Kiara Li

Digital Self-Portraiture: Transformations with Photoshop and Illustrator

Class of: 2027

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator

Faculty: Emily Waters

Prompt: In this project, students learned to recreate self-portraits drawn on paper using Photoshop and Illustrator. The Photoshop requirements focused on testing our ability to blend layers, while the Illustrator requirements emphasized exploring different graphic composition methods.

The process of creating these six self-portraits (three in Photoshop, three in Illustrator) is an exploration of self-analysis. Emphasizing black and white tones, these artworks focus on the placement of abstract shapes. The three pieces crafted in Photoshop retain many hand-drawn elements to enhance the texture of the works. Before completing this project, my understanding of self-portraits was rooted in traditional painting methods. However, in this project, using Illustrator to create abstract patterns representing myself and employing masks to segment black and white spaces reflect my personality. The compositions in Photoshop, blending different hand-drawn facial features into images, provide a novel perspective on self reflection. This not only marks my initial exploration of digital drawing tools but also represents the first time I fully comprehend my own existence.