Self by Patrick Samuel
Graphite pencil on off-white paper
23x30xm approx
Original not available
[Click image for full-size view]

As someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, reading facial expressions is one of the things I struggle with. Not being able to tell if someone is being honest, if they’re joking, being sarcastic, if they’re sad, angry or just tired means that I’m missing all those cues and nuances that come so naturally to neuro-typicals.

This drawing, done in graphite pencil, is a self portrait. Completed during one of my insomnia phases, I found it extremely difficult to draw my own facial expression because I couldn’t grasp what I was feeling at the time.

I posted it on social media around 4am, and the unfinished faceless portrait resonated with people. It was one of the few times I followed advice and decided to leave it as it was to represent facial blindness on the autistic spectrum.