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The Tyee Wants Your Bubble Portraits

Give us a peek inside your shrunken world by making art. We’ll share it here!

By Dorothy Woodend and Christopher Cheung 20 Nov 2020 |

Dorothy Woodend is culture editor of The Tyee.
Christopher Cheung writes about the sociology of the city for The Tyee.

We know a lot of our readers are not only crafty but pretty artsy, too. So we have an idea.

Now that we’re all hunkered down with our households, seeing the same faces day after day, maybe it’s a good time to take a closer look.

We propose taking a page (heh... drawing joke) from The Tyee’s earlier adventure in pandemic creativity, where readers submitted maps of their daily routines.

Or from programs like Sky Arts channel’s successful Portrait Artist of the Week or Urban Sketchers inviting folk to draw their immediate environs.

Portrait Artist of the Week attracts a global audience tuning in to collectively draw a famous sitter for a couple of hours.

We’d like to make things a bit more personal. We’d like to peek inside your social bubble. Who or what are you spending a lot of time with because of the recent COVID restrictions?

The Tyee wants your Bubble Portraits.

Bubble Portraits could be anyone or anything — your partner, yourself, pets, house plants, even a piece of fruit you’ve grown inordinately fond of these past few weeks.

If you’re on your own, get a mirror and send us a self-portrait. Whether it’s your kids or a particularly charming apple, we want to see the things that are getting you through this time of semi-isolation.

Be as wild and weird as you want to be. The only edict is that you have to look at whomever or whatever you choose to draw. Drawing is not only a respite to your overloaded left brain, but it’s also a great way to create empathy, understanding and appreciation for the thing being drawn.

The outpouring of creativity, visual wit and the spirit of sharing offered by The Tyee’s map project was a true tonic. We could all use a little more of that. As Betty Edwards, doyenne of portraiture says, drawing is about learning to see. Seeing anew the people who are closest to you might offer a few surprises.

What’s that we hear? You are cranky and averse to feel-good opportunities for the pandemic duration? Choose something inside your bubble you are so tired of looking at that you shall now vanquish the annoyance by turning it into a piece of art.

We ask that you take a photo of your creation or otherwise turn it into a .jpeg or .png file and send it to editor [at] with a short note about what we’re looking at.

When we have enough to hang on The Tyee’s virtual wall, we’ll unveil our exhibit.

Then everyone can celebrate by together raising glasses of some very social bubbly. Cheers!

Send a digital file of your Bubble Portrait to editor [at] with a short note telling us something about it. Deadline end of Sunday, Dec. 6.  [Tyee]

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