• Corrina Crazie Espinosa

Faux Selfies

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Faux Selfies - Create an artificial persona or alter ego and create a series of 15 faux selfies of this artificial character. Use Photoshop to create 5 still images and 5 animated GIFs. Then, in Illust rator, turn 5 selfies into line drawings or vectors for a total of 15 final images. I will show you a variety of tools to create your images.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Italian: [dʒuˈzɛppe artʃimˈbɔldo]; also spelled Arcimboldi) (1526 or 1527 – July 11, 1593) was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.

Self portraiture belongs to the artist. Before there were cameras, self portraits were pretty much reserved for artists. Only artists with the skill to capture one's likeness with paint and brush were able to make portraits (usually of other people) and therefore the only people who had self portraits where artists. Once the camera was invented, it was still a tool that not everybody had access to or knew how to use, but self portraits became more accessible. But today, with virtually everyone being equipped with a camera (phones), selfies have become so common they are often quite ordinary, even cliche. How many selfies do you think are taken and posted everyday? As artists, we are going to take the selfie back!

The installation "24 HRS in Photos" by Erik Kessels at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a room filled with prints made from photos uploaded to Flickr during a 24-hour period in 2011.

The thing that is truly unique about self portraiture, is not the ability to capture one's physical appearance accurately... but to capture one's true self... Or not so true self. It's not important to capture what you look like (there is value in that, especially before the camera) but to capture your soul, your spirit, the essence of who you are, or in our case who you want to portray.

Cindy Sherman's self-portraits, depicting herself in many different contexts and as various imagined characters.

More about Cindy Sherman:


Deception Aesthetic, lies vs. truth

All Art is illusion-- lies, deception, trickery... Consider the much-discussed painting, The Treachery of Images ("Ceci n'est pas une pipe"; "This is not a pipe"), by the French surrealist painter, René Magritte (1898-1967).

This is not a pipe. What is this? What is a pipe? You cannot pack tobacco into this, you cannot light it, you cannot puff smoke out of it. This is NOT a pipe. It is a metaphor, it is a representation, it is a symbol, it is an illusion, a lie, trickery...

What is this?

How do you know?

Are you sure?

what about this?

is this the same?

What is this?

How do you know?

Is the meaning different?

so then, what is this?

how do you know?

Does it mean the same thing?

what about this?

which ones are real?

which ones are lies?

What are these?

How do you know?

What's the true version?

How NOT to define art:

So what is art?


“Everything in life is art,” says 81-year-old Duchamp. “If I call it art, it’s art; or if I hang it in a museum, it’s art.”

Inspiration for this project:

Project Guidelines:

Hungarian photographer and retoucher Flora Borsi has a knack for making creative (and viral) photomanipulations, from placing herself into historical photos to turning the world into a coffee-lover’s dream.

For this assignment, you create an alter ego. First, figure out who your alter ego is and get to know them very well. Who are they, what do they look like, and what are they all about. Your alter ego can be human, animal, plant, alien, angel, demon, inanimate object, intangible object, etc. Anything goes, be creative. Once you have your alter ego down, create a series of "selfies" (for your alter ego, not you) by blending at least 3-4 images into a single composition. You may use actual photos of yourself, photos of anything else that you have taken, or found photos from the internet. Because you will be altering the images drastically, stealing images is OK. Think about what makes your alter ego who they are, think symbolically and capture that in your images. For example, if your alter ego is passionate you might use a symbol like fire, or the color red. If they are calm you might use symbols like still water or the color blue. There are no limitations on what subject matter can appear in your images, as long as you meet these technical requirements:

Technical Requirements:

*MUST use Photoshop & Illustrator, no phone apps

*Must have 15 final image 5 still Photoshopped, 5 animated GIFs & 5 Illustrator

*Must be posted on your blog for critique

*Save PSD files, and JPG files separately

*Must be at least 5"x5" with 300 dpi

*Must blend at least 3-4 images into each single composition

Start by asking these Questions about your alter ego: (make it up as you go, this will help you learn who your character is and will help you decide how to depict them.) This should be used as a guide in making the images of your alter ego. Copy and paste this into your blog with the answers (25 pts):

1. Full name & Gender?

2. Species?

3. Zodiac Sign?

4. 3 fears?

5. 3 things I love?

6. 4 turn ons?

7. 4 turn offs?

8. Best friend?

9. Sexual orientation?

10. Height?

11. What do I miss the most?

12. Favorite color?

13. My current crush?

14. Favorite quote?

15. Favorite place?

16. Favorite music?

17. Favorite Food?

18. Eye color?

19. Hair, fur, scales or skin color?

20. Style?

21. Last book I read?

22. Have I ever kissed that last person I texted?

23. Someone I love?

24. Current relationship status?

25. Relationship with my parents?

26. Favorite holiday

27. Political standing.

28. Tattoos I have.

29. Tattoos I want.

30. Last person I hugged.

31. What I did during quarantine.

32. How long does it take me to get ready?

33. Where am I right now?

34. My main addiction?

35. My profession?

36. My education?

37. Where I grew up?

38. Best 2 personality traits?

39. 2 worst personality traits?

40. What I love most about myself?

41. What I love most about my friends?

42. What my friends love most about me?

43. How do I feel right now?

44. My Religion?

45. My pet(s)?


A brief History on self portraits to inspire you:


A quick reference for Photoshop tools we will be going over in class: https://lifehacker.com/5753459/learn-the-basics-of-photoshop-in-under-25-minutes

A quick reference for Illustrator tools we will be going over in class: