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Self-portrait/Self-reflection during self-isolation, oil painting on canvas board, 2020

[Diarist: Hafiy Harpan (he/him)]

I’ve been treating art as a therapy rather than as a hobby. I’ve painted this self-portrait in oil in my last days of 2-weeks of quarantine in my room after returning back to my country before the lockdown in the UK in the midst of pandemic outbreak. This painting reflects my feelings of solitude and loneliness, grief and anxiety through colors (blue, violet-blue, purple, crimson red, yellow and orange) – each of them in different shades. I’ve been experiencing these feelings since almost everything closed down – the university, cafe, pubs, etc. So, like everyone else, no more usual daily routine and no more hanging out with friends due to self-isolation for the sake of everyone’s health and safety.

I’m still able to keep in touch with friends, all thanks to social media (Facebook and Instagram), but it just doesn’t feel right. I was able to embrace solitude, taking my time to self-reflect and enjoy my hobbies and interests now that there’s no more work to be done, but I do find myself experiencing feelings of loneliness and anxiety about friendships. Comparing our friendships to their friendships with other people has made me questioned and doubting myself whether I’m much of good friends with them or not. Because of self-reflection, I’ve been looking back at some of bad things I did to them whether they were intentional or not. It doesn’t helped that I’ve been looking at their throwback pictures online recently, which also reinforced these negative feelings.

I’m sure most people can relate and I hope that something that is negative can turn into something positive because when this pandemic outbreak is over – no more lockdown and everything is safe and sound, we’ll come out as a better person and appreciate even more what you have in life – most importantly, friends who you cherish and share life with.


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