Self-portrait.

One of the activities at the Art Gallery party last night was an exercise in self-portraiture. Behind two rows of mirrors sat party-goers, intently switching their gaze between the mirrors and the drawing slates in front of them.

I watched them draw and marveled at the results. There were varying levels of skill, but most importantly, there was a multitude of perspective. Each self-portrait was not just an exercise in art, but a glimpse into how each person viewed themselves, how they feel when they look in a mirror, every day.

The visual arts are not my forté. I was told this, repeatedly, from a young age until now, from teachers, parents, friends, strangers. I can not draw, can not paint, can not figure out how to visualize the world in front of me and translate it onto canvas or paper or screen.

Last night, at the art gallery, I drew a self-portrait; it was predictably terrible. I also made a collage, and it was less terrible. In both cases, I went in dreading the task, but left feeling accomplished, cheerful. It reminded me that you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy doing it — and that I need to try new things, more often.