The Once Upon a Time Portrait Series was just a sample. I was making a pop-up book for the inner child I believe is in most adults, and I asked my friend’s brother to assist me in illustrating it. Through the portrait series, I wanted to show him what my stories’ characters should look like.
Recreating yourself is daunting. Choosing a shade of brown reminded me of fingering through dollops of makeup; the shade didn’t exactly match my skin tone. And the process of cutting the shape of my body, my thick thighs, broad arms, thin waist, and short neck, felt odd. The shape of my body is infrequently represented in art unless each meander of flesh is confined in leather or each pound subdues, like in Namio Harukawa’s work. It is exceptional to view a body without any labels.