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27th June 2019 3 min read

Mirror Mirror

Categories — Us

This is the 3rd of Artizan's monthly team project that gives us each a chance to exercise our creativity offline. The theme for June was "Mirror Mirror" Here's what we came up with.


For this month, I really wanted to create a very colourful piece so I bought some nice watercolour brush pens that got delivered too late so I ended up going with pointillism again.

I couldn’t really find a deep meaning for the theme “Mirror Mirror” so I decided to literally draw a mirror itself. I remember back in Brazil when I was young, my Portuguese grandmother had a really old colonial Portuguese-style living room where there was a very ornamental mirror. This mirror always freaked me out at night when I was passing by it, thinking that one day I would see something in the reflection, so I took this as inspiration to create this illustration.

I started out drawing the mirror and as it evolved, I thought it would be nice to include this bit of fear that I had in the drawing. I decided to add a blurred silhouette trying to come out of the mirror. Following this idea, I thought it would be nice to add some details to the wall where the mirror hangs. I started drawing a wall that is falling apart with cracks and exposed bricks. I also added some texture in order to create a frame for the image.

I’m really happy with the result and it’s nice to see that I’m developing my own illustration style.


I spent about 10 days trying to decide on what to create for this theme before I started. I knew I wanted to portray the inner child that lives in all of us – the unconditioned version of ourselves that makes us happiest but the one we somehow lose connection with through the push and pull of adult life.

I finally settled on the idea of painting a self-portrait with my eldest daughter. She’s the embodiment of my inner child. I wanted to portray our connection through the heart. I put my hand on my heart first and my daughter’s hand on mine almost as if she is the one guiding me – reminding me to connect to that peaceful part of myself that is often neglected.

I painted our clothes in white to portray innocence and I wanted the background of flowers to bring a softness and a gentleness to the connection we’re sharing.

I chose to paint in oils because I find them easier for painting skin. The downside is that they take a long time to dry, making progress slow. I really enjoyed the challenge of painting this piece and found myself continually wanting to escape to the canvas at all times of the day to work on it.


‘Mirror mirror’ is a saying I use when I’m strongly relating to people. I believe that every one of us is a reflection of another – what we see in others is usually what exists within ourselves.

I also contemplated that people are much more generous when showing kindness to others, but struggle to receive it.

With that sentiment in mind, I chose to create an interactive empathy game, that would allow us to experience kindness through each other’s eyes. Since I had to produce a large volume of cards, I went for a unified cover theme, a subtle colour palette and free-hand illustration.

I treated the piece as an experiment, having very little expectation of the game running smoothly. And yet I was pleasantly surprised. I received an emotional reaction for my team members, experienced beautiful moments of connection and even nearly shed a tear. Delighted!

Make your own and play!

  1. Create X number of cards, depending on the number of players
  2. Ask each player to write down a kind intention, a wish or a compliment while thinking of a particular person (e.g. a family member, a friend, someone who has done you harm, a perfect stranger and finally yourself). Remember to be kind.
  3. Put the cards back in the pile and shuffle
  4. Ask the players to choose X number of cards each
  5. Now pass your cards to the person to your left, then have those cards read to you
  6. Make sure you sit face to face when receiving kindness, look each other in the eye and say thank you after each statement

Pay attention, stay connected and watch your heart open.

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