I am generally annoyed by "represent yourself as..." assignments. They used to make me very anxious - how do I capture myself authentically? Which things about myself actually define me? At some point I realized this reaction was rational, since it is impossible to reduce the Self - which is infinite, dynamic, and contextual - to any static, finite set of elements. Moreover, the "describe yourself using..." prompt embodies the idea that art and creativity are essentially "self-expression," and I believe this is a fundamentally flawed understanding of either.

So, I'm not going to say that I built a color palette that represents me, as we were assigned to do. I'm just thinking of it as an exercise in building a palette, starting with some reference to myself.


First, I picked the three colors that I find look most striking on me. I tend to use these colors in my wardrobe when I'm trying to look good or stand out.

I often get complements on these red pants.
Purple is a favorite color of mine when I want a bold, vibrant look. The camera didn't quite capture the shade of this shirt right, which looks deeper and less lavender-like to the naked eye, so I tossed my yoga bolster into the frame, which photographed better.
Blue brings out my eyes, so I wear it often. Here, the piercing on my right ear.

That gives me an initial palette of three colors.

Next, I added a nearby, but deeper, shade of blue. The light blue closely matches my eyes, but a darker and more vibrant blue often brings them out well, and tends to pop more in and of itself. Then, although I don't wear it often, I added a yellow as a complement to the purple. I didn't want to complement the red with a green, since green and blue don't look great together (except maybe in an aquatic scene). Also, purple is a vibrant and bold color, so it's the one I'd more want to bring out by adding a complement.

Finally, I included black and white. Because they match with any color and look good by themselves, I often use them in my wardrobe or decor. Black in particular has a way of bringing out any color placed against it.


To make six compositions using my palette, I kept an eye out for its appearance in my home environment. Here's a nice red-dominant framing of my cat on my bed.

I converted it to this duotone with the red and yellow shades from my palette.

Composition 1

I experimented a little more to get this tri-tone, which I like better. Putting the complementary purple and yellow next to each other looks nice.

Composition 2

My bookshelf has a black and white scheme.

Composition 3

Next, my black-and-red umbrella propped up to dry.

Composition 4

This tapestry is mostly purple.

Composition 5

Finally, my pillows happen to have a blue and yellow theme.

Composition 6