A Portrait Artist... Me?
If you have been following me and my work for a while you will notice that I don't often give the people in my images facial features. They may have a nose and lips, a great pair of eyebrows or earrings but that's about it. When asked why, I would often say that I wanted people to be able to identify with the person in the image. I'd say that response was kind of true. If I'm completely honest, I wasn't always confident in my ability to capture people properly or in a way that I could be proud of. I haven't even attempted to create a portrait since I was in high school. So when I decided to create a portrait of Garth Fagan I had a lot of feelings about it.
Garth Fagan is a Jamaican modern dance choreographer and is known globally for his choreography of Broadway's The Lion King. He is someone that I and many others admire. He's admired for who he is as well as the work he has produced and his impact on the arts and the dance world. I was a student at his dance school for 10 years and I gained so much from my time there. I was educated in much more than dance and I gained family and community for a lifetime. Knowing him, I put an extra pressure on myself to get this right. I overthought a lot of things as I was working on the piece but in the end I am really proud of what I created. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and challenged my own creativity. The work continued to evolve as I was creating and I feel I let this work speak to me more than I ever have before.
I don't know how soon I'll create another portrait or if it will become a larger part of my creative expression. As I accomplish more on my creative journey I will always be proud of this piece because it represents many parts of me and the people and actions that got me here.