I see it as very strong likeness. I made the ears and tip of the nose bigger; of course he’s more bald, and I made some artistic improvements like making the underside of the nose and chin stand out more.
I used a different technique this time, which is more drawing oriented, while most the other ones were more painterly. Here, my drawn version has more detail and contrast than the photos (especially because FaceApp only makes a postage stamp sided image, which is itself useless as art).
Here’s a detail:
And at actual pixels:
I just used one brush in Photoshop to do this. I made a basic outline, and then put my outline next to the photo and copied it, making various changes according to my sensibility. When I say “copied”, I mean I looked at one and drew the other one using a stylus and tablet.
This is one of my favorites in the series. It has a Chuck Close sort of look about it, and I’d forgotten, I think, to mention before the connection to his art. I’m about the last person I would have expected to do a series of self-portraits, unless of course I knew that I’d find a way to change age, gender, and even race.
Now that I’m back into working on this series with conviction, I hope to finish a new one about once a week.
Here are the full 26 images so far. Just click anywhere in the gallery to go into the screen-show mode.
And if you like the (experimental) sort of art that I do, and you don’t want me to have to quit or put it on a back-burner, please consider chipping in so I can keep working until I drop. Through Patreon, you can give $1 (or more) per month to help keep me going (y’know, so I don’t have to put art back on the back-burner while I slog away at a full-time job). Ah, if only I could amass a few hundred dollars per month this way, I could focus entirely on my art and writing. See how it works here.
Or go directly to my account.
Or you can make a small, one time donation to help me keep on making art and blogging (and restore my faith in humanity simultaneously).