An ongoing series of untitled self portraits since 2013 by Olivia Themudo.
Throughout my childhood, I was painfully shy. Middle school is when I learned to use humor to bypass my inherent awkwardness. I began to create imaginary comedic characters to make myself feel comfortable in social situations and made people laugh by doing so. I created a shield through which I could express myself without fear of being bullied. Even as an adult, I continue to struggle with my social anxiety, while utilizing different methods to get through stressful situations.
In this series, I channel, explore and become a pantheon of characters. Expressing myself through their mannerisms gives me the courage to pose in a way that I would not have otherwise. By staging multiple environments, combined with styling of hair, makeup and clothing, I am able to comfortably capture the essence of a persona much unlike my own.