Preparing for the sketchbook project – 3

by LP

Like I whined wrote in my last blog post, Winter Break turned out quite different than planned, and I didn’t get to work on my sketchbook at all. I considered abandoning the project, but 1) I had planned out the entire thing already and 2) I might whine, complain, cry on the floor, but then I get over myself and Get Shit Done. Because That’s What You Do. So yesterday, 4 days before the deadline, I started on my sketchbook.

For those who have no clue: every sketchbook has a theme. Mine is “Encyclopedia of” and I’ve decided to make an encyclopedia of… me. Yup, that sounds completely egocentric and well, it is. In this blogpost I will try to explain why & how (is it Le Obvious that I’ve been writing essays and yet more essays lately?), hopefully without using the phrase “the personal is political” (it is, but that’s not the point) and also hopefully without giving the impression that this is a case of, and I quote, “writing fanfiction about yourself”. Which it’s not. Or maybe it is. Whatever. On to ~ma theory~! #Icanhaztheoriez

The concept of identity is something that I think about often: what is it exactly? Is it fluid or fixed? Is it defined by others? Do you become what you are told you are; is it in a way inflicted upon you and do you (re)enact it? Is it something you decide for yourself? Do you get to pick and choose? Is it a social construct? (yeah, I went there) How about genetics? Is it a combination of all of these options? I have long been fascinated with how (some) people are able to define themselves easily (“That’s SO me!”) how it seems like they have a clear or maybe even “fixed” idea of who they are. Not entirely of course, but there seems to be a “core” of what makes them them.

So, what makes me “me” and not some other ~special snowflake~? Sure, I have preferences left and right, but to what extent do they define me as a person? And why do I have these preferences? Also: things change. People change. I know I did. Things that were really important to me no longer are, and vice versa. I know I’ve held on to things that were no longer important to me because I thought they defined me when in fact they didn’t (anymore). On the other hand, things I thought weren’t important to me anymore (“totally Over It”), came back into my life and turned out to be pretty fundamental to my general happiness.

How I’m ever going to cover all of this in my sketchbook? I’m not. About 15 minutes after I started brainstorming I realized that I have way too much to say about this topic. Which is exactly what happens with every damn essay: I usually have enough material for a BA thesis and then get stuck trying to eliminate about 97% of what I wanted to discuss. Thankfully, there’s nobody stopping me from writing a zine about this subject, so that’s where I’ll pretend to be a philosopher. In my sketchbook I’ll just go for an alphabetical list of things I feel define “me” right now, time capsule/snapshot style.

And to reward the lovely people who read through this entire thing, here’s a picture of the cover:


A blogpost about the actual process with pictures will follow soonish!