In my journey to self-acceptance, I realized that to really love and appreciate my culture and heritage, I would have to accept my physical features. In the United States, Arabs face ridicule for their dark skin, dark curly hair, and often prominent features. While I may not fit the “stereotypical” image of an Arab individual, I have had instances in which people pointed out my differences. My auburn curly hair, height, and my facial features. So, I decided to take those features that I often hated about myself and turn them into something that can be appreciated. I was very inspired by Chuck Close’s Photorealism and took a photo of myself and recreated it in the same style. While Close’s work is extremely detailed, I took a different approach using the same techniques in wider sections. The final piece resembles a mosaic of shapes and colors. Those features which once made me stand out, can now be appreciated as art.
I worked on this digital media piece for more than 16 hours in a duration of 2 weeks and found myself reflecting on much of my personal experiences related to my culture. Through Humes, I have been able to not only accept who I am and where I come from, but learned to be proud of it.