February 27, 2021

Kintsugi Portraits-You Are Not Broken, Your Scars Make You Stronger And More Beautiful.

Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with gold. After being repaired with gold, the item is then stronger, more unique, and beautiful. Kintsugi symbolizes embracing your imperfections. For this project I utilized gold makeup to highlight those imperfections.

Japanese dishes were repaired with gold.

Gwendolyn’s Scars

About ten years ago, I started learning photography shortly after my youngest daughter, Gwen, was attacked by a dog. Gwen was only two years old. Seeing the scars on her face were a constant reminder of one of the scariest days of my life as a mom. After learning some photo shop skills, I struggled with the idea of editing out her scar in portraits. This was my baby and even though Gwen handled the whole thing like a champ, I was a wreck and it took a while to accept that she’d never be the same. Luckily the fear of dogs only lasted a few years and she’s doing great.

About one year later-3 years old.

It’s kind of funny how nonchalant she has always been about her scars when someone asks. She’s just like, “What? I got a dog bite.” like it’s totally normal and everyone has scars on their face. No big deal to her at all, just something that happened.

Over the years the scar has shrunk, faded, and moved a bit (half of it used to be under her chin). Gwen is still my gorgeous baby girl even though she is just months from becoming a teenager. At an age when self image is so fragile, I sincerely hope she always know how beautiful and strong she really is.

Portrait of scars repaired with kintsugi gold
Gwen now, 12 years old.

Sydney’s Scars

Sydney is the niece of a good friend of mine. When she was only days old, Sydney had abdominal surgery. While I was gently painting Sydney’s scar for today’s shoot, her mother was in tears reliving all the emotions and memories that flooded her. Such a strong mother/daughter duo.

Sydney, you and your scars are beautiful and nothing that needs to be hidden. Embrace your “flaws” because they make you what you are.

https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-centuries-old-japanese-tradition-mending-broken-ceramics-gold

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-japanese-art-technique-kintsugi-can-help-you-be-more-ncna866471

If you are interested in embracing your imperfections with me (scars, stretch marks, etc.) you can contact me here.

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