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Personal Identity: Windows Into My World


Valley City State University



Course level 

Drawing II, Advance level 


Conversation points for instructors

I assigned this project in Spring 2020 right before the pandemic hit, and then had to change it along the way. It is important to help students explore and express the myriad ways they each identify, so they are able to push their drawings further. In society today, many of us deal daily with identity crises around who we are and how we are seen and I wanted to give students opportunities to showcase their inner selves. This project may be taught fully online, 50% in-person and 50% remote, and also f2f. 



Project Prompt / Challenge

Using a grid format of small squares, draw the myriad ways you see and present yourself and your identity.



Questions to consider:

  1. What is identity?

  2. How do you declare your identity in the world?

  3. How are you seen or labeled? By yourself? By others?

  4. How do you WANT to be seen?

  5. Identity Definition:

a: the distinguishing character or personality of an individual: INDIVIDUALITY

b: the relation established by psychological identification

c: the condition of being the same with something described or asserted establish the identity of stolen goods

d: sameness of essential or generic character in different instances

e: sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing: ONENESS

f: an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols



  1. Use the questions above to consider how you define your identity.

  2. Brainstorm all the different ways and things that make you you. For instance, make lists, mind-maps, stream-of-consciousness writing, and/or sketches.

  3. You will create a drawing based on Identity using the following parameters: 

a. Make a grid of 25 squares minimum. You may do more, but no more than 50 squares.

b. Size: Make each square 3 inches x 3 inches

c. In each square, visually depict/draw a different aspect of your identity. (Refer to your brainstorming research.)

d. Incorporate color, in some way, throughout your drawing.


Pen, Pencil, Charcoal, Paint, Pastel

Digital tools: Photoshop, Illustrator


The assignment usually takes 2-3 weeks to complete. By the end of the 1st week, students should have  primary sketches of their ideas laid out- their grid laid out and plans for what will go in each square. At the end of the 2nd week, we have a midpoint critique to keep students on track. The finished drawings are due at the end of the 3rd week.

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