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Did any of you as children (or do you now) have a tendancey to pick out which one you would be when looking at paintings or illustrations?

I suppose it's similar to having a sense of identification with people upon first meeting them, except that I can have this sense while looking at a still immage, and they don't even have to be people necessarily. For example in an at museum I might wander around a room and then comment to my mom "I'm that one over there in the corner" because I saw in that painting an expression or a posture/pose which I really identified with - like seeing a piece of myself in the painting.

I've always loved detailed pictures and fairy tales, so I spent plenty of time gazing at illustrations filled with crowds of courtiers and swarms of pixies, things like that, and I would very often search through each face to see if there were any "me" amongst them. I'm not talking about ones that just look like me physically, or ones that I liked the look of, but ones that somehow....captured the essence of me, who in some sense of the word 'realistically' could have been myself. Sort of, if I'd been there, I'd be the one doing that, or looking like that. Sometimes my friends would do this with me. We'd both pick a fairy that looked like us, which might then spark a game of pretend based on the picture.

Some people have mentioned to me that they like to make up stories for people they see in pictures, but I've never asked if they look for themselves in them.

So, does this sound like something you have done? Do you find kindred spirits of a sort in paintings? Do you see yourself, or have moments of recognition of your own traits in pictures?
 

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I have done this, though maybe not so consciously. I often find myself identifying with Artemis/Diana type figures in paintings with a mythological theme. And for some reason hunter, shepherd, and pioneer figures tend to resonate with me. Funny because I am more of an indoors, intellectual type in real life. Maybe it's because they seem like the visual embodiment of the strong independent free spirit of my ideal self? I also have always loved making up stories in my head to art; I did not know that many others did this.
 
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