Answering the question, “How do you see yourself?,” we explore the perspectives and identities of seven different women in the Milk community.



The 7 Self-Portraits: How Do You See Yourself?

As workplace wage gaps and gender discrimination are increasingly debated, the creative and entertainment industries are not without a glass ceiling. What prevents women from pursuing artistry? Perhaps it started with the belief that women were incapable of abstract thinking or because of the problems that come with challenging social expectations (see Creative Women Jane Piirto). While socialization and gender roles present themselves as obstacles, the rewards for pursuing art as a woman are equally discouraging.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), “the only major museum in the world that is dedicated to championing women through the arts,” reports the following:

  • Only 13.7 percent of living artists represented by galleries in Europe and North America are women (artnet News)
  • Of the permanent collections of 18 prominent art museums in the U.S. (totaling over 10,000 artists), 87 percent are male and 85 percent are white (Public Library of Science)
  • In the top 20 most popular exhibitions around the world in 2017, only one was headlined by a woman artist: Yayoi Kusama (The Art Newspaper)
  • 96.1 percent of artworks sold at auction are by male artists. (Bocart et al., Glass Ceilings in the Art Market)
  • Paintings by women sell at a discount of 42.1 percent in comparison to men (Gender Disparities NPR)


The artistry of women deserves to be recognized and valued as much as their male counterparts. To celebrate the talent and voices of women in the arts, we selected seven individuals from a range of disciplines to create self-portraits in the medium of their choice. By way of personal expression and answering the question, “How do you see yourself?,” we explore their perspectives and identities. Check out the seven self-portraits below:

Alana O’Herlihy

Director Alana O’Herlihy captures herself through photo and video.

How do you see yourself?

“I see myself as someone who likes to create in any form I can. I like to constantly grow and learn in my craft and from my peers and those who came before me. I am my own mannequin and I use this mannequin to portray extremities in the people that I have come across in my life. It’s always easier to rely on yourself!”

Self-Portrait Team Credit:

Makeup: Laramie Glen @laramiemakeup
Hair: Brenton Kane Diallo @raisingkaned
Styling: Dean Dicriscio @deandicriscio
Assisting: Yasmine Diba & Paola Armas Fernandez @yasminediba @paulaarmasf

Check out more of Alana‘s video and photo artistry here:

Tessa Forrest

Graphic designer Tessa Forrest embodies herself through type.

How do you see yourself?

“I see myself through the lens of the word ‘sublime’. There are two definitions via google dictionary: adjective 1. of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe. verb 2. ARCHAIC elevate to a high degree of moral or spiritual purity or excellence.”

See more of Tessa’s type expressions as @subliming.jpg

Rebekah Campbell

Rebekah Campbell uses her artistic medium of photography to communicate her identity.

How do you see yourself?

“A female amalgamation in this space we call earth; wrapped in saran wrap trying to grow external eyes inside every body crevice.”

Check out how Rebekah Campbell uses material, texture, and light to enhance her editorial and campaign creations:

Tamara Santibañez

Tattoo artist and master of multiple mediums, Tamara Santibañez, represents herself with stills from her unreleased short film about femme identity and bootblacking.

How do you see yourself?

“I see myself as stable enough in my identities that I’m able to express myself fluidly. At my core, I’ve grown to know a lot about myself and have come to a sense of ease about who I am. That makes it easier not to get wrapped up in the big picture of externalizing it, and to be able to appreciate the nuances of how I’m feeling and how I want to look from day to day. How we look and our bodies can be a big part of navigating the divide between public and private, and it can be empowering to make choices about what you want to share with others, and to know that that could change from day to day.”

See more of Tamara’s creative talents through tattooing, boot-blacking, painting, and more here:

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A post shared by Tamara Santibañez (@tamarasantibanez) on

Eugenia Loli

Collage artist, filmmaker, and illustrator, Eugenia Loli, depicts herself through textures and patterns.

How do you see yourself?

“Vulnerable. I don’t do well with humans, apparently.”

Check out Eugenia Loli’s work here:

Haley Wetmore

Artist Haley Wetmore creates her self-portrait through digital drawing.

How do you see yourself?

“I find myself as an empath more often than not. A core part of my life is learning to be comfortable with my own sensitivity by opening my heart, so that I become not only logical but compassionate as well. It’s my goal to visually communicate what others have trouble saying on their own account. If I allow an individual to be open and honest with me, I get to learn too. It’s valuable to be in this position. I can only hope that this rawness inspires others to be what they so badly want to be.”

Check out designer and print maker Haley Wetmore’s work here:

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for a record released in ‘92 but still slaps👋🏼

A post shared by Haley (@noimnotintheband) on

Kiere Monet

Illustrator Kiere Monet reimagines herself as a drawing.

How do you see yourself?

“I thought I always knew who I was. For years though I polished myself to fit a mold I thought I wanted. I lost love in many forms throughout these years and every day these losses have shaped who I am. Today I see someone proud of her natural hair and the color of her skin embracing every freckle and every scar. I see growth in myself with every finished piece of art and every challenge faced. I have self doubt, I have fear. I try to fix this thinking and its taken me some time but I feel my art reflects my growth. Today I see a multiracial queer woman who is inspired by the positive and negative moments in her life and by the lives of women around the world.”

Check out Kiere’s illustrations on her art account @quickandbitter

Stay tuned to Milk for more women artists.

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