Inquiry Question: What is the story of the framed sketch that sits on my desk?


Source: This is primary source that was created at the height of my artistic endeavors. I drew this sketch in 2012, a point in my life where I was heavily involved with visual arts. It was created at my instructors home, which is just up Plateau Boulevard .

Context: At this point in time, I considered myself an aspiring polymath, juggling around multiple extra-curricular. At the same time, I was entering middle school where I was faced with new and relatively large academic responsibilities, impeding the time I could spend on my other pursuits. Angered and uncomfortable with my situation, I found myself experiencing a range of unfamiliar emotions which I carried along with me to my weekly drawing sessions.

Description: This is a drawing I made when I was 11, and is interestingly the depiction of an unrecognizable Roman emperor. What makes it stand out to me is the facial features of the portrait. Although the Romans emperors lived a massively glorified lifestyle, their reigns were often plagued with an equal amount of corruption, sin, and horror. Whether you see evil, pride, or melancholia in the eyes of the depicted man, it is almost impossible to pinpoint the emotional content of his face. One thing that irritates me is that I didn’t bother to erase any of the lines, which were used to create foundation for the sketch.

Inferences about perspective: 

  1. The creator of this portrait was likely someone named “Jason”, which is proudly displayed on the left corner of the page. The 11 next to the name may symbolize the year the sketch was created, or the age of the artist. The creator of this portrait must have been involved with visual arts, and possessed a certain amount of expertise in illustration.
  2. The source was likely created to express the artist’s emotions, or simply just to create a live portrait for a relative/peer.
  3. This source was likely not worked on for an extended amount of time and preserved fairly well. The paper is almost a perfect shade of white, and still contains foundation lines. Or, the lines could just be an artistic choice of the artist

Inferences about Inquiry Question:

This was likely a portrait created by the owner of the work, because sketches are not usually sold and bought. Because it is the only portrait that is framed, it is likely the owners favorite of their works. It was likely drawn either when the owner was in the 11th grade, 2011, or when the owner was 11 years old, as the number on the bottom left corner displays. This was likely a live portrait, because their are many duplicate and erased lines on the portrait.