My Yearly Tradition of a Portrait

January 10, 2019
A portrait of a handsome young man smoking a cigarette. He is playing with a diamond earring in his ear and wearing a fur collar. He has dog tags around his neck

Every year I draw a portrait of my OC Azra.

I mean I draw him a lot anyway, but I make a point of drawing him as the first drawing of the new year. A few reasons for this. My first being is his birthday is January 1st! I conceived of this fella on December 31st, 2001 into January 1st, 2002 while I was on the phone with a friend while babysitting. Yup. He is 18 years old this year! What a guy what a guy.

Originally he was thought up in conjunction with brother Gabriel (which would also make Gabriel 19 years old). Young thirteen-year-old me was all, “I’ll have a good one and an evil one. They’ll be opposites! One will dress in all black and have black wings and the other will always dress in all white and have white wings!” So. Creative. Anyway, you can guess which one Azra was. Originally named after a remix of a VNV Nation song, he came into this world with the name Azrael and kept it for quite some time (and yeah, technically I guess his full name is still Azrael but bah, he goes by Azra). Gabriel was also named after a remix of the same VNV Nation song but… You guessed it, the Gabriel remix.

Anyway,  clearly we have evolved from there. Though I tend to draw Azra in most of my drawings (or the subject of) due to my writings being my inspiration for the majority of my illustrations, I try to focus on a not-so-illustrative-y portrait drawing of him as a “birthday present” to my long outstanding OC, as well as a way for me to judge my abilities from year to year; I put aside all other art and work on this for as long as I can, putting in as much work and detail as I feel I can possibly manage. Some years are harder to tell apart than others, whereas other years are very clear what I’ve learned/improved upon.

So, I’d like to share some with you!

2014

I Remember
I Remember, 2014

2015

Naive
Naive, 2015

2016

Azra, 2016
Azra, 2016

2017

Mugshot, 2017
Mugshot, 2017

2018

A colorful portrait of a man looking into the camera while various hands are applying makeup to his face. One hand is holding his cheek and chin firmly as another hand applies smeared red lipstick, while another hand grabs the top of his head, and yet another hand applies yellow eyeshadow messily
Neon, 2018

2019

A portrait of a handsome young man smoking a cigarette. He is playing with a diamond earring in his ear and wearing a fur collar. He has dog tags around his neck

Aimee Cozza is a freelance illustrator out of Southern New Hampshire. She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in illustration. Since then, she has been working in a variety of ways completing various illustrations for clients, friends, and for herself.

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